While many of us are trying to soak up the last few days of summer, this author included, others of us are starting to prepare for fall and the cold winter months ahead. But when it comes to preparing for fall and winter, it’s important not to forget about your lawn care. Your grass is still growing and in need of care, and now is the perfect time to get it ready for the upcoming freeze. There are several things you can do to prepare your turf. Your friends at 4-Evergreen have taken the liberty of devising a plan of action and tips you are welcome to follow.
1. Keep Mowing!
First and foremost, don’t stop mowing your lawn. Here in Rhode Island, we have mostly cool-season grasses. Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrasses all continue to grow throughout November. During this time, the grassroots are trying to obtain all of the nutrients they can before winter hits. Keeping your grass cut at a consistent level is key to keeping it strong and healthy through the season. You will want to continue mowing until the first hard freeze. When it comes time for that final cut of the year, we recommend that you lower your mower deck to two inches. A shorter cut will help prevent matting and reduce the risk of your grass getting snow mold.
2. Continue to Fertilizer Your Rhode Island Lawn
The cooler temperatures in the fall make the perfect environment for your lawn to regain its strength from a harsh summer. The morning dew delivers fresh moisture allowing the grass to absorb the fertilizer. Fertilizing your yard during the fall will help rebuild your grassroots, provide better winter color, enhance spring green-up, and increased rooting.
At 4-evergreen, our flagship lawn care program offers six rounds of balanced fertilizer. Treatment five includes a controlled release winterizing fertilizer to help boost strength and protect your grass from the harsh elements Rhode Islands winters bring. Our 100% organic lawn care program also contains a boost of fertilizing nutrients in the fall.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Unless you receive more than an inch of water per week, you should continue to supplement your water as needed until the ground is frozen. During the fall, the growth of your grass slows down a bit but as long as it is growing at all, it will need water. Continue to water in the morning and continue to water deeper and longer, being sure to penetrate the roots of your soil. Twice a week should be sufficient unless we have one of those heat spells that often occur in Rhode Island in October, where Indian summer comes back and hits us in the face. In those cases, more water may be needed for the short time that the heatwave lasts.
4. Stop Spring Weeds Now
During the fall, weeds are storing up nutrients for the winter, just like your grass. Broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, henbit, and chickweed are all germinating in the cool, moist grass of your yard. They overwinter, and when spring arrives, they reproduce. Try to maintain them now before their seedlings have been established, and you might be able to control them this spring. Using pre-emergents in the fall will help stop these vile plants from taking over your lawn come spring and summer. And because weeds are storing energy in their root systems right now for the winter, they are more susceptible to herbicide applications.
5. Rejuvenate Your Rhode Island Lawn With Aeration
After a full summer of backyard activities, your turf can end up looking tired and overworked. Excessive foot traffic, lawn equipment use, and heat stress can cause compacted soil, making it hard for elements such as water, oxygen and the nutrients fertilizer contains to reach your root zone. This can cause your grass to wither and look defeated. Fall is the perfect time to rejuvenate your lawn. You can do this through aeration and overseeding. Sure ways to determine if your soil is indeed impacted include looking for the following:
- Pooling water
- Thin or bare patchy spots
- Water runoff
- Spongy grass
4-evergreen offers core aeration and overseeding services to help reduce soil compaction and relieve thatch build-up. We offer both traditional core aeration and liquid aeration. Core aeration uses a machine that pulls plods of sod from your lawn, creating holes that loosen the soil. Liquid aeration creates fractions within the earth using a liquid spray. Both break up thatch and allow oxygen and water to once again penetrate the root zone.
Aeration isn’t just good for combating soil compaction. It has many other benefits that help the overall health of your lawn. It promotes stronger roots, helps to eliminate pooling water, and gives your grass an overall better appearance. We recommend having it performed once every other year for optimal maintenance of your lawn.
6. Enhance The Overall Look and Health of Your Turf With Overseeding
Directly after, we suggest having your lawn overseeded with a mix of grasses to help fill in bare spots, increase growth and enhance green-up. Doing this improves your turf’s resistance to drought and diseases, reduces erosion, and improves your grass’s overall appearance. Now is the perfect time to have this fall beneficial lawn care service performed. 4-evergreen will overseed your cool-season grasses between Labor Day and Halloween.
For All Your Fall Lawn Care Needs, Call on the Professionals at 4-evergreen
4-evergreen can help you with many of these fall maintenance services. Having been in the lawn care industry and servicing Rhode Island for over 50 years, we use only the best products and offer only the most efficient and high-quality services. 4-evergreen can help keep your lawn healthy, strong, and weed-free through our six-step lawn care program, aeration and overseeding, and a variety of other services.
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