- When Grass Stops Growing, It’s the Last Mow of the Season!
- 3 Must-Know Facts about the Last Grass Cut of the Fall Before Winter
- Why Does Grass Stop Growing?
- Grass Growth Patterns Throughout the Year
- The Dormant Lawn
- Mowing Grass Before Winter
- Other Lawn Care Tips to Consider When Grass Stops Growing
- 8 Fall Lawn Care Tips
- Fall Lawn Care: Aerate heavy soil
- Reseed bare patches
- Fertilize in the fall
- When to Fertilize in Fall
- Rake and mow
- Prepare Your Yard for the Winter Through Proper Fall Lawn Care
- Fall Lawn Care Differs Depending on Type of Grass
- Need Help With Your Lawn?
- Fertilize in the Fall
- Fall Weed Control
- Check Thatch Levels
- Seeding and Sodding in the Fall
- Clear Falling Leaves
- Organic lawn care
- Spring and summer maintenance
- Autumn and winter maintenance
- 9 Lawn Care Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lawn
- 1.Cleaning Lawn
- 2.Grass Scarification
- 3.Aeration of Lawn
- 4.Topdressing Lawn
- 5.Renovate or Replenish a Lawn
- 6.Mulching The Lawn
- 7.Mowing the Lawn
- 8.Fertilize Lawn
- 9.Watering The Lawn
- How to Take Care of New Sod Lawn
- Lawn Care during Drought
- Bonus: Best Practices to Take Care of Lawn
- Lawn Care Calendar for a Beautiful Lawn
When Grass Stops Growing, It’s the Last Mow of the Season!
It’s about that time of year when we prepare our plants for the chilly winter ahead. Not only will the garden look tidy throughout winter, but your plants will spring into a healthy growing season next year.
As you start running down your fall checklist, don’t forget to give your lawn some love. Mowing at the end of the fall season is one of the best ways to bring your hardy, green grass back for another great year.
Don’t have a pre-winter plan for your lawn yet? No problem! Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to mow near the end of the grass-cutting season.
3 Must-Know Facts about the Last Grass Cut of the Fall Before Winter
Trimming your turf right before winter helps keep it healthy throughout the colder months. Without a pre-winter cut, lawns can develop a moldy fungus. Keep your grass looking good by mowing it to the right height at the right time with sharp blades. And fertilizing! Fall is the most important time to fertilize the lawn.
When does grass stop growing?
If the weather is warm enough, grass keeps sprouting. Generally, the cutoff point comes when temperatures drop below 50°F during the day. Usually, that’s late October or early November, but some warm areas may push that date back to the beginning of December.
What’s the last time I should cut grass before winter?
See when you’ll get the first frost of the season. Then, plan to mow your lawn two or three times before then, slowly reducing the blade’s height each time.
How short should I cut grass this fall? What’s the best grass height for winter?
Ultimately, your lawn should be about 2 to 2 ½ inches high by wintertime. That’s the “sweet spot” because it’s not too tall to invite snow mold, but not too short to be stressed out by cold weather.
As you get your lawn down to its ideal height, avoid cutting too much at one time. A good rule of thumb is to never clip more than one-third of the grass height in one mow. Spread the trims out, so you condition the lawn to withstand a shorter height.
Wondering when grass stops growing? I was too. I was reeeeeallly looking forward to putting the lawnmower away for the winter. Here’s what I’ve learned over the past few years about the seasonal grass growth cycle and what needs to happen for grass to stop growing.
Grass stops growing in the fall when daytime temperatures tend to stay below 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (5-10 degrees Celsius). While it remains alive at temperatures below this range, growth is far too slow to require regular mowing.
In Canada and the Northern States, cooler temperatures in late October and November generally cause grass growth rates to slow to a halt. Even hot summer temperatures can cause grass to stop growing. There’s a lot that can affect your lawn!
Why Does Grass Stop Growing?
Grass stops growing when it’s not getting the things it needs to grow normally. Grass needs heat, light, water, and nutrients to grow. If it can’t get what it needs, it goes on vacation (dormancy…). Dormancy protects the grass from environmental extremes (especially in temperature).
Grass stops growing if the temperature is too hold or too hot. It stops growing if it can’t get sunlight due to snow, leaf cover, or even short winter days. The roots of grass plants need both air and water. Grass plants will stop growing if they can’t get air and water.
Effect of Air and Soil Temperature on Grass Growth
Grass stops growing in the fall when temperatures consistently remain between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (5-10 degrees Celsius). While grass can actually grow right down to freezing air temperatures (albeit slowly), it grows much better above the 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit range.
