Fall is definitely here, and we wanted to get you some answers to some questions that we often get this time of year regarding the general care of our lawns!
Question 1 - How often should I water?
For those of you with cool season grass (fescue, bluegrass, rye) we want to continue to water approximately an inch or so per week. Normally, that would be once or twice a week depending on your irrigation, soil, and other environmental factors. We want to continue to water to help maintain soil moisture to promote good root growth. The grass may not be growing a whole lot on top, but the roots are thriving in the current conditions we are experiencing. So maintaining good soil moisture during the fall is crucial to the overall health and vigor of our turf next spring. We will be addressing irrigation in a little further detail later this month
Question 2 - What is the proper way to mow during the fall?
Again, most of you have cool season turf, and it is important to continue to mow properly! During the summer, we promote mowing approximately 3.5 to 4 inches, and now that it is cooling down, it is time to lower your mowing height to about 3 inches or so. We do not want to mow too tall, because it can tend to lay over as the temperatures cool down, or if we get any snow accumulation, it can mat your turf down as well causing disease issues. We do not want to mow the turf too short however either, so for our cool season grasses, don't mow any shorter than 2.5 inches. 3 inches is a great height going into the winter! And in regards to frequency, continue to mow the lawn once a week, even though you probably are not getting as much off per mowing, you are promoting a thicker turf. The less you take off, the more dense your grass will become, which will help eliminate future weed pressure! Also, frequent mowings will help eliminate an over abundance of leaves from smothering your lawn! AND WE WANT TO LEAVE THE LEAVES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!! Mulching the leaves that fall on the lawn is extremely beneficial to the soils health. It helps add organic matter to your soil, improving soil permeability, adding nutritional value and beneficial fungi to the soil as well!
Question 3 - Should I put a winterizer down on my lawn?
Yes! Again, this is regarding cool season grass, but yes, the winterizer application is the most important application of the season. The winterizer application is normally a high dose of nitrogen that we want to apply towards the end of the growing season to help promote and develop a good storage of "food" in the root zone of our grass. The roots remain active underneath the soil much longer than you may think. So whatever we can do to improve the root zone of our turf, we want to do it! All of the answers to these questions will give your turf the best possible results come next spring!
We hope that answers some of the questions you may have regarding your lawn maintenance this fall! If you have any questions regarding proper lawn or tree care this fall please do not hesitate to contact us as we would love to help you out!