Landscape Logic: Change in seasons means change in TLC for lawns | VailDaily.com

Landscape Logic: Change in seasons means change in TLC for lawns

by Betsy Garber
Landscape Logic

As the seasons change, so should your care for your plants. Be sure to change watering patterns and fertilize.

As nights cool, daily high temps will also become cooler as daylight hours get even shorter. Cooler nights combined with fewer hours of daylight slow lawn growth considerably. These changes mean it's already time to decrease watering times on the irrigation system and it will soon be time to back off weekly lawn mowing. Grass in fall mode needs less water and less frequent mowing the closer we get to official start date of fall on Saturday, Sept. 22, in just one weeks.

Use the shoulder season between summer and fall to do a few lawncare chores that will result in a healthier, more vibrant lawn when spring arrives next year. Use the time you save by mowing less often, to plan and complete these end-of-season tasks:

Continue reducing watering times on the sprinkler system.

Apply a final application of fertilizer. Using the same fertilizer blend you used earlier this season is fine, but if you need to buy more fertilizer, look for one high in nitrogen and potassium because these minerals are good for the roots.

Core aerate the lawn before winterizing the sprinkler system. Aeration pulls plugs of soil and sod out of the lawn and these holes open the soil so that roots can take in maximum moisture during the winter.

Zap turf weeds. Here's your last chance this year to get after turf weeds. Giving one last round of control will pay off next spring with fewer weeds popping up at the start of the season.

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Get expert help if you had fungus, turf disease or insect problems this summer. Cultural practices such as fertilization and aeration go a long way to maintain a healthy lawn that resists disease. If you have persisting problems, have them properly diagnosed so you know what to do now and perhaps early next spring to get problems under control for good.

Enjoy the changing seasons as petunias fade into pumpkins.