The temperatures are dropping and pumpkin spice is back, right along with the Huskers! That means fall is just around the corner, and so are cool, cozy days with hot cocoa and pumpkin patches and not taking care of your lawn. Right?
Well, not quite. While fall is coming, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop watering and caring for your lawn! You can have all the pumpkin spice you want, though!
Now, we know that a vacation from lawn care sounds tempting, but we promise you that, if you tend to your lawn properly in the fall, you’ll thank yourself when spring comes around!
So when, exactly, do you stop watering your lawn?
This question might seem difficult to answer, especially if you live in the Northern part of the US where temperatures generally cool down more quickly than their neighbors below. Your area’s climate doesn’t change the answer, though!
It’s relatively simple, to be honest: you stop watering your lawn once the ground freezes.
Once the ground has frozen, the ice creates a barrier. This means that water won’t be able to make it past that layer of ice in order to do any good for your grass. It might sound odd, but this frozen ground actually causes what experts call “desert conditions,” in that the ice essentially traps water and prevents plants from absorbing and using it. Similar to how bears hibernate to make it through the winter, these plants will turn “dormant” in order to make it through until spring.
Fall is a great time to find balance.
It’s important to note that while watering should still happen in the fall, you do need to change the way you do it. Unless you’re living through an unseasonably hot fall, homeowners would do well to monitor temperatures and rainfall in order to find a healthy balance of watering.
Though grass is still growing in the fall, its growth rate does slow down. This means that you likely don’t need to provide it with the same amount of water that you were in the dead of summer. This balance is important in the effort to prevent “overwatering,” which can do damage to your lawn’s root system, making for a very disappointing spring! Another risk is that of fungal diseases — too much water can make for an ideal fungal environment.
In times of regular (1 inch per week) or excessive rain, you can skip the watering, but if the weather is relatively warm and dry, it’s a good idea to continue to water a few times a week.
Once the ground does freeze, it’s also important to properly shut down your irrigation system for the winter. Groundscapes of Lincoln is happy to help you with that!
Plan ahead for spring!
Proper fall watering, while one of the most important lawn care items to focus on before winter hits, isn’t the only way to make sure your lawn is healthy and beautiful when spring rolls around again!
Things like weeding, mowing, fertilizing, and mulching can all be optimized in the fall to make your life easier in the spring. If Lincoln’s housing market continues to head on the dynamic path it’s currently on, proper fall lawn care will put you ahead of the game in the spring if you’re planning on selling.
For more specifics on the above-mentioned lawn care topics, please give us a call at Groundscapes of Lincoln today. We’re here to help you live your best lawn life, all year round!