Fall Feeding Your Lawn
There, there. We totally understand how you feel right about now. Those warm summer days spent on your beautiful, chemical-free lawn are coming to a close. But cheer up, because right now you can start to help your lawn come back healthier and even more beautiful next spring. It’s easy. Just follow 8 simple steps:
- Mow High, Sweet Chariot. You’ve achieved harmony by mowing at 3″ to 3-1/2″ and we see no reason to stop now. Continue until the grass stops growing. When you get to that final mowing of the year, go just a bit shorter—say, 2-1/2″.
- Key Lime—Lime is Key, That Is. Mid fall is usually a good time to add pelletized lime to “sweeten” the soil. Mag-i-Cal works well for this application.
- Don’t Leave the Leaves. Or, if you prefer, shred to get ahead. While not illegal, allowing fallen leaves to build up and smother your lawn this winter would certainly be a crime. Instead, use a mulching mower to shred those babies up into a nourishing, soon-to-be compost. It is best to add lawn food when shredding these leaves to help them decompose faster.
- Remove Thatch. Ha, fooled you! Truth is, you shouldn’t have any. Not with an organic lawn. That impenetrable dead grass build-up that won’t decay is the result of over fertilizing, NOT leaving the clippings. If you still have residual thatch from before you went chemical-free, rake it out with a strong rake.
- Lay Off the Fast Food. Early to mid-fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Use a high-quality, slow-feeding, organic lawn food specially formulated for this time of year, such as Espoma Fall Winterizer. This Winterizer contains extra potash to help your grass survive the winter. It also provides nutrients that collect below the soil surface, strengthens roots to help the grass become hardier and fortifies the lawn for the next season, allowing for quick green-up.
- Don’t Go Bare For the Winter. Look for bare spots and reseed them. Otherwise, you may end up with weed patches next spring. Plus, fall temperatures (soil and air) are much more conducive to growing grass seed—period. Another advantage to fall seeding is that there is less competition with weeds at this time of year. Be sure to allow enough time for the seed to establish before winter arrives. Jonathan Green Fall Magic Grass Seed is perfect for this time of year.
- Pull Out All the Stops. And hand pull those pesky weeds.
- Hold Your Water. At least some of it. Irrigate as needed while the grass is still growing, but unless it’s an unusually dry fall, you’ll need less water. It simply won’t evaporate as quickly and lawn growth will be slowing down as it’s cooling down.
Congratulations! Give yourself a big pat on the back, because once you’ve finished, you’ve made it through the year with a completely chemical-free lawn!