Suddenly It’s Fall in Chicago, But Don’t Put That Mower Away Yet

September 26, 2010

Want a nice lawn in the spring? Take care of it in the fall.

According to the Lawn Institute, a Chicago-based not-for-profit group, fall is the time to help your grass develop the stamina it will need to survive winter and grow well in spring.

Fall is the season when turfgrass growth begins to slow down. Early October is a good time to prep your lawn for the upcoming seasons.

Steps to take now for later:

*Cut your grass tall through the fall while it’s still growing.

*For the final cut of the season, mow your grass shorter and your lawn will maintain better color throughout winter. Cutting it about a half-inch shorter will also prevent matting and discourage diseases.

*Get rid of those dead leaves, which can smother the grass and tramp dampness, making it a breeding ground for diseases and pests.

*Continue to water during dry periods until the ground is cold and beginning to freeze.

*If you fertilize your lawn, know that the fall application is the most important one of the year. In the fall, grass needs less nitrogen but more phosphorus and potassium to encourage root growth. Any reputable fertilizer mix will do; follow the instructions on the bag to apply properly.

*Before applying that fertilizer, and about five to six weeks before the first frost, aerate your lawn, which will help grass roots breath and help them get through for winter.

Take these steps now and you should be looking at a healthier lawn come spring. Chicagoland Real Estate Forum will have lots of tips on beautifying your home’s exterior, so stayed tuned. For now, enjoy the beauty of fall.

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