Feeding your lawn in fall gives it the nutrients it needs for year-round good health. Autumn’s cooler air combined with soil that’s still warm enough to germinate seeds creates the ideal environment for fertilizing. And, after a long summer of heat, drought, pests, weeds, and foot traffic, your lawn could use a little extra love. The nutrients in fertilizer also get it ready for the winter ahead. Follow these fall lawn fertilizing tips to give your grass a leg up on spring growth.
Be in the Know
For successful fall lawn fertilizing, there’s some things you need to know. First, is your turf type cool-season grass or warm-season grass? Cool-season grasses like fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass, which usually grow in the northern states, require a different amount of nitrogen than warm-season grasses, which often grown in the southern states.
Next, you need to know your soil type. If the soil pH is too high or too low it can’t effectively absorb nutrients. Average pH is approximately 6.5. Lower numbers mean higher acidity. Get a soil testing kit from your local garden center so you choose a fertilizer formula that benefits the soil type.
Timing Is Everything
Fall is prime time to feed cool-season grasses. Apply fertilizer in October or November, before the grass loses its rich color. Time your fall lawn fertilizing for after you aerate your lawn. The holes in the soil let the nutrients reach the root systems easier. Also, give your grass a good watering a couple days before applying fertilizer. A light watering after fertilizing washes the product off of grass blades and into soil.
Get the Right Stuff
Natural nutrients in the soil differ from one location to another. The soil testing kit tells you what nutrients your turf is lacking. Always consult the fertilizer label. Each label contains a three number ratio representing the proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium the formula contains. Choose the formula that fits your test results.
Another choice to make is between a quick release and slow release fertilizer. Quick release fertilizer is great for a fast green up, while slow release provides longer lasting results.
You need a distribution method to spread fertilizer. A broadcast spreader disperses seed in a wide arc and covers larger areas best. Handheld models are ideal for smaller areas because they are more accurate. Push models are most effective when covering more open areas, but require a steady walking pace to ensure an even distribution.
Alternatively, drop spreaders work well for smaller areas that require more precise coverage. This type of spreader drops fertilizer beneath it, providing a more accurate application. The bottom line is that a broadcast spreader is faster and better for larger areas, while a drop spreader better targets smaller or odd-shaped areas.
Let Us Be Your Fall Lawn Fertilizing Experts
Fertilizers must be applied correctly and treated with care. Always follow directions on the package carefully. Too much fertilizer can do more harm than help. Call in an expert to ensure fall lawn fertilizing is done right. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] today.
Weeds, like many plants, enter an energy absorbing phase when autumn rolls around. They need all the nutrients they can get to weather the winter. That’s what makes it prime time to prevent these unwelcome invaders. Here’s what you need to know about fall weed control.
Know Your Weeds
Fall is the ultimate time to target annuals and the more persistent perennial weeds. Perennials, like dandelion and clover, live for several years. After the plant above ground dies off in the fall, the roots remain during the winter, and give life to a new plant in spring. This makes it difficult to completely eradicate the weeds. However, it also makes them an easy target for weed killers. Just as they eagerly absorb nutrients during the fall, these perennials drink in the chemicals in weed killers.
Know Your Chemical Weed Killers
For successful fall weed control, it’s important to choose the appropriate herbicide. If you want to kill both annual and perennial weeds you want a combination of pre- and post-emergent herbicides. Weeds waiting to sprout fall prey to the pre-emergent chemicals, while already established plants are targeted by the post-emergents. The most effective weed killer contains several different types of herbicides to target a variety of plants. Pay attention to the labels. If it’s a selective herbicide, it only targets the weeds it lists on the package. A non-selective herbicide kills everything in its path, so be careful when using it near grass or other plants.
Know Your Natural Weed Killers
If you want a more natural approach to killing weeds, there are some options, but repeated treatments are often necessary. Making your own natural homemade herbicide is inexpensive, efficient, and safer for you and the environment. Try a vinegar solution on these invaders. A water-based blend of salt, vinegar, and dish soap packs a powerful punch on weeds, especially if the water you use is boiling hot.
Know When to Call in an Expert for Fall Weed Control
The key to successful fall weed control is persistence. If you don’t have the time and energy, call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone] today. We offer a unique seven step program to control weeds and help you achieve a healthy, lush lawn.
From creepy crawlers to wicked winged creatures, many insects are active well into the fall season. And some find a way indoors in search of food, warmth, and shelter. Don’t let your home be a haven for common fall pests. Find out how to pest-proof your home and create an unwelcome environment for these uninvited guests.
