Quick Autumn Lawncare Tips for the Greener Gardener

Tips for lawn care in September, How to prepare lawn for winter

It’s still Summer Hot, but there is color in the trees if you look hard enough! Transition time means that there is work to do, and a lot of homeowners focus on the lawn during this time of year. Are you already planning some of your weekend warrior projects for September and October? Here are some helpful tips for some your Autumn lawncare for a healthy lawn that’s also a little greener.

Visit with your soil

When thinking about your lawn (and your garden beds), spending a little time with your soil this Autumn is essential. Soil that is covered with stems and roots, or soil that is hard and compacted will not absorb water effectively, which causes runoff and other problems. Autumn is the ideal time to aerate your yard. Aeration, or punching small holes into your soil, allows for water and nutrients to break through the thick grass roots and into the dirt. In other words, you’re giving your soil literal room to breathe, eat and drink, which will only benefit the growth of your grass and will make watering more effective and less wasteful.

This might be a good time to have your soil tested and perhaps put down fertilizer. This allows your soil to rest and rejuvenate during our long winter. If you choose to fertilize, consider slow-release or organic fertilizers, and use them with care. Leaching and run-off end up in streams and rivers, impacting our drinking water and also the animals the depend on our natural waterways.

Practice Overseeding

Overseeding is the practice of spreading seed over existing established lawns. Some homeowners overseed in areas where their lawn in already thin. Others annually overseed existing lawns to prevent thinning in the first place, especially because lawns go through natural cycles of thinning over time. Overseeding is best done after aeration, and even after a fresh mowing. For best results, remove grass clippings before putting down seed do that way seeds are guaranteed to contact the soil and grow. Water conservation and other factors should be considered when choosing the correct seed for your place. The University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment has fantastic recommendations for this and is a wonderful asset for any New England gardener.

Start Your Compost

If you’ve been thinking about composting but haven’t gotten started yet, Fall is an organic opportunity (see what we did there?) to start. Leaves are the main ingredient for compost and you’re raking them up anyway. Designate a spot in your yard where leaves can live and then keep piling on! Add other garden trimmings, including grass clippings and clippings from the garden. Add kitchen matter, too, like eggshells, coffee grounds, and veggie scraps. Be sure not to add meat or fatty scraps to the compost, as they mess up the chemistry and attract animals. Not interested in a pile of lawn clippings on your property? There are compost bins and tumblers available that are affordable, attractive and just as effective as a heap on your lawn. Composting started now will yield lovely material for use in your garden beds come the Spring!

September means shortening days, cooler nights, but plenty of opportunity to get things done before winter descends on us. If you are planning out your Autumn lawn care, we hope these tips will keep you organized and your lawn a little greener and healthier. Good work now yields gorgeous results in the Spring!

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