Fall is well underway, and the temperatures in Georgia are beginning to fluctuate. Fall offers the combination of cool weather and warm soil that makes it the ideal time to prepare your lawn for spring. If you aerated and reseeded early in the season, you should be seeing sprouts of new grass cropping up in those bare, worn spots of your grass. But overseeding isn’t the final step in fall lawn care.
Fall foliage beautifies your landscape with a dazzling array of warm yellow, bright orange, and cool red colors. But once they fall, they do your yard more harm than good. Fallen leaves smother your turf, robbing grass of important sunlight and nutrients while it’s storing food for the dormant season. Wet leaves cling together, trapping bacteria and encouraging the growth of fungi. Use a mulching mower to shred leaves, leaving the organic matter as a natural fertilizer for your sod. If you plan to remove the leaves, consider a leaf blower instead of a rake to prevent shredding your delicate new shoots.
To ensure proper grass growth, it’s necessary to winterize your lawn mower. Service your turf trimmer by changing the oil, examining the spark plug and air filter for signs of wear, and preparing the fuel system for cooler weather. Sharpen your mower blades to prevent damaging grass by shredding the stalk. If you’re maintaining warm season grasses, set the blades higher than you would during the summer to account for slower sod growth in the cooler season. Mow fescue and other cool-season grasses as normal.
Like your grass and trees, weeds flourish in the fall, establishing their roots in preparation to withstand the winter cold. From September to November, weeds are storing nutrients, just like the turf they infest. Apply herbicides in the fall: weeds are tricked into thinking the chemicals are water, allowing the weed killers to penetrate their roots. If you have recently aerated and reseeded, wait until your new grass has established (usually 4-6 weeks) before applying chemical weed killers. Killing weeds in the fall prevents a resurgence of thorny, bristly eyesores in the spring.
For more information on fall care of your Georgia sod, call NG Turf.