The worst of the summer heat will be just a memory soon. Refreshed by the thought of breathing cooler air, you’re poised to roll up your sleeves and do some fall lawn maintenance, in between carving pumpkins & football, of course! Most lawns in Vancouver, WA are the cool season turf grasses including bluegrasses, bentgrasses, fescues and ryegrasses. Fall landscape checklist for cool season turf grasses include:

  • Apply herbicides to broadleaf weeds
  • Correct soil PH: if your lawn is not performing well, have your soil tested. If the soil test should show a need to reduce acidity, apply LIME now. If alkalinity needs to be reduced, apply sulphur.
  • Thatch removal: dethatch your lawn, by raking; If your soil is compacted, you may want to have a CORE AERATION.
  • Overseeding should be done to fill in any bare spots that may have occurred during the summer months.
  • Remove leaves, leaf removal is key to the health of the turf. DO NOT allow the leaves to stay on the lawn for long periods of time as the leaves will smother the turf and leave behind bare spots.
  • Watering during hot, dry spells – Fall lawn care for cool season grasses includes ensuring that lawns receive enough fall water to carry them through the long winter. Don’t think that because the temperatures outside are no longer consistently high, you can totally forget about watering in the autumn. Overall, you won’t need to water nearly as much as in summer, but during hot, dry spells in autumn, remember to provide sufficient water.
  • Fertilization – Another fall lawn care tip that applies specifically to the maintenance of cool season grasses is fertilization. Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
  • Setting lawn mower height – Adjusting lawn mower height for fall mowing is not an issue with cool season grasses. Just set the height as you normally would, right up until the time when growth stops and you stop mowing. So at exactly what height should you set lawn mowers, in general? Mowing your lawn with a lawn mower set at a proper height can save you from having to rake or bag your lawn clippings. The rule of thumb is, mow when your grass is dry and 3 to 3-1/2 inches tall. Never cut it shorter then 2-1/2 inches or remove more than one third of the leaf surface at any one mowing.