Best Fall Lawn Care Practices For Michigan Homeowners
The days are getting shorter in southeast Michigan and that means that winter is fast approaching. Before we are buried in snow it’s time to do a last-minute check of your yard. The work you do know is critical for the success of your yard next year. But where do you begin? Don’t worry, Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler and Fertilizing has you covered.
When Should I Start Fall Lawn Care in Michigan?
The best time to start your fall lawn care is late September to early October. This is when the temperatures start to cool down and the days are getting shorter. The ideal temperature for lawn care is between 60-70 degrees.
What Is Overwintering?
Overwintering is the process of preparing your lawn for the winter season. This includes things like raking up leaves, removing debris, and mowing your grass shorter. These steps will help prevent your grass from getting smothered and stressed out during the winter months. Overwintering will also help improve the health of your lawn come springtime. To prevent overwintering, if is suggested to perform certain fall lawn care tasks mentioned below.
Overwintering Can Cause Diseases And Pests
While overwintering may help improve the health of your lawn in the long run, it can also cause some problems. Diseases and pests are more likely to attack your lawn during the winter months, so it’s important to be on the lookout for these problems.
Fungal diseases like snow mold and powdery mildew are more common in the winter. Snow mold usually appears as white or gray patches on your lawn, and it can kill the grass if it’s not treated. Powdery mildew looks like white or gray powder on the leaves of your grass, and it can make your lawn look unhealthy.
Pests like grubs and moles are also more active in the winter. Grubs are small, white insects that live in the soil and feed on the roots of your grass. Moles are small, brown animals that live in underground tunnels and eat grubs and other insects.
If you notice any of these problems on your lawn, it’s important to contact a professional lawn care company right away. A qualified lawn care specialist will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.
What Should I Do In The Fall To Prepare My Lawn For Winter?
Fall lawn care is important because it helps your lawn recover from the hot, dry summer and get ready for the cold winter. It also helps prevent diseases and pests from overwintering in your lawn. There are a few key things you should do to prepare your lawn for winter.
Rake Your Lawn
Everyone hates to rake leaves. Raking isn’t just for making your yard look better or complying with your HOA. Raking actually prevents lawn diseases such as snow mold from developing on your grass. Leaves are moist and heavy. The longer they sit on your grass the more your grass suffers from lack of sunlight and oxygen. Raking also breaks up thatch that can lead to soil compaction. So get out there and rake those leaves.
Wrap Your Bark
Fall is the time to take care of your trees. If you have any newly planted trees wrap their bark in trunk wraps. This will keep the bark protected from sun-scald which can permanently damage the tree. Sun-scald is a condition when freezing of bark followed by high temperatures results in permanent visible damage to the bark
As the temperatures continue to get lower, fall pests will be looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Be sure to check your screens for rips or tears that could be used as an entry point. Caulk any cracks and gaps. If your doors don’t seal properly you can use a door sweep to keep pests from crawling under it.
Don’t Stop Mowing
Hold it! Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you’re done with mowing. In Michigan, our yards are made up of cool-season grasses which means they do their growing in the spring and fall. So you still want to keep your grass cut short to prevent it from getting too long. When it snows, long grass gets matted down and can create an environment for mold and diseases to form.
Check Your Gutters For Clogs
Gutters work hard all year keeping water out of and away from your home. It’s because of your gutters that your flower beds around your house don’t get washed away every time it rains. But in the fall, your gutters can become clogged. Clogged gutters overflow and erode away at the soil around the foundation of your home. This can lead to cracks which can get worse in the winter. Not to mention, a clogged gutter can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Aerate Your Lawn
Soil compaction is a serious issue in yards that get plenty of use. Soil compaction prevents grass from getting access to water, air, and nutrients. This will cause your grass to get thin, shrivel up, and eventually die if the problem is not fixed. Signs of compacted soil are dead or bare spots, pooling water, thatch buildup, and very hard soil. If you have compact soil, don’t worry. Aeration is a process that can alleviate compact soil. The process works by pulling hundreds of tiny plugs of sod to loosen up the soil and allow the flow of water, air, and nutrients back into the roots of your grass. This is usually followed by vigorous growth and greening up.
Contact The Lawn Care Pros At Grosse Ile
At Grosse Ile, we understand how much time and effort you have put into your landscapes. We have over 30 years of experience taking care and maintaining Michigan lawns. From year-round lawn care to seasonal lighting, we have everything you need to create the perfect custom yard.