Winter is knocking at our doorstep, which means it’s time to prepare our lawns for the rough season ahead. Fall lawn preparation is a way to help your grass prepare itself for dormancy and it’ll set your lawn up for success next spring. Fall lawn preparation now will mean a strong, healthy foundation for your yard next year. Here are a few fall lawn preparation tips to get your lawn ready for winter.
The most obvious fall lawn care chore is leaf cleanup. From runaway lawn fungus to overwintering fleas and ticks, cleaning up your leaves is one of the best things you can do for your lawn this fall. The good news is there are a few different ways to do it that don’t require the ever-dreaded rake.
One of the best ways to clean up the leaves in your yard is as easy as mowing the lawn. Mulching the leaves is an easy and beneficial way of removing leaf litter. Not only will you be cleaning up your yard, you’ll also be feeding your lawn.
Make sure you wait until the leaves on your lawn are dry and flaky, then go ahead and mow right over them, leaving the leaves where they lie. The little bits of leaves will fall down to the soil where they’ll break down, distributing beneficial nutrients back into the soil. These added nutrients are absorbed right into the grass roots as your grass enters its high-absorption mode this fall.
Another great way to set your lawn up for success this fall is with broadleaf weed control. Broadleaf weeds enter a second bloom in the fall as they prepare to drop their seeds to overwinter until sprouting again next spring.
Fall is a great time to do broadleaf weed control because, just like your grass, these weeds are entering a high-absorption mode too. They are quickly drawing nutrients into their roots in preparation for dropping their seeds. This means that any broadleaf weed control that is applied to these weeds will be quickly absorbed into the entire plant, resulting in a complete dying of the weed.
Post-emergent broadleaf weed control is an important fall lawn care task. It’ll clear out any lingering weeds, allowing your grass unlimited access to the nutrients, sunlight, and water it needs to thrive. This service will also make spring weed control that much easier.
Fall is the growing season for the cool-season grasses that make up our Michigan lawns. That means, unfortunately, you still have to mow your lawn. The grass here will continue to grow until our first hard freeze. A hard freeze is when the air temperature outside reaches 28 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts for more than a couple hours. Last year, our first hard freeze last year occurred on October 18th. That means it’s coming soon!
Give your lawn a couple more good mows before the growing season is over. Consistent mowing at the right height, around the two highest settings, will boost the health of your lawn. The taller, thicker grass will make it more difficult for weeds to take root in your lawn, meaning your grass gets all the sunlight and nutrients it needs.
Another often overlooked fall lawn care task is cleaning out the gutters. This is more important than you may think and for a reason that you might not expect. Cleaning out your gutters now could help reduce the population of mosquitoes in the spring.
In the fall, gutters become clogged with leaves, sticks, and other materials, resulting in water being backed up. This collection of standing water and organic material is the perfect environment for mosquitoes. In the fall, the last generation of mosquitoes seeks out a place to lay their last clutch of eggs. These eggs will overwinter where they are, hatching again in the spring when the temperatures rise again. Your gutters could be full of overwintering mosquito eggs and larvae.
If that wasn’t enough of a reason for you, then consider this; all of that backed up water will freeze this winter. Ice in your gutters can be pretty heavy and with all the snow we’re bound to be getting, it’s just a matter of time before the heavy gutters are yanked from the side of your house. Nobody wants to be repairing gutters in the middle of winter. Clean your gutters out this fall, it’ll save you time, money, and bug bites.
While we’re taking care of potential future mosquito swarms, let’s take care of the pests we’re currently dealing with. Fall pests are desperately looking for a warm place to make their winter home. Unfortunately for you, it could be your home. Cooler temperatures drive pests to the safety and warmth of our homes every fall. Around this time, it’s common to see great hordes of insects clinging to the sides of buildings or around doors and window screens, looking for a way in.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to prevent these fall pests from getting inside. Start by checking around the exterior of your home. Look for cracks or holes around your foundation and repair any that you find. Next, check your doors and windows for any weak points. Damaged screens and gaps around the doors and windows are a favorite access point for these opportunistic pests. Finally, invest in a perimeter pest control program for the best results.
Fall lawn preparation is a great way to set your lawn up for success next year. You’ll be creating a foundation of strong health that will be easy to build upon and simple to maintain, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here at Custom Personalized Lawn Care, we have the lawn care programs, mosquito and pest control solutions, and the experts necessary to take your lawn to the next level.