Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fall Lawn Care Made Easy

Fall is here, and it's the perfect time to get your lawn ready for next spring. Here are a few easy steps from the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District's,(CCSWCD), YardScaping program, which aims to help Mainers improve soil health, reduce the use of lawn care products, and grow a beautiful lawn with few or no additives. 

Get confused at the store? CCSWCD works with many lawn and garden centers throughout the Greater Portland area to label healthy lawn care products with a rubber ducky logo. To find a list of participating stores, click here. For more information or specific questions regarding your lawn, give us a call at 207-892-4700. 

Step 1: Do a soil test
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn, but it is not always necessary. Avoid wasting money on fertilizer by doing a soil test first. Fall is also the perfect time to add lime to your lawn, and a soil test will tell you exactly how much is needed. Request a soil testing kit from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension or by calling CCSWCD at 207-892-4700. Learn more about soil testing here

Step 2: Aerate
Help grass roots thrive by loosening the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots more easily. Core aerators are easy to use and affordable to rent, especially if you split the cost with a neighbor.  Learn more about aerating here

Step 3: Add Compost
Ideally, grass needs 6-inches of quality soil to grow. Unfortunately, Maine soils tend to be very shallow (only about 3-inches in most places). Adding a thin layer (1/4 to 3/8 inch) of compost over your lawn will help you build up your soil layer faster, while also adding nutrients and organic matter to help you grow a healthy lawn. Learn more about topdressing with compost here.

Step 4: Overseed 
Spread new grass seed over your existing lawn to rejuvenate your grass and have a thicker lawn next year. Learn more about choosing the right grass seed here

With a little time this fall, you'll have a healthier lawn next spring!