Your Last Chance
This weekend is your last chance. If you haven’t already done so, you need to put your lawn to bed for winter. The long, cold sleep will take its toll on the mass of green blades but you can put a little effort in now to lessen the stress.
Step 1: Clean
Go around and pick up debris. This includes sticks, rocks, kid’s toys, and anything your pet has left behind. It’s a good excuse to walk around outside and you’ll save the headache later when it’s time to pull out the mower.
Step 2: Cut
If you haven’t cut your lawn in a while, give it a trim. Keep it long: 6-8 cm (2.5-3in). Don’t do anything fancy, just cut.
Step 3: Fertilize
Your entire lawn will benefit from a fall fertilizer. Fall is the best time to fertilize and you will notice that there are differences between spring and fall products. The reason? A plant’s needs change throughout the year. In the spring, your lawn will be using up nitrogen to produce green shoots; in fall, your lawn will need potassium to protect roots and stimulate growth in the spring. I use Golfgreen Fall Lawn fertilizer 12-0-18.
Step 4: Overseed
There are two reasons to overseed:
a) You are repairing bare patches
b) You are thickening the lawn
Either way, the process is the same.
1. Use a fan rake to clean up the area. Rake well to provide your lawn with a pseudo dethatching. It’s really all you need.
2. Using a quality seed, apply according to manufacturer’s directions. Push the seed into the soil by walking on it or, if you have a large area, use a roller.
3. If rain is not forecasted, give it a good watering.
Note: if the weather in your area is not ideal for seeding, wait until the spring. No sense wasting the seeds. Just be sure to store them in a cool, dark place. Normally, mid-November is too late to plant seed but the weather in my area has been exceptional and freezing temperatures are not in the forecast for quite a while.
Step 5: Relax
That’s it! You’ve done your part. Your lawn is ready for winter and you can sit back knowing that when spring rolls around (and it will!), your lawn will green up with ease.