Common Fall Pests: The Usual Suspects
Ants, spiders, beetles, ladybugs, roaches, wasps, fleas, bees, and termites. As the weather gets crisper, the creatures start creeping into your home. Some pests, like ladybugs, are well-loved when outside, but become a nuisance when they invade your living space in large numbers. Other insects, like termites are capable of causing structural damage. And then there are spiders, who actually catch and eat the bugs that bug you, but leave behind wispy webs where you don’t want them. A big concern, however, is the health issues that can occur from bites or the contamination of your food. Follow these tips for keeping common fall pests out.
Prevent Pests from the Inside
- Less is more, and by tidying up you eliminate hiding places for pests. Piles of paper and stacked boxes make a comfy place for pests, and even become a food source for some. Clean up the clutter in your home, including attics, garages, and basements and pests won’t have a warm place to overwinter.
- Get out the vacuum and get into the cracks and crevices. The vacuum not only sucks up nests, eggs, and cobwebs, but even the pests themselves.
- Many creatures crave a moist environment, or the rotting wood it creates. Fix any leaky pipes or clogged drains.
- Keep your kitchen clean and eliminate food sources. Pests are attracted to food and crumbs laying around, so be sure to clean up and keep leftovers sealed up in covered containers. Remove garbage regularly.
- Don’t give creepy creatures easy access. Seal up cracks and crevices using caulk. Replace weather stripping around windows and doors and repair any damaged screens. Cover attic vents and chimney openings with screens.
Prevent Pests from the Outside
- Tidying up includes outside your home. Put away tools, toys, and lawn furniture and make sure firewood is stacked neatly away from the house. Any items left on the lawn make good hiding places for pests.
- Don’t neglect your raking duties. Leaves on the ground create a nice moist shelter for pests. The moist mat also damages the grass by giving fungal diseases a place to thrive.
- When mulching to protect plants and trees before winter sets in, make sure to use a minimalistic approach. Mulch in thick layers makes warm place for pests to nest. Another nice place to nest is long grass, so keep mowing regularly.
- Trim back branches and shrubs so they are not coming in contact with the outside of the house, creating a convenient walkway for critters to get inside.
Call in an Expert
Fear not, the first frost kills off many pests. But the ones that are already comfortably inside escape this bitter end. If you think you have a pest infestation in your home or wish to prevent one, contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone]. We’ll help you stay pest free in any season.
Crisp cool air, beautiful foliage, and an end to summer’s tedious lawn-care routine. These are just some of the reasons why we love autumn. But don’t put your tools away just yet. There’s still work to do if you want your lawn to be healthy, happy, and green come springtime. Follow these fall lawn care tips so your grass better weathers the winter ahead.
Fall Lawn Care and Maintenance Musts
Summer’s over, but that’s no reason to stop mowing. Grass keeps growing in the fall. Cut grass shorter when you mow for the last time. Long grass gets matted down by the weight of snow, creating a good environment for snow mold, a fungal disease. Also, shorter grass discourages pests from overwintering in your lawn. How low should you go? Go an inch lower than usual, but never remove more than one-third of the blade height at a time.
Fall is the time to feed your lawn. Fertilization gives grass the nutrients it needs to recover from the summer months while preparing it to stay strong through the harsh winter. Before you fertilize, it’s a good idea to aerate, a process of creating holes throughout the lawn. This relieves compact soil conditions that occur during the high-traffic summer months. It also reduces the thatch layer that blocks nutrients, air, and sunlight from reaching the soil. Now that you’ve aerated the lawn, it’s a good time to reseed those thinning areas and bare spots.
Tidy Up to Take Good Care of Your Lawn
Get out the rake. A layer of leaves on the grass blocks nutrients, water, and light from reaching the ground. When combined with moisture, this layer also smothers grass and creates good conditions for fungal diseases to thrive. While you’re out there, put away lawn furniture and the kiddie pool. Left on the lawn throughout the winter, these things create dead spots in the grass.
Take good care of your yard tools by cleaning them and storing them properly to prevent rust. Now’s the time to winterize your lawn mower. Hose it off and empty the gas tank. Check the blades for damage and sharpen them if necessary.
Since we’re talking about tidying up, fall is the time to prevent weeds from taking over in the warmer months. Apply a pre-emergent weed killer as part of your fall lawn care. Better yet, use a product that combines weed killing chemicals with fertilizer, called weed and feeds. Call in a lawn-care expert to apply pest control and keep the critters away this winter.
Let Us Help
These fall lawn care tips may seem like a lot of work, but these tasks make a big difference come spring. You’ll be pleased when the warmer weather rolls around and your lawn is lush and green. If sticking to a fall lawn care regimen is too time consuming, we can help. Call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone].