3 Tips for Staying on Top of Yard Maintenance
In the fall, you’re probably not spending much time thinking about your lawn. Autumn, with its cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall, is the ideal time to prepare your lawn for next spring. Many homeowners think lawns need less care in the fall because the grass grows more slowly. Give it a little attention now, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a lush, healthy spring lawn.
Keep on Mowing
Continue to water and mow your lawn, as needed, throughout the fall. Then as the season draws to a close, drop the mower’s blade to its lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year. That will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown during the winter. *Note: As you lower the blade, just remember not to trim off more than one-third of the grass blades at any one time. If necessary, gradually lower the cutting height until the time of the final two cuttings.
Rake the Leaves
It’s important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as possible. Don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen from the trees to start raking. If you do, the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and form an impenetrable mat that if left unmoved will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases. An alternative to raking leaves is to use a lawnmower fitted with a collection bag or vacuum system. These methods are particularly effective if you have a very large yard with many deciduous trees. Regardless of whether you use a rake or a lawnmower, just be sure to remove the leaves before they turn into a soggy, suffocating mess.
If broadleaf weeds like dandelions have taken over your lawn, now’s the time to fight back. Weeds, like most plants, are in the energy-absorbing mode during the fall. They’re drinking in everything that comes their way, including weed killers. Apply an herbicide now and the weeds won’t return in the spring. Read the package label before use. Most herbicide manufacturers recommend applying the weed killer during early-to-mid autumn, when daytime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
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