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Early Fall Turf Care – Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Looking Great in the Fall

If you’re thinking that now is the time to take a breather on lawn care since Summer is quickly coming to a close and grass can’t possibly continue to grow this quickly, it’s time to reconsider. While grass is not growing at the speed it was in Spring and Summer, this is the time when grass “powers up” so to speak, absorbing moisture and nutrients to prepare for its dormancy in Winter. To this end, we’d like to offer some tips to prepare for a healthy lawn in the Spring, when you’ll really want to stop and smell those flowers. Grab that rake and attack those leaves.  You’ll notice that leaves don’t wait until the official start of Autumn to fall.  You’ll find your lawn scattered with tree confetti as early as August.  As soon as they begin to fall, rake. If leaves are left on the ground for too long, they will become matted down with rain and begin to suffocate your grass and possibly lead to fungal disease in your lawn. Contact us about soil aeration.  We have the equipment and expertise to properly prepare your soil. This is crucial to allow the soil to absorb water, fertilizer and nutrients.  Again, this will be needed through Winter so that when the first thaw of Spring arrives, your lawn will be ready to thrive.  Incidentally, do continue to water.  Obviously it will not be a necessary as it was in July, but keep your eyes out for dry patches. Fall is the best time to fertilize.  Though the growth of grass slows down considerably in the Fall, its roots continue to thrive.  Applying the right mix of fertilizer now is essential to building food

Fall