Want a greener lawn next summer? Prep now


The key to a lush, green yard is a healthy topsoil...but as the days get cooler, it takes more effort to keep up with trees and plants as they shed their leaves during the fall.

They can actually break down and lower the P-H balance of the dirt.

Todd Smith with Harmony Gardens says acidic soil isn't necessarily a bad thing, but too much can stunt root growth.

"You want to rake your leaves just to keep the bed clean if there's any disease. Sometimes in a tree, it'll drop in its leaves and actually be a cyclical pattern of breaking down and being absorbed back into the plant."

It's also a good idea to aerate the soil, especially if it is prone to compaction.

"That basically is just going to open up the pores of the soil to be able to bring more nutrients, more of the rain and moisture and any of the treatments that you're putting on the lawn such as pre-emerge.'

Smith says to skip out on fertilizer until the last winter freeze because most grass will go dormant anyway, such as Bermuda and Zoysia.

Other winter varieties will thrive on their own--so fall is the ideal time to scatter that grass seed.

"The fescue is a winter grass which means it'll really green up and look great this time of year. That is one of the grasses that does need to be re seeded."

The take-home message for any do-it-yourselfer is sometimes easily overlooked and could potentially cause thousands of dollars in damage.

"If you do have an irrigation system for the lawn, you want to make sure that you remove the backflow and blow out any water in the lines so that you don't have any freezes and bust any heads or any components of the irrigation system."

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