The leaves are beginning to fall and a slight chill is entering the Colorado air. You may find some relief that your lawn care season is over. Well according to lawn care experts, that isn’t true. Fall is just as vital to your lawn care health as spring. This post highlights some of the tactics that will set your lawn up for success next year.
Managing Leaf Drop
This section used to be called raking leaves but recently, lawn experts have begun to have a more nuanced opinion about what to do with leaves.
If your property has several deciduous trees, it’s likely best to rake the leaves because they can pile up into several layers which when snowed on can form a packed layer of material blocking the sun from the lawn during an important time of root growth. However, leaves have also begun to be seen for what they are; an important and natural, and free fertilizer. Mowing your leaves on their highest setting actually can create short-term leaf residue but this will sink into the soil strengthening the overall biology of the yard by preserving naturally occurring microbes in the soil.
Fall Lawn Fertilization
Before the winter moisture moves in fertilization will help promote root growth and create a robust underground network for a fuller and richer lawn to emerge. Cool-season grasses in particular recover from the heat of summer, during the fall. They store carbohydrates in the stems and root stalks. In addition to promoting root growth the next year, carbohydrates also help prevent winter injury, caused by road deicing materials, vole activity, and mold.
This is a new idea for some but has been an effective way to fill in bald spots in the fall and help crowd out weeds before they start. Like many lawn care innovations, this practice of simply seeding existing lawns started with the golf course maintenance industry but has become a regular maintenance practice for many lawn care companies. Lawn planting or sod installation is also best down in late summer or early fall giving time to establish the root system and preventing burning by the hotter mid-summer sun.