Fall is the perfect time of year in Charlotte, North Carolina, to work on your lawn. Daytime highs dip from a pleasant 82 degrees Fahrenheit in September to a crisp, 72 degrees in October. With a little TLC in early fall, to prepare your lawn before it goes dormant for the winter, you’ll have less work and a healthier lawn in the spring.
6 Fall Lawn Care Tips for Residential Homes in Charlotte, NC
Fall is the best time of year to grow new grass seeds and strengthen the root system. Your grass won’t grow as quickly as it does in the summer, so you’ll need to adjust how you maintain your lawn.
Tip #1: Adjust Your Watering and Mowing Schedule
Water your lawn less frequently in the fall than you did in the summer. Lawns need about one inch of water per week. Water your lawn no more than 2 times per week.
Reduce the frequency of mowing your lawn in the fall, as the grass grows slower. Lower the height of the blade gradually, to ensure you don’t cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time.
On the last two mows of the season, use the lowest setting possible without scalping your lawn. Allowing sunlight to reach your grass is crucial for photosynthesis, which enables the grass to grow.
Tip #2: Rake and Remove Leaves
Despite how attractive the golden yellow and amber-colored autumn leaves may appear scattered across your yard, leaves left on the grass create a welcoming environment for fungus and disease.
Fallen leaves also prevent your grass from receiving essential nutrients such as water and sunlight. A damp, thick covering of leaves suffocates the grass underneath and provides shelter for unwanted pests such as insects and rodents.
Tip #3: Aerate Your Lawn
Grass becomes compacted during the heat of summer, when kids, pets, and adults are outside enjoying recreational activities on your lawn. Vital nutrients such as oxygen, water, and sunlight need access to the root system.
Core aeration can help reverse the damage caused by compaction. A machine called a “lawn aerator” with hollow tines removes plugs of soil and thatch from the lawn, creating a channel through which oxygen, water, and sunlight can penetrate the soil.
Let the experts manage your aeration this season. Contact us today for your lawn care needs.
Tip #4: Overseed and Patch Bare Spots
After you aerate your lawn, the next step is to sow new grass seed into the lawn. Loosen the soil in any bare spots and spread a thick layer of lawn repair grass seed in those areas. Make it simple by using an all-in-one formula that includes grass seed, fertilizer, and a soil improver.
Charlotte is in a climate area called Zone 8, where cool-season grass grows best. Tall Fescue is the most widely used grass in North Carolina, due to its resistance to heat, drought, and disease.
Tip #5: Remove Weeds
Weeds will compete with your grass for nutrients, which can be especially harmful right before the cold weather settles in. Don’t let weeds steal the extra nutrients your grass needs to make it through the winter.
If you don’t want to use chemicals to kill weeds on your lawn, boil water in a teapot and carefully pour it directly on the crowns of young, small weeds. White vinegar can be effective at killing young, tender weeds or you can try using an organic weed killer.
All these remedies will kill grass too, so be careful when you apply them.
Tip #6: Fertilize
If your grass seed doesn’t include a fertilizer, you can kick-start new growth by applying a nitrogen-based fertilizer early in the fall. Follow that with a second application of a phosphorus-based fertilizer later in the fall season to strengthen the root system of your lawn.
Following these fall lawn care tips will help you establish a healthier lawn next spring and keep unwanted pests from seeking shelter in your yard. Get out and enjoy the weather with your kids. Turn yard work into a fun bonding time with family.