Fall is well underway in Minnesota, and the residents of Winona and Rochester are likely enjoying the colorful expanse of autumn leaves that have appeared in recent weeks. But, as all Minnesotans know, once the leaves start to fall, winter is just around the corner. It's time to store the rakes and lawnmowers and break out the shovels and snow blowers!
Ask youself one question - have you done all you can to prepare your lawn for the transition into winter? As the lawn service experts at Maier Tree and Lawn will tell you, lawn care is a year round endeavor. It may feel like it's time to stow those lawn tools as soon as it gets chilly, but chill or no chill, some pre-winter preparation can do wonders for your lawn come spring.
Fall lawn care is probably similar to your regular warm-weather routine, but the main difference is the objective. In the warm months the objective is keeping the lawn looking great and growing consistently. In the fall, however, it's all about making sure it will be able to withstand the winter without consequence. Or rather, it's all about resilience as opposed to aesthetics.
Why is the objective of fall lawn care so different from the rest of the year? The biggest answer for us Northerners is snow. Snow is heavy, wet, and everywhere. It can smother your grass, prevent the ground from freezing (which can lead to snow mold), and trap dead leaves underneath which can also contribute to fungus growth or disease (yuck!).
If you want to make sure that you're ready to get back into the swing of things when spring rolls around, then follow these simple tips for keeping your lawn autumn-healthy!
- Keep watering your lawn! Until the water on the ground is actively freezing, you can continue to water your grass on your normal schedule. Even if things are getting a little brown or brittle, you should still keep up that hydration. Hydrated grass is healthy grass, no matter what season it is!
- Don't put that mower away quite yet! It's wise to keep mowing until snow is just on the horizon. Keeping your grass at a reasonable length is important to prevent it from folding down upon itself once the snow packs on. Long, folded grass packed underneath snow is a potential breeding ground for fungus, and that's no fun-for-us!
- Rake, rake, and rake again! Yes, in Minnesota, maintaining a leaf-less lawn is more or less impossible, but you want that surface as clear as possible before things start getting icy. Rotting leaves won't only increase your chances for lawn disease, they can also be a pain to clean up when they're all stuck together in big, rotting bunches. It's better to deal with them when they're easy to corral!
If you keep these three things maintained throughout the autumn, when all that snow finally (finally) melts away, you should be left with a healthy, mold-free lawn!
Unfortunately, even with these precautions, nature has a way of following its own prerogative. If you think your lawn might be at risk for mold or disease, or you just have some questions regarding fall lawn care or lawn services, contact Maier Tree and Lawn today at 507.286.8733 (Rochester) or 507.454.7000 (Winona.) The lawn service specialists at Maier Tree and Lawn can help you with your lawn while you prepare for some good-old-fashioned-Minnesota-style hibernation. Rest assured that your lawn will be in good hands, even if those hands happen to be wearing mittens.