There are a variety of tasks which should be completed to winterized your lawn to maintain it’s health thru the cold winter. Grass is a living organism and should be cared for as we enter the winter. Good fall maintenance is required to protect your lawns health and prepare for next years growth. The short “to do” list is as follows:
1) Mowing height: Often times most lawns are simply cut too short. The affects of the lower height grass are exposed grass roots to the sun. This exposure depletes the grass roots moisture which causes brown outs and eventually dead grass. Once the bare spots appear so will the weeds soon thereafter. Grass height during the spring and summer months should be set at a lawn mower blade height of 3.5″ and dropped to 3.0″ in the fall. Often times depending on the property we will drop the mower blades to 2.5″ for the last cut of the season.
2) Aeration: The benefits and importance of core aeration and over-seeding your lawn in September and October are numerous. The aeration reduces soil compaction, thatch and provides a slight top dressing for the lawn. By breaking up the top layers of your lawns soil and removing the excess thatch naturally it allows the ability of fertilizer nutrients, sunlight and oxygen down into the soil. Your lawns roots growth becomes stimulated and excessive root growth begins. This allows your grass to store more nutrients and water necessary to improve its health. A perfect storm for improved grass growth going into the next season. It’s a good practice to have your lawn aerated and over seeded several years in a row then every other year thereafter. This will thicken up your grass, choke out weeds and produce a lush healthy lawn.
3) Fertilization: Fall is the most critical time of the year to fertilize your grass. With the cooler outside temperatures the top grass growth slows and the grass roots begin to naturally start the process of preparing for winter by storing additional nutrients. The storing process will continue as long as the grass on top remains green. Fall is the time of the year when grass will build the necessary nutrients (such as Nitrogen & Potassium) reserves to provide a healthy lawn for next summer. Once these nutrients are mostly used during the summer growing season the grass enters a slowing growing period (the fall) which is when your grass is in a weakened state and more prone to diseases. Feeding your grass in the fall with an application of properly balanced fertilizer will rebuild the grass roots supply of its nutrients and prepare it for the winter freeze and spring months. Our Five Step Lawn Application program will apply the correct fertilizers and include herbicides (weed control) at the proper times during throughout the season.
4) Leaf & Debris Control: Fallen leaves and branches laying on top of your grass will simply suffocate your grass by blocking the natural sun and air to hit your grass. The affects may be sudden and your grass dies where covered in leaves or weakened as it enters the winter months. Your grass is already in a nutrient weakened state and cutting off all sunlight and air will either kill the grass if not removed within a few days or allow damaging diseases. Rake, vacuum, blow or mulch the leaves laying on top of your grass so your lawn can continue to gain access to the required nutrients it needs to build and store for the winter months. Our leaf control service will remove the fallen leaves a couple times during the fall to insure your grass continues to receive it’s important sun, air and nutrients to protect itself for the winter months.
Ingram Lawn and Garden located in Ambler, Pa. provides timely solutions for all your lawn and landscape requirements no matter what the season. Since we often maintain our customers lawn and landscape needs we can easily coordinate which tasks should be accomplished at the correct time of the year and schedule accordingly.