In September and October, the daylight hours may be getting shorter but early fall is also the prime time to get your lawn prepared and healthy before the winter months. As a trusted lawn care company in Wichita, KS, we’ve put together a fall lawn care checklist to help you maintain a healthy lawn. As you’ll see, it’s more than just mowing and cleaning flower beds, but taking these lawn maintenance steps now will prepare your lawn for winter and ensure it looks its best when springtime comes.
Recommended Fall Lawn Care Tasks Include
While grass may appear to stop actively growing in the fall, it’s just slowing down before going dormant. Keep mowing your lawn until closer to the first frost.
Before your last mow of the season, adjust the height on your lawn mower so you can cut the grass shorter. This will help prevent the growth of mold and fungi that appear if grass is left taller throughout the winter.
Don’t forget about edging. Edging your lawn will help keep a neat appearance and stop extra growth from flowing into unwanted spaces such as concrete, landscape areas, and more.
Wondering if you should rake your fallen leaves? The answer is yes! Leaves will need to be raked and removed from your yard. If all that organic matter is left to sit and settle, pests such as rodents and ticks can settle in. Then as the weather cools, they’ll be more likely to look for openings to relocate into your home.
Additionally, leaves left to sit on the grass will harm the lawn by blocking sunlight and retaining moisture. This can create bare spots, mold, and fungi throughout your lawn. Clearing out the leaves will help the grass get the most sunlight available while the days last.
Weed control isn’t just something to be done during the growing season. Weeds are resilient, and not managing them in the fall can make spring weed control and removal even more work.
Address your weeds in the fall! Doing so gives your springtime grass growth a better chance to flourish without being choked by new aggressive weeds. Professional landscapers like Elite Landscape Solutions can evaluate and recommend the best weed control products for your lawn.
We commend aeration and overseeding every fall for most lawns.. Aerating your soil is needed so oxygen and nutrients can get down into the soil. Aerator tools will create holes in the ground that allow these to enter and improve the soil condition.
While you may find smaller simple-to-use aerators for this, there are also aerating machines that pull out tiny cores of soil. These will break down over time and prevent thatch growth.
After aeration, overseeding will create new grass growth to repair bare spots. Overseeding after aerating allows seeds to fall into those holes. That helps germination and makes it harder for birds to steal grass seeds.
Depending on the grass seed, some types will grow better with simple aeration without soil cores, and others better with the cores.
So, what type of grass seed do you need? Here in the Wichita area, there are a few popular cool season grasses and warm season grasses:
- Tall Fescue (cool-season)
- Bermuda Grass (warm-season)
- Zoysia Grass (warm-season)
- Buffalo Grass (warm-season)
The best type of grass for your lawn depends on a few factors, such as if your lawn is in full sun, has shaded areas, or both. Having pets that spend time in your yard can also affect the type of grass you might need. With so many factors to consider, hiring a professional lawn service like Elie Landscape Solutions will be crucial for having the best quality lawn.
While it seems that grass might stop growing, fall is still an important time to fertilize your lawn. As the sunlight lessens, your remaining grass will have difficulty getting natural nutrients. And even after grass goes dormant, the roots will still grow even in 40-degree temperatures
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall allows it to stay greener and healthier longer. Caring for the root growth with fertilizer will also allow the grass to grow better come spring. A fall lawn fertilizer application will need to reach the roots to give them nutrients, so liquid fertilizers are a good choice.
Although it’s sometimes overlooked, mulching in the fall is vital to help young plants, shrubs, or perennials survive frigid temperatures. Mulch will help protect the roots from freezing in the winter.
There are different types of mulch, each with a different way to spread it. A lawn care professional can recommend the right mulch and place it correctly to prevent mold growth.
As winter approaches, parts of perennial plants and ornamental grasses will turn brown and die. It’s best to have these cut back and pruned in the fall to limit the amount of decay and cleanup. Perennial plants and ornamental grasses that get trimmed back will still have healthy roots that will regrow healthier in the spring.
Trees and shrubs will also need some pruning attention. Pruning and trimming back will help remove dead limbs that can make trees and shrubs look messy. It will also make them more pleasing to the eye and lessen the amount of pruning and trimming they’ll need in the spring.
Do you have an inground sprinkler system? It’s vital to have your irrigation system winterized before the cold hits. Sprinkler winterization includes blowing water out of the sprinkler heads and backflow preventer and then shutting the system down.
Winterizing and shutting down your lawn irrigation system before the first freeze will prevent problems during the winter. If water is left in the sprinkler system when freezing temperatures hit, it can turn to ice and cause burst pipes, broken sprinkler heads and a broken backflow preventer.
A professional lawn irrigation company will inspect and service your sprinkler system to be sure it is cleared and ready for winter. They can also replace any damaged parts so your system will be ready for spring.
Leave Your Fall Lawn Care to a Professional
Keeping your lawn at its best can be a lot of work. Consider hiring a professional lawn care service to free up your time so you can enjoy the season doing the things you love. A lawn care specialist will have years of experience backing them up to evaluate your lawn. They will recommend the best service and products to treat, maintain, and get it done right and at the right time. In the Wichita, Kansas, area, count on Elite Landscape Solutions for fall lawn maintenance.