SOUTHERN FALL LAWN CARE
by John S S Slater –
Here in the south where summer day temperatures seldom fall below ninety degrees, doing landscape projects is best left for any other season. Fall is the perfect time to resurface a patio, fix a path or build that super outdoor kitchen you’ve been dreaming about.
Fall cleanup will aid to the appearance of your winter garden and set everything up nicely for the flowers that will be sticking their heads out of the ground in the spring. Remove annuals that are no longer healthy or adding to the beauty of your garden. Clean the flower containers and store them for use when the warm weather comes back around. In my garden I often take the potted perennials and plant them in any gaps in my flower bed where it is easier to care for them than remembering to water the stray pot here and there scattered around the yard.
Lowering the blade on your lawnmower to two inches will help avoid matting under fallen leaves, but don’t get complacent, keep the leaves raked or mulched by your mower to avoid it being smothered by accumulating leaves.
Water. It is important to keep your lawn hydrated during the fall and winter months. Failure to provide enough water can injure or kill parts of the root system of your lawn. Although the grass may appear healthy in the early spring, lawns that suffered dehydration during the fall and winter may become weak or diseased later on in the season because it was unprepared for the spring.
Now is the time to start rebuilding that compost pile you depleted over the summer. Gather up the falling leaves and plant debris. Then mix in some dry material such as garden soil. I always add some fertilizer. I prefer manure or fish emulsion. Once a week add enough water to keep it moist and give it a good turning.
If you’d like to keep your lawn looking green during the winter now is the time to overseed it with an annual cool weather grass seed such as ryegrass. It will die out when the weather starts to get hot so it doesn’t compete with your perennial lawn for moisture and sunlight.