Getting ready for the fall and winter in the New Orleans area may involve a lot more lawn work than most anticipate. Thankfully, lawns in the southern U.S. experience slower growth during the fall and require less mowing, but there are other times one should also consider to ensure your yard returns lush & green in the spring.
These tips are essential if you want to maintain a healthy lawn in the fall and through the winter. Staying on top of these responsibilities means that you will have less work to complete in the spring and summer to make your yard look amazing.
1. Rake Leaves
One of the most important tasks you should complete in the fall is to remove fallen leaves. Wet leaves can accumulate in a thick layer on your yard & suffocate the grass. Too much moisture on your lawn can also create the right conditions for the development of nasty fungal diseases. To avoid these problems, we suggest picking up the leaves at least once every week or every other week.
2. Winterize Irrigation Systems
Consider the type of grass you have in your yard and the current weather to decide whether you should continue watering into the fall. In the New Orleans area, most warm-season grasses experience a slower growth rate leading up to the period of dormancy during the winter season.
As winter approaches, begin watering your lawn much less than the average 1 to 1 1/2 inches per week that are recommended. Cut back each week until the first frost of the season. After the first frost, it’s best practice to turn off the irrigation system completely until high temperatures are steadily in the 60s.
3. Aeration, Overseeding, and Topdressing
Aeration involves mechanically pulling cores of the grass, soil & roots out of the ground. This process opens up the root system to allow more water, air and sunlight to flow and reduces soil compaction. Soil compaction negates your lawn’s growth potential by pushing down on grass roots and prevents ample air, water, sunlight and nutrients from penetrating the surface. So it’s best practice to aerate your lawn at least once per year during the fall.
Overseeding and topdressing are two other services that go hand-in-hand with aeration. Overseeding is a method of adding fresh grass seed to balance out aged grass. Adding new grass seed in the fall around the time of aeration, and it will grow successfully in the springtime. You should also top dress your lawn with compost or sand to keep the soil full of essential nutrients.
4. Hold Off On The Fertilizer
In this part of the south, fertilizer is not a big concern in the fall before the winter cold hits. You may be wasting time, money and labor spreading fertilizer because warm-season grass enters into winter dormancy and will not need extra feed or fertilizer until the spring.
5. Continue Mowing
Although you might be ready to stow your lawn mower away, you should continue to mow the lawn as needed in the fall. You will notice that the grass does not grow as quickly during the fall as it does in the summertime, but if the growth rate allows you to cut off more than 1/3 of the blade, then you should keep regularly mowing your lawn. You should monitor the lawn’s growth and complete this task on an as needed basis.
Following these tips will prepare your New Orleans area lawn for the dormant winter season. If you’re looking for assistance from a top-rated landscaping company, get in touch with Couvillion’s Landscapes today.