Fall Lawn Care Tips for Your New Jersey Cool-Season Grass

Healthy New Jersey lawn in winter

It’s September here in New Jersey, which means back to school, nights around the campfire, or last weekend trips to the local lakes and Jersey shore. It’s also the perfect time to start getting your lawn ready for our upcoming winter. There is a lot to do in the fall, and there is no time like the present to get started on your fall lawn care routine. To help you get started, Harvest Lawn Care has broken down the most critical tasks and created a list so you don’t leave anything behind.

Continue To Mow Until the First Hard Freeze

Along the eastern coast of New Jersey, our lawns are made up of cool-season grasses such as tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass. Our cool-season grasses will continue to grow until the first hard freeze when the roots die. As the month progresses, drop down your mower and cut your grass two inches shorter than you did the rest of the season. When it comes time for that one final mowing, cut a little further.

Don’t Forget About Hydration

During this time, the growth of your grass starts to slow down a bit, but that doesn’t mean you should stop watering altogether. Unless you receive more than one inch of water per week, continue to provide supplemental water as needed until the ground is frozen. If we have a heat spell, such as when Indian summer occurs, feel free to water more than once a week.  If you have just had your lawn reseeded, maintain regular water practices to establish roots and promote growth.  Whatever you do, try not to oversaturate your grass because this is the perfect time for fungal diseases to take hold.

Fertilize Your New Jersey Lawn

Your cool-season grasses are recovering from summer stressors such as heat, drought, and overuse. Fall is an important time to fertilize because the cooler temperatures provide the perfect environment for your lawn to regain its strength. The morning dew delivers moisture to help your turf absorb the fertilizer giving the grass a chance to build its strength back up before old man winter comes roaring in. At Harvest Lawn Care, our six-step lawn care program offers six different applications, including a critical fertilizing component in the fall. We apply fertilizer and iron between September and October to promote greening and root development to get your turf ready for the cooler months ahead.

Weeds Are Not Through With You Yet

Don’t worry. Weeds crop up in even the most well-cared-for lawns. While creating a robust, healthy lawn can help your turf fight off weeds and diseases, seeds find themselves anywhere and everywhere. During the fall, many summer weeds are now loaded with thousands of seeds just waiting to germinate on your lawn. Other winter annual weeds such as chickweed, clover, poa annua, and others start growing, lay dormant, and then rear their ugly heads at the first sign of spring. Using a pre-emergent now will help prevent this from happening. As part of our six-step lawn care program, Harvest Lawn Care includes pre-emergent weed control from September through October to help keep your turf weed-free.

Fall is the Ideal Time for Aeration and Overseeding

Summers in New Jersey are full of outside activities, including in your backyard. Game nights, barbecues, lawn equipment, and climate stressors can all compact your soil, making it hard for important elements such as water, oxygen, and fertilizer nutrients to get through the ground surface. Overly compacted soil can cause the turf to wither and die. A great way to combat this is through a process called aeration and overseeding. If you aren’t sure if your yard is compacted, look for the following signs:

  • Pooling water
  • Thin or bare patchy spots
  • Water runoff
  • Spongy grass

Harvest Lawn Care offers both aeration and overseeding services. Our aeration services will rejuvenate your lawn and have it thriving again in no time. We will then slice the seed, mixing a high-quality grass seed to provide quick and greener results.

Fall Pest Control

Just because the warm weather is slowly coming to an end, don’t let your guard up when it comes to bugs. As fall arrives in New Jersey, fall pests such as Boxelder bugs, cluster flies, Asian lady beetles, and stink bugs will be on the hunt for a place to remain warm and cozy throughout the winter. Make sure your house is properly secured and maintained before they enter. Invest in seasonal perimeter pest control with Harvest Lawn Care. Our single application solution provides ant control, spider control, bug control, and other insect control.

Protect Your Trees and Shrubs Before Winter Sets In

Don’t forget about your trees and shrubs! Late fall after the leaves have fallen off the trees is a good time to prune since it will be easier to see the tree’s structure. Both spring and fall are good times to have dormant oil applied to your trees. In the fall, adult insects lay their eggs on the bark of your trees, where they will hatch in the spring. Dormant oil kills Insects and their eggs that overwinter on the bark of trees by coating them in a thick substance.

Harvest Lawn Care can protect and maintain your trees through our tree and shrub care services. Our combined 100+ years of experience have allowed us to set up customized treatment options for all types of ornamentals.

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