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5 Ways to Fix Lawn Problems in the Fall

Every lawn can use help in the Fall to ensure it emerges in great shape the following Spring. But, sometimes it isn’t easy to figure out exactly what to do to make a lawn look its best. 

Lawn located in shady area has weeds and bare spots needs Aeration and Seeding in the Fall.

How the lawn looks right now will dictate the best lawn care actions for Fall.  Lawns that are thick and lush now may only require minimal help.  However, lawns like the one pictured that are plagued with weeds, crabgrass or a poor overall appearance will need more extensive repair.

Seeding is usually the first fix most homeowners think of. It makes sense. If you spread seed over all those bare, thin and weedy areas, you would think that the lawn would magically become thick and green.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. If you really want the seed to germinate and grow, it takes preparing the soil and selecting the right seed. 

Your Giroud Lawn Service Professional will determine the best kind of seed to match the rest of your lawn and growing environment. Soil preparation is also key.  Aeration and de-thatching needs to be done to create the best bed for planting seeds. This process ensures successful germination and establishment of seedlings and allows air, water and nutrients to reach the roots and stimulate healthy growth.

Here are our Top 5 Ways to Rebuild a Problem Lawn.Seeding in the Fall promotes seed germination and growth.

  1. Aeration: Every lawn benefits from aeration.  It breaks up dense thatch and fractures compacted soil.  With better access to air and nutrients and room to grow, Aeration enables lawns to grow deeper roots and develop a thicker and more lush appearance in the Spring.  
  2. Seeding: Bare, thin and shaded areas need seeding.  Also, lawns with disease or drought issues can be improved by over-seeding with newer, more disease and drought resistant grass varieties. Seeding in the Fall promotes strong root growth, better seed germination and less competition from weeds and crabgrass.
  3. Soil pH Test Balanced soil pH is essential to a healthy lawn.  A simple pH test will show if the lawn is out of balance.  Most lawns in the Philadelphia region are too acidic.  Adding lime will reduce acidity and enable the grass to better absorb nutrients.
  4. Fertilization—Lawns should be fertilized with a fall formula that establishes strong root systems.  According to The Spruce, “Fall is the time when cool season grasses recover from summer stresses such as drought, heat, and disease. If the lawn has been properly fertilized in the late summer and fall, turf grass can begin to store carbohydrate reserves in the stems, rhizomes, and stolons. These carbohydrate reserves help grass resist winter injury and disease, and serve as a source of energy for root and shoot growth the following spring. A late fall fertilization will also provide better winter color, enhanced spring green up and increased rooting.”
  1. Lawn Replacement: For lawns plagued with widespread issues, the only solution may be a total lawn replacement in the Fall.   This should include killing off or removing the existing lawn, preparing the soil, and laying down a new lawn with seed or sod.

While figuring out the best actions to take will depend on the condition of the lawn, between now and October is the best time to fix lawn problems.  From just simple aeration and seeding to a complete lawn replacement, warm soil, moderate daytime temperatures and cooler nights in the Fall give homeowners the best chance for success and a beautiful lawn next spring.

Does your lawn need help?  Your Giroud Lawn Service Professional will be happy to do a free evaluation.  

Author: Cindy Giroud

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