Fall lawn care is a mystery to many, as we’re not sure exactly how much care and attention our yards and commercial properties actually need. But before it’s time to shut down your property for the winter with a full fall clean upand the draining of your irrigation, unfortunately you can’t just forget about your outdoor spaces. Regular landscaping tasks are still required for as long as it takes for properties to go into full dormancy mode, which hopefully won’t be for several weeks yet.
Mowing in the Fall
You’ll notice that your grass is not growing nearly as fast, but it is still growing. It’s nice to not have to cut the grass as often, but in order to lessen the amount of times this chore must be undertaken, many make the mistake of cutting their grass shorter than usual in the fall. Grass should still be kept at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches long in order to retain moisture properly.
Having a sharp and clean lawnmower blade is essential for ensuring lawn’s health. Dull blades actually shred the tops of your grass, stunting their growth and reducing their vitality. Dull and dirty blades will also spread disease.
We at Mirage sharpen the blades on our mowers regularly to combat disease as well as a provide an even, green, golf course-like expanse.
Watering in the Fall
As we head into fall (which actually doesn’t start until Sept. 23, don’t forget) it’s not necessary to water nearly as much. Because the nights are cooler and there aren’t as many warm hours during the days, moisture sticks around longer.
You do, however, need to keep watering until your grass goes fully dormant. Your shrubs, perennials, and trees need care, too, as lack of moisture can cause roots to die off. If there has been rain, you can hold off. But if it has been a dry September, water every couple weeks to a depth of two inches to fully soak the crowns of the roots.
Fall lawn care means starting to water later in the day rather than first thing in the morning. This is to take advantage of the warmer hours to avoid your grass freezing during the cool evenings and mornings. Don’t water too much though, as this will oversaturate the roots and cause harm to your lawn.
As a general rule of thumb, you can stop watering at the end of September.
Fear the Frost
Be careful to keep off of your lawn once we begin to have regular morning frosts. Walking on frozen grass will flatten blades, damaging or even breaking them. This provides the perfect conditions for mold and fungus to grow in the spring. It’s not uncommon for grass that has been pushed down to die over the winter, which means topsoil and seedingis necessary, or even a full replacement with sod.
Of course, you also have to keep your eye on your annualswhen the temperature drops overnight. If you can, bring your pots of annuals inside at the first hint of frost. If you can’t bring them in, make sure to cover them. Invert a bucket or a crate over top, and drape a blanket over top of that to trap heat inside. Another option is to tip lawn furniture over top of your pots to make a bit of a teepee, then drape a blanket over top of that. Some stakes can provide the same sort of structure. If possible, group your annuals together so that they can provide each other warmth and protection.
Perennials are better able to handle the frost, but those that are exposed, maybe not as healthy, or still just babies can also benefit from being covered at night. Keep your annuals and perennials watered well, too, as the added moisture can help maintain warmer core temperatures.
The Benefits of a Fall Clean Up
We all have to rake and clear the fallen leaves on our properties in the fall, as it makes spring clean ups much less arduous. The reason we need to clean these up is because they are rife with many bugs and pests, and leaving them for the winter allows for the perfect breeding environment in the spring.
Many just leave their fall lawn care and clean up at that, though, when there is more you can do to ensure you get the spring growing season off on the right foot. The next two months are a great chance to add nutrients and carbohydrate mass to the roots of your lawn through fall fertilization. The shortening days and cooler evenings of early autumn tell the grass to go into “recovery mode,” or dormancy. Growth is not the priority, so new shoots and chlorophyll are not naturally produced. Give your grass a kick of nitrogen and phosphorous to promote blade and root growth in the spring.
Fall Lawn Care From Mirage
We at Mirage can perform all of these tasks for you and more to help ease the transition from fall into winter. Contact us for fall lawn care services such as a fall clean up or to drain your irrigation. Fall is also a good time to get some pruning done, too. And don’t forget that we work year-round, too. Snow removal is one of our specialties, and we guarantee we will have your property cleared as soon as possible after every snowfall