The arrival of fall weather means a reprieve from the extreme heat of summer, but it also means it’s time to get your yard ready for the cooler season. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider this fall clean-up checklist! By following these best practices, you can make sure your yard is ready for autumn and able to get a jumpstart next spring.
Trees need all the help they can get when it comes to absorbing nutrients. They often have to compete with turfgrass for nutrients. Consider ordering a deep-root injection for your trees and shrubs this fall. Using a specialized tool that looks like a syringe you’d find at the doctor’s office, your lawn care services technician will inject a large dose of nutrients directly into the root system. This bypasses any competition from surrounding plants and ensures your ornamental plants have the minerals they need for the winter. Another advisable thing to do for trees and shrubs is a dormant oil application. Also known as horticulture oils, dormant oils are plant-safe substances sprayed on trees and shrubs to control pests. They will kill any insects at all stages of their life cycle, so you don’t have to worry about a repeat infestation. They also prevent bugs from harming your plants in the future.
Right now is the perfect time to aerate and overseed. Aeration, also known as core aeration, breaks up compacted soil and breaks up the thatch layer. Soil becomes compacted over time, and when this happens, the soil is hard like concrete, which means the turfgrass roots can’t expand properly. In addition, the normal flow of air, water, light, and nutrients can’t reach the root zone. In other words, your lawn is being smothered to death. Aeration solves the problem by removing thousands of small plugs of soil out of your yard to loosen up the earth. These plugs break down naturally and act as mulch in the lawn. If compaction and/or thatch build-up created bare or thin areas of grass, overseeding can thicken up your lawn again. Fall’s the ideal time to overseed because the days are warm but not hot, and the nights are cool, which means plenty of moisture to go around.
Not only can clogged gutters become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, pests, and diseases, but they can also create structural problems with your home! Clogged gutters can lead to leaky roofs, rotting wood, erosion, foundation cracks, and basement flooding. All the weight of debris can also lead to saggy gutters, which disrupt water flow away from the house. And the weight of the clogged gutters will pull them away from the house, possibly damaging the fascia board – which is the principle supporting board at the base of your roof.
Basically, any organic matter left on your lawn namely leaves. When organic matter is left to decompose on your lawn, this will smother the grass and invite a whole slew of pests, both macro and microscopic. The last thing you want is for a fungal infection to take root in your lawn over late fall and winter. When spring arrives, your grass will be in a world of trouble.
Applying a pre-emergent weed control will knock out ungerminated weeds before they have a chance to grow in spring. You should also thoroughly inspect your lawn and spot treat for any larger weeds that managed to sprout. This will kill them off and prevent them from reproducing. Make sure to choose a weed control product labeled “selective” so that you can have peace of mind knowing it won’t harm your turfgrass, flowers, trees, shrubs, etc.
While too much moisture can be a playground for mold and mildew, you do need some extra moisture as we head into winter. You can use the fallen leaves in your yard, grass clippings, compost, straw, or wood chips. Just make sure not to overdo it. Ideally, you want about 1 – 2 inches of mulch spread evenly. If you opt for using fallen leaves, consider buying a mulcher so you can grind them into smaller pieces. This will make it easier for them to break down into the soil.
Getting your yard ready for fall can be time-consuming. Why not leave it to the profs? Environmental Turf Management is a full-service lawn care company with over 20 years of experience. We provide everything from weed control to fertilization. No matter what your yard needs, we can get it ready for the cooler weather. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us at 770-466-0234 or leave us a message online.
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