Fall is the Best Time to Seed Your Lawn to Take it to the Next Level
Our lawns tend to experience significant damage from the elements each year, even though some or most of it may be unseen. While you might have done your best to invest time and money into regular lawn maintenance this year, the fact is that the extremely wet spring and unexpected rainfall, fungus, and dry spells have all taken their toll on it. Many people reading this may also acknowledge that this year their lawn care might not have gone as planned.
Well, the good news is that if your lawn has survived till fall then now is the time to upgrade your grass seed and even re-seed your lawn if required. Fall happens to be the best time for all this, mainly because the continued warmth of the soil is very conducive to seed growth. And so is the return of rains and the more cool temperature relief after the summer heat. So, if your lawn has taken damage this year, or if you’re just wanting to take your lawn to the next level of health and beauty, then the lawn care tips below should help you get things to the way they should be.
Cut Grass at the Correct Height
One vital lawn care step many people overlook is that it needs to be mowed consistently. Your grass will continue to grow until it snows, so keeping it trimmed to around 2½- to 3-inch works best. If you allow it to grow too long, the grass becomes vulnerable to fungi, an excellent example of which is snow mold. Also, when it’s cut too short there is a risk of curtailing the root system which impedes the ability for the lawn to withstand the cold weather. And it’s very important to cut your grass when it reaches the right height after seeding, which we’ll mention a little later on.
Clear All The Fallen Leaves
We all like the look of colorful autumn leaves carpeting our lawn, but all those leaves aren’t good for the grass. They block the light and may trap moisture, both of which are very bad and increase the potential for molds or fungus . That’s why a big part of fall lawn maintenance is to rake or blow away the leaves. You will want to continue raking even after the trees are bare, just so that they aren’t on the grass. Doing this will help save your grass from dying. Another time-saving option is to mulch the leaves, but just be aware that in the fall this can put additional strain on your grass. So if you have lots of leaves, it’s probably better to remove them.
Let the Watering Continue
Don’t make the mistake of not watering your lawn through fall. While there may be more rains and dew with less evaporation, it may not be enough to keep the grass roots hydrated. Aim for at least an inch of water each week. You can track this by using a rain gauge. So if there is less rain during any given week, turn the sprinklers on to make up for the shortfall. However, depending on where you live, make sure to disconnect the hoses and the irrigation system so that you don’t have to deal with frozen pipes through the colder months.
Loosen the Soil in Your Yard
A good part of your lawn maintenance through fall should be regular aeration. Aeration prevents soil from being compacted, which can then block the water, nutrients, and oxygen from reaching deep within it. Aeration helps ensure that nutrients from your fertilizer and other sources reach the core to nourish the roots easily.
Plant Quality Grass Seed
Here are a few tips to help make your fall seeding successful. The most important part is doing the proper preparation. Be sure to cut your existing grass short, remove all the debris with a rake and then loosen the soil in order for the grass roots to grow down deep into the ground. If you have a large yard or if it’s too physically demanding you can consider renting some power equipment from a rental center or hire out the work. And if you really want a beautiful yard that will resist the strain of the Midwest’s weather extremes. we strongly recommend using quality Black Beauty Grass Seed. It is the best of the best for seeding your lawn.
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When your lawn is dense it protects against weeds, which is why we strongly recommend overseeding the turf. Overseeding not only helps to fill out all the thin or bare spots but it also allows you to add more drought-tolerant grass. The best time to overseed in our experience and those of many experts is during fall when the ground is still somewhat warm, yet moist during the night. The problem with overseeding is that it can be a chore because it isn’t as simple as throwing seeds over the entire lawn and then waiting for them to grow. They need to make full contact with the soil, and then they also have to be kept moist to influence germination so that they are established before it starts freezing over.
The best way to do this is to rent a slit seeder if you have some experience, but you need to be careful as they can tear up the turf and that can leave a lawn looking worse than it was. The other option is to do it manually, which can be done if your yard isn’t too large. Still, for many the best option is to trust your lawn to a professional who can manage the seeding and fertilizing process for you.
Fall Lawn Fertilizer Routine
Similar to how the roots of your grass will need water to survive through the winter, the roots also require the right nutrients which will protect them from freezing and helps them bounce back to life come spring. The use of Green-Up for Seeding and Sodding fertilizer is great to help get young seedlings started right.
But if the places you are planting seed have not been good for growing grass in the past, then it’s a good idea to test the pH levels of your soil before seeding. You can improve your soil’s pH levels by applying Mag-I-Cal, and this is best if the pH testing displays results of 6.0 or lower. And when pH testing displays results higher than 7.0, then we recommend using Mag-I-Cal Plus. It’s quite convenient that these applications may be done all on the same day. And there is no particular order of application required once the proper soil preparations are done. Then you’ll want to water the newly-seeded area as needed once or twice daily for a week, then two or three times each week following. And plan to mow the new grass once it reaches 4 inches in height.
Perform Your Entire Lawn Care Program on a Schedule
Every lawn maintenance step needs to be done at the right time, or you’re just wasting effort. For instance, if you overseed too late, then the seedlings will not survive. And if you are fertilizing too early the tender grass blades will get ruined by the cold. Then, should you take too long to fertilize, the roots will not absorb the nutrients and that results in wasted time and product. That’s why if you have difficulty sticking to the schedule it will be best to hire local lawn care professionals to take care of it for you.
Full lawn care is time-consuming and requires experience. However, millions of homeowners with lawns aspire to have a great looking lawn. After all, there is something to be said about the pleasure people get from the attractive look a nice lawn adds to a home. That being said, the entire year, and especially the hot summer, can be particularly tough on your lawn. So, taking these important steps to ensure proper lawn care will greatly enhance its long and beautiful life. We encourage you to ask your lawn care provider to contact Southwest Stone Supply, because we are the only supplier in Missouri and the entire western half of the United States for Black Beauty Grass Seed and the entire Jonathan Green soil care program.
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