Living in Toronto, Canada, we experience some drastic seasonal changes. With the changing seasons comes changes to daily maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation amounts and daily sunlight hours and these fluctuations can pose problems for your lawn and gardens. In the next few posts, we hope to give you some ideas on how to help improve and strengthen your lawn and gardens for the Fall and Winter seasons.
Firstly, let's talk about grass.
With Fall comes lower temperatures and greater precipitation amounts. During this season, grass will start to recover from the long heat and drought of summer. These changes also make Fall an ideal time to fix those areas of your lawn that are beyond self-repair. Options for fixing problematic areas are top dressing (laying a thin layer of soil for better seed germination) and seeding for patchy areas or sodding for larger or extremely damaged areas. Don't forget, the same watering rules apply (see '3 Tips for a Nicer Lawn').
Another way to help prepare your lawn for Fall and Winter is to apply the appropriate fertilizer. All lawn and garden fertilizers are composed of the same 3 main elements, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). These elements are represented on the label by the percentage of each element in the mix of fertilizer (i.e. 10-10-10, or 10% N, 10% P, 10% K) and are always listed in the same order as above. Each main component in fertilizer are used by plants for different purposes. Nitrogen (N) helps promote fresh, green growth, Phosphorus (P) helps promote root growth and bloom development (in flowering plants), while Potassium (K) acts to strengthen cell structure and leads to an increase in overall plant health. In the Fall, we like to use more P and K weighted fertilizer, like 5-10-15, to help prepare the grass for the upcoming winter season. Applying Nitrogen is seen to be less important during the Fall as having a green lawn in winter is mostly unnecessary.
By following these tips, you can not only improve your lawn for this Fall, but also begin next Spring with a healthier, more beautiful lawn.
Stay tuned for our next post where we will discuss ways to prepare your garden for Fall/Winter!