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Prepare your lawn for autumn with these easy steps!

 In Blog

Before cooler temperatures roll in later this season, it’s important to get your lawn into tip top shape and ready for the seasonal change.  This is because along with the cooler temps comes lower humidity and less rain.  In return, your lawn’s watering needs, mowing needs, fertilization, and weed prevention will change.  Following our simple tips below will ensure that your lawn stays healthy, weed free and ready for seasons to come.  Here is an autumn checklist to guide you in the right direction:

  1. Installing new sod
  2. Proper Fertilization
  3. Weed Control
  4. Watering Practices
  5. Mowing Practices

Installing New Sod:  Autumn is the perfect time to install new sod and plants. This is because plants will not lose water as quickly as they do during summer and they also tend to grow roots very quickly during this time of year.  If you are planning on installing new grass, there are a few things to look out for. When the new sod arrives at your home or if you will be picking up your sod from a nursery, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for insects and fungus.  Being that new sod usually arrives and is stored on pallets, it can be subject to little or no light for an extended period of time which is a perfect breeding environment for fungus and disease. For that reason, it’s important that after your new sod is installed, to have it inspected and treated by a lawn care professional. Your lawn technician can evaluate your new sod and come up with a plan of action for proper fertilization, fungicides needed and also pest prevention.  He or she will also be able to go over the proper way to water your new lawn.  Having your lawn professionally treated will allow it to grow in healthy, green and beautiful.

Fertilization: By the arrival of autumn, your lawn has used up a good portion of the nutrient base that was applied during its spring and summer lawn care treatments.  This is the time of year when replenishing the soil with a well rounded fertilizer will help to restore nutrients back into the soil.  Doing so will help maintain its healthiness and also provide a nutritional balance for the grass to regain its deep green color and density.

Weed Control: Central Florida autumn evenings are the perfect growing conditions for diseases such as Brown Patch Fungus to flare almost overnight, which can severely affect St. Augustine and Zoysia lawns in particular. Having your lawn treated with a pre-emergent weed control will help prevent weeds from ever being able to germinate or establish their seeds.  Autumn tip: weed prevention in the fall will be the best practice for preventing weeds in the winter.

Watering Practices: Did you know that without regular rainfall or usage of a supplemental irrigation system, your lawn can become depleted of moisture within just a few days? It’s true. Your lawn’s soil will begin to dry out from top to bottom. A good rule of thumb to remember is: The deeper the root system of your grass, the better it will be able to withstand drought stress. It is critical that your lawn be conditioned to develop a deep root system. Applying ¾” to 1” of water per application will wet about 8 to 12” of soil underneath. Also, allowing the grass to slightly wilt before watering will prompt the grass to seek moisture deeper into the soil, lengthening the roots and creating a greater reserve of water within the plant structure. This will allow the grass to go longer without needing water, even through times of little to no rain. When properly conditioned, your grass will require only about two watering cycles per week at the beginning of fall. As winter approaches, you may be instructed by your neighborhood to cut back your watering to a maximum of once per week. But that’s ok.  Provided that your lawn has been watered correctly up to that point, one watering cycle a week will generally keep the grass in good shape.  It is also important to remember to never overwater your lawn and to follow the proper watering precautions during a freeze.

Click here to read more on watering in the Fall

Mowing Practices:  When mowing, never mow your lawn shorter than the recommended length for your grass type.  An important rule to remember is that you shouldn’t cut more than 1/3 of the leaf blade to achieve your turf variety’s ideal length. Also, during autumn, times between mowing will increase from once per week at beginning of fall to once every 2 to 3 weeks at the onset of winter season. Mowing heights may also be raised in the fall to reduce the risk of winterkill from low temperatures. Taller grass blades will help insulate the lower portion of the grass and its roots.

Keep a close eye on your lawn this fall and let us know right away if something is not right.  Remember, we’re always here to help.  Happy autumn!

Look in our Additional Resources https://www.myheronhome.com/customer-tips/additional-resources/ to see descriptions of some key issues that your lawn may experience such as frost, north side shade decline, and brown patch fungus.

Prepare your lawn for autumn with these easy steps! In Orlando and surrounding counties

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