Fall Lawn Care Tips

Summer is over and it is about time to take advantage of the cool, comfortable fall weather to prepare your lawn for winter. In order for your lawn to look healthy and lush next spring, some preparation is necessary. Our Rapid City greenhouse gives you some great fall lawn care tips:

Assessment. Get a soil test now to give you time to deal with pH difficulties and nutrient deficiencies well before spring starts.

Prep Your Mower. If you didn’t bring your mower in for service this spring, now is the time. The blades need to be sharpened at least once a year in order to stay in good shape. In case you raised your mowing height for the summer, adjust the mowing height back to its normal mowing height when fall rolls around. 2 inches tall is ideal for most grasses. A short lawn in the fall helps the grass from getting damaged under ice and snow.

Leave the Leaves. If you have an abundance of fallen leaves, you can remove them with a rake and then compost them. However, by using a mulching mower you can shred some of the leaves and turn them into natural top dressing for the soil. The natural organic matter will provide your lawn with nutrients and brings great opportunity for natural recycling. Top dressing means a thin layer of soil or compost that is put on your lawn to provide it with nutrients and lessen the need for fertilizer. The soil needs to be aerated before applying the top dressing, and once the dressing is applied you need to rake it into the lawn for even distribution.

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Aerate. An aerator pulls plugs of soil from the lawn and reduces thatch, improves drainage, and loosens soil to let oxygen penetrate it.

Excess Thatch. Thatch is a layer of dead materials mixed with living plant parts. It can lead to insect problems and diseases and can develop through over fertilization or excess watering. Remove it by ripping out debris and cutting through the thatch layers. Use a power rake or vertical mowers and use a hand rake to sweep the ripped out thatch from the lawn.

Thirsty? A lawn should be watered whenever it needs to. If it is dry – it needs water; if it is wet – it doesn’t need water. If you have had a dry summer that stretches into fall, you should water it twice a week. Make sure to water it long enough to soak several inches deep in the soil. To avoid fungal problems you should avoid watering your lawn in the evening. It can be smart to let your lawn go dormant during a drought. Sure, it will turn brown, but once the rain falls again it will regain its beautiful color and start growing again. Many types of grass, such as buffalograss, are very drought resistant and will stay green longer without water.

At Jolly Lane Greenhouse, you’ll find your senses stimulated by an extensive assortment of seasonal plants, shrubs, and trees from our garden supply center. We have a variety of fragrant and brightly-colored foliage, bushes, evergreens, perennials, vines, ornamental grasses, and rose bushes—there’s something for every season! We are located on 2962 Jolly Lane in Rapid City, SD – Stop by today!