6 Expert Tips for Fall Lawn Care in Charlotte

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leaves on the ground during fall

It's officially fall season, Charlotte residents! The leaves are changing colors, the air is getting cooler, and it's time to start thinking about your lawn. Just because the weather is changing doesn't mean you can stop caring for your lawn. In fact, autumn is a crucial time for lawn care. Our expert technicians have compiled 6 tips to make sure your lawn looks healthy this fall, and they include: 

Why is Raking Leaves in the Fall Important? 

Raking leaves in the fall is important for a few reasons, and it could end up saving your lawn after frosting begins. First, it helps to prevent lawn diseases. Wet leaves that sit on the grass can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can damage your lawn. Raking also helps to reduce thatch buildup. Thatch is a layer of dead grass, stems, and roots that can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil. Too much thatch can also create an ideal environment for pests that can ruin your turf. 

Another reason why raking is important is that it allows sunlight and air to reach the grass blades. This is crucial for photosynthesis, which helps the grass to grow. It also helps to prevent the grass from becoming matted down by wet leaves, which can lead to disease. 

Finally, raking leaves gives you an opportunity to do a final cleanup of your lawn before winter sets in. This means removing any debris that could damage your lawnmower or other equipment. It also gives you a chance to inspect your lawn for any problems that need to be addressed before the cold weather arrives. 

How to Water Your Lawn in the Fall

When it comes to lawn care, one of the most important things you can do in the fall is to water your lawn. This may seem counterintuitive since most people think that watering in the fall is a waste of time and water. However, there are several good reasons why watering your lawn in the fall is essential. These include:

  • Preventing your grass from going dormant: Dormant grass is more likely to be damaged by cold weather, so keeping it hydrated will help it to withstand the winter months. 
  • Replenishing moisture: The hot sun has been drying out your grass all Summer, so this is a chance to put water back in your yard so it can replenish its nutrients and withstand the cold weather. 
  • Not overwatering: During the hot months in Charlotte, North Carolina, we can get carried away with how much watering we do to our lawns. In the fall, your turf should be getting around 1 inch of water per week, so try and water your grass 2 times a week, but never more than that as overwatering in the Fall will lead to oxygen deficiency. 

How To Mow Your Lawn in the Fall

Once Fall in Charlotte, NC arrives, the leaves are falling, the air is getting cooler, and the way you mow your lawn is about to change. The first thing you'll want to do is lower your mower blade. As the grass gets taller in the fall, you'll want to make sure you're not cutting it too short. A good rule of thumb is to never cut more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. Continue to mow your yard at this length until your grass enters the dormant phase in the Winter time. Another rule of thumb is to mow slower than you would in the warm weather so the soil can adjust. 

Should I Worry About Weeds in the Fall? 

Weed control in the fall is important, but it's not as crucial as it is in the spring. The cool weather slows down the growth of weeds, so they're not as big of a problem. However, you should still pull them out when you see them so they don't have a chance to spread their seeds. Weeds can survive harsh weather, so even if you do not see as many, if they are alive, they will continue to grow and germinate heading into Spring time. 

Mulching is also important in the fall to contain weeds because it helps protect your grass from cold temperatures, keeps moisture in the soil, and limits the number of weeds that can grow through mulch. You can use either organic or inorganic mulch, but make sure to apply it thinly so it doesn't suffocate your grass. A good rule of thumb is to apply two to three inches of mulch around your plants.

When Is The Best Time to Fertilize in North Carolina?

The best time to fertilize your lawn in Charlotte is in the fall after the leaves have fallen and before the first frost. This gives your grass a chance to absorb the nutrients before winter sets in. Be sure to use a fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these are essential for healthy growth. Apply it according to the package directions, and water it well so the fertilizer doesn't burn your grass. After you've fertilized, continue mowing your lawn regularly until the weather turns cold. 

Importance of Aeration and Seeding 

Combining aeration and seeding has many benefits for your turf and when Fall hits, this is the ideal time to make sure your yard can handle the colder weather that approaches. 

  • What is aeration? Aeration is the process of perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the roots of your grass. This is especially important in Charlotte because our clay soils can become compacted easily. Aeration also helps reduce thatch which essentially helps revive your lawn for the next growing season and will lead to grass being greener and more vibrant. 
  • What is seeding? Seeding is the process of planting grass seed into your lawn. It's important to do this in the fall so the grass has time to establish a strong root system before the hot summer months. 

Professional Lawn Care

Once the Fall season approaches, it is easy to think that any serious lawn care is over, but this is actually the complete opposite as you've now learned. If you want to train your lawn to grow back better in the warmer months, utilizing proper lawn care techniques in the Fall goes a long way toward reaching that success. FineTurf Lawn Care specializes in many different assets of yard care that include aeration, fertilization, weed control, and more. Our Charlotte-based company is here to help the local community, so don't wait any longer to receive the landscape you deserve!

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