As we go into fall here are some things to thinking of while working in your lawn or garden. It is time to begin fall clean up now. Get busy with pruning, pulling and fall planting. Now is the time to pull out those rose bushes or shrubs that have not performed well for the past several years.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. The cool nights, ample rain fall and morning dew are about as good as it gets for grass to grow. Many lawn expects claim that fall is the most important single lawn feeding of the year. By applying a fall lawn feeding in September or early October will help your lawn to begin to rebuild grass roots that were damaged during the hot, dry summer. A second lawn feeding, 2 months later, in November or early December will strengthen your grasses roots and increase nitrogen storage for an early spring green up and healthier lawn next spring. Just because the temperatures outside are no longer high you cannot forget about watering in the fall.
The first step in preparing your lawn for its long winters nap will vary, according to whether your lawn is composed of a warm season grass or a cool season grass. If you are unsure which type of grass you have in your lawn take a sample to your local county extension agent.
Common cool season grass turf grasses include:
Common warm season turn grasses are:
Once you know what type of grass you are growing in your lawn it is time to over seed. By over seeding with annual winter rye grass (Lolium multiflorum), lawns that are planted with warm season turf will we green all winter long instead of brown. When you buy the grass seed make sure you are buying annual, not perennial. Annual winter ryegrass will die back when the hot summer heat returns, turning your lawn over again to your warm season turf grasses. The problem with the perennial winter ryegrass is that it doesn’t go away. It grows all year round competing with your warm season grasses for sunlight, water and nutrients.
Lawns that are composed of cool season turf grasses also benefit from over seeding. In this case the motivation behind the over seeding is not winter cosmetics, but to fix bare spots, so they will come up green next spring.
Fall Lawn Mowing
If you are using cool season grasses adjusting the lawn mower height for fall mowing is not a problem. Mow your grass the way you normally would right up to the time the grass stops growing for the winter. If your yard is composed of warm season turf grasses then your mower’s height should be increased by ½ inch .
Do not forget your feathered friends. During the fall the birds sources of food a being reduced at the same time that they are beginning to migrate south for the winter and need plenty of substance to make their journey. A bird feeder in your back yard will bring you joy as you prepare your lawn for the winter months just ahead. Some colorful lawn decor items will also bring life back into your backyard for the fall season.
Credits: Pruning photo from http://www.dannylipford.com/. Click here for a good article on pruning.