Today is the first day of Fall and with the change of seasons comes adjustments to our warm season lawn management program.
In our last article, Creating the Lawn You Dream of With 4 Simple Elements we talked about the essential elements needed to create a show stopping lawn! So if you haven’t read it here are a few highlights.
Once Bermuda grass is established it is easy to care for because it is disease resistant and drought, heat, and traffic tolerant.
During the spring months, it is essential for you to provide Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium for green, healthy turf. So we recommend that you get your soil tested to determine your lawn nutrient levels.
If you are unsure how to do this jump over and check out the information in our recent blog The Importance of Gaining the Right pH Level for Growing a Beautiful Lawn.
In the summer months, irrigation, fertilization, weed and insect control are all requirements elements to keeping your Bermuda grass healthy and beautiful throughout the Summer months.
In this article:
In this article, we will cover the 6 Tips on how to do Fall lawn care for warm season grasses like Bermuda. Sometime in late fall your turf will begin to transition into dormancy. Dormancy is a natural recurring process that happens when temperatures become cooler and daylight becomes shorter.
Dormancy is a very important time for the root system. Winter hibernation may not be your favorite time to look at your lawn but it is necessary.
So, before your lawn goes into winter dormancy there are several things you need to do. Here is a quick guide to help you with your fall lawn maintenance. Just follow the steps below.
1. Keep on Keeping on:
Your current lawn care like mowing, edging and watering you should continuing doing as necessary. Although, as we progress into cooler temperatures the grass growth slows significantly meaning you may not do these tasks as often.
2. Set the Deck Height:
Now that we are in a slower growing period you should raise your deck height to about 2″. After the last mowing of the season this is a great time to pull the blades on the mower for sharpening and yearly maintenance.
After the long Spring and Summer months you likely had considerable traffic on your lawn which can cause soil compaction There are two ways you can accomplish this.
- Plug aeration
- Liquid Aeration
Plug aeration is the most common way to aerate but may not be the best option for some. As it requires equipment that you may have to rent or purchase.
A small unit like the Goplus 18″ Rolling Lawn Aerator can be used on small lawns with little storage challenges unlike a pull behind like the 60″ Strongly Drum Spike Aerator that requires much more space to store.
The cost of a small aerator runs about $ 50 dollars where the pull behind is $350. Rental cost runs anywhere from $ 50-80 dollars per day.
Liquid aeration is accomplished by simply using a product like Aerify Plus. It provides you with an effective way to loosen soil without having to buy or rent equipment. Just hook it up to the house and spray!
Remember, aeration will save water, improve soil drainage and fertilization availability to the root zone of the grass. So, don’t skip this step in your fall maintenance program.
4. Apply Pre-emergent:
You may be asking yourself if its even necessary to apply a pre-emergent for the upcoming winter months. The answer is “Yes”. There are many weeds that thrive during the winter months so we need to keep them out while the lawn rests.
To control winter weeds like henbit, chickweed, bluegrass etc. apply a pre-emergent to your lawn before winter dormancy.
If you have a cool season grass like fescue you will not want to put a pre-emergent down if you are overseeing as it will prevent the seeds from germinating.
If you’re like me, you may not be a fan of fall leaf clean-up like raking, bagging and dragging leaves either to the road for pick-up or the burn pile for burning. Either way, it is super important that you get the bulk of them up because they will suffocate the lawn.
We use a lawn vacuum to pick up our leaves and move them to the burn pile. But, another great option is to shred them and recycle to put back into the lawn. This option will require a leaf shredder.
I personally would like to start recycling our leaves instead of burning them. If we do decide to invest in a leaf shredder for recycling I will be sure to do a review on it as well as our lawn vacuum.
6. Apply Fertilizer:
If you did the recommended soil testing in the Spring as recommended in our blog The Importance of Gaining the Right pH Level for Growing a Beautiful Lawn and discovered your lawn was deficient in potassium (K) than download our free Bermudagrass Management Guide below for fertilization guidelines.
If you follow these six fall lawn care tips you will adequately prepare your warm season grass for it’s upcoming winter hibernation leaving you enjoying a beautiful lawn next spring!
We hope the information in this blog has been helpful. Grab your Bermudagrass Lawn Management Guide for Fall here. Feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comment area below.
Until next time