is not the time to ignore or neglect your lawn.
A simple fall program will have your grass looking it's best next spring.
Fall Lawn Care Tips:
The heat of summer
has departed and fall is in the air. Now is not the time to ignore or neglect
your lawn. With winter
coming and snow soon to
be piled up on your perfect lawn, it's time to take a few steps that will
ensure a healthy green lawn next summer.
First on the agenda
will be to rake the thatch out of your grass. For severely compacted lawns
you may want to consider core aeration as described
Don't be fooled by stores that try to sell their leftover "spring"
fertilizers in the fall.
Apply a slow
release "fall" fertilizer. Read the instructions very carefully before
applying your fall fertilizer.
Plug any bare spots
with a commonly available grass plugger or, if you choose, place topsoil and
seed over larger bare spots.
the rest of your lawn by evenly
throwing grass seed by hand over the entire lawn. Apply approximately two
pounds of grass seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. Keep the lawn moist until
seeds germinate and begin to grow strong. Over-seeding your lawn this fall will help crowd out the
weeds next year.
fall comes to an end, make sure
to rake all the leaves off of your lawn to prevent them from smothering your
grass over the winter. If you prefer you can mow the leaves with your
lawnmower using a sharp mulching blade, this will reduce the leaves to a
fine mulch that will be quickly used by the soil micro-organisms and worms
next spring. Mulching the leaves is best done when they are dry and crunchy.
Remember that the salt
you will be throwing on the driveway this coming winter is harmful to your grass
and gardens when you shovel or snow-blow it onto your lawn. You may want to
consider other alternatives to salt when melting ice. Most large retailers
have alternatives to salt.
The best herbicide-free way to protect your lawn from weeds is to keep it
strong and healthy. The thicker your turf, the more chance it has to
shade-out the germination of weeds.
Taking Care Of Your Equipment:
Don't forget your gas-powered lawnmower,
weed eater and blower in the fall. Seriously consider using a fuel
stabilizer in the gas before putting them away. Check your owners manual, or
search the internet for "fuel stabilizer" to get more information. You can
choose to either run the fuel and stabilizer though the mower / blower /
weed eater until they stop (when they run out of gas), or as many prefer,
you could fill up your tanks and leave them alone AS LONG AS THEY HAVE
STABILIZER in the gas mixture. A little research as well as reading your
owners manual will help you decide which is best for your situation.
Why Fuel Stabilizer?
A short and simplified explanation: Gasoline
doesn't last long before it starts to degrade. If you don't drain the tank
and carburetor and you don't add fuel stabilizer, the gas will go bad right
inside your equipment . As the gas in the unused equipment slowly evaporates
in the carburetor, the float in the carburetor calls for more gas to fill it's bowl.
Unlike when fresh gasoline is flowing through the carburetor while being
used, the slow evaporation process of the stale gasoline leaves a tiny bit of
sludge behind each time the gas in the bowl evaporates. After numerous evaporation cycles, you're
carburetor slowly but surely will get clogged with sludge and that will
make starting and running your equipment a supreme headache next year. You may
get away without using fuel stabilizer once or twice but it's false savings
when compared to your equipment starting and running properly when you need
Finally, don't forget to change your
equipment's engine oil and lubricate any moving
components such as wheel height adjusters and cables before you put your
babies away for the season. Spraying a thin coating of rust protection on
the underside of the lawnmower and waxing the shiny side will also help
extend the life of your equipment. Your owners manual will also discus any
special procedures that should be performed, such as fogging the cylinder or
adding a bit of engine oil through the spark plug hole to help prevent rust
from forming on the inside of your engine.