The temperatures drop and the crisp breeze starts blowing. The familiar smell of pumpkin spice fills the air and the foliage starts to turn.
It’s officially fall in Maine.
Like clockwork, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and leaf peeping coincide perfectly with autumn yard upkeep and maintenance. After all, this time of year is perfect for many vital lawn care tasks.
In this post, you’ll learn 8 yard maintenance tips to care for your Maine lawn during the fall, including:
- Don’t put away the lawnmower just yet.
- Test your soil.
- Overseed your lawn.
- Water your lawn.
- Repair bare spots.
- Remove thatch.
- Aerate the lawn.
- Fertilize the lawn.
1. Don’t put away the lawnmower just yet.
If you happen to have a grass variety such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescues, you may notice that this cooler time of year is when these grass types really start to grow. (There are also other types of grass that will grow up until the first hard frost.)
What does that mean for you? Even in Maine, it’s not time to put away the lawnmower just yet! Warm days and cool nights actually create a great opportunity for new growth and strengthen your lawn going into the cold winter months, so you’ll need to continue mowing.
2. Test your soil.
Curious on how your soil stands up? Fall is an ideal time to test your soil to determine what nutrients are needed (and which aren’t).
Testing your soil in autumn will help you make better judgment calls when treating and fertilizing your lawn later on.
3. Overseed your lawn.
After doing any leaf raking, you might see some thin spots present themselves, now more than ever.
If you’re one of the many Mainers who suffer from a thin lawn, fall is the perfect season for overseeding. Sowing new seeds early in the fall will give them time to grow strong roots and germinate before flourishing later in the spring.
4. Water your lawn.
Yes, we said water! Your property needs to get at least 1 inch of water every week, even as the temperatures drop.
However, you’ll want to stop watering with sprinklers, irrigation, or by hand with a hose before the temperatures drop below freezing.
5. Repair bare spots.
If you start noticing large bare spots in your grass, fall is also the best time to take care of these. You’ll learn a lot with your soil test: is there a reason your grass is getting spotty? Or you might consider how much sun bare areas are getting.
Regardless, autumn provides an opportunity for sodding or even hydroseeding any of the bare patches you’re seeing.
6. Remove thatch.
Thatch is the natural layer that builds up at the base of your grass roots on top of the soil. It includes all the dead grass that’s either been left after mowing or that naturally dies.
While a layer of thatch can be helpful for holding in moisture and nutrients, removing it prior to the winter months will allow grass to soak in all the water and vital nutrition it can before going dormant.
7. Aerate the lawn.
Couple thatch removal with aeration to give your lawn the best opportunity to thrive. Aeration allows air, water, and other important nutrients to reach the grass roots; if the soil in your lawn tends to be compacted, air will have a difficult time reaching the roots.
8. Fertilize the lawn.
With summer gone, most grass species benefit from being fertilized at least six weeks prior to the first expected frost. That way, your lawn will have plenty of nutrients to last all winter, plus a jump start when warmer weather comes in the spring.
Keeping up with your fall lawn maintenance is no small feat. With these 8 yard maintenance care tips, you’ll enjoy a healthy lawn when spring returns.
For help with fall lawn maintenance in the greater Buxton, Maine area, contact us at Prime Cut Landscaping & Lawn Care today!