Fall is surprisingly one of the most important times for lawn care, and taking the proper steps can ensure that a lawn is strong and healthy when it begins to grow again in the spring.
Strategies for fall lawn care should include aeration and overseeding - both of which can boost a lawn's performance before it goes dormant for the winter.
Timing is crucial when it comes to aerating lawns, and fall is a great time for aeration because of the cooler air temperatures combined with still-warm soil temperatures. There are several advantages to aeration, including:
- It reduces the compaction of soil underneath the turf
- Improves drainage while decreasing the amount of runoff.
- It helps alleviate damage caused by droughts
- It pulls cores of soil from the lawn so water, air and nutrients have better access to the grass's roots.
- Aeration limits the development of thatch
Fall is also an ideal time for overseeding, but remember to give yourself enough time so the turfgrass seed can germinate and the seedlings will have time to mature before winter hits. Like aeration, overseeding has several advantages:
- It fills in areas of damaged turf caused by summer stress, or other issues such as disease
- Thickens the density of thin lawns
- It enhances the lawn's ability to fight against disease and damaging insects, as well as more likely to fend off weeds.
In general terms, overseeding is the process of planting new seeds to fill in areas where the turf has grown thin. It will not only improve the density the lawn, it will also enhance its color. However, overseeding involves the entire lawn, not just areas where the lawn is patchy or bare. Those are more efficiently addressed with spot seeding.
How to do fall overseeding
The process of overseeding in the fall begins with choosing the best grass seed. The key point to remember is that you should choose a turfgrass that matches the appearance of the lawn as closely as possible. The next step is to then apply the proper amount of seed while using either a rotary or drop spreader.
Another thing to consider is that not all types of grass benefit from overseeding. Typically, overseeding is most beneficial to cool season grasses (i.e., Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass).
Combining fall aeration and overseeding
Overseeding and aeration are a good combination in the fall. Aeration pulls cores of soil from the lawn, enabling water, air and nutrients to have better access to turfgrass roots. This gives the turfgrass seedlings ideal conditions to grow and mature as long as they are watered and fertilized properly.
Using AquaSmart PRO in the fall will also give a lawn the proper head start as it prepares for the spring growth season. AquaSmart PRO uses super absorbent polymers that are able to absorb large quantities of water and nutrients. These valuable resources will help root zones thrive in the spring and be more hardy in the summer.