It’s fall and many lawns will be going dormant soon. In order to maintain your property’s lush, green lawn, it’s important to do a little maintenance in the fall. Now through January are critical times to combat spring and summer weed growth for next year. Taking proper care of your lawn now, in the fall, will ensure your lawn is ready to go come spring. Here are five lawn care tips to address in the coming months.
- Lawn Aeration – Core aeration is the process of creating thousands of small holes in the turf in order to relieve pressure from compacted soil. Aeration helps the turf breathe by allowing more water and oxygen to enter into the root system. Lawn traffic during the spring and summer seasons can cause compaction, which is a real issue in areas that have naturally heavy clay soils. Anyone with kids or animals knows how much they both love running around the grass. Core aerifying early in the fall is an excellent way to relieve some of that stress. This procedure should be done before the turfgrass is completely dormant so it has time to recover prior to dormancy.
- Apply a Pre-emergent – Most southern lawns consist of Bermudagrass or other similar warm-season grasses, which go dormant in the late fall. Because these types of turf are dormant for a season, it opens the door for weeds to grow during this time. However, we may not see the weed growth until it’s too late, which is usually in mid-spring. Cool-season weeds such as annual Bluegrass, Common Chickweed, Henbit and Purple Deadnettle are a headache to combat by spring or summer. To control the growth of these weeds, and others, in winter, it is best to use pre-emergent herbicides, which are designed to prevent weed seed germination.
- Fertilization – It is essential to feed your lawn with the right amount of nutrients to maintain its vibrant green color and health. Applying fertilizer to the lawn during fall and winter will supply it with the necessary nutrients for new growth by spring. A slow-release fertilizer at the right time can benefit root growth, producing a strong and healthy lawn.
- Soil Testing – Every few years, property owners should conduct a soil test to determine their turf’s acidity and pH levels. Healthy turf needs healthy soil to grow well and a soil test is a quick and easy way to determine what nutrients a lawn needs to look great for spring.
- Lime Applications – Alabama soil is naturally acidic and lime is a great resource to raise a turf’s pH level so it is more conducive to healthy grass growth. Lime treatments take months to work, which is why the fall is an ideal time to apply a lime application. After a few months, the lime will have made a difference in the soil, just in time for spring root systems to grow. Lime applications should not be done until after a soil test is complete.
United Pest & Turf Control’s regular turf treatments include applying pre-emergent and fertilization to a home or business’s lawn. Additional treatments such as aeration, soil testing and lime applications are additional but can be scheduled this fall to see results by spring. Southern lawns are difficult to manage because weeds can easily overrun a healthy turf without proper maintenance. Consider taking time over the next few months to give your turf a little TLC so it’s beautiful, lush and weed-free in time for warm, spring weather.