Homeowners in the Southeast portion of the country will appreciate the cooler fall temperatures in contrast to the recent hot summers. Located in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-9, temperatures still aren’t too terribly cold compared to other parts of the country which allow for a lot of lawn growth and upkeep that still needs to be done. Check out these tips on how to keep your lawn healthy and strong this fall season.
Keep It Cut
Many Southeast homeowners may notice that their lawns are starting to grow slower thanks to the cooler fall temperatures. However, choosing to let your lawn grow tall can have some detrimental effects. Make sure to keep mowing the lawn to a height that is recommended for the grass type and remember the overall rule to never cut more than 30% of the total blade length off at one time. Many states in the Southeast region see a large amount of rainfall in the late summer and early fall which could alter mowing schedules. Atlanta can see up to 5 inches in rain a month during this time period which could encourage lawns to grow more. Make sure to keep an eye on the grass in order to keep up with mowing until the first frost arrives.
Choosing to aerate your lawn every two years is a good option for homeowners in the Southeast. Doing so will allow your lawn the opportunity to breathe deep down into the soil and also receive essential nutrients at a deeper level of the lawn. This will help the soil that supports your lawn become stronger as well as help to cut down on thatch that could have built up over the past few years. Renting an aerator is the best option in terms of maximum exposure for aeration but there are other tools and equipment that are easily available for purchase as well.
Fall is the ideal time to add a slow release fertilizer, ensuring that your lawn is well fed throughout the winter season. Slow release fertilizers come in pellet form which takes a longer time to dissolve into the soil. You can choose a wide variety of types and mixtures depending on your soil type and what kind of help that your lawn needs this fall. Quick release fertilizers would also be appropriate in the Southeast region due to the low chance of freezing temperatures. Locations like Birmingham may even stay above the freezing level all year thanks to its southern location making quick release fertilizers applicable thanks to a longer growing season in the fall.
Another easy way to add an extra boost of energy to your lawn is to consider the natural elements that you can add to your lawn. Use grass clippings on the lawn, instead of bagging them, to help give your lawn an extra dose of nitrogen that is easy to break down. Allowing fall leaves to return to the soil is another eco-friendly method for fall lawn care. Leaves that fall onto your lawn are a great source of energy. Simply mulch the leaves into smaller pieces and distribute them over the lawn for maximum effect. You can do so by using leaf mulcher or by simply mowing the leaves on the highest height level. Both of these options are great for the local environment as they use what is naturally available in your area and eliminate yard waste.
Fall is a great time to look closely at your lawn to see what kind of shape it is in after a busy summer season outdoors. Lawns can become bare in some spots depending on the plants and trees above that could have shaded too much sunlight or from heavy and repeated use. Other areas of the lawn may not be bare but are definitely thinner than others meaning that the grass is struggling. Make sure to overseed these areas in the fall which includes adding new grass seeds to the spots that need some extra help.
Many Southeast homeowners choose to use the same grass seed while overseeding in order to create a cohesive overall look. Some homeowners who have warm season grass types like Zoysiagrass like to overseed with cool season grass like Kentucky Bluegrass during the fall in order to keep the lawn looking green all winter long as well. Make sure to water those newly seeded areas more than you would the rest of the lawn in order to encourage the seeds to germinate and grow.
Caring for your lawn in the fall is an important part of making sure that it continues to grow healthy and strong. Making sure to keep up with the maintenance as well as fertilizing the lawn in the fall will help it survive the colder winter months. Planting new seed in the fall is a great option for those lawns that need more coverage as well. Consider all of these fall lawn care guide tips this fall in the Southeast.