Never Let Your Lawn Fall Behind

The time is here again, fall is upon us with winter around the corner, and you must think about getting your lawn ready for the cold months ahead in order to keep it as healthy as you can. Autumn gives the best time to get your lawn ready because it will produce a healthier and greener lawn in the spring than you’ve ever had. The following are some helpful tips that will answer the question of how you can get your lawn ready.

Autumn Tip #1: Fertilize your lawn

Most people are tempted to fertilize in the spring because of the fast results, but patience wins if you fertilize during the autumn. Even though you will have to wait for the payoff, fertilizing in the fall will replenish the nutrients and strengthen the roots of your lawn. The stronger roots will bring on a thicker and healthier lawn when spring comes.

Autumn Tip #2: Time to Spray the Perennial Broadleaf Weeds

The most common perennial broadleaf weed is a dandelion, and they can be difficult to treat. The best thing to do is rather than spraying them, pull them up and eat them in salads as they are very high in nutrients. Most people only look at them as weeds and want them gone so they spray them when they are in full bloom in the spring. But, if you just have to be rid of them, the best time to spray is during the fall when the nutrients are going into the roots. The herbicide will soak into the roots and allow the herbicides to work longer.

Autumn Tip #3: Put Away the Mower

Once the grass grown a little taller in the fall, most people think to bring the mower out and cut the grass short, but this is wrong. You should let the grass grow a little higher because it will help protect the roots, like a blanket or insulation during the cold months of winter. If you live in an area where you must mow, try to mow as high as the mower will go. Lawns that end up with the most injury from winter, are those that have been mowed as short as possible. You will not find any fertilizers or chemicals that can protect your lawn from winter injury, but if you practice good lawn care and not mow it short, your lawn will have a fighting chance.

Autumn Tip #4: Watering Changes

Beginning in the fall, days get shorter and cooler, which means your lawn will not need as much water as it does during the summer, so let up on the watering. Try to only water once every 10 to 14 days, depending on how much it rains. Do not stop watering altogether though because you want your lawn to be in the best condition possible when winter comes.

Autumn Tip#5 Keep a Watch for Brown/Large Patch Fungus

Brown/Large Patch Fungus can be found all year long, but mostly from November through May as the temperatures drop below 80 degrees. Over watering, lots of rain for extended periods, and high humidity where the leaves are wet constantly for more than 48 hours are causes for Brown/Large Patch Fungus. It starts out as small patches that change to yellow then reddish brown, then the leaves will die. The leaves are not affected by the disease, the fungus infects the leaves closest to the soil. Where the leaf comes off the stem will have a rotted smell and the patches can grow up to several feet in diameter. You will commonly see yellow/brown rings with the center having healthy lawn. Avoid quick release nitrogen and excessive nitrogen during the diseases development. Water only as needed and only between the hours of 2am and 8am when the dew is present. Mow as needed, but save the affected areas until last, and be sure to wash the mower to prevent spreading the disease.

You can get several products to control Brown/Large Patch Fungus, but they are complex to use for the average homeowner because the ranges and rates of the products vary based on how severe your problem is. For the diseased grass to recover, you must treat it when it is actively growing. The symptoms will not go away until new leaves start to develop and you get rid of the old leaves by mowing or decomposition. Because this disease usually starts when the grass is growing slowly, the recovery will be very slow. Fungicides only stop the disease from spreading, they will not promote the grass to grow.