Yes, summer is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to put everything away and hole up indoors for the rest of the year. Fall in Calgary is a wonderful time to enjoy your yard, especially if you have a fire pit.
So, put on a sweater, pour a mug of your favourite hot beverage and get out there and enjoy your yard this fall!
Follow these seven tips to keep your lawn healthy in the fall and get it ready for next spring (after a short, winter interlude).
1. Decrease the height of your lawnmower.
Your lawn is getting ready to go into a dormant state for the remainder of the year, meaning it doesn’t grow as fast throughout fall as it did over summer. No doubt you’ve already started mowing less as summer was winding down, but did you know that as you mow your lawn throughout the last couple of weeks of summer and into fall, you should gradually lower your mower height? Drop it down one step at a time as you mow so your grass height is 1 ½” tall.
It’s important to lower the height of your mower gradually. You only want to remove ⅓ of the height of the grass blades at the most. Anything more than that at one time will shock your grass’s system.
Also, mow your grass in the evening when the sun isn’t beating down on it.
2. Deal with those last few weeds.
After a summer of battling with weeds in your lawn, hopefully you’ve gotten them under control. If there are any particularly hardy ones that have lasted into the fall, it’s imperative to deal with them before falling leaves and the inevitable snow make them impossible to deal with. As your lawn becomes less active, aggressive weeds can take advantage of this and stage a takeover. Nip these weeds in the bud while it’s still relatively easy to deal with them.
3. Give your trees and shrubs a boost.
Help your trees and bushes get a head start on winter by providing them with essential nutrients they need to store up to make it through the harsh winter ahead. There are root boosting mixtures you can get that will help them make it through winter and then grow like crazy come spring. Ask your local greenhouse about what they have that can give your trees and shrubs a little boost.
4. Rake your lawn (if you want).
Whether you rake your lawn or not will depend on your view about giving bugs and other critters a home. If you want a lush, green lawn at all costs, then you should rake all your leaves before snowfall, as decomposing leaves can take moisture away from your lawn and soil. They can also provide a home to insects, some of which may be damaging to your lawn.
If you get an especially thick layer of decaying leaves, that can also leave dead spots on your lawn, which leaves room for weeds to quickly move in and get established.
5. Aerate your lawn.
Your lawn’s soil gets compacted over time, which reduces air pockets. This is bad because those air pockets are what allow nutrients and water to reach your grass’s roots. To help reestablish air pockets, you should aerate (poke holes in) your lawn annually. Many people prefer to do this in the spring, but doing it in the fall is also an option. If you haven’t aerated your lawn yet this year, now is a good time to do it.
6. Over seed.
Along with your soil compacting, grass reproduction rates tend to slow with time. This can lead to bald patches where the grass has essentially run its course. Spread grass seed evenly over your lawn according to the recommended rate on the seed’s packaging prior to the first snowfall. This will give the seed a head start next spring when it starts to warm up and the snow melts to start growing and fill in any bare patches.
7. Fertilize for fall.
Just like with your trees and shrubs, you can also fertilize your lawn with a special autumn fertilizer mixture that will give your grass a nutrient boost to keep it healthy throughout the fall months. Ask your local greenhouse what the best fall fertilization mixture is.
Follow these seven tips to enjoy your lawn and help it grow over the fall months before it takes its long winter nap. While fall brings that distinct chill in the air, some days can still get pretty hot in the sun. For that, you need quality shade. Please contact us if you’re ready to put some awnings or shutters onto your home or commercial space.