Our attention tends to move away from the yard as temperatures fall, but the secret to a healthy spring lawn is a proactive fall maintenance plan. Schedule these five chores now, and your grass will be the envy of the neighborhood come spring.
1. Keep Mowing
Fall is an excellent time to raise your mower deck to the higher end of the recommended range for your grass type. Taller blades help retain moisture and insulate the plants during fall and winter. Do keep mowing as long as the grass is growing. Grass that is too tall creates the perfect environment for disease and pests.
Continuing to mow throughout fall also ensures fallen leaves don’t choke your grass. A mulching mower breaks the leaves into manageable bits that feed your grass and form an insulating layer at the soil level. If you don’t have a mulching mower, mow in two different directions each time to adequately break up the leaves.
2. Patch Dead or Bare Spots
Fall is a great time to use sod to patch any areas that may have succumbed to drought stress. Especially in hot areas, early-fall lawn patching is best because that gives young grass 6 or 7 months of potential root growth before hitting its first test in the summer oven. Our experts can help you identify your grass type if you’re unsure.
3. Watch for Disease
Powdery mildew and other diseases thrive in the cooler, cloudy, and humid conditions common during fall. Take a walk around your yard once a week and watch for diseases so you can catch and treat issues early to minimize damage.
4. Keep Watering
Even if your grass goes dormant, it is still alive and needs consistent water. Keep an eye on the rain gauge and ensure the lawn gets half an inch every three days from rain or irrigation.
5. Apply Pre-Emergent
Pre-emergent herbicides help prevent weeds from growing or sprouting when applied on the lawn before the target weed seeds germinate. Depending on where you live, fall pre-emergent applications should be done between August and November. Now is the time if you haven’t applied pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn in the Southeast.