Keep in mind that the soil doesn’t instantly adjust to the same temperature as the air. Soil temperature takes time to drop, and soil temperature affects dormancy. Due to this factor and the other complex factors affecting grass growth, it’s not reasonable to expect grass to stop growing instantly when the weather report predicts 40 degrees Fahrenheit air temperatures. But 40 degrees Fahrenheit is a pretty reliable rule of thumb.
Grass Growth Patterns Throughout the Year
As the soil warms up in the spring, perennial grass plants have nice long roots full of energy they stored up in the fall. Grass plants use this energy to put on a burst of growth during the spring.
Grass grows fast in late spring and early summer due to the nice warm temperatures and available sunlight. Mid-summer can bring short periods of dormancy during drought conditions, but grass can also grow well if it has adequate water and sunlight. By late summer, growth starts to be restricted as temperatures drop and sunlight is less available.
Temperature has a major impact on the growth of temperate forage grasses, such as perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne).
Astrid Wingler, and Deirdre Hennessy, Limitation of Grassland Productivity by Low Temperature and Seasonality of Growth, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962554/
As autumn rolls around, temperatures become better for grass. Blades of grass start to grow nicely again during crisp fall days when the air is between about 55-75 °F (13-23 °C). The grass also gets going on growing those long roots that store up nutrients over winter for the spring burst of growth.
Further Reading: Check out this study of grass growth in Ireland. The authors Wingler & Hennessy discuss environmental factors that limit growth at different times of the year.
The Dormant Lawn
Lawns naturally take a bit of a vacation during periods of heat and drought. Cool-season lawns slow their growth rates down to a halt to survive harsh times. Grass dormancy happens during hot/dry summer periods and during cold winter months.
“Seasonal dormancy is an adaptive mechanism where plants suspend growth and become physiologically inactive to avoid extreme environmental conditions. Environmental factors like temperature, photoperiod, nutrients, and soil moisture control plant growth and development through various complex molecular mechanisms.”
During periods of dormancy, grass blades turn a brown or tan colour. Beware that it can be easy to mistake a dormant lawn for a dead lawn.
When Does Grass Go Dormant?
Grass goes dormant when there is not enough moisture and warmth to sustain regular growth. Typically grasses drop into dormancy for the winter when the air temperature is consistently between 40-55 degrees Fahrenheit (5-12 degrees Celsius).
When grass stops growing in the fall, it turns its attention and energy to building cold hardiness. The grass plants make chemicals which help them survive the harsh cold of winter. The grass plants put their effort into surviving the cold rather than growing lovely long green blades.
Dormant Lawn vs. Dead Lawn
A dormant lawn is therefore not a dead lawn. Grass can still photosynthesize at below-freezing temperatures as long as there is CO2 and some sunlight available. There is still evapotranspiration going on during wintertime. The grass isn’t dead, it’s just sleeping.
This is all assuming you have planted perennial grass (grass that comes back alive every spring). There are annual types of grass that are included in some grass mixes. They germinate quickly but don’t come back after winter. So yes, those particular plants are quite possibly dead. Read more about choosing the best grass seed in this article.
How Long Will Grass Stay Dormant During Temperature Extremes?
Healthy, established grasses can happily stay dormant during summer drought and winter cold. The length of time that they can survive dormancy depends on the type of grass and how healthy it is (yay for strong, deep roots!). Some grass can survive up to a month of drought dormancy in the summer. Grass has an easier time with winter dormancy, as lawns can stay dormant for months under a blanket of snow.
Mowing Grass Before Winter
In our area and in many parts of North America, it’s not necessary to mow the lawn in the months between November and March. The grass grows so slowly when temperatures are just above freezing, it’s often better for the grass just to let it be.
Because of the months of not mowing, it can be helpful to try and plan out your last lawn mowing before winter. In the early fall, the grass should be growing at a regular pace, and it can be mowed at a regular pace. Mow frequently until the grass stops growing. When the grass stops growing, it’s time to park the mower for the winter.
I mow my lawn grass to 3 inches high while the grass is actively growing in the fall (I like the lawn mowing tips from the University of Minnesota Extension). I have changed the height a little bit at the end of the season in previous years, to a 2 ½ inch height, but I don’t anymore. I’m not sure it’s worth the risk of having the short grass exposed to a cold snap.
Further Reading: For more about mowing grass before winter, here’s a good article about keeping your lawnmower at 3 inches high for the last cut of the year.
