Some homeowners mistakenly assign a final date for mowing, the cool season grasses that are the mainstay of lawns like bluegrass and fescue prefer cooler climates and will continue to grow at a slow pace until the ground freezes. Keeping this in mind it is important to continue to mow your lawn until your grass stops growing. In some parts of Canada, this can mean you are mowing into the month of December. Heavy snow cover will press grass blades down on their sides. The longer the blades are when this happens, the slower your lawn will be to green up in spring.
Remember to keep off the lawn if it has been frosty otherwise you will break the tips off the grass blades, resulting in footprints on the lawn.
This task needs to be done occasionally and only when one or both following criteria are met. Your soil is prone to compaction because of either excessive traffic, or the thatch from the lawn clippings and litter exceeds 1/2 inch in depth. By aerating in the Fall, you open your lawn up for moisture from the winter snowfall. Another added benefit from aerating in the fall is you reduce the chance of spreading dandelion seeds.
Your lawn should be fed every 45 days throughout the growing season. With each fertilizer application, there is a different goal in mind and different fertilizer required. The final application in Fall has a lower level of nitrogen which will not promote growth but help the roots get ready to survive the winter.
Leaf removal or mulching is a time-consuming task but rest assured that the more time you invest in removing and keeping leaves from smothering the grass is well worth it and your effort will be repaid in a lawn free of bare ground in the Spring.
Refer to our most recent post for Tips on Proper Leaf Management.
Tree and Woody Perennials
Now is the time to clear any deadwood from trees and woody perennials you have in the landscape. Doing so will promote a healthier plant and a more vigorous plant when it wakes up from Winter dormancy.