The fall season in the Mid-Atlantic states are the pinnacle of beauty when it comes to cooling temperatures mingled with the substantial amount of fall color in the area. Homeowners in this region know a thing or two about fall color and how to appreciate this beloved season. However, with all of the hustle and bustle of the season in terms of changing leaves, don’t forget to care for your lawn as well. Here are some fall lawn care tips on how to care for your lawn during this time of year.
Your mowing schedule in the fall will slow down due to the decreasing growth rate of many of the cool season grass types, like Tall Fescue and Bermuda grass, that are planted in many lawns across the region. However, make sure to keep an eye on it throughout the season in order to cut it before it grows too long. Remember to never cut off more than 1/3 of the total blade length in order to minimize damage to the grass root system. Also, consider your particular grass type for recommended growing heights as well as any type of special fall care that is needed for the grass variety of your lawn.
Aerating your lawn every two years is an important way to provide nutrients to the deeper soil underneath the grass. Aerating allows essential nutrients like water, sunlight, and fertilizer to reach those deeper depths of the lawn in order to help promote and strong and healthy lawn surface. Consider renting an aerator or checking out the many manual ways to aerate your lawn including spiked aerating shoes or using sharp tools to pierce the lawn and give access to the root system in the soil.
There are plenty of different fertilizers available for homeowners in the Mid Atlantic states. Consider choosing from those that have the right blend of nutrients that you want to add to the lawn. Knowing your grass type will help in making this decision as every grass variety is different in what kind of energy they prefer. Natural fertilizer options, like compost, can also be spread over the lawn to give it a boost of energy. Choose a slow release fertilizer in the fall in order to add nutrients to the soil gradually throughout the fall and into the colder winter season of the Mid-Atlantic.
There are also some great options for using mulch that occurs naturally within your yard. Choosing to mow the lawn without the bag will allow grass clippings to return to the lawn which is a great way to support the overall health of the grass. These small bits of grass break down easily and return important nitrogen to the lawn.
Other options for natural mulch include those beautiful fall leaves that will eventually fall to the ground in the Mid-Atlantic region. Many homeowners choose to rake up and bag their leaves which is a common mistake. Allowing those fallen leaves to return nutrients back to the lawn is a great way to naturally support the overall lawn system. Mulch the leaves into smaller sizes that will help them break down easier. Consider using a leaf mulcher for this job in order to cut the leaves into smaller pieces. Other options include spreading the leaves out over the entire yard and then mowing over them on the highest height in order to spread them into the lawn. Choosing to use the fallen leaves as a natural mulch also supports the local environment in cutting down on the yard waste that enters landfills each fall season.
Covering those bare spots in the lawn is important in order to encourage strong and uniform growth next spring. Consider overseeding those areas that are worn or thinning in order to replace grass that has died this past year. It is important to overseed these areas in order to cut down on the chance of weeds entering your lawn as well. Make sure to water new seeds regularly while they germinate and take hold in order to allow them to grow as much as possible before the freezing winter weather arrives in the Mid-Atlantic states that are mostly located in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-6.
There are many aspects to proper fall lawn care as the season changes. Make sure to continue the regular maintenance of the lawn as well as adding important nutrients like fertilizer and mulch to your yard as well. Overseeding certain areas will also help in ensuring that your lawn is strong and healthy and can withstand the upcoming Mid-Atlantic winter. Consider all of these fall lawn care guide tips when caring for your Mid-Atlantic area lawn.