13 Aug Tips & Tricks to Prepare your Lawn for Fall
The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of lawn care – in fact, your lawn may need a little extra attention in the heat of late summer to keep it looking beautiful and prepare it for the cooler weather to come. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can prepare your lawn for fall.
Pull weeds as soon as you notice them. If weeds are allowed to become prolific, they can suck the moisture from your grass, keeping it from the water it desperately needs in the heat of August. In addition to regular weeding, applying an herbicide in the fall will help prevent weeds from coming back in the spring. Apply an herbicide in early to mid fall when daytime temperatures are still consistently above 60 degrees,
In August, use the longest blade setting possible when you mow. The heat of late summer can bake your grass, turning it brown; but keeping it on the longer side helps shade grass blades and retain moisture.
Then, as you move into fall, begin to drop your mower’s blade to lower settings, using the lowest setting possible for the last two mowings of the year. Shorter grass in late fall allows sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, leaving less of the blade to turn brown as temperatures cool. It will also help prevent snow mold or other fungus from forming over the winter.
Water two to four times per week throughout the month of August. Using sprinklers, give each area of your lawn about 6 inches of moisture. Always water in early morning or late evening to prevent evaporation from summer heat, allowing the majority of the water to reach the roots. Consider investing in rain control sensors for your sprinkler system so you always give your lawn the perfect amount of water. Skip’s Sprinklers offers rain control sensors that automatically adjust watering to local climate conditions, making giving your lawn the right amount of water simple and easy.
As we move further into fall, your lawn will still need watering even as the growing season winds down and your grass grows more slowly. Fall watering will help your lawn recover from the summer heat and build strength for the winter ahead.
If you only fertilize once a year, let it be in the fall. Fertilizing in mid to late fall gives your grass roots energy and nutrients as they multiply before the grass goes dormant for the winter. The roots store food for the winter as well, giving your grass an initial growth spurt in the spring.
Use a nitrogen-based fertilizer 2 or 3 days after you water. Nitrogen encourages your grass to keep growing and its roots to grow deep. Fertilizer also helps prevent browning and bare spots. Or, try “grasscycling” in place of fertilizer: When you mow, allow clippings to fall back into the grass rather than collecting them and throwing them away. Nutrients from the clippings will absorb into the soil when you water, feeding the roots. Grasscycling helps your lawn retain moisture as well.
If you have bare spots in your lawn, or patches that have turned brown in the August heat, sprinkle grass seed on those spots and water daily — in the early morning or late evening — until they sprout. It’s best to reseed late in the growing season, in late summer or early fall. You want to wait for cooler, damper weather, as the heat of summer is far too hot to allow new seed to flourish.
Aerating your yard is one of the most important tasks you can do to maintain a healthy, great-looking lawn. Throughout the summer your lawn can get compacted from foot traffic. If, when you water your grass, the water pools instead of soaking in, it’s time to aerate. Aerating relieves compaction and creates extra pore space in the soil, allowing air, nutrients, and water to get down to the roots, keeping grass lush and green. Do this two to three times a year if you can — but if you only aerate once a year, do it in the fall.
Tending to your lawn in these ways will help protect it from the August heat and keep it healthy and beautiful well into the fall. Current customers- be on the lookout for our winterization letters that will have your scheduled date and call or email to confirm your appointments.