Summer has officially ended and cooler temperatures are right around the corner. While fall ushers in beautiful and vibrant autumn leaves, it also means you should take some steps to prepare your Nashville lawn for cooler weather. Here are some of our best tips to get your lawn ready for a visit from Jack Frost!
Make Some Mowing Adjustments
Now that fall is here you will need to adjust the height of your mower in order to avoid scalping your warm-season grass. Make sure you raise your mower a half inch to one inch in the fall.
The reason behind this change is actually really interesting. When you increase the mowing height you are helping your grass to increase its leaf area, and more leaf area means more captured sunlight. When it comes to your grass, more light equals more food it can store to make it through the winter. An added bonus is the denser the leaf area of your lawn, the fewer opportunities weeds have to invade when the grass is dormant – so it’s a win/win situation!
Don’t Forget to Fertilize
It’s really important to fertilize your cool-season grass in the fall, usually sometime in October or November. You’ll need to apply fertilizer to your lawn before you notice the grass blades beginning to change color with the arrival of cooler temperatures.
Why feed your grass in the fall? It fuels the leaf development for your grass, which allows it to store more food over the winter. That means lush, green grass in your lawn come spring!
Do Some Repair
If you have bare spots in your lawn you’ll want to repair those before winter arrives. You can simply seed the spots and watch them take off in the cooler temperatures of the fall. Just remember that you will need to frequently water newly seeded areas and keep foot traffic away until the roots have become established.
Pro Tip: If you want to ensure your lawn stays green through winter, try overseeding with an annual grass, such as ryegrass. It will stop growing when the summer arrives, so it won’t overwhelm your warm season grasses, but it will keep your lawn looking nice all winter!
Get Your Rake On
As pretty as the autumn leaves are, when they fall you will need to bust out the rake and take care of them. If you allow leaves to accumulate on your lawn for just a few days it can damage the delicate blades of grass in your yard. If you have grass that is still actively growing you want to ensure it’s getting as much sunlight as possible so it can store food in its roots for winter. Taking the time to rake now ensures healthy, robust and green grass come spring, so don’t put it off!
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to take the time to rake you can easily mow any fallen leaves. Just make sure you use a mulching mower so you can leave the mulched leaves on the grass. Alternatively, you can use your regular mower to collect the leaves using a grass catcher to collect them. You can then use the collected leaves on your compost pile or for mulch in other parts of your garden.
If you’re wondering when the best time to aerate your lawn is, it really depends on what type of grass you have. If you have warm-season grasses then you will want to aerate in the late spring or early summer. If you have cool-season grasses growing, then fall is a perfect time.
Time the aeration of your lawn so that the turf has at least four weeks to recuperate before a frost arrives. You should also take the opportunity to fertilize your lawn shortly after you aerate it since it will help it to recover as well as fuel new growth to help prepare it for winter.
So, there you have it – some of our best tips to get your Nashville lawn ready for winter! Following these tips will give your lawn the best chance to thrive this winter and blossom in the spring.