If you want your lawn to look green and healthy all year round, fall is the best time to start correcting any issues your landscape might have. You can get a jumpstart on having the best lawn in the neighborhood by incorporating a few of these fall lawn care tips in your weekend routine in Los Angeles.
1. Fertilize like crazy
Only if your lawn actually needs it. Most lawns need some sort of feeding in the fall, but if you’re unsure you can also bring a sample of your soil to local cooperative extension to have its nutrient content tested. Otherwise, begin fertilizing right away. Cool- and warm-season grasses alike benefit from a heavy feeding in early fall. Apply synthetic fertilizers as recommended on the packaging, or consider an organic fertilizer.
There are several easy options for organic fertilizers. For example, you can simply leave your grass clippings on the lawn. This acts as a natural mulch and also saves you significant raking and clean-up time. You can also add manure, compost, or other natural fertilizers to avoid harmful chemicals.
2. Address any damaged or dying spots
Often, dead spots mean that you have a pest infestation, such as grubs. Apply insecticide or eliminate any pest attractants–like wet spots–before fixing the spots, as they will continue to become a problem in the future. Then, patch your lawn with existing lawn. Loosen three to six inches of soil in the bare spot, then add compost and level the surface. You can insert a new piece of sod or simply spread seed to fix the bare patch.
3. Mow tall
While you should avoid over-mowing throughout the year, in the fall and winter you should let the grass grow a bit higher. Tall lawns are able to collect sunlight and nutrients more readily than short ones, and also tend to have deeper roots. To prevent tall grass from becoming unsightly, mow frequently, but keep your blade cutting at a taller height.
Many people don’t consider weeding a task they need to complete for their lawns. However, weeding is absolutely necessary for a healthy autumn lawn. You can hand-weed or consider applying a herbicide to control them. Fall is the time to apply a herbicide to prevent the sprouting of winter weeds.
Fall is the best time to aerate, as summer often heralds a great deal of foot traffic and activity on your lawn. This can cause the soil to become compacted, making it more difficult for water nutrients, and oxygen to reach plant roots. Aerating involves inserting holes into the soil so the grass can breathe. You can rent an aerator from a local lawn and garden supplier, or hire a professional lawn care service to take care of the task for you.
In Los Angeles, fall isn’t all about raking leaves and harvesting pumpkins. While fall is a great time to plant new seasonal flowers or spend time enjoying the colors of the season, you also need to take care of your lawn before winter arrives with cooler temperatures and shorter days. Take action by implementing these steps, and you’ll be enjoying a greener lawn next summer.
For more information on fall lawn care, visit our Los Angeles lawn care page for more information!