That time of year is finally here! You know what we’re talking about—sweater weather, changing leaves, a certain crispness to the air. Fall is also when gardeners start to put their landscapes to bed, and a necessary task is checking out your weed situation. Unfortunately, weeds are a persistent problem all gardeners will face; however, there are a few handy practices to incorporate into your fall lawn care routine that help minimize those leafy pests as best as possible. Read on for our fall lawn care tips to help prevent weeds for the following growing season.
Fall Lawn Care
One of the best ways to prevent weeds is to ensure you’ve given your lawn its best chance at fending for itself. The stronger your lawn is, the less likely weeds will even have a chance to germinate. The following checklist is a handy reference for proper fall lawn care.
1. Mow Regularly
Make sure your fall lawn is put to bed at the right height to keep your grass growing strong. Grass shouldn’t be any higher than 2 ½ inches before the snow flies. Grass that’s left too high can get flattened and damaged, leaving you with more work after the snow melts.
It’s not uncommon for patches of grass to die during the summer months, whether it be from a sweltering week of weather or because your dog chose a favorite spot to relieve itself on. Dethatching your lawn in the fall helps clear away any damaged grass, which gives you a jump start on your spring lawn care tasks.
3. Aerate and Overseed
Aerating in the fall is excellent lawn care because your grass will have a chance to breathe before it recedes into dormancy. It’s also a good idea to overseed after you’ve aerated. The seeds will germinate under the snow, giving your lawn a head start towards healthy growth in spring.
Make sure you use an appropriate fall fertilizer, specifically one that’s high in phosphorus. Phosphorus is the most beneficial nutrient for strong root growth, which is what you want your grass to focus on when it’s dormant. A slow-release fertilizer with a ratio of 12-25-12 of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is your best bet.
By doing these things, your fall lawn is given the best care it can get before it goes dormant, and weeds will be far less of a problem.
Post-emergent herbicides are used to control existing weeds and can be quite effective as part of your fall lawn care routine. You must identify the type of weed you’re dealing with as different post-emergent herbicides are used on specific weeds. It’s also necessary to note that while herbicides effectively kill weeds, they can also be just as effective at killing anything else they touch. You don’t want to end up doing more damage to your lawn than good!
Post-emergent formulas have two different application types: systemic or contact. Systemic herbicides are absorbed by the weed and move throughout it, killing it from roots to stem. Contact herbicides only kill the exposed part of the weed; however, depending on the weed, killing off the foliage could be all that’s needed to destroy it.
There are two classifications of post-emergent herbicides: selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides target certain weeds and are best for areas where contact with grass and other vegetation is unavoidable. Non-selective herbicides are used for broad weed control in places where it’s less critical if grass and other plants are damaged
Once you identify the types of weeds you’re dealing with, it will be easy to determine if you want a systemic or contact herbicide; however, we recommend only using selective herbicides on your lawn.
At Ted Lare , we offer professional fall landscaping maintenance packages that include services such as weeding, fertilizing, mulching, and much more. Allow us to take out the guesswork of weed control and prevention for you! Visit us in-store and let us assist you with your fall lawn care today.