Fall Lawn Care Tips
As Fall brings cooler temperatures your lawn will emerge from its summer dormancy. You should start to notice some new growth and the dead brown grass start to be replaced. It is important to lime, fertilize, water, and mow your lawn properly in the fall.
Fertilizing your Lawn
As your lawn begins to recover from the summer drought be sure to help encourage new growth with a fall fertilizer. Fall is a time when the lawn needs to be given a feeding of fertilizer that has more potash in it. The Evergro Winter Ready (6-3-20) helps to develop a strong healthy lawn for next year. The best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn is when it is raining. If it is not raining when you apply the fertilizer you should set out the sprinkler and water your lawn for one to two hours to ensure that the fertilizer is washed into the soil.
Applying Lime to Your Lawn
In addition to fertilizing fall is also an ideal time to apply lime to your lawn. Lime is essential to balance the Ph in the soil. Lime helps the grass absorb important nutrients. If you have a significant amount of Moss in your lawn the Lime also helps to deter the moss from growing. However it is best to wait until March or April to apply a moss control to kill the moss.
Watering your Lawn
During the fall the west coast generally receives enough rain to provide adequate water for your lawn. In the event of a warm dry fall it may be necessary to water your lawn through September and October.
When watering your lawn it is best to water early in the morning to minimize evaporation loss. This saturates the soil more thoroughly and provides better absorption of the water. Watering your lawn less frequently but more thoroughly encourages deeper roots that can withstand drought.
In the greater Vancouver are watering restrictions come into affect on May 1st and are in effect until October 15th. Please note that they changed again this spring (2018). They are now as follows:
Residential lawn sprinkling allowed:
- Even-numbered addresses Saturday mornings 4 am to 9 am
- Odd-numbered addresses Sunday mornings 4 am to 9 am
- Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day, from 4 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
Non-residential lawn sprinkling allowed:
- Even-numbered addresses Monday mornings 1 am to 6 am and Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am
- Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday mornings 1 am to 6 am and Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am
- Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day, from 1 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
What if I don’t want to wake up at 4 am?
Here’s a better idea than getting up at 4am, purchase an electronic water timer for your sprinklers to make it easy for you to water your lawn and not violate the restrictions. Be sure to ask us when you come by to see us.
Newly planted lawns need special attention. It is best to keep the soil moist for at least 4 to 6 weeks after you apply grass seed to ensure that your lawn develops an adequate root system. If you are starting a new lawn in the summer be sure to apply for a permit to water outside of the watering restrictions.
Click here for more information from Metro Vancouver’s website.
If you have applied fertilizer or lime to your lawn it is best if you water the lawn to ensure that the fertilizer is washed off the blades of the grass to prevent burning. Watering also helps the fertilizer reach the roots faster.
Mowing your Lawn
Lawns should be mowed at regular intervals. However, lawns grow more slowly during the fall months. This reduces the frequency with which you have to cut it. For best results your lawn should be cut every 10 to 14 days. A rotary mower should to be set at a height of 2 to 3 inches for the season. Your lawn mower should be kept sharp at all times. A dull mower tears the grass instead of cutting it, making it more susceptible to diseases.
You should use a grass catcher, or rake the cut grass to remove the cuttings and prevent the build-up of dead grass. If you do not remove the dead grass you should power rake your lawn on a regular basis to remove the layer of dead grass (thatch) that builds up, this is called power raking or de-thatching.
Applying Moss Control
Spring is the best time to apply Moss Control. However if moss has taken hold of your lawn you might want to consider a fall application of the Moss Control to reduce the problem for the winter. Moss usually goes dormant over the summer but as we start to receive cooler weather and rain in the fall the moss in your lawn may rejuvenate and need to be controlled. It is more important to add lime to your lawn to balance the pH to deter the moss from growing over the winter.
Tips for Starting a New Lawn
Fall is an excellent time to start a new lawn from seed or to over-seed your existing lawn to fill in the spaces. You need to apply the grass seed at least six weeks prior to the first frosts, which normally arrive in mid November. So it is best to start your new lawn before the first week of October.
To over-seed your existing lawn first spread some fresh topsoil. You should mix a Turf Starter fertilizer (15-30-10) with the soil while you spread it. The fertilizer helps to promote development of strong healthy roots.
Make sure that you spread the soil evenly and level it to ensure even growth. Then apply lawn seed and lightly rake the seed into the soil. To ensure that the lawn seed germinates best keep the new lawn moist for at least four to six weeks. You should not fertilize the new lawn until after it has been mowed at least twice.