Fall in Bridgeport means frost-kissed mornings, brilliant displays of autumn foliage, harvest festivals, and pumpkin carving gatherings. As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, one thing is certain: now’s the time for homeowners to give the lawn the TLC it needs to weather the winter and make a strong comeback next spring. Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of your lawn care game.

Feed It Like You Mean It

This is your last chance to really nourish your lawn with the right fertilizer. Fall lawn care includes feeding your lawn, and it can drastically affect your growth next spring. We recommend getting your soil tested at the closest cooperative extension office to determine your lawn’s precise needs.  Regardless of the nutrient levels in your soil, you’ll want to nourish your turf over the winter months when it will be storing energy for spring.

soil test

If your potassium and phosphorus levels are good, then you should focus on applying a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer at a rate of one pound per thousand square feet at the beginning and end of the season. If you’re uncomfortable putting chemicals on your land, you may want to consider using organic fertilizers.

Mow it Long

Thanks to the application of fall fertilizer and typical autumn rainfall, expect to do a good bit of mowing to keep the last vigorous growth of the year in check. You can mow in much the same fashion you normally would, never cutting more than one-third of the total length of the grass at a time, but with one major adjustment: mow to a higher length than usual.
Perennial RyegrassLonger blades of grass are more capable of surviving harsh winter conditions and require less water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Leaving your grass clippings where they fall provides your soil with some extra nitrogen, and saves you the trouble of dealing with the clippings.

Feed with Leaves

As the trees shed their leaves, it’s important to remove or shred them. You can use a mulching mower to shred your leaves finely, and then allow them to remain on the lawn where they will break down and provide rich nutrient to the soil over time. You will want to do this when conditions are dry to avoid clumping. If any clumping occurs, you can use a rake or leaf blower to break them up and distribute them evenly.

mower-leaves

If you choose to remove the leaves completely you may also want to collect your grass clippings. Create a compost pile in a shaded corner of your property with these clippings that can be used later to fertilize your lawn or landscaping beds. As long as you turn the pile periodically, it should break down into a nice, rich humus.

It can actually be a pleasure to work outside caring for your lawn in the fall. The temperatures are finally cool enough to be refreshing, and most homeowners will want to break out the grill and games for one last round of fun before winter closes in. If you follow these simple tips, you can show off your beautiful yard and rest easy knowing it will come back nicely next year.

Need additional help tending to your lawn? Visit our Bridgeport lawn care page for more info!