Let's talk for a minute about fall lawn care. . .
Your lawn can look great right up until cold weather arrives if you keep up the good work you've been doing all summer. First, don't stop regular watering as fall progresses. A lawn stressed by water shortage will not winter as well as a healthy one. Also, keep up a regular mowing schedule so the grass doesn't go into late fall and winter trying to keep a lot of top growth alive that it could do without. Don't let the grass get very long and then mow it short just before severe weather arrives- this can have the roots stressed just as they need all their resources to stay alive. Before cold weather begins, use a good fertilizer, such as a winterizer, on the lawn. A winterizer fertilizer is one that is high in potassium, the third number in the fertilizer formula, which strengthens the roots. We also used to look for high phosphate- the second number in the formula- in winterizer fertilizers to strengthen the grass for winter, but federal law now mandates the removal of phosphate from fertilizer. We actually have phosphate in our soil, but it is in a form the grass cannot access. This makes it absolutely critical to use HuMate Granules (this used to be called Soil Activator) whenever you fertilize. HuMate Granules build beneficial microbes in the soil that actually unlock the phosphate so your grass can use it. Your lawn will stay thick, green and lush if you use HuMate Granules every time you fertilize. If the summer has been particularly hot and dry and it has been difficult to keep the lawn well watered, aerating the lawn at this time will allow the winter moisture to penetrate down into the root zone and rejuvenate the lawn in the spring. Fall is also a perfect time to use weed and feed to get rid of weeds in your lawn when temperatures are not too hot. Once it snows, avoid having a lot of traffic in one place. Heavy traffic can eventually form an ice pathway, and a continual layer of ice on the grass will smother it, leaving you with whole areas killed out in the spring. Above all, keep working on your lawn during these fall months. The care your lawn receives in the fall has everything to do with how it looks first thing in the spring.