The arrival of fall means preparing your lawn for winter and tweaking some of your summer lawn care practices. Here are some common lawn care mistakes to avoid this fall:
It’s easy to get in the habit of regularly watering your lawn during the summer season, but as fall rolls in, it’s important to slow down.
We tend to see rainfall more frequently in the cooler months, so manual watering is not required as often. The sweet spot for a healthy lawn is approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week. Any more than this can cause water logging and put your lawn at risk for developing disease.
Be sure to keep an eye on the sky and only water your lawn when necessary.
Mowing too Short
The height of your grass is important to its health. While we don’t want the unsightly view of unkept grass, cutting it too short can increase your lawn’s susceptibility to weeds. When it comes to mowing during the fall, it is important to remember the 1/3 rule. The first step is to determine your type of grass, and the recommended height. Once the grass surpasses that height and is ready to be mowed, to keep it healthy, never cut off more than 1/3 of its height in one go. As a rule of thumb, we recommend never cutting your grass below a height of 2.5 – 3 inches.
Dull Mower Blades
It’s also important to remember that mower maintenance is also an essential part of lawn care. Mower blades should be sharpened at least once a year, and a great time to do that is during the fall. Sharp blades ensure clean cuts which ultimately reduces the risk of lawn disease.
A common indicator that your mower blades need sharpening is the look of uneven or torn grass after mowing.
Leaving too Much Leaf Cover
While leaves are a wonderful way to provide nutrients to lawns (when properly mulched), allowing leaf litter to accumulate can cause your lawn to smother as it blocks the sunlight from reaching the blades. In preparation for the dormant winter period, lawns need to absorb as much sunlight as possible in order to store nutrients. Blocking that essential sunshine can weaken your lawn causing it to die off.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves, dust off the rake, and remove as much cover as possible. However, if you are looking to utilize some of those leaf nutrients, be sure to invest in a good mulching blade for your mower.
Doing Nothing at All
The biggest and most common lawn care mistakes people make during the fall is simply doing nothing at all. As summer holidays come to an end and lives get busier, people tend to forget about their lawns. With the summer scorcher behind us, now is the prime time for your lawn to recoup.
Nutrients are essential for your lawn at this time of year in order to thrive. Learn more about the importance of fertilizing during the fall in our blog post.