The end of summer doesn’t signal the end of your lawn care regime, but there are a few steps you should take now to ensure you get a head start on the next season.
Keep on watering and mowing your lawn as it requires but as summer ends drop the mower blades to the lowest setting for the last two cuttings. This will allow additional sunlight to reach the crown of the grass and will ensure that there is less leaf to turn brown as autumn takes hold and winter beckons.
The end of summer is an ideal time to aerate the lawn so that water, fertiliser and oxygen can more easily reach the root system. You can use a garden fork, hire a walk-behind lawn aerator or if you’re on acreage, hire a landscaping contractor to get it done for you.
As deciduous trees begin to drop their leaves, it’s important to remove them as soon as possible. When the leaves become wet from morning dew and rain they stick together and create a mat, that if left, will suffocate the grass below and breed fungal diseases.
If you only fertilise once a year, do it as summer ends as this will provide the essential nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots now and keep nutrients in reserve.
Now is a great time to fix any bare and bald spots in your lawn. The easiest way to do this is to use a garden rake to scratch loose the soil at the bald spot, spread a thick layer of soil and water thoroughly to encourage new lawn growth from the surrounding grass plants.
If weeds have taken over your lawn during summer, now is the time to get it sorted. As they move into autumn they, like most plants, are in the energy-absorbing mode, drinking in everything that comes along, including weed killers. Apply an appropriate herbicide now and the weeds won’t return in spring.
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