Can it really be September already? Here in Kentucky, the sun is still shining, warmth is still in the air, and bugs are still irritating us, but fall is on the calendar. Kids are back to school, the nights are getting longer, and whether we like it or not, winter is around the corner. So what can you do to start preparing your lawn for the upcoming season ahead? First, continue to mow. Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass should be mowed until the first hard freeze. Clean up your yard, including leaves, debris, and trim those trees and shrubs. Take a moment to clean out those gutters, and don’t forget to include weed control in your routine. Using a pre-emergent now will help stop the seeds that are spreading from growing when spring comes around.
So that’s it, right? You are done and ready for winter. Not exactly. We haven’t mentioned yet the most important aspect of fall lawn care, fertilization. Many folks believe fertilizer is just a spring or summer activity, but fertilizing in the fall can be extremely beneficial. Turf Pro Outdoor Solutions is here to explain the reasons why.
The Key to a Healthy Kentucky Lawn Lies Within the Soil
Your lawn’s soil is the most crucial part of your lawn. It provides an anchor for your turf, plants, and tree and shrub roots. It acts as a filter system, sorting through the essential elements, including water and nutrients while getting rid of all the bad. It also helps protect against erosion and helps hold in moisture. But like all living things, sometimes your soil needs additional nutrients. Perhaps due to weather stressors, overuse, disease, and pests, your soil suffers a depletion in water, sunlight, or vitamins. Like we as humans take supplements, fertilizer offers the added nutrition your turf needs.
What Is Fertilizer?
Fertilizer is a blend of synthetic or organic materials. Organic fertilizers are made up of plant or animal sources such as manure, compost, or bone meal. Synthetic fertilizers contain three essential ingredients. When you look at a bag of fertilizer, you will see the letters, N-P-K, with a set of numbers next to them. This stands for nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). Each one of these critical micronutrients serves a different purpose.
- Nitrogen is responsible for root growth, and chlorophyll formation is the green pigment in green plants that helps them absorb sunlight. Once this pigment is formed, it transforms the sunlight into chemical energy.
- Phosphorous helps strengthen the root system and encourage root growth. It also helps your grass to defend itself against diseases and stay healthy.
- Potassium protects your grass and its roots from the cold winter temperatures and helps with the overall functions of grass.
The other lesser-known ingredients in fertilizer include what are known as micronutrients. These are the additional ingredients in fertilizer that help keep your grass healthy. Some of these micronutrients include chlorine, copper, iron, nickel, manganese, and zinc. They assist your grass with processes like chlorophyll production, photosynthesis, and disease and pest resistance.
Why Fall Is a Great Time to Fertilize
As we mentioned before, most Kentucky lawns are made up of cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass. Around September through November, when the temperatures start to cool off and we get more rain, your cool-season grasses continue to grow while storing essential nutrients for the winter. Adding fertilizer while in absorption mode is an excellent idea because your grass will quickly absorb it. Applying fertilizer in the fall gives your grass the nutrients and added strength it needs to survive winter and the diseases winter brings.
Irrigate To Aid Fertilizer in Root Growth
A good way to aid in root growth is to follow up your fertilization with irrigation. Encourage deep root growth with infrequent deep watering. It will help your soil to absorb more nutrients causing the turf to grow more robust and hardier.
Why a Lawn Fertilization Service Is Beneficial to Your Kentucky Lawn
While you can fertilize your lawn yourself, we recommend investing in a lawn fertilization service utilized by a local lawn care professional. Lawn care fertilization services typically include several different applications of fertilizer applied throughout the year at specific times with the appropriate amounts needed for your individual lawn. Many of these same programs also include pre and post-emergents for weed control, fungicide treatments, and various other components that ensure a healthy lawn.
At Turf Pro Plus Outdoor Solutions, we offer a seven-step lawn fertilization service specifically designed to fit our local climate and landscaping needs. We begin in early spring with a slow-release fertilizer and provide multiple applications throughout the season and into the fall. Our lawn fertilization service includes weed control as well as insect control, covering everything your turf needs in one package. Find out more about our lawn fertilization service by visiting our website, requesting a free no-pressure estimate online, or by calling us at 502-991-7600.