If the grass is matted down then fluff it up with a leaf rake. Aerify and fertilize at the same time. This is not a bad time to over-seed if it is necessary but don’t expect too much.
If there is a real thatch problem (over 1″ thick) then thatching is necessary. Make sure the grass is growing well before power raking since it is stressful to the grass. You can aerify after raking, thatching does not eliminate aerification. A good yard maintenance program is what eliminates thatch. If there is a crabgrass problem then a pre-emergent herbicide will be needed. The herbicide works best if applied as soon as the soil temperature goes over 50 degrees but before it gets to 52 degrees, or when the “Forsythia” blooms. Make sure any thatching and/or aerification is done before the herbicide is applied.
Make sure the mower and the sprinklers run. Hopefully the times, per station, required for a 6″ deep soaking, were saved from last year as they will be the same this year. Check the fertilizer program for the season. Try to use the right kinds at the right time. Over watering and over fertilizing cause 99% of the grass problems. More water needs more fertilizer that needs more water. It is important to hava a sharp mower blade, so remember to check the blade before mowing.
Proper watering, fertilizing and mowing are essential to maintain a beautiful lawn.
When the days are hot,the nights are cool, and the humidity is high; a lot of slender, white mushrooms can appear. These particular mushrooms only appear in a new yard for the first couple of years and indicate the yard is healthy, if a bit over watered. These mushrooms have a medium length stem and a cone-shaped head. They are not edible. Keep the kids and pets away. These don’t last very long after the sun comes up. If you want them to go away faster, drag a garden hose over the yard. This will break them off so they will dry up and disappear faster.
Fall is a good time to aerify turf. Don’t go over and over the yard with the aerifier. Too many holes and the ground will settle in on itself and end up being just as compacted. Too many holes too close together will cause a low spot. Make sure you mark the sprinkler heads so you don’t hit them with the aerator!
Don’t let leaves pile up on the grass! They cut off sunlight and draw a lot of moisture from of the ground, denying your grass its nutrients. Leaves left through the winter almost always attract disease and left in flowerbeds can create a fire hazard.
It seems like there is a lot to do in the fall and most people are glad the season is ending but little things done in the fall keep you from being overloaded next year. A good fall sets the stage for the next season and makes it so much easier.
Changing climate conditions can result in very dry and cold winters. Your lawn may need an occasional watering with a hose. This is rarely needed for new sod, if it was soaked when it was installed. Mature grass almost never needs supplementing but be very watchful of trees and ornamentals, even older ones.
Winters can also be very mild and the grass can grow too long. If the grass gets too long, it might be necessary to mow once before Christmas.
Snow piled up along walks and driveways will compress the grass . When the snow melts use a leaf rake and fluff it up a little. Your grass will appreciate the attention.
Be careful of de-icers used on walks and driveways. These can be very damaging for your lawn. There are plenty of good, safe choices on the market. Read the ingredients list before you buy.
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