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During the hot days of summer it is easy to forget that fall is the most important season for fertilization and weed control for your lawn. Proper feeding and weed control in the fall will ensure a beautiful and healthy lawn in the spring.
Spring is when the roots of grass and weeds grow quickly so proper preparation is vital to preventing unwanted weeds and add strength to grass. A slow release fertilizer is recommended as it will provide food through about November, if applied in September. Texas A & M recommends using a fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen and potassium and lower in phosphorus in the fall. Studies have shown that this type of fertilizer helps grass survive the stress of a dry winter. Grass that is stressed in the winter months will recover more slowly in spring and create an opportunity for unwanted weeds to grow. Preventing these weeds is much easier than trying to get rid of them after they have taken root.
A regular watering schedule will also help the grass create a root stock that not only survives the winter, but helps to grow lush green grass in the spring. It is a good idea to irrigate the lawn before a hard freeze as moist soil does not freeze as easily as dry soil. This helps to protect the roots of the grass from damage due to the cold weather. This healthy root stock will grow thicker grass that is more resistant to weeds without the use of an herbicide. Thus proper feeding in the fall along with proper watering through the winter may be the first step to a better lawn next spring.
Fall is also an excellent time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to control weeds that thrive in the cooler months. Bluegrass, Chickweed and Henbit are a few examples of unwanted weeds that can suddenly appear when grass is dormant in the winter. Whenever possible it is important to choose a herbicide that targets the specific type of weed that has appeared in your yard.
Grassy weeds like Blue-grass may require a different type of herbicide from broadleaf weeds like Henbit. It is a good idea to consult with a lawn specialist to determine the correct herbicide to use as well as the proper application process. Be aware that many herbicides are not good for pets, so read the directions carefully before allowing pets back into the yard.
If you have questions about the proper fertilizer or herbicide for your lawn this fall contact us.
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