It's that time of year again.
You're finding that you only need to cut your lawn every couple weeks and you're anticipating (or dreading) the day when the snow will fall and you won't see your treasured grass until spring.
Want to know how to make sure you've got a leg up on your neighbours and have a lawn that's green and healthy right out of the gate when April hits? You're at the right place. Here are a few ways to optimally manage your lawn's hibernation:
1. Remove fallen tree leaves before snowfall
A thick layer of leaves on your lawn will prevent it from getting the light it needs to live. To get rid of them, either rake them and take them away or simply mulch them by mowing over them once they are dry.
2. Control thatch in the fall
Excess thatch can cause the growing point of the plant to be brought up above the soil's surface, leaving the grass more prone to damage throughout the winter. Thatch can be controlled through either aeration (cutting cylindrical plugs out of the lawn) or dethacthing/verticutting (cutting thatch vertically then disposing of the debris).
3. Leave the lawn cut at the right height
Even if you like a nice short golf green-esque lawn in the summer time, it's important to raise the mower height for the last few cuts in the fall. Above ground grass blade height is proportional to below ground rooting depth. That being said, it's important not to let it grow too long as matted grass will be more prone to certain diseases that can develop over the winter.
4. Apply a late season fertilizer application
A late fall fertilization will ensure your lawn's growth and colour targets are met right in early spring. With this application, timing is critical. An application that is too early will leave your lawn susceptible to winter injury while a late application will be of no benefit. A well-timed application (usually in mid-October) will give your lawn a huge boost and even allow you to delay your spring fertilization until as late as June.