The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
Work now for a fabulous spring

Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia

When you first moved into your new home, you received information on how to care for the refrigerator, the range and the heating and cooling system.

But had you considered how to maintain your lawn? Soon after you signed the mortgage, you realized it is your job to keep the yard in top shape.

So, resist the urge to hide the lawnmower in that dark, hidden corner of your garage. Then get out the rake. Unfortunately, the grass does not stop growing after Labor Day. Your lawn care duties are far from complete. By doing a few chores this fall, you will spare yourself from some work next spring.

Here are some fall lawn tips:

Test your soil. The wise lawn owner tests his soil in the fall to determine its nutrient content. Soil that is saturated with nutrients can become saturated with water, drowning the lawn's grass.

Grass growing out of nutrient-deficient soil is less resistant to drought, pests and disease. After testing your soil, you will know what kind of fertilizer it needs and can work to balance its nutrient content.

Reseed. Is your yard a little too thin on top? Fall is the best time of year for reseeding your lawn to fill in those bare patches and make it green and lush by the following spring.

To reseed, first loosen the surface soil with a rake or shovel. Then, spread grass seed over the area evenly and gently rake to make sure the seed comes in contact with the soil.

Apply a light layer of mulch. Reseed the entire yard if you have a number of large bare spots. You can do this in one of two ways: overseed or start from scratch.

Aerate. Try core aerating your lawn before you reseed it. This process loosens your lawn's soil so air, water and nutrients can better reach the grass roots. To make the job easy, use a mechanical aerator.

Fertilize. To help promote root growth, fertilize your lawn early this month. Manure and other organic matter need time to break down. Apply approximately one pound of nitrogen-rich fertilizer, such as urea, to every 1,000 square feet of your lawn.

Mow. Don't forget to put cutting the grass on your fall lawn care itinerary. Well-fertilized grass keeps growing.

Rake. Before you even finish mowing the grass you will have to start raking the leaves. Don't let the leaves stay on your lawn through the winter.

Plant. Fall is a good season for planting trees and shrubs.

Take care of your trees. Enfold your trees in plastic wrap to prevent them from getting frost cracks.

Begin the “War of the Weeds.” Apply a pre-emergence weed killer to control weeds that can crop up during the winter months.

Yard maintenance does take some work. But if you follow these steps in the fall, you will sigh relief next spring when your lawn peeps its glorious self through the last patches of sullen snow.

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