Now is a great time of year for fall lawn tasks. It’s not yet too cold to enjoy being outside and some trees still have great color. We enjoy great food and celebrations and perhaps there still is some Halloween candy lying around your house. Fantasy football is taking over many folks lives. Watch a holiday movie, one of my favorites is Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, or go see a show in New York. Life is good! But there still are things to be done when it comes to your lawn.
In New Jersey and most states, you still are able to apply Winter Survival until mid-November, check your county extension office for your cut-off date to fertilize your lawn. Even if you did feed your lawn once this fall, twice is better. The grass plants can build up some food reserves and roots can still develop late into the fall season. These reserves help the lawn to stay green longer into the fall, survive the winter, and green up your lawn early next spring.
You can still plant grass seed and have success. As long as the weather does not stay under 50 degrees for a week or more, grass seedlings can grow and develop. Remember, the soil still has warmth from the long summer heating it up. Grass seed that does not germinate will lay dormant until spring but should still be viable. The cold winter weather does not affect grass seed that has not germinated; it actually helps to break the seed’s dormancy. Seed can be washed away or rot from sitting water if unfavorable conditions exist.
Did you test you soil pH this year? Soil pH testers are available at lawn & garden shops and hardware stores. Your pH should be in the range between 6.2 and 7.0 to grow grass properly. If you need to raise your pH, now is a great time to do so. Apply Mag-I-Cal products so they work their way into the soil as the soil freezes and thaws.
Continue mowing as needed. The growth of the lawn will start to slow down with cooler temperatures. You can lower your mowing height a little each week some to reduce the chance of having too much lush-green growth through the winter months. Too much leafy growth can lead to winter lawn diseases.
Keep your lawn clear of leaves building up on the lawn. If leaves are left they can eventually kill the lawn. Some folks use a mulching mower or just run their regular mower over leaves to chop them up so they can be mulched into the soil. This provides a good source of organic matter to build up your soil quality. Do not allow leaf mulch to build up too much or it may kill existing grass plants.
You change the oil in your car occasionally, right? Do you do the same for your lawn mower at the end of each season? What about sharpening the blade? Do you have a buildup of grass debris sticking to you mower housing? These basic maintenance steps should be taken before you put your mower in the shed for the last time this fall. Remember, be safe, and disconnect the spark plug before working on your mower! If you do not feel comfortable doing these tasks yourself, use a reputable mower repair shop.
So if there is frost on your pumpkin it’s a signal to do your final lawns tasks before winter arrives. By doing these tasks you will be laying the groundwork for a great lawn next spring. Now it is time to relax and enjoy a good book or a football game. I can smell a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. I wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.