By Bell Dash
Expert Author Bell Dash
The time is here again, fall is upon us with winter around the corner, and you must think about getting your lawn ready
for the cold months ahead in order to keep it as healthy as you can. Autumn gives the best time to get your lawn ready
because it will produce a healthier and greener lawn in the spring than you've ever had. The following are some helpful
tips that will answer the question of how you can get your lawn ready.
Autumn Tip #1: Fertilize your lawn
Most people are tempted to fertilize in the spring because of the fast results, but patience wins if you fertilize during the
autumn. Even though you will have to wait for the payoff, fertilizing in the fall will replenish the nutrients and strengthen
the roots of your lawn. The stronger roots will bring on a thicker and healthier lawn when spring comes.
Autumn Tip #2: Time to Spray the Perennial Broadleaf Weeds
The most common perennial broadleaf weed is a dandelion, and they can be difficult to treat. The best thing to do is
rather than spraying them, pull them up and eat them in salads as they are very high in nutrients. Most people only look
at them as weeds and want them gone so they spray them when they are in full bloom in the spring. But, if you just have
to be rid of them, the best time to spray is during the fall when the nutrients are going into the roots. The herbicide will
soak into the roots and allow the herbicides to work longer.
Autumn Tip #3: Put Away the Mower
Once the grass grown a little taller in the fall, most people think to bring the mower out and cut the grass short, but this
is wrong. You should let the grass grow a little higher because it will help protect the roots, like a blanket or insulation
during the cold months of winter. If you live in an area where you must mow, try to mow as high as the mower will go.
Lawns that end up with the most injury from winter, are those that have been mowed as short as possible. You will not
find any fertilizers or chemicals that can protect your lawn from winter injury, but if you practice good lawn care and not
mow it short, your lawn will have a fighting chance.
Autumn Tip #4: Watering Changes
Beginning in the fall, days get shorter and cooler, which means your lawn will not need as much water as it does during
the summer, so let up on the watering. Try to only water once every 10 to 14 days, depending on how much it rains. Do
not stop watering altogether though because you want your lawn to be in the best condition possible when winter
Autumn Tip#5 Keep a Watch for Brown/Large Patch Fungus
Brown/Large Patch Fungus can be found all year long, but mostly from November through May as the temperatures
drop below 80 degrees. Over watering, lots of rain for extended periods, and high humidity where the leaves are wet
constantly for more than 48 hours are causes for Brown/Large Patch Fungus. It starts out as small patches that change
to yellow then reddish brown, then the leaves will die. The leaves are not affected by the disease, the fungus infects the
leaves closest to the soil. Where the leaf comes off the stem will have a rotted smell and the patches can grow up to
several feet in diameter. You will commonly see yellow/brown rings with the center having healthy lawn. Avoid quick
release nitrogen and excessive nitrogen during the diseases development. Water only as needed and only between the
hours of 2am and 8am when the dew is present. Mow as needed, but save the affected areas until last, and be sure to
wash the mower to prevent spreading the disease.
You can get several products to control Brown/Large Patch Fungus, but they are complex to use for the average
homeowner because the ranges and rates of the products vary based on how severe your problem is. For the diseased
grass to recover, you must treat it when it is actively growing. The symptoms will not go away until new leaves start to
develop and you get rid of the old leaves by mowing or decomposition. Because this disease usually starts when the
grass is growing slowly, the recovery will be very slow. Fungicides only stop the disease from spreading, they will not
promote the grass to grow.
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