As the weather begins to cool and leaves start to fall from the trees, you may notice that your grass growth is slowing before your lawn becomes dormant through the winter months. While things may be progressing slowly on the growth side, it's still important to keep up with your lawn so that it will continue to flourish in those high-growth months. Here are a few tips for taking care of your lawn as it begins to cool:
While growth is certainly slower during the cooler months of fall, your grass is still dependent on sunlight to make the food it needs to survive, especially as the plants are getting ready to pull their food reserves into their cores to keep them alive through the winter. Raking often will ensure that your grass is still getting plenty of sunlight, while also strengthening it for the hard winter months.
As cold temperatures begin to take hold and your lawn begins to put itself into "reserve mode," you may notice that the blades of your grass are turning yellow. This is due to the grass compartmentalizing all of its nutrients into its root base, while halting regular growth, which would expend those nutrient reserves. As the green tops of the grass plant begin to decompose, turning yellow and then brown, you may start to notice fungal infections taking advantage of the grass's weakened defenses. Keep an eye out for discoloration, patching, or other common signs of fungal infection. If you notice signs of fungal infections, be sure to get in contact with AgroPro to discuss treatment options.
As it begins to cool down, long rains can lead to sustained, heavy moisture on the lawn as it is slower to evaporate off. Keep an eye on the moisture level on your lawn, as it may still be necessary to water – that said, be careful not to over-water the lawn, as the increased moisture can lead to problems as well.
Because your lawn is preparing to hunker down for colder, less sunny months, it may be beneficial to supply your lawn with a healthy dose of fertilizer with a healthy amount of phosphorus. Fertilizing your lawn during the fall months will help it hold on to as many nutrients as possible while stimulating root growth and will help it to spring back once the weather starts to become warmer again.
If there are areas of your lawn that are looking a little sparse, fall is the perfect time to seed due to the combination of cooler air but warm soil. When coupled with fertilization, you'll ensure that your lawn has had time to develop strong, healthy roots that will help the grass to grow in thick and green once spring rolls around again. For more information on best practices for seeding during the fall, check out our blog on Fall Seeding Guidelines.
Aeration is the act of putting small holes in the soil to ensure that the soil isn't too dense for grass to access those things it needs: air, soil, and water. By breaking up the soil with aeration, roots can grow stronger and take advantage of more nutrients. The low air temperatures and warm soil temperatures experienced during the fall make this season the best for aeration. Additionally, it's essential to aerate your lawn if you're planning on seeding during the fall, as the aeration process will enable those new seeds to take root more effectively.