If a springtime backyard wedding is in your plans, you really should start working on that lawn now! The steps you take in the fall help protect your lawn throughout the winter and encourage the fastest spring green up possible.
As long as your grass is growing, you should keep mowing. As the season winds down, lower your mower blade a little at a time until you get to the lowest setting. Just remember to never take off more than 1/3 of the lade height in any one mowing. Shorter blades let more sunlight in over the winter, keeping the crowns healthy.
Let It Breathe
Using a rented aerator or hiring a landscaper to do it for you ensures enough oxygen, water, and fertilizer (if you have Fescue turf) reach your lawn’s roots. Don’t worry about raking up those little lawn plugs, either. They will break apart and become part of your topsoil.
Remove Those Leaves
That layer of damp leaves blocks sunlight, encourages fungal disease, and suffocates your lawn. You should aim for removing leaves every several days but no less than once a week. How you remove the leaves is up to you – raking, blowing, and using a mulching mower all accomplish the same goal.
Feed Your Fescue (and Your Weeds!)
The fall is the best time of year to fertilize Fescue lawns. The blades are growing slower so more of the nutrients make it sown into the roots below the surface to encourage deeps roots and energy storage for the spring.
Your weeds are hungry in the fall, too. So now is a great time to broadcast some broad-lead weed post emergent herbicides. Just watch the temperatures. If it gets too cold, the weeds will die back before the weed killer does its job.
For detailed fertilization and weed control calendars, check out the handy lawn care calendars on our website from the University of Georgia.
Repair and Renew
Use a quick-start seed mixture or fresh sod patches to repair any bald or brown spots. Be sure to clear away dead grass and scrape the surface soil loose with a firm rake or trowel. Water your patched area thoroughly and continue to water as needed to provide 1 inch of water per week.
Most turf varieties that grow in the southeast prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. You can purchase a do-it-yourself soil pH testing kit at your favorite garden supply store or send your samples off for professional testing. Soil that is too acidic is corrected with lime while basic soil is treated with sulfur or peat moss. You can find soil pH and testing information on our website under the Resources tab.
April showers may bring may flowers, but some fall landscaping know how is what you’ll need to have a beautiful green lawn for your spring wedding. Let us know how we can help!