Labor Day through Halloween is your window for preparing lawns for a lush spring. Although spring lawn care gets all the attention, fall lawn care is the make-it or break-it season for grass. Fall lawn care is no walk in the park. It's hard work and here are four basic steps.........
1.Aeration-Aeration gives your lawn a breather in autumn and provides room for new grass to spread without competition from spring weeds. Aeration tools pull up plugs of grass and soil, breaking up compacted turf. That allows water, oxygen, and nutrients to reach roots, and gives seeds room to sprout. If kids play frequently on your lawn, plan to aerate twice a year-if not, then aerate every year or every other year.
2. Seeding-Fall is the best time of year to seed your lawn. Turf roots grow vigorously in fall and winter. Bags of inexpensive seed often contain annual rye grass seed, which grows until the first frost and drops dead.Splurge on the good stuff (Kentucky Blue Grass produced right here in the valley) which resists drought and disease.
3. Fertilizing-Fall fertilization helps your grass survive a harsh winter and helps it to grow in the spring. Make your last application count by choosing a product high (10-15%) in phosphorous, which is critical for root growth.
4. Mulching- Instead of raking leaves, run over them a couple times with your mower to grind them into mulch. The shredded leaves protect grass from the winter wind........and as an added bonus..... shredded leaves decompose into organic matter to feed grass roots.