I do try and time the last cut so that it’s just as the grass has gone dormant. This can be tricky, because it’s gotta be done before the freeze. It’s one of those hard-to-predict seasonal chores. Pretty much…I just wait for the grass to stop growing and then I stop cutting it. Nothing fancy….
I follow the one-third rule (never clip off more than one-third of the grass height in one mow). Same goes for not mowing wet grass (or frozen grass). If its below 40 degrees out (5 degrees Celsius), it’s too cold to mow. Wait for the lawn to warm up and dry out a bit.
Other Lawn Care Tips to Consider When Grass Stops Growing
There will be lots to do even as the lawnmower gets put away due to the cold. There will still be some late-falling leaves to rake up, and there’s always the fun of composting autumn leaves.
One year we got a warm spell in mid-December, and I thought about mowing. I’m glad I didn’t…the lawn was fine. I think I would mow if we had a really extended warm and dry spell, but I haven’t yet had the experience of our lawn “waking up” in the middle of winter (thankfully!).
Other fall lawn care tasks to consider include aerating and/or de-thatching (power raking), but only if your lawn needs it. Read about more fall garden tasks in this article.
Outgoing links in this post may be affiliate links in which this site receives a portion of sales at no extra cost.
8 Fall Lawn Care Tips
Fall may not seem like an ideal time to think about lawn care, considering that your grass will go dormant for the winter. However, autumn is a critical time to groom your lawn for beautiful growth next spring. Fall’s cool and moist weather helps grassroots develop much better than in summer, and taking advantage of this growing period will pay big dividends next year. Here are eight fall lawn care steps that’ll help make your lawn dazzle next year:
- Keep mowing. Grass doesn’t stop growing until it frosts over in winter, so there’s no reason to stop mowing come autumn. Continue cutting your grass at its normal height until it stops growing. Once you call it quits for the season, you’ll need to winterize your mower. This includes sharpening the blades, changing the oil and spark plugs, inspecting the mower for damage, and cleaning the air filter. Our Lawn Mower Maintenance services can help you with this. Safety first!
- Water when needed. Autumn rain results in less evaporation, providing plenty of natural moisture for the grass to sustain itself. Even so, you should keep tabs on how much water your grass is getting with a rain gauge. If the lawn isn’t getting one inch or more of moisture per week, you should water it. See our lawn irrigation tips for more details.
- Rake often. When leaves fall on your lawn, they block out sunlight and can prevent plants from making food. Additionally, the soggy moisture they hold can lead to lawn fungi. Raking also helps remove any thatch that may have built up. A leaf blower or vacuum won’t remove thatch, so it’s important to use a traditional rake occasionally. Start raking as soon as the leaves fall in order to keep these passageways open. Even after the leaves stop falling, you should continue to rake as the wind blows them onto your property. Raking once a week isn’t too hard right?
- Now is the time to think about aeration. Over the summer, your lawn has probably suffered from some degree of soil compaction and heat stress. These two problems often cause most (if not all) of the brown or thinned grass you may have experienced last season. Aeration is the process of removing soil plugs from a yard in order to free up passageways for precious nutrients to reach the grassroots, nutrients they often struggle to bring in under compaction and stress. Aerating in the fall will help your lawn be green and healthy for the next year. This task is most effective when professional machinery is used, and our exclusive Turf Tamer equipment can help your lawn recover and turn lusher than ever next spring.
- Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If you want your lawn to look better and be healthier, fertilize in the fall. This process will give your lawn plenty of nutrients to get it through the winter and help the grass grow stronger in spring. As a result, fall is the single most important time of year to fertilize for a healthy lawn. If you decide to aerate in the fall, you should fertilize soon afterward in order to ensure that the nutrients will reach deeper into the soil.
- Seed to fill in bare and burned spots. As we’ve mentioned, many patches of lawn can die during the summertime, so it’s a good idea to reseed those areas with the right grasses. Keep in mind, however, that seeds that don’t touch the soil won’t germinate, and it can be difficult to cover an area of grass thoroughly. Contact us if you want a power seeding that will make your yard look brand new. Power seeding is the process in which seeds are literally sewn into the ground.
- Keep up with lawn pest control. Insects that live in your lawn now can cause serious problems once it starts growing after winter ends. If you notice a lawn pest problem on your grass, take care of it in early fall to limit the damage. You can apply a pesticide, or reach out to us to identify and eliminate lawn pests, such as grubs and armyworms. Fall is also an excellent time to eliminate many types of weeds, so weed control is a beneficial activity as well.
- Keep a Tight Schedule. All of these fall lawn care steps must be performed like clockwork. If you seed and fertilize too close to winter, the soil won’t be able to take in nutrients. Aerate while it’s still too hot out, and the process will not be nearly as effective. The key to a healthy lawn next year is a tight fall lawn care schedule. If you struggle to find time to work on your lawn this fall—or if you’d like to put your yard in expert hands—our lawn aeration service and power seeding can get your lawn in the best shape of its life when spring arrives again.
These fall lawn care tips can help prepare your lawn for the next year. For professional fall lawn maintenance, we provide personalized services and application choices to help your lawn be the best it can. Get a free quote for your personalized fall lawn care services today.
Fall Lawn Care: Aerate heavy soil
If you have heavy, clay-rich soil, it’s really important to aerate. Forget those gadgets that look like golf spikes that you strap to your shoes; rent a power aerator from any rental center for around $40 a day. The aerator extracts plugs from your lawn and topsoil to loosen compacted coil and break up thatch. Your lawn will look like a mess when you’re through but don’t worry, the plugs will dissolve in a few days. Don’t bother aerating if you have sandy soil–you’re just wasting your time. The time to aerate in colder climates is after dew begins forming in August. If you live in warmer, or more arid states aerate in the spring before warm-climate grasses go dormant in mid-summer. Mow your lawn and water it the day before aerating. Make two passes across the lawn with the aerating machine, perpendicular to each other, so that the aeration holes are spaced 2-3 in. apart.
Reseed bare patches
Reseeding Your Lawn
Reseed your lawn in late summer/early fall. Make this apart of your fall lawn care routine
Late summer and early fall is the best time to reseed those dead areas. Summer is just too hot for the seed to thrive. Water the new seed a couple of times a day until the grass is around 1-1/2 in. high. Don’t use normal fertilizers, however. Use a product like Scotts Starter Fertilizer, which is designed for new grass. Spread the seed so that you have around 15 seeds per square inch. Don’t overdo it or the grass won’t thrive due to overcrowding.
Fertilize in the fall
Don’t Skip the Fall Fertilizer Application
Use a broadcast spreader for a more consistent coverage.
When to Fertilize in Fall
Well after the grass appears brown and dormant, the roots are still hard at work absorbing nutrients and moisture. Just as bears gorge themselves before hibernating, your grass is storing up reserves to make it through the winter and thrive in the spring.
Set your broadcast spreader for half the recommended setting on the bag. Then make a “header strip” around the perimeter of the lawn. Next fertilize the entire lawn first in one direction, then the other (just as you did with the aerator). Be sure the shut off the spreader as you reach the spreader strip or you’ll over-fertilize the grass at the end of each pass.
Top 5 fertilizing tips
- Fill the spreader in the driveway, not on the lawn. You’re sure to spill and kill all of the grass that’s overexposed.
- Read and follow the coverage settings on the bag. You’re far better off under-fertilizing than over-fertilizing.
- Rinse out the spreader after use with a garden hose before putting it away. All of the metal parts will rust and freeze up if you don’t.
- Seal partial bags of fertilizer with duct tape and store them in a dry place. Otherwise, you’ll have a solid block of fertilizer next time you want to use it.
- If you’ve reseeded some areas, cover them with plastic before fertilizing the main lawn so you won’t burn the new seedlings.
Rake and mow
Cut Your Grass Short
The last mowing of the season, cut your grass shorter than normal.
Get out that rake and remove all of those dead leaves before the snow flies. Otherwise they’ll be sodden mats in the spring and smother the sprouting grass below. (Plus it’s lots easier to rake dry leaves!)
Just this one time of the year, set your mower to cut 1-1/2 or 2-in. and mow your grass short. That’ll do a couple of things. First it’ll lessen the chance of snow mold forming. And secondly, tall grass blades won’t lie down and smother the new grass next spring.
Major lawn-care manufacturers, such as Scott’s, have a full line of fall lawn care fertilizers and other products to help you make your lawn the greenest yard in the neighborhood come spring.
Prepare Your Yard for the Winter Through Proper Fall Lawn Care
When the air turns cooler and the grass begins to grow more slowly it can seem like your lawn care work is over for the season. The truth is, fall is one of the most important times for lawn care.
If you take the time to care for your lawn properly during the early fall, it will have a better chance to be healthier when it begins to grow again the following spring. There are several ways you can boost your lawn’s performance just before it goes dormant for the winter.
