Green Fingers I Wish

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fall Lawn Care

Fall Lawn Care

Winter weather is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put yard work on hold. In fact, fall is one of the best times to get work done on the exterior of your home, and regular lawn maintenance is no exception.

Leaf raking and other fall chores can be tough and time consuming, but the extra effort will pay off. If your lawn is properly winterized it has a better shot at surviving the colder temperatures, and it will be more likely to flourish when spring arrives.

This helps you lay the groundwork for a lush lawn come spring:

• Get out the rake: A general rule of thumb says to not let leaves sit on the lawn for more than three or four days. Why? Fallen leaves will deprive your grass of crucial sunlight during the fall months, and this can lead to weakened root systems. Worse yet, leaves can accumulate and get wet, leading to mold growth and attracting pests such as termites.
• Know when to water: Give your trees and shrubs a good soaking after the leaves fall, and before the ground is frozen. Since the winter damage that they sustain often stems from their inability to draw water from the frozen earth, proper watering in the fall is crucial.
• Winterize the lawn: The lawn should be fertilized and reseeded twice before winter hits. This will keep the grass strong and healthy, and ready to be green in the spring.
• Keep the mower running: You also want to continue mowing regularly until the first frost. If grass is left too long it can eventually flatten from snow, resulting in the same types of problems caused by accumulated leaves. Don’t forget to drain the gas from the mower after the last mow of fall, before storing for the winter.
• Gutter inspection: Be sure to clean out the joints where the gutters meet the downspouts. Once they’re clean, pour water into the gutters and watch where it goes. You might need to divert the water to avoid the driveway and walkways, which can ice over and become hazardous in the winter.
• Store the hoses: Remember to drain the water from your garden hoses and coil them for storage. You might also want to turn off the water to outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
• Get ready for snow: While you’re working on fall chores, take time to change the oil in your snow blower and inspect the belts for wear. You want to make sure it’s up and running before the first big snow.


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