Preparing your Lawn for it’s Long Winter’s Nap.

Late Fall Fertilizing with LAWN DEPOT WINTERFEAST TURF FOODWINTERFEAST TURF FOOD is the most beneficial feeding your lawn can get.  At this time of the year the soil is warmer than the air; grass plants are still growing above-ground, albeit more slowly than a month ago, but underground, in the plants’ root zones the soil is still relatively warm and by stimulating the plant, now most of the benefit from the fertilizer goes to the underground portion of the plants.  Roots grow denser and deeper in the warmer soil, which makes the turf literally bottom-heavy as it enters winter dormancy.  Next spring, as growth starts again, lawns green up sooner, turf is thicker, and grass plants, both old and new are lush and healthy.  Get your WINTERFEAST down now for best results!

Late Fall Seeding – Because of the recent rains and continued mild temperatures, we’re finding that seed continues to germinate nicely as we enter November.  At the Lawn Depot, we modify our seed mixes as we get deeper into late fall, adding more EVERGREEN perennial ryegrass to our hybrid Tall Fescues in our preferred SURVIVOR MIX, calling it SURVIVOR 2.  The later seed is applied the more EVERGREEN perennial ryegrass should be used to the point that applying 100% EVERGREEN is the best option.  At this point we’re still encouraging late seeding and/or overseeding, by adding PENN MULCH or TACK STRAW to thin/bare areas to hold the seed in place and keep it moist.  We also encourage you to regularly water seeded areas through germination at this time. 

Liming Lawns in the Late Fall – Liming acidic soils regularly allows fertilizer nutrients to be more readily absorbed by the growing grass plants.  A soil pH of between 6.0 and 6.5 is ideal for the availability the macro-nutrients, as well as the micro-nutrients in most turf fertilizers to the plants.  Cal-Turf Pro™ (a fast-acting lime) is applied at 5 lbs./1,000 sq. ft. for maintenance applications or 12 lbs./1,000 sq. ft. to increase pH.  Cal-Turf Pro™ is more effective than dolomitic limestone in raising soil pH.  It begins to neutralize soil acidity immediately, resulting in soil pH increases that can be measured in weeks rather than months, thus promoting better root development, vigor and growth, as well as drought and stress tolerance.

Mowing and Leaf Removal – Grass continues to grow as the weather remains relatively mild for this time of the year and we continue to get regular rainfall.  What we want to impress on all of you is that it is unhealthy for lawns to be left long when the grass growing season ends.  Shaggy lawns not only look lousy, they collect more leaves, they get matted down when snow falls on them, they’re more susceptible to snow mold and other winter diseases, and they are much slower to green up in the spring.  You should continue with regular (if less frequent as growth slows) mowing through Thanksgiving and into December if the ground remains unfrozen.  If you use a mowing service, ask them to make at least one final cut close to Thanksgiving.  Similarly, as the leaves continue to fall, we implore you to remove these leaves regularly.  Initially, at least, you can do a good job of keeping the lawn leaf-free by chopping them up as you mow.  Later, as the heavy leaf fall abates, we encourage you to rake, sweep, blow, or vacuum them up to leave a basically leaf-free lawn.  From then on, you’ll be able to maintain the leaf-free appearance as you continue to mow as needed. 

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