Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that we must admit that summer has gone, and even chillier days are ahead. While you might be looking forward to quiet evenings spent indoors with a hot cocoa or a hot toddy, (either with a few shots of some bourbon to help the warming bit) there is still some important work to be done in your yard before winter begins to set in. The long cold days with little sun and occasional snow covering can be hard on your yard, but if you put in the work now, you’ll see your landscaping bounce back quickly come spring.
Aerating your yard is a too often neglected task that can go a long way to sustaining a healthy yard, as well as helping a struggling patch of grass bounce back. Aeration is basically the process of breaking up the tufted layers of thatch, compacted dead clippings, that have built up in your yard, allowing your living grass to breath more. It also works to loosen your top soil to allow for a more efficient absorption of water and fertilizer. There are two different types of aerators, spike and plug. A spike aerator is pretty much what it sounds like, a spike or series of spikes that pokes holes in your yard. This works, but has the disadvantage of further compacting the soil in some spots around where the spikes penetrate. It’s much better to use a plug aerator, which removes plugs of soil, allowing for the soil to be still be broken up, while avoiding the compaction of the spikes.
Weed, Seed, and Fertilize
This is an excellent chance to go through and remove any remaining weeds from your lawn. With the lower temperatures and reduced sunlight of fall, most invasive weeds will already be weakened and easier to remove by the root. Once this is done, you can reseed your yard with hardy species that will begin to sprout now and survive through the winter months to give your yard a head start in the spring. To help this along, you’ll also want to apply a fertilization treatment. Make sure it’s a formulation for fall/winter application, providing nutrients to your grass for the long months ahead. This is also a great time to apply a pre-emergent weed treatment, that will proactively protect your yard from early sprouting hardy weeds that will be ready to jump up as your planted grass begins to weaken.
You may think your mowing days are done, but depending on the weather we get, your grass is likely to continue growing, albeit slower, through November. You won’t need to mow as often, but keep an eye on the grass and keep it to the optimal height for the grass mix you have planted. Again, this will be highly variable based on the weather and varieties of grass you have, so this will require some monitoring. You may want to consult with a specialist if you aren’t sure about the particular needs of your yard.
Clear Sprinkler Systems
Finally, if you have any kind of sprinkler system preparing it for winter will be crucial. If water isn’t cleared from the system, it can freeze and expand, causing lasting and expensive damage. You’ll need to cut water off to the system and then blow it out following the manufacturer’s directions for your specific sprinkler system. With that done, insulate your shut off and backflow valves.
This is an excellent start to preparing your yard for success over the winter months. Take the time to complete these tasks and you can relax for the remainder of the season. Just pay the neighbor kids to shovel the snow. If you’d like any help with your winter preparations, don’t forget our yard specialists are at the ready, even in these colder months, so don’t hesitate to call us today!