If you're like me, you have spent quite a bit of time getting your lawn and flowerbeds in order this summer, sometimes battling intense heat, several days of rain, or the dreaded chamberbitter infestation.
I thought I would say a few words about what I've learned about late summer lawn care as a homeowner, and things I've been taught by my friends and neighbors. I hope you find these tips to be useful!
1. Learn Everything You Can About Your Soil
The first year we owned our house I was truly frustrated with the fact that our lawn seemed to have a higher volume of weeds than actual grass. At times our back yard looked like a sea of dollar weeds. After going to our local Lowes and buying all kinds of fertilizer and grass seed, I bathed our lawn in a sea of chemicals and spent hundreds of dollars on hoses, sprinklers, and water. The results? A lot of money down the drain.
Did you know that Clemson University will process samples of the soil in your yard for a nominal fee? We learned quite a bit about our soil from our test, and even got recommendations about which chemicals were best for our front and back yard. Click here to find out more about the soil testing program and how to submit a sample. I can tell you that if you are going to spend money on fertilizer, you will want it to target the specific deficiencies you have in your soil.
2. Just Keep Mowing
Make sure you keep mowing your grass into the fall, never cutting more than a third of the grass blade at a time. As the weather gets colder, begin cutting warm-season grass a little shorter each week, until you reach 1.5-2 inches. According to Popular Mechanics, this will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown in the winter.
3. Broadleaf Weed Control
As we begin to approach the fall season, broadleaf weeds are going to start storing energy for the oncoming winter. They are drinking up all the nutrients they can out of the ground. This includes any weed control you happen to be applying. Make sure you are doing something now to help increase your chances of winning the dandelion battle in the spring.
Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you as you prepare your lawn and garden for fall? Please comment below to share your knowledge or expertise!