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Sonoma County Gazette
Spring Grasses

Falling for Beautiful
Spring Grass and Gardens


Oct 23, 2017


When summer temperatures give way to the cooler days of fall, most people think that their lawn maintenance and garden upkeep disappear with the heat. However, yard maintenance is essential come fall. Check out these tips on how to have the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood next summer.

Start Early in the Fall

Start as soon as the temperatures begin to go - this will keep your efforts at full value, because if you wait too long, your grass might become dormant due to the colder days. Begin byremoving any dead grass that you have; doing this allows you to fill in the barren spots with new grass seed, and give it time to root for the summer. Break up the soil underneath the removed grass with a trowel, and start by adding about an inch of compost and working it in. Choose new grass seed that is right for the area - either full sun or shade based grass. Use a hard-tooth rake to work the seeds down into the ground, cover the area with healthy grass clippings, and water. You will want to keep the soil moist until the seed starts to sprout some new grass, so water lightly once a day. 

Fertilize, Fertilize, Fertilize

The difference between grass and having a beautiful lawn is all about thefall maintenance. Make sure to give your grass two solid feedings as the weather gets cooler - one in the beginning of the season, and one more about 6-8 weeks later. It is also a perfect time to kill those pesky weeds, so try to get a fertilizer that also doubles as a weed killer, and you’ll save yourself a ton of time! Also, allow some time and budget torent an aerator for your lawn - this is a machine that pokes holes in the soil and allows water, fertilizer, and oxygen deep into the soil.

When you do mow in the fall, make sure to cut your grass shorter than in the summer - about 2 inches is appropriate for most grasses - this keeps the grass from being too short and allowing new weeds to grow, but also keeps the blades from getting matted under winter snows. Some homeowners prefer to use a mulching mower - this allows you to chop up your yard’s leaves and use them as compost! A common misconception is that the leaves will help insulate your lawn from the winter temperatures, but it actually can make them more likely to grow fungus. Composting leaves instead makes for great mulch and feeders for your lawn and garden next spring.

Planning for the Harvest

Making sure to winterize your vegetable garden is a must as well as maintaining beautiful lawn care! Once you harvest the last of your fruits and flowers, make sure you remove all of the old plant matter from your garden, and include it in a composting bin. You can always rototill your garden at this time as well - it will cut down on your work in the spring, and make sure you keep weeds from setting in. You can also spread some compost down at this time before covering your top bed for the winter - this is totally up to you, as experts seem to disagree on how much this helps. Make sure you do what your soil needs from you - try checking the Ph balance of your yard and lime or sulphur as needed - as this will increase the viability of your plants and the fruitfulness of your harvest next year.

Lawn and garden care take a lot of effort, but it’s rewarding to see your yard healthy and thriving in the spring from all the work you put into it before having a few months off in winter. You’ll have the best lawn on the block if you keep on top of your mowing, aerating, and fertilizing - and eventually people will start coming toyou for advice!

Photo Credit: Pixabay





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