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Fall Lawns Don't Need to Fall Behind

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

If you're smart about it, fall presents some excellent opportunities for your lawn. With the right attention this fall, next spring your lawn can come back greener and healthier than ever before. Follow these tips as the days grow colder and your lawn readies itself for winter, and you'll see results.

  • Fall Tip #1: Keep watering your lawn.

    The days are cooler and shorter. Chances are there's a bit more rain now than the summer. So your lawn probably won't show quite the same distress it would have during the summer if you let up on your irrigation.

    Keep up the watering, though, because the better condition your lawn is in when it becomes dormant during the winter, the better condition it will come back in next spring.

  • Fall Tip #2: Spray for perennial broad leaf weeds.

    These pesky weeds, of which dandelions are a particularly common and particularly annoying variety, can be hard to treat. You might be tempted to spray them in the spring when they are in full bloom. Waiting until fall, however, is your best choice.

    As the weather cools, the weeds transport nutrients from their leaves to their roots in anticipation of the winter ahead. Spray them now, and they'll take the herbicide down to the roots along with the nutrients. Once the poison kills the roots, you'll be weed free.
    How would you like to improve your lawn?
    • Make it greener
    • Eliminate patches
    • Less weeds
    • Make it thicker
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  • Fall Tip #3: Fertilize your lawn.

    Spring can be a tempting time to fertilize - you'll see fast results and who doesn't want that? But patience is the winner when it comes to fertilizing, and although you'll have to wait months for the payoff, fall fertilizing will strengthen your lawn's roots, not just cause top growth (which is what spring fertilizing does). With stronger roots, you'll have a thicker healthier lawn for the entire growth season to come.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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