Our lawns have been good to us all growing season. They've given the dog a place to roll around, cooled the environment and made walking barefoot a pleasure.
With the warm fall weather of late, it's a great time to give our lawns an end-of-season payback that will promote ongoing health and vigor.
Here's some late-season TLC your lawn will love:
• Do a final mowing for the season before the snow flies again. If you mow with a mulching mower, you can also deal with the accumulation of leaves at the same time. The last mow of the season will leave your lawn looking good for the months ahead.
• Apply a final application of fertilizer. Using the same fertilizer you used earlier in the season is not recommended here. Look for an organic, slow-release formulation that has a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These minerals are good for the roots. Springtime bonus: This is the fertilization that will promote early green-up next spring!
• Winterize the irrigation system. If your sprinkler system has not yet been winterized by blowing out the lines with compressed air, get that done soon. Freeze damage can lead to costly repairs.
Also, remember that turf mites and winter kill can be a problem over the winter months. If we have long periods with no precipitation, lawns can dry out and decline.
Put a note on your calendar to check soil moisture each month (early and late winter), and water as needed, if the ground is not frozen. Pay special attention to south- and west-facing areas, which will dry out faster. Slopes also need more frequent checking, as they dry out faster than flat areas.