As nighttime temperatures drop and autumn decorations begin to appear in stores, the feeling that fall is just around the corner starts to permeate the air. Though it’s not quite time to begin the actual work, now is the perfect time to put together a game plan for winterizing your yard and landscaping, so that when time comes for action you will have all the necessary tools and supplies ready to go. Here are some of the most important steps to follow in order to achieve a healthy lawn:
Aerate the soil. The hot, dry days of summer lead to hard, compacted dirt. Soil aeration takes care of this problem by breaking up the compacted ground, opening up a route for water and nutrients to reach the roots and strengthen the root system. It’s best to use a plug aerator, which pulls up plugs of soil and grass, as opposed to a spike aerator, which just pokes holes in the ground. Aerating should be done on a day that the soil is moist but not soggy, which will make it easier for the tines of the aerator to pierce the ground.
Dethatch the lawn. After you’re done aerating, grab a rake and give the yard a once-over to break up the plugs you just pulled up. It’s also important to remove thatch, which is a thick layer of dead grass and decaying plant matter that can block out the sun and prevent roots from receiving an adequate amount of moisture. Dethatching can be done in late fall at the same time that you rake the leaves.
Top-dress and fertilize. If you have unsightly bare spots in your lawn, seeding after aerating will help fill those in and give you a nice thick lawn come spring. Before seeding, prep sparse areas by top-dressing them with a half-inch layer of aged compost, which should be dry and cool to the touch. Then use a rotary spreader to disperse fertilizer. A simple soil test can help you determine the best fertilizer mix for your soil.
Overseed the lawn. Once your lawn has been aerated, dethatched, top-dressed, and fertilized, you can then move on to seeding the lawn. You actually want to overseed the ground, about 6-8 weeks before the first hard frost is expected. This will help fill in those annoying bare areas, and if you overseed with enough cool season grass, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice green lawn throughout winter.
There’s no question that lawn maintenance requires a lot of time and patience. If you are ready to turn over those reins to a professional, our lawnscape professionals here at Dreamscape Designers would be happy to take over. Not only will you have a perfectly manicured lawn, we can also help you design an amazing outdoor space just right for you. To find out more about this opportunity, give us a call today at 757-412-1265.