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Fall Cleanup and Lawn Cultivation

When lawns are growing, they respond well to cultivation tasks that improve soil quality. Unless you’re planting a new lawn and can till up the entire area, lawn cultivation is done gradually, every year or two, so that the lawn grasses can recover.

Here are the most important fall cleanup and lawn cultivation tasks:

Dethatching should be done during your lawn’s peak growing season, but only if the thatch layer is over ½ inch. For cool-season lawns, fall is the perfect time. Hold off on dethatching warm-season lawns until next spring.

Core Aeration should also be done during your lawn’s peak growing season, so that the grasses can quickly recover. It’s best to aerate cool-season lawns in the fall and warm-season lawns in the spring or early summer.

Top-Dressing your lawn with topsoil mixed with other ingredients is a great way to finish up the cultivation process, since it evens out lumps and improves soil quality. Top-dress after aerating, and seed any bare spots.

Correcting Soil pH can be done in the fall for any type of lawn. Start by conducting a soil test to determine what amendments, if any, are needed for your lawn. Apply lime to acid soils or sulfur to alkaline soils according to the recommendations of your soil test.

Other Fall Cleanup Lawn Tasks:

Leaf Cleanup: If allowed to accumulate, leaves form a wet blanket that smothers your turf grass and invites disease. Keep leaves raked or picked up, and consider using them to start a compost pile. Small amounts of leaves can be mowed and mulched into your lawn.

Mowing: Continue mowing as long as your lawn is growing. Mow newly seeded lawns as soon as they need it. Make sure your mower blades are sharp for the fall season, and do a little mower maintenance before putting it away for the winter.

Watering: The weather may be getting cooler, but your lawn still needs one inch of water per week as long as it’s growing. Newly planted grass seed will need watering every day or two until established.

Grass alternatives: If you have areas of your lawn where grass refuses to grow, fall is a great time for planting and establishing groundcover.

*Information obtained from todayshomeowner.com