By John Voket
I just reviewed TruGreen’s Lawn Lifestyles National Survey of America. According to the survey, 52 percent of respondents believe a homeowner’s lawn can tell you a lot about their personality, while nearly 8 out of 10 surveyed said, “in selling a home, it is important for the lawn to be in top shape to get the best price.”
So we’ll take one final look at lawn care for this season, since fall is the best time to prep lawns, trees and shrubs for spring’s growth cycle, especially with the home buying season right around the corner.
Ben Hamza, Ph.D., TruGreen’s director of technical operations says lawns become distressed from summer entertaining with family and friends and require care throughout fall. Dr. Hamza says a good fall feed is important to lawn, tree and shrub health as roots continue active growth before the dormant winter months and store reserves needed for hungry plants in spring.”
Home improvement expert Danny Lipford (todayshomeowner.com) says there are two basic types of grasses – cool-season and warm-season – with different needs and requirements:
- Cool-season lawns (fescue, bluegrass, and rye) have their peak growing season in the early fall. This is the absolute best time of year to establish, strengthen, and cultivate these types of grasses.
- Warm-season lawns (Bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine, and zoysia) wind down their growing season as the weather cools. Warm-season grasses go brown and dormant after the first hard freeze, so fall care for them focuses more on weed control and planning for winter color.
- Lipford says fall is also a great time to tackle weed control with post-emergent herbicides. He says weeds, like other plants, spend the fall drawing nutrients from their leaves into their roots for winter survival.
The increased absorption means that your weed-control products will quickly be drawn into the roots for rapid results. Correcting Soil pH can be done in the fall for any type of lawn as well.
Lipford suggests conducting a soil test to determine what amendments, if any, are needed for your lawn. Then apply lime to acid soils or sulfur to alkaline soils according to the recommendations of your soil test.
Soil tests can be analyzed through private local environmental labs, and some counties and states offer soil testing through college or university extension services.