Fall Lawn Care Differs Depending on Type of Grass
Specific fall lawn care can change depending on what type of grass is predominant in your lawn. Most lawns in North America are made from either warm season grasses or cool season grasses. It is important that you identify which type of grass you have before you begin your fall lawn care efforts.
Common warm season grasses include:
- Zoysia grass
- Bermuda grass
- Buffalo grass
- Carpet grass
- St. Augustine grass
Common cool season grasses include:
Need Help With Your Lawn?
- Red Fescue
- Perennial Ryegrass
- Annual Ryegrass
- Kentucky bluegrass
Fertilize in the Fall
Since most of the grasses that are traditionally used in lawns throughout North America were brought to the region from Europe, they require fertilization to provide the nutrients they would have received naturally in their original climates.
Warm weather grasses don’t require as much care in the fall as cool season grasses do because the warm weather grasses go dormant more quickly.
To maintain a healthy cool season lawn, add fertilizer during the early fall to replace the nutrients that were lost over the warm summer months.
The fertilizer will also stimulate the growth of new root systems during the dormant winter months, which will cause the grass to grow more thickly in the spring.
Fall Weed Control
Fall is the best time to control broad leaf weeds that can mar a beautiful lawn in the spring. Dandelions and clover tend to prepare for the winter months by pulling all of the nutrients from their leaves down into their roots.
Autumn is an ideal time to use an herbicide because the poison will be drawn down into the roots along with the plant’s leafy nutrients.
If you treat your weed problem in the fall, you will notice a dramatic difference in the amount of weeds that pop up once the weather turns warm again. Don’t worry about any brown spots that might appear where the weeds were. Healthy grass will quickly fill in the dead spots.
Check Thatch Levels
The fall is also when you need to check the amount of thatch that has built up in your yard over the summer. Thatch is composed of dead grass clippings, clumped root systems, and other collections of tightly packed greenery that can choke your lawn and keep it from thriving.
The best way to see how much thatch has developed is to use a shovel and dig a small cross section from the top of your lawn. If there is more than an inch of thatch built up, you will need to aerate the lawn to give the grass more room to grow.
Aerators can be purchased or rented from any local home improvement store, or you can hire an aeration service.
Seeding and Sodding in the Fall
Lawns that are seeded or sodded in the fall will be the healthiest in the spring. The best thing you can do for your lawn is give it plenty of time to grow and develop deep root systems.
If you plant your seeds in the fall, they will have all winter to germinate and begin to grow. Planting seeds in the spring or summer means that they will try to grow more quickly, which can make the lawn sparse.
Sodding in the fall allows the root system to develop much more slowly and deliberately than sodding in the spring, which means your yard will be green and lush earlier the following season.
Clear Falling Leaves
Sometimes it can seem like a losing battle, but it is important for your lawn that you continue to clear falling leaves away as often as possible.
Stacks of dead leaves will shield your grass from the sun and cause it to die fairly quickly. Moist dead leaves can also lead to diseases and mold that can be very harmful to your lawn. Clear the leaves away at least once a week for the best results.
Dead leaves make excellent organic compost that can be used to fertilize your lawn once it has decomposed properly.
Organic lawn care
Spring and summer maintenance
What to do
Ideal growing conditions are vital for organic lawn management. If the grass is flourishing, it should overcome weeds and be more resistant to drought, pests and diseases.
- In early spring, gently rake the grass with a spring-tined rake, taking care not to tear it. This removes winter debris and lifts grass and weed foliage for efficient cutting.
- Bare patches attract weeds, so re-sow them in spring. Fork the soil to break it up, then firm and level it before applying an appropriate grass seed. Cover with fleece or polythene to keep the birds off and water regularly.
- Another method for covering bare patches is to use a strip of lawn from a rich growing area to patch the bare area (you’ll need to re-sow the area where it came from). It’s always worth re-seeding an area in the shade with a mixture specifically selected to thrive in such sites.
- Mow grass when it’s just over 1cm (0.5in) higher than you want it. These mowing heights apply to the following types of lawn: general purpose lawn in spring, autumn or drought, 3cm (1.25in); general purpose lawn in summer, 2.5cm (1in); fine lawn in spring, autumn or drought, 2cm (0.75in); and fine lawn in summer, 1.5cm (0.5in). Avoid scalping the grass because this encourages moss and weakens the grass.
- When you cut the grass during the spring and summer, leave the clippings on the lawn. As they decompose, they release up to 30 per cent of the lawn’s required nutrients. Remove the clippings from the lawn at the beginning and end of the growing season when decomposition is slow.
- To discourage perennial weeds, dig them out regularly with a narrow trowel. Encourage clover because it collects nitrogen from the air and releases it from root nodules to the growing grass. To build up clover, oversow with clover seed ‘Kent Wild White’ during spring, at the rate of 5g per square metre.
- If necessary, feed the lawn in spring or summer with slow-release organic fertilisers. Municipal compost is excellent for this while seaweed extract, applied as a foliar feed, will green up your lawn. Avoid overfeeding as this causes lush growth that’s prone to disease.
- To thicken up a poor quality or worn lawn, rake up debris and sow again in April. Cut the grass then rake hard to remove dead moss and debris. Sow seed over the existing grass, around 25g per square metre. Rake gently, then roll the lawn. Apply an organic fertiliser and water in well. When the grass is 5cm (2in) high, cut again.
- If possible, install a proper path or stepping stones to avoid any excessive wear and tear. Keep off the lawn in winter when it’s wet and frosty.
Autumn and winter maintenance
Compaction, poor drainage, acidity, shade, too close mowing, underfeeding and drought can all encourage moss to take over. Maintaining the lawn in autumn will help to treat this problem and will give the lawn a head start in spring.
- To remove dead growth or thatch from a lawn, use a spring-tined rake or a powered scarifier, which you can hire. The process of scarifying will stimulate the grass to produce runners and side shoots, which will thicken up the lawn. The growth and thatch removed can be added to the compost heap.
- Aerate the soil at least once every three years, especially in September when the soil is moist. Do this by making holes in the soil, either with a fork or a hollow-tined fork, which removes a plug of soil. This will allow water to drain from the surface of the lawn and prevent the growth of moss.
- After scarifying and aerating, spread a thin top-dressing of bulky organic material over the lawn. This gradually improves soil structure. The top-dressing mixture for a heavy soil comprises one part leaf-mould or coir, two parts loam and four parts sand. For a medium soil the ratio is 1:4:2 and a sandy soil, 2:4:1. Evenly spread the mixture at around 1.6kg per square metre and work it well into the surface with a broom or rake.
- An alternative to top-dressing is to spread a thin layer of autumn leaves over the lawn and mow them well, with the grass box off the lawnmower. Two cuts may be needed.
- If you need a new lawnmower, you could consider buying a mulching mower. This chops grass cuttings finely, then distributes them down into the lawn, where they rapidly disappear.
Who doesn’t want a healthy and beautiful lawn? It is one of the most desirable things of those who have eyes. But it is impossible to achieve a clean, thick and green lawn without regular care and maintenances.
Don’t worry! you don’t need to spend all your time maintaining a lawn. Only you have to know what steps you should take and when?
In this article, I have discussed how to take care of a lawn and also have added a lawn care calendar that will help to tell what work you have to do all year round.
9 Lawn Care Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lawn
Rake your lawn to remove the yellowed grass and leaves. This will allow a faster recovery or greening of the lawn. The very beginning of spring (usually in April, depending on the year) is a good time to weeding and cleaning the grass.
- Manually(by hand): after putting on a pair of gloves, go hunting for moss or weeds and pull them out manually
- A Weeder Knife: Ideal for small areas and short grass.
After removing weeds, sometimes the foam appears on the lawn. Why does foam appear on the lawn? It may be moss. Here are the factors that promote the appearance of moss in turf :
- Shadow and lack of sunshine;
- Poorly ventilated soil;
- Soil low in potash, magnesium or calcium;
- Excessive acidity.
How to eliminate the foams?
– Apply a defoamer on the affected areas.
– Leave for 10 to 15 days then scarify the grass.
Eco-friendly option: Why not leave it in the most remote places? It is a plant like any other. The presence of foam reveals dense and acidic soil. Make holes with a pitchfork every 50 cm, fill them with coarse sand.
It is a barbaric term, but essential work for the good health of your lawn. For aeration, nothing like better than the scarification. It refers to removing thatch (loose, intermingled and dead parts of grasses) and aerating the surface layer of soil; it facilitates rootwork. Note that scarification is also an excellent way to fight the proliferation of moss.
Best Time for Scarification
Mid-April and September is the best time to scarify a lawn. Don’t scarify when the grass is not thriving. It damages your lawn.
3.Aeration of Lawn
The roots of the grass need air to breathe and grow properly. The soil of a lawn is not sandy enough to allow the roots to get enough air (oxygen), which delays the growth.
Aeration refers to perforating the soil with pony holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grassroots. It should be done for the roots to grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
Importance of Soil Aeration
This practice allows:
- Better infiltration of water and nutrients.
- Increase the level of oxygen in the soil.
- Better decomposition of organic matter and enhance the activity of soil micro-organisms.
- It helps to root the development of grasses.
How to Aerate Lawn?
- Apply 1 inch of water to soften your lawn.
- Push a mechanical aerator on your lawn when the soil is slightly wet.
- Make holes in the lawn and insert coarse sand.
- Leave plugs of soil on the ground so they can be used as topdressing. It is recommended to break them up and distribute the soil evenly on the grass with a rake.
You can buy a best-rated aerator or use the services of a professional.
What Are The Ideal Times For Aeration?
Spring and autumn ideal time for aeration. Avoid aeration on the frozen or soggy ground.
Topdressing involves a thin layer (1 cm or less) of soil mixture that is spread to the surface of the lawn. Topdressing improves the texture of the soil, promotes the work of earthworms, improves microbial activity in the soil, and makes the grass more resistant.
Why Should We Topdressing Our Lawn?
- To gradually improve the quality of the soil.
- Repair damaged areas.
- Increase the density of the lawn.
- Stimulate the decomposition of organic matter.
- Change the soil structure.
Which Substrate to Use for Topdressing?
Compost, garden soil, sand, and peat moss can be used together.
Ideal Times for Topdressing
Spring and autumn are good times for topdressing.
Resource: How to Topdress a Lawn
5.Renovate or Replenish a Lawn
Sowing can be done in the spring, from March to May. It’s also an excellent time to replenish a damaged lawn. To repair areas where the lawn is damaged, we use a re-grinding turf. It allows easy and quick replacement of surfaces where the earth appears.
Renovation of the Lawn with Turf
- First, you have to prepare the soil, scratching the soil slightly where you want to sow. You can easily do with hand claw (small areas) or a rake. Remove the dead and surplus lawn.
- If necessary, adjust the ground level and apply some peat moss
- Sowing the seed
- Water the renovated area thoroughly and keep it moist for the first 15 days.
- Mow when your lawn reaches 7.5 cm for small areas.
Note: Average 65 to 100% of the water needs of a sustainable lawn are filled by natural precipitation. Lawns require only about 2.5 cm of water per week.
The turf grows very fast. In a few weeks, the bare areas start to become green. Your lawn should look better! Let pass a few more weeks before mowing.
This process can be done at any time of the season. If you think about additional watering, The ideal times is spring and autumn.
In prolonged periods of drought, grass goes dormant and turns yellow but not dead; they do not need extra watering. Once the precipitation returns, it will return to regular appearance.
Resource: How To Renovating the Lawn
6.Mulching The Lawn
Mulching is the distribution of a special fertile mixture of organic matter or inorganic substances on the surface of the soil to improve the availability of nutrition and reduce the evaporation of moisture from the soil.
Mulch mixtures generally contain sand, peat, and fertile soil mixed in different proportions, sometimes with the addition of leaf humus. Though it varies depending on the soil type.
Why It is necessary to maintain a healthy lawn?
- Mulching prevents the evaporation of moisture from the soil.
- Protects roots from freezing in the winter cold.
- Regulates the level of acidity of the soil.
- Enriches the soil with useful substances and nutrients.
- Prevent weeds from growing in the lawn.
When to mulching the lawn?
Once a year, usually at the beginning of autumn, after mowing and cleaning. It is equally important to add the soil to the lawn once every five years in spring or autumn. Sprinkling soil with organic fertilizers(7-10 kg per 1 m²) that will improve the tillering of herbs.
7.Mowing the Lawn
Mow at 7.5 cm (3 in.) or even a little higher and leave residues in place. It works as food for the lawn. Do not always pass in the same direction. Change directions each time you mow. Never mow in hot weather. If possible, mow every three days (or at best once a week) to invigorate the lawn.
For areas of 150 to 200 m2 manual mowing is preferable, because the motorized mowing destroys 90% of the life which is nestled (insects, snails, lizards, shrews).
How often Mow The Lawn?
Mowing the lawn is done once every 1-2 weeks so that the grass gets the time to grow and transmit energy for the development of the root system.
Resource: How to Mow a Lawn
Mowing the lawn eliminates all its nutrients, nutrients that need to obtain optimal growth. So from the beginning of spring, you must fertilize the lawn every four or five weeks. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are needed, and special lawn fertilizer blends are readily available in the fertilizer stores. It is advisable to use a spreader to ensure even distribution of the fertilizer.
Resource: How to Fertilize a Lawn
9.Watering The Lawn
If you want your lawn to stay lush and green all summer, watering is essential. How often to water your lawn depends on the temperature and humidity. When the grass needs water, its color starts to be blue-grey and the oldest limbs begin to curl or fade. If you have planted a new lawn, you usually need to water it once a day to allow the seeds to germinate and well root development. Watering the lawn is now possible with a minimum of hassle. You can water your garden manually or using automatic sprinklers.
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To Water My Lawn?
You should water your lawn in the early morning, between 5 am and 10 am, or in the early evening. Don’t water your lawn at night. It causes many diseases. Remain the wet lawn for a long period to enhance the growth of fungus. The best time for watering in the early morning. Because lack of evaporation, low wind, high humidity, and morning dew helps to prevent some diseases and quick dry of your lawn.
Resource: How To Water Your Lawn
How to Take Care of New Sod Lawn
Sod lawn needs more care because of its developing shallow roots. Without proper care of the new sod lawn, it turns yellow. Here is a video that will help you to learn how to take care of new sod lawn:
Lawn Care during Drought
In extreme heat conditions, with prolonged periods without precipitation, it is important to remember that your lawn is stressed. In this situation, it is best to let the grass become dormant.
Several types of grass survive in hot, dry weather, including Manila grass, Bermuda grass, St Augustine grass, Bison grass, Bahia grass, and Fescues. They become dormant in dry weather, no longer needing food or water. When the rain and cooler temperatures come back, your lawn will turn green and healthy.
Remember the following tips during a drought:
- Do not apply herbicide, fertilizer.
- Do not cut more than one-third of the grass height. When grass height is higher, it provides more shade on the ground, allowing your lawn to develop deeper roots.
- Leave the cut grass on your lawn as mulch that maintains the moisture of your lawn.
- In arid regions, where every drop of water is valuable, consider planting drought-tolerant grass species. Also, you can cover the lawn as much as possible with drought-tolerant plants.
After Drought Yellowed Lawn Turn Green Again?
YES. During a period of drought, grasses stop growing due to dormancy. The lawn may be completely yellowed for a few weeks, but after sufficient rain or as soon as the weather returns to normal, it will turn green again. However, during this period, avoid any unnecessary traffic on the lawn.
Bonus: Best Practices to Take Care of Lawn
Try to apply a blend of 100% natural or organic fertilizer in spring or late summer. Watch your lawn first. If you like it, no need to add fertilizer
A lawn cut to 8 cm (3 in.) Prevents the germination of most weeds, makes watering more efficient and promotes root development. Mow the lawn regularly with sharp blades and never cut more than one-third of the height at a time.
Do Not Pick Up-Cut Grass
Leave the residues in your lawn for a few days. Mowed turf contains a lot of minerals, which can reduce the amount of fertilizer by 30%.
Do Some Testing
Inspect your lawn and find the cause of the problems you are having. Know that 90% of insects are beneficial and can naturally control occasional parasites. Do not hesitate to inform yourself before taking any action to eliminate these insects.
Lawn Care Calendar for a Beautiful Lawn
How to take care of your lawn in the winter, in fall or in summer? It is the burning question to the homeowners. Because good practices help reduce insect and disease and limiting weed growth.
Here’s a practical calendar to tell you what work to do year-round.
- Remove the trash and dry grass.
- Do not walk on wet grass.
- Level the land with good garden soil.
- Perform aeration and ventilation.
- Renovate the lawn.
- After the first or second mowing, feed with complex fertilizer.
- Water the lawn immediately after top dressing. Do not feed the lawn in hot, dry weather.
- Get rid of weeds.
- In the middle or at the end of the month, carry out the second top dressing.
- Water 1-2 times in a week.
- In dry weather, Water 2-3 times in a week.
- In the middle of the month, apply fertilizer.
- If signs of fungal diseases are detected, treat with fungicides.
- In the first half of the month, top-dressing your lawn if necessary.
- Remove the weeds.
- At signs of the disease, re-treat with fungicides.
- In dry weather, regularly water the lawn.
- Carry out aeration, sanding, liming.
- Remove fallen and dry leaves.
The autumn-winter season is a time of complete rest. At temperatures below 5 ° C, the grass stops growing. So, don’t walk on the lawn until it is covered with a thick layer of snow.
Whatever the condition of your lawn today, maintain the tips that we discussed. I wish you were a beautiful lawn. And someday your colleague will ask you how your lawn is so green, healthy and beautiful. Don’t forget to mention the “How to Take Care Lawn” article with your friends.
Stay Green! Be Green!