It’s finally here! Fall is on our doorstep here in North Texas, which means we’re getting ready to enjoy cooler temperatures, beautiful fall foliage, and the upcoming holiday season. Just like we’re all ready for a break from the heat, our lawns are too! A difference in temperature, weather and climate will bring many changes for us as Texans, but it also means plenty of changes for our turfgrass too.
It’s time to take a look at our fall festival plans, and our plans to maintain our lawns in the most effective way possible in this upcoming fall season.
Lucky for you, Gecko has you covered for all your autumn lawn maintenance questions. Whether you’re looking for tips on watering, mowing, aeration, turfgrass disease or weed control, we’ve got the ultimate fall lawn care guide for you.
Introducing all of these changes in our fall lawn care practices is important to maintain a healthy lawn this upcoming season, but it is also important to remember that fall is also a prime time to fertilize our lawns.
Why Do We Fertilize
When we fertilize our lawns, we are essentially providing them all of the nutrients and supplements they need to grow into a strong, healthy lawn that will maintain its structure throughout the year. Feeding our lawn multiple times a year helps us make sure we are consistently providing our turfgrass with these necessary supplements, rather than expecting one large dose to carry us through a full 12 months.
It is important to remember that every lawn is unique, and developing a proper fertilization program for your lawn should be equally so.
In general however, most lawns flourish with a fertilization program that services your lawn 4 times per year, in early spring, late spring, summer and fall.
When you fertilize your lawn, you are providing your turf grass with three primary nutrients: Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. Lawns that are not treated with a fertilizer will have to rely on the soil in place to provide them with an ample amount of these nutrients, and in many cases your soil may be deficient of one or more of these essential elements.
Each of these three nutrients provides your turfgrass with a different function, and all three are necessary to promote a healthy, sustainable lawn.
- Nitrogen aids in the production of chlorophyll, a chemical necessary in the process of photosynthesis. This will promote healthy leaf growth in your lawn, and fight against thinning grass, drought, and disease.
- Potassium is essential for maintaining a healthy plant life by strengthening your plant’s cells, and will help ensure that your grass grows strong, and full of rich green color. Potassium also stimulates growth in the root of your plant, and is important to apply as new blades begin to grow.
- Phosphorus, although also an essential nutrient in your fertilizer, is readily available in your soil here in North Texas, and should always represent the smallest percentage in your formulation.
The amount of fertilizer as well as the formulation of the product you apply will depend not only on your grass species, mowing practices, and general environmental conditions, but also on the nutrients present in and lacking from your soil. When determining your own lawn’s fertilization program, most lawn care specialists recommend beginning with a soil test.
A soil test will provide you with this information, and let you know which nutrients are adequately supplied by your existing soil, and which are lacking. This information is necessary when choosing your fertilization program, as adding to nutrients which are already sufficiently present in your soil will have little effect on your lawn.
For example, you may conduct a test and find that your soil already has sufficient levels of potassium to promote healthy plant life. A fertilizer that has a higher percentage of this nutrient will not be of aid to your lawn, and you may not see results from applying this product. A soil test of another lawn may show that this element is more severely lacking, and this lawn will need to be serviced with a fertilizer more rich in Potassium to achieve results.
For more information on the formulation of fertilizers, and how to determine your lawns specific needs, you can read our Dallas homeowner's fertilization guide.
Why Do We Fertilize in the Fall
Many of us think fall might be as relaxing a time for our plants and grass as it can be for us, but in fact fall is an important time to provide your tired grass with the boost it needs to stay strong and well structured during the coming fall and winter months.
However, the beginning of the fall season is one of the most important times to care for our grass as it prepares to enter into winter dormancy.
Caring for our lawns in the fall allows our grass and plant life to prepare for a healthy growth in the spring. Our lawns have been drained of their nutrients and strength in the previous summer months, as they’ve worked to fight summer heat and drought.
We also typically see a higher foot traffic in our lawns in the summer, which weakens their defenses to disease, weed growth, and insect infestation. If our grass and plant life aren’t nourished in the fall, they may not be strong enough to maintain a healthy root in the coming months, and we may not achieve the growth results we are aiming for in the spring.
As previously mentioned, Potassium plays a vital role in promoting a healthy and strong root growth in our turfgrass, and fall is the ideal time to supply our lawns with this essential nutrient.
In addition to promoting root growth, Potassium also promotes a healthy metabolism, aids in water absorption, and facilitates nutrient absorption for your plant. It is most effectively absorbed in cooler temperatures, and is therefore a key ingredient in your fall fertilization practices.
When Should I Apply My Fertilizer
Now that we know our lawn is in need of supplements this fall, our next question is when is the best time to apply? Although every lawn is unique, the best time to apply is Texas is no later than 6 weeks before the first expected frost. Depending on forecasted temperatures, this application should likely take place between the months of late September and October.
This timing allows the grass to soak up the nutrients it needs, with the help of increased fall rainfall, before the harsh effects of a frost or colder temperatures set in.
How Gecko Green Can Help
Here at Gecko Green, we understand that every lawn has unique fertilization needs. Our well trained and friendly professionals will work with you, your soil, and your needs to determine the best course of action to properly fertilize your lawn.
Gecko Green is a family owned business local to North Texas. Our years of service and our commitment to customer satisfaction make us the perfect team to help you bring your lawn up to speed this fall!
For information on our services, experience, and customer satisfaction guarantee, give Gecko Green a call today!