Summer heat and drought stress can have a major impact on the health of a lawn and might leave the lawn in need of some fall repair and rejuvenation. With cooler temperatures and hopefully some rain, now is the time to provide your lawn with a little extra TLC, and to start thinking about preparing your property for winter (and eventually, spring).
Fall is a season of transitions in Canada, with changing leaves, the start of school and cooling temperatures leading the way. Why not help your lawn transition as well?
Here are some of the things you can do to help your lawn recover from the stress from this past summer season, and help prepare for next spring as well.
Fall Core Aeration
Core Aeration is the mechanical removal of small cores of soil from the lawn using an aeration machine. It is often described as the most important thing you can do to create a healthy, thick, and robust lawn.
Since soil compaction and thatch accumulation inhibit root development, an annual Core Aeration is the key to developing strong, healthy turf roots. Core Aeration reverses the effects of hard, compacted soil and allows the turf roots to breathe.
Fall is an ideal time for your annual Core Aeration, since the weather is cooler and the grass is actively growing. Aerating your lawn in fall will help reduce soil compaction, control thatch, encourage deep root growth, reduce insect and disease pressures, reduce summer drought damage, and make irrigation more efficient.
Nutrients in your lawn do get trapped in the top layer of thatch over the hot summer months. Aeration pulls hundreds of tiny plugs of soil from the lawn and opens up holes in the turf, so everything can breathe again. These tiny holes increase soil and root development. Rain, fertilizer, and nutrients then soak into the lawn over the winter months.
Golf courses and sports fields aerate 3-5 times each season to battle the damaging effects of compaction. The average home lawn only needs aeration once each year.
If you have bare areas in your lawn, fall is the ideal time to sort it out.
Overseeding is recommended for home lawns at least once a year, and since the soil and air temperatures are still warm and rainfall is common, fall is a great time to do it.
Overseeding assists by filling in and thickening up thin, weak, or damaged areas in a lawn. It's a great way to introduce new grass species that require less water, less fertilizer, and resist insect & disease pressures.
Topdressing is a great way to add more organic matter to your lawn before winter. If your lawn is lacking in nutrients, it will help rejuvenate tired grass and improve the condition of your soil.
Topdressing with a quality, weed-free organic mulch helps reduce water usage, increases your lawn's ability to fight disease, and improves the results of your fertilizer program.
For even better compost infiltration, combine topdressing with your annual core aeration.
When soil becomes too acidic, the nutrients your grass needs to thrive become unavailable, resulting in unhealthy turf. The optimal soil pH for your lawn is between 6.5 and 7.5
Enhanced Calcitic Lime neutralizes acidic soil pH conditions, giving your lawn a better chance at taking up the plant essential nutrients it needs to outcompete weeds, lawn diseases, and insect infestations.
Fall is the ideal time for an annual lime application, since the lawn is actively growing.
Fall Grub Control
Since white grub larvae begin to aggressively feed in the fall, protecting your lawn should be in your best interests. Signs of damage typically begin to show in fall, either from grubs feeding on the grass, which will start to turn brown, or from other animals digging into the lawn in search of grubs.
Damage from the beetle starts in the Fall and continues through spring, until the beetle matures and escapes from the lawn.
Depending on provincial regulations, there are a number of grub control techniques to manage them. Other ways to assist in preventing the beetle from devastating your lawn is to keep it as healthy as possible. Regular maintenance and fertilizing is essential to maintaining your lawn's health.
Fall Irrigation Blowout
For those that have an irrigation system, fall is the time to start thinking about the off-season.
Professional sprinkler winterization prevents freeze-ups and costly repairs next spring. Generally, it includes shutting off the main water valve, opening drain valves, and inspecting all sprinklers to ensure all the water has been discharged.
No matter what your goals are for your lawn this fall, our lawn care technicians will provide advice on how to get your lawn and landscape looking lush and thick, as well as offering expert recommendations on our range of beneficial services.
Talk to your local Nutri-Lawn to learn more about any of these Fall lawn care services, as well as other ecology friendly lawn care services catered for your area.