It may be tempting to slack off on lawn care as winter approaches, but if you want to have a healthy and beautiful lawn by the time the next spring rolls around, you need to put effort into lawn care this autumn.
Here’s a list of what you should do to get started:
1. Identify Potential Lawn Problems
Lawns will be susceptible to diseases and other issues no matter the season. A major part of autumn lawn care is inspecting your turf for any problems so you can address them before the grass goes dormant in the winter. Addressing any problems now will allow your lawn to bounce back next spring.
So, what should you look for in your lawn?
- Small patches or sudden widespread spots of drying grass
- Grass discoloration (most leaves turn yellow, orange, and red by October, but discoloration in your grass is often an indication of an issue that needs to be fixed fast)
- Baseball-sized patches
- Mold growth
Inspect your lawn for issues once a week. By catching lawn issues early, you can prevent them from worsening. If you’re having difficulty or can’t allocate time to assess your lawn’s condition, you can always ask an expert in lawn care near you to do it for you.
2. Rake Up Fallen Leaves
Raking all those fallen leaves seems daunting and time-consuming, but this task is a crucial part of lawn care in autumn. You must also do it regularly, especially if trees surround your lawn.
Some believe that letting leaves accumulate will insulate their lawn during the winter. But leaves building up on your lawn will actually do more harm than good. A pile of fallen leaves left on the ground for too long will prevent your grass from getting the sunlight it needs. It will also allow too much moisture to collect on the grass, which is a major turf killer.
Make sure to dispose of leaves properly. If there are fields or woods behind your property, you may blow the leaves deep into those areas because they will decompose naturally. If you’ve got lots of bags, you can also use them to store the leaves. Another option is to shred leaves using a lawn mower, but be careful not to leave too much mulch behind because it can also suffocate your lawn.
3. Aerate the Soil
Early autumn is also an ideal time to aerate your lawn, especially if you have cool-season grasses. This process will allow water, oxygen, and fertilizer to reach the roots easily. You should do this in compacted areas with heavy foot traffic or those covered with thatch.
You can find gas-powered, walk-behind lawn aerators for rent that cost at least a hundred bucks a day. They’ve designed these machines to punch holes rapidly into your soil and even extract plugs of dirt. But you can also use a garden rake if you don’t want to rent an aerator, have a small lawn, or don’t have spare time for the job. For bigger lawns, hiring a lawn care professional in Toronto to aerate the soil will likely make more sense.
4. Continue Watering and Mowing
Turf grass growth tends to slow down as the fall season progresses, so some of you may find yourselves using your lawnmower less. However, it is crucial to keep cutting until the lawn stops growing.
If you have warm-season grasses, raise the mower height to one inch at most during autumn, increasing the grass leaf area. As the autumn season comes to a close, drop the mower blade to a lower level so the grass does not get matted.
Also, do not starve the lawn of water. It’s one of your lawn’s necessities as a living thing. A sufficient amount of water will help the grass develop a stronger root system that can withstand harsh winter conditions. If it rarely rains in your area, give your lawn at least a half inch of water each week. Water your lawn in the morning, ideally before sunrise, to prevent mold growth and rapid moisture loss.
5. Control Weeds
If dandelions or other broadleaf weeds have taken over your lawn, autumn is the perfect time to fight back. Like most plants, weeds compete with your grass for energy, water, and other essential nutrients in autumn to prepare for the upcoming cold season. Weeds will drink everything that comes their way.
So, you can take this opportunity to spread weed killers and continue implementing your weed control methods.
6. Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing is one of the best things you can do to prepare your turf for the winter. The right fertilizer will ensure your lawn receives the nutrients it needs to get through the coldest months of the year.
Schedule your fertilizer application when the grass growth has either slowed or stopped. Applying fertilizer too early while the grass is vigorously growing can result in winter injury or invite snow mold the following spring. However, don’t wait until the ground freezes before applying fertilizer.
So, when should you fertilize your lawn in the fall in Toronto? The best time for the first application would be in early autumn. If you’ve already applied fertilized in the summer, go for a light autumn feeding and ensure the fertilizer is specially formulated for your type of grass and for that season. Ask your trusted lawn care professional about it to be sure, or let them choose the best fertilizer and apply it on your lawn.
7. Overseed Your Lawn
If turf damage is too extensive, you may have to overseed your lawn. Overseeding refers to evenly distributing your desired seed mixture across the damaged area. This process will ensure healthy grass growth in the spring. Overseeding your existing lawn also helps make the grass dense, which is good protection against weeds.
Before spreading the seeds, consider aerating the area to ensure that the seeds come in contact with the soil. Again, you can consult and hire a local lawn care professional if you need help aerating your lawn or choosing the right grass seeds.
Remember that autumn lawn care is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Implementing a cookie-cutter lawn care approach is likely to cause frustration and disappointment. The best way to determine the right lawn care practices for your yard is to understand what it needs. Better yet, hire lawn care professionals for the job.
Why Let LawnMart Take Care of Your Lawn?
If you need help preparing your lawn for the winter, LawnMart is just one call away. The team is always available to provide organic lawn care services you can count on. With LawnMart’s lawn care services, you can be sure your turf will stay healthy all year round.
LawnMart follows a six-step lawn care maintenance plan, which starts with organic-based fertilizer application to ensure your grass gets all the nutrients it needs. It also includes weed control to prevent harmful weeds from sprouting.
Additionally, the team will fill in any bare spots, control lawn-damaging insects, aerate the soil, and apply natural products to stimulate better grass growth and reduce disease pressure. When winter is just around the corner, our team will apply organic-based winterizing fertilizer and lime to help the grass withstand the cold.
For more information about autumn lawn care, feel free to contact LawnMart today.