As the weather starts to change and we move deeper into fall, it becomes more important to pay attention to the specific needs of your lawn. In Illinois, there are a few key things to keep in mind in order to make sure your turf stays healthy all season long. Keep reading for information on when to stop watering your lawn, when to stop mowing it, and when to stop fertilizing!
Listen To Your Lawn!
When temperatures regularly drop down lower and sunlight becomes more and more scarce, the needs of your lawn will start to change. In order to keep your lawn healthy and prevent it from going into shock, it’s important to know when to start making these changes.
The first thing you’ll notice is that your grass will start growing more slowly. This is perfectly normal! As the days grow shorter, grasses enter a state of semi-dormancy in order to conserve energy. Pay attention to the length your lawn grows each week as temperatures get colder (you could even measure the growth with a ruler). When growth starts to slow down, you will know it’s time to adjust your lawn care.
You should also start paying attention to the color of your turf. As the leaves on trees begin to change color, so will the blades of grass on your lawn. This is another sign that growth is slowing down and that it’s time to change up your lawn care routine.
When To Stop Watering Your Lawn
In general, you should start reducing the amount of water you give your lawn about a month before the first frost is expected in your area. This will help the grasses enter dormancy gradually, rather than shock them by stopping all at once.
If you water your lawn too late into the fall, the blades of grass will stay green and continue to grow. However, the roots will not have enough time to develop properly before winter comes. This can lead to weak, unhealthy turf that is more susceptible to disease and pests.
When To Stop Mowing Your Lawn
The last thing you want to do is stress out your turf by mowing it too short in the fall. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, grasses will enter a state of semi-dormancy. This means they will start to grow more slowly and won’t need to be cut as often.
You should start mowing your lawn less frequently about a month before the first frost is expected in your area. This may mean switching from a weekly to a bi-weekly schedule, or you could simply switch to an as-needed basis. You will want to avoid stopping your mowing routines all at once because this could shock your turf. It is always best to ease your lawn into winter by tapering off mowing sessions.
When To Stop Fertilizing Your Lawn
Applying fertilizer to your lawn in the fall can actually do more harm than good because, as previously mentioned, lawns stop growing when it’s too cold. This means that applying too much nitrogen fertilizer will stress your turf if temperatures are too cold for growth.
If you fertilize your lawn too late in the season, the nitrogen in the fertilizer will actually start to break down the blades of grass. This can leave your turf vulnerable to disease and pests. It’s best to stop fertilizing your lawn about a month before the first frost is expected in your area.
The Pros Know Best
Paying attention to the specific needs of your lawn is the best way to keep it healthy all season long. By knowing when to stop watering, mowing, and fertilizing, you can ensure that your turf is strong and vibrant going into winter.
Companies like Elite Lawn Care have been taking care of lawns in Illinois for years. A local lawn care provider is always the best option because they will likely have experience in year-end lawn care for your area, and they can tell you exactly what to expect heading into winter. Before you end up hurting your lawn this fall, call the professionals!