Keep Mowing & Watering

The finish line may be in site, but don’t stop before you cross it. Even though the lawn may be growing more slowly than it was earlier in the season, keep mowing and watering as needed. In the greater Indianapolis area, conditions have been unusually dry this year, so supplemental watering has been necessary.

For the final two cuttings of the year, lower your mower blade to its lowest setting. Just make sure you never trim off more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at one time. Gradually lower the height in advance of the final two cuttings.

Remove Fallen Leaves Quickly

It’s a dreaded fall chore, to be sure, but it is important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as possible. If you wait until a deep carpet of accumulation, the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew. They will compact and form a barrier that if left on the grass will suffocate the lawn and provide ideal breeding conditions for fungal diseases.

If you just can’t stand to rake, or if you have a large yard and a lot of trees, it may be more effective and efficient to use a lawn mower equipped with a bag or vacuum. Whatever process you use, just be sure to remove the leaves before they can damage the lawn.

Aerate

After a summer full of outdoor activities in the yard, your soil can become compacted, causing your grass to lose its lush look. You can reduce this ground compaction and add air to the soil by aerating your entire lawn. You can perform this task with handheld aerating tools available at home improvement stores, or (especially if you have a large lawn) by renting an aeration machine.

Fertilize

Immediately after aeration is an ideal time to apply fertilizer as the product can better reach the root system of your lawn. Experts agree that mid to late fall is a perfect time to fertilize because even though the grass leaves grow much more slowly as the weather turns cool, but the grass roots continue to grow quickly. Applying fertilizer at this time delivers essential nutrients, helping the grass to grow strong, deep roots and to establish a reserve for a healthy start in the spring.

Overseed and Patch Bald Spots

August through September is the best time to plant new grass seeds to grown a thick green lawn come spring. Cooler air temperatures mean less insect infestation, and since weeds don’t germinate during the cool fall days, the new grass will have less competition. In spite of the cooler air temperature, the soil remains warm, which helps seeds germinate faster and increased rainfall in the autumn is perfect for the new seeds.

Overseeding Your Lawn

  • Mow the grass at the lowest possible setting and use a grass catcher bag if you have one. Use a grass rake to remove all dead grass and twigs – ensuring good contact between the new seed and soil.
  • Aerate — as described above.
  • Use a broadcast spreader to spread a high-quality grass seed suitable to your soil conditions. Note: overseeding uses half the amount of seed of a new lawn.
  • Apply a quality seed starting fertilizer.
  • Spread a 1/2-inch layer of compost over the seed to improve the soil and retain moisture for the seeds.
  • Water consistently, keeping the new seed moist for at least 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, you can water less frequently but more deeply.
  • Avoid mowing until the old grass reaches 3 inches.

Patching Bald Spots

  • Use a grass rake to remove dead grass roots from the bare spot.
  • Aerate (as described above) and spread 1/2″ thick layer of compost over the bare spot and smooth with a rake or your hand.
  • Spread a thin layer of high quality grass seed (recommended for your soil conditions) over the bare spot.
  • Apply a high quality lawn-starting fertilizer according to package instructions then gently tamp the seed and fertilizer down with the back of a shovel.
  • Apply a thin (about 1/4″ deep) layer of straw, compost, quality mulch.
  • Water daily to keep seeds moist for the first three weeks, then less frequently but more deeply, as with overseeding.

Control Weeds

Fall is also the ideal time to combat broadleaf weeds like dandelions. During the fall, most plants, including weeds, are drinking in everything that comes their way — including weed killers. To prevent weeds from appearing in the spring, apply a quality broadleaf herbicide according to the package instructions.

Autumn Lawn Care Brings Lush Spring Rewards

Don’t take the fall cool-down as a sign that your lawn care duties are over. Your lawn needs attention now as much as ever. Investing time in the measures described above will pay dividends in the spring — with a thick, green lawn that will be the envy of the block. OR, especially if you are a HOA president or property manager, contact us at Landscape Solutions about providing these services for you.

What to do now for a plush spring lawn.

Keep Mowing & Watering

The finish line may be in site, but don’t stop before you cross it. Even though the lawn may be growing more slowly than it was earlier in the season, keep mowing and watering as needed. In the greater Indianapolis area, conditions have been unusually dry this year, so supplemental watering has been necessary.

For the final two cuttings of the year, lower your mower blade to its lowest setting. Just make sure you never trim off more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at one time. Gradually lower the height in advance of the final two cuttings.

Remove Fallen Leaves Quickly

It’s a dreaded fall chore, to be sure, but it is important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as possible. If you wait until a deep carpet of accumulation, the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew. They will compact and form a barrier that if left on the grass will suffocate the lawn and provide ideal breeding conditions for fungal diseases.

If you just can’t stand to rake, or if you have a large yard and a lot of trees, it may be more effective and efficient to use a lawn mower equipped with a bag or vacuum. Whatever process you use, just be sure to remove the leaves before they can damage the lawn.

Aerate

After a summer full of outdoor activities in the yard, your soil can become compacted, causing your grass to lose its lush look. You can reduce this ground compaction and add air to the soil by aerating your entire lawn. You can perform this task with handheld aerating tools available at home improvement stores, or (especially if you have a large lawn) by renting an aeration machine.

Fertilize

Immediately after aeration is an ideal time to apply fertilizer as the product can better reach the root system of your lawn. Experts agree that mid to late fall is a perfect time to fertilize because even though the grass leaves grow much more slowly as the weather turns cool, but the grass roots continue to grow quickly. Applying fertilizer at this time delivers essential nutrients, helping the grass to grow strong, deep roots and to establish a reserve for a healthy start in the spring.

Overseed and Patch Bald Spots

August through September is the best time to plant new grass seeds to grown a thick green lawn come spring. Cooler air temperatures mean less insect infestation, and since weeds don’t germinate during the cool fall days, the new grass will have less competition. In spite of the cooler air temperature, the soil remains warm, which helps seeds germinate faster and increased rainfall in the autumn is perfect for the new seeds.

Overseeding Your Lawn

  • Mow the grass at the lowest possible setting and use a grass catcher bag if you have one. Use a grass rake to remove all dead grass and twigs – ensuring good contact between the new seed and soil.
  • Aerate — as described above.
  • Use a broadcast spreader to spread a high-quality grass seed suitable to your soil conditions. Note: overseeding uses half the amount of seed of a new lawn.
  • Apply a quality seed starting fertilizer.
  • Spread a 1/2-inch layer of compost over the seed to improve the soil and retain moisture for the seeds.
  • Water consistently, keeping the new seed moist for at least 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, you can water less frequently but more deeply.
  • Avoid mowing until the old grass reaches 3 inches.

Patching Bald Spots

  • Use a grass rake to remove dead grass roots from the bare spot.
  • Aerate (as described above) and spread 1/2″ thick layer of compost over the bare spot and smooth with a rake or your hand.
  • Spread a thin layer of high quality grass seed (recommended for your soil conditions) over the bare spot.
  • Apply a high quality lawn-starting fertilizer according to package instructions then gently tamp the seed and fertilizer down with the back of a shovel.
  • Apply a thin (about 1/4″ deep) layer of straw, compost, quality mulch.
  • Water daily to keep seeds moist for the first three weeks, then less frequently but more deeply, as with overseeding.

Control Weeds

Fall is also the ideal time to combat broadleaf weeds like dandelions. During the fall, most plants, including weeds, are drinking in everything that comes their way — including weed killers. To prevent weeds from appearing in the spring, apply a quality broadleaf herbicide according to the package instructions.

Autumn Lawn Care Brings Lush Spring Rewards

Don’t take the fall cool-down as a sign that your lawn care duties are over. Your lawn needs attention now as much as ever. Investing time in the measures described above will pay dividends in the spring — with a thick, green lawn that will be the envy of the block. OR, especially if you are a HOA president or property manager, contact us at Landscape Solutions about providing these services for you.

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