Lawn Maintenance

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Lawn maintenance is a year-round task, what with mowing and frequent watering during dry months. To ensure healthy, deep-green grass that contributes to the appearance of well-kept grounds, however, much more needs to be done. Fall is the crucial time period when a lawn should be prepared for the rigors of winter and for new growth in spring. With proper fertilizer programs, aeration, and leaf control, your lawn has a chance to develop the strong root system that will carry it through a summer drought.

The shallower the roots of grass, the more frequent watering is required to keep the lawn green. Grass with deep roots retains its gratifying green color longer because it can draw on its reservoirs for sustenance. For a lush, verdant expanse of lawn next spring, take care of lawn maintenance this fall. Commercial landscaping companies can set up a program for your grounds, or you can do the work yourself.

Three Steps in Lawn Maintenance

Fertilizer is usually applied two or three times in the fall to prepare your lawn to get through winter. A slow-release nitrogen fertilizer applied two months before dormancy is helpful in building those reserves for battling the harshness of the cold, windy months. Just before your lawn does go dormant, another application should be made.

Aeration is critical to good lawn maintenance. For northern types of grass, fall is again the best time to get some oxygen into the ground and to the roots of the grass. Compacted soil--either from foot traffic or soil composition--is a plant killer, so plugs must be removed to allow air and water to reach roots. Fallen leaves can smother grass, so as trees lose their leaves in autumn, the leaves should be removed or mulched. Your lawn mower is a great mulcher as it cuts the leaves into tiny pieces that will add nutrients to the lawn.

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