With nearly a year-round growing season, homeowners in California and the Southwest regions may have a fall season that doesn’t look too much different from other times of the year. The overall fall season in this portion of the country can be very mild and will rarely see temperatures near freezing due to being located in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10. This unique and sought after growing season requires some important ways to care for your lawn in the fall. Consider these fall lawn care guide tips for those homeowners in California and the Southwest regions.

Maintenance

 

Mow Normally

Lawns will begin to bounce back in growth after a long and oftentimes drought-ridden summer of the region. Make sure to keep on top of lawn growth by establishing a normal routine in cutting your lawn to the recommended length. Remember to never cut off more than the top 1/3 part of the grass blade during a single mow in order to help protect the underlying grass root system. Doing so also helps to keep the lawn tall enough so that the soil doesn’t dry out under the hot sun of the region.

Tackle Weeds

Not only will area lawns start to grow well during the fall but so will those pesky weeds that are waiting for cooler weather to arrive. Make sure to fight off weeds by controlling them with weed control products or pulling them immediately after they pop through the soil. Weeds will not only hoard nutrients and space from your grass but they will also breed more weeds if not taken care of quickly. Take the time to control weeds before they become an even larger problem.

Aerate

Choosing to aerate your lawn in the fall once every two years is a great way to add a boost of energy to the underlying soil. Aeration allows sunlight, water, and extra nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil that has suffered during the summer drought season. Rent an aerator in order to effectively cut cylinders out of the lawn or consider other products that can be easily ordered online to manually aerate the lawn as well.

 

Add Energy

Fertilizer

Your lawn will need a boost of energy during the fall in order to help recover from the long and dry summer months. Consider a slow release fertilizer for the fall that will help to gradually feed your lawn all winter long. Quick release fertilizers can also be used in California and the Southwest regions as the grass will grow throughout the winter and into the spring with little chance of freezing weather. Be careful when applying quick release fertilizers in order to keep from burning the lawn during application.

Grass Clippings

Many homeowners in this region, especially those in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, care greatly about supporting the local environment.  Allowing grass clippings to return to your lawn after a mow, instead of bagging them up, is an eco-friendly way to feed your lawn with extra nitrogen.  Grass clippings easily break down back into the soil which helps to support the lawn. Choosing to not bag clippings up also helps reduce yard waste in local landfills.  As Wikilawn says, “Your grass clippings are the most natural, organic fertilizer you’re going to get.”

Fallen Leaves

Some trees in your area will probably drop their leaves in the fall while others may not. If you do have fallen leaves in your yard, consider mulching them into smaller pieces in order to return their nutrients back into the soil. Raking up leaves and bagging them as yard waste is a common misconception as many homeowners don’t realize that the leaves can be very helpful to the lawn. Use a leaf mulcher to cut up the leaves or consider spreading the leaves out over the lawn and mowing over them in order to cut them up into smaller pieces. Using fallen leaves in a yard is a great way to add a natural boost of energy to the soil as well as keep those leaves from entering the landfill.

Caring for your lawn in the fall is an important part of making sure that your lawn is strong and healthy throughout the mild fall and winter seasons of the region. Consider adding fertilizer and mulch to your lawn in order to feed it with extra energy this season. Make sure to regularly mow the lawn and control weeds that will continue to grow throughout the rest of the year. Consider all of these fall lawn care guide tips when caring for a lawn in the Southwest or California region of the country.

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