Autumn is an important time of year for keeping your lawn healthy and attractive without the use of dangerous chemicals. Here at MPAC, we advocate for Natural Lawn Care, a method of approaching lawn care issues that provides safe and healthy recreational spaces. As the seasons change, precipitation levels increase and temperatures drop— the time is ideal for aeration, top-dressing, and reseeding of lawns.
Aeration: First, the lawn should be aerated as needed to reduce compaction of the soil, therefore providing more space in the soil for oxygen to break down organic matter, root growth and water storage. In addition to reducing compaction, the holes left behind allow air, water and nutrients from fertilizers to more easily access the roots. For this reason, aeration should be done before top-dressing and reseeding. It is important to note that devices with spikes will only increase compaction and should not be used for aeration; only machines that remove plugs of soil will effectively aerate your lawn.
Top-dressing: The next step to Natural Lawn Care during the fall season is to top-dress with compost. This keeps a maximum number of microbes in the soil as the weather turns cold. Nutrient rich compost can be made at home by mixing food wastes, grass clipping from a yard, leaves, twigs, and barks with native soil. Alternatively, high quality compost can be purchased.
Reseeding: Last but not least, the lawn should be reseeded. This should be done at least once a year using a variety of grasses that are well adapted to your region, including hardy grasses if possible. Native seed selection ensures that you are growing a lawn that is well suited to the climate, soil type, and other environmental factors inherent to your yard. After reseeding, the lawn must be watered lightly every day for two weeks to ensure the seeds are established.
These steps, along with manual weed and leaf removal, will helpmaintain a healthy lawn throughout the fall while preparing it for the winter months to come. Visit our natural lawn care page for more information on keeping your lawn healthy, beautiful, and safe.