It’s that time of year again.  Summer is in its final days. As much as we may not want to think about it, we all know what comes after fall. You’re likely an individual who cares about your lawn. Now is the perfect time to prepare your lawn for next year’s landscaping season .A little knowledge, followed up with some preparation will prevent damage during the winter. Ultimately you will increase your chances of your lawn growing back thick and green come springtime. Here’s a quick look at a few things you can do this fall to fight winter’s bite!

The Fall “Winterizer”


The most important thing to do for your lawn in the fall is apply a final fertilizer.In fact, if you were only going to apply one fertilizer per year (which I sincerely hope you won’t), this is it.  This fertilizer is commonly referred to as the “winterizer” and will do wonders for keeping your lawn’s roots strong and healthy.  Apply this fertilizer after the lawn has stopped growing but is still green.  This final fertilizer will strengthen your lawn at the roots and give it the nutrients to make a great comeback in the spring!

Nematodes to control grubs


Nematodes are organic and live, making them naturally predisposed to pursue host grub larvae.Beneficial nematodes search the soil for white grub larvae. They search for grubs, release bacteria into the grubs and cause them to die. These bacteria multiply very rapidly and transform the body of the dead insect into food for new nematodes which are multiplying in their host. These new nematodes leave the body of the dead grub and search for new larvae to infect and kill.
Getting rid of grubs is very important  Not only do they like to feed on your lawn’s roots, causing your grass to die, but also because skunks, raccoons, and birds will dig up your lawn to feast on them.

White Grubs

The Final Cut

Before putting your lawn mower away for the season, give your lawn one final cut.  To quote the Turfgrass Institute in Guelph, “Rooting depth is proportional to mowing height – the longer the leaves, the deeper the roots. Longer grass blades provide some insulation for the crown (growing point) of the grass plant. However, if the grass is too long going into the winter, it will become matted, which encourages winter diseases such as pink and grey snow mold.”As long as you have given your lawn that winterizer fertilizer we talked about earlier, your lawn will blossom into spring with vigor.

Final cut late in the year – Dec. 8, 2015

Rake your Lawn

Don’t leave leaves on your lawn over winter.  Wet, compacted leaves become traps for mold. Consistently rake your leaves leading up until the snow starts to fall.

Seeding

Fall is the perfect time to seed your lawn to assist with achieving a full, lush, green lawn for the spring. The fall temperatures are perfect for germinating new seed and allowing it to take root before winter.  There are primarily two seeding processes: top-dress/over-seed and slit-seeding.

Distressed lawn – repairs begin in the fall

Top-dress/over-seed

The process of applying seed and compost or soil over the surface of your lawn. This adds organic matter to soil, helping reduce thatch buildup, and relieving soil compaction problems. Granular compost is popular when it comes to top-dressing because it adds generous amounts of organic matter to enrich your soil and produce a thicker, healthier lawn.

Slit-seeding

The process using a mechanical seeder, which cuts grooves in the grass and “plants” the seeds into those grooves.  This allows for a uniform distribution of seed and is generally more effective in particularly bare areas.  If you have a very shaded lawn, slit-seeding should be considered as an annual maintenance item.  Shaded lawns need annual “beefing up” of new seed to stay strong and healthy.  A layer of granular compost is applied after the process, encouraging stronger root development.

Slit seeder – vertical cutting blades create grooves for the seed as it drops from the seed tray above

Proper winter preparation will be the best decision you make regarding your lawn this year. Follow these guidelines and see for yourself the difference proper preparation can make!

First cut – April 20, 2016