When the kids head back to school, it’s time to turn your attention to fall lawn care. You’ve been enjoying your lawn and garden all summer. If you want to enjoy it next year, now is the time for fall lawn care that will set up your property for health and success.
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Aerate Your Lawn
Your lawn and soil need oxygen. But over time, grass clippings and grass become compacted, creating thatch. Lawn thatch is the layer of dead turf grass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface. Lawn thatch is derived from stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes and roots.
Aerating your lawn cuts through compacted areas. Aeration is especially important in Lancaster County, where we have mostly clay soil. Lawn aeration also reduces soil compaction, allowing water and fertilizer to permeate into the root zone. We recommend aerating and de-thatching every two to three years. However, if you have children or pets, we recommend aerating every fall, because your lawn sees more foot traffic, which means more thatch build-up.
You can aerate your lawn by poking holes into the ground by walking over the lawn with spiked shoes, which are made especially for aeration.
If the soil is severely compacted, the shoe method will not be sufficient. Instead, rent a lawn aerator from your local hardware or home improvement store. A lawn aerator will pull plugs of soil out of the ground, letting air, water and nutrients in. Pull plugs that are two inches or three inches that are spaced about three inches apart. Water your lawn the day before to make aeration even easier.
If you’d rather spend your weekend doing something other than lawn care, please give us a call at (717) 951-5950. We’re happy to provide fall aeration for your lawn.
Reseed Your Lawn
Fall is not only the perfect time for aerating your lawn, but also the ideal time to reseed. Once your lawn is aerated, it’s time to lay down seed to help fill in bare patches.
First, be sure to rake the lawn to remove any plugs and debris. Then, spread the grass seed of your choice using a mechanical seed spreader.
Next, fertilize the new seed. Some seed mixes come with fertilizer and mulch, all in one package. After fertilizing, cover the barest patches with straw to protect the seeds and new sprouts from birds and foot traffic.
Finally, it’s time to start watering. Give your lawn a good soak, and follow up by watering it daily. You don’t want your lawn to be muddy or to have puddles, but you don’t want to let the seeds dry out. Keeping the seeds moist will help them germinate and take hold in your lawn.
We’re happy to do the work for you. Call us at (717) 951-5950 for a free estimate.
Remove Leaves and Debris
With the beauty of fall color comes the work of raking leaves. Be sure to rake leaves and yard debris off your lawn to keep it from being smothered. Use the piles of leaves as compost for your garden beds.
You can also use a mulching mower to shred any leaves and debris on your lawn. Leaving the shredded clippings on your lawn will provide much-needed nitrogen as it decomposes.
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Do you have questions about fall lawn care? Let us know in the comments.