The long and hot summers in Knoxville can make residents forget about lawn care in the fall. This is when cold weather can turn your lawn brown, but with these fall lawn care tips, you’ll be equipped to maintain your lawn for the incoming chill.
Most grasses reach their maximum growth rate during the fall season. This means you should mow your lawn as often as once every 4 to 7 days. This frequency should keep you from cutting more than a third of your grass height at a time. Furthermore, the resulting grass clippings become a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
If you end up cutting your lawn by more than a third of its height each time, several problems may arise: one, too many grass clippings will form clumps over the lawn, and two mulching them will be impossible because of their sheer volume.
Clumps left on the lawn can suffocate the grass underneath, so you will have to completely remove the clippings. Once these clippings are removed, your grass will require more water than usual, especially if the cut was too drastic. You'll need fertilizer as well to maintain your turf's density.
If your lawn consists of mostly warm-season grasses, you should mow only once every 7 to 14 days. Remember to raise the height of your mower slightly, so your grass will be insulated more from the cold.
For cool season grasses in the Knoxville area, fall season is one of the most important times to apply fertilizer. Since this is the last season before winter frost arrives, fertilizer is a crucial defense against the cold.
By applying a complete fertilizer, containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the months of September and October, your grass will grow more resilient.
A complete fertilizer will also strengthen your yard against frost and possible diseases. When you choose your fertilizer, pick one with a 2-1-1 ratio, which primarily uses nitrogen because any excess phosphorus could wash away into runoff and pollute local waterways.
One common issue during fall is the growth of autumn weeds in Knoxville. Often when leaves fall off of trees and bunch together, they suffocate the underlying grass if they’re left out for too long.
This can spread dirt patches all over a yard. Once established, weeds emerge more easily because of the lack of turf. If fallen leaves are removed in a timely manner, the underneath grass may quickly recover and avoid dying off—thus preventing weeds from germinating.
Need help preparing your lawn? Visit our Knoxville lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Knoxville, we provide lawn care services to Tennessee cities, including Nashville, Memphis, Hendersonville, and Smyrna.
Featured image source: Zillow Knoxville, TN