Monday, October 19, 2015

Five Tips for Fall Lawn Care by Donna Duffy

Don’t let this warm October weather fool you – winter is just around the corner. Here are five actions you can take to get your lawn in top shape for spring.

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1. Aerate! Aeration breaks up clay soils and lets moisture, air and fertilizer penetrate the soil. Most lawn care companies have the equipment to do this task for you. If your lawn is dry, water it well before aerating to get the most benefit.

2. Fertilize! After you aerate is a great time to apply a “winterization” or slow release fertilizer. Do this before the ground starts to freeze and remember to water in the fertilizer. Carefully follow the instructions on the bag regarding the amount of fertilizer required. More is NOT better. Fall fertilization is the most important fertilization of the year.

3. If you have dead spots, fall is a good time to apply grass seed. You can do this immediately after aerating, then toss a light coat of compost on top. Seeds planted now will most likely stay dormant until spring when the conditions are ideal for growth. 

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4. Look around the yard for any weeds that are going to seed. Remove them now by digging, or if digging isn’t an option, you can use a weed killer – be sure to get one that doesn’t damage the turf and follow label instructions to the letter. Fall herbicide applications are more effective when applied to healthy, green, actively growing weeds. 

5. On your last mowing of the season, keep your turf longer to help it stay healthier over the winter months. Remember to apply water in the winter when the lawn hasn’t received adequate moisture and the temperature is above 40 degrees.

Come springtime, your lawn will thank you for taking these simple steps! For more information, check out CSU Extension's Fall Lawn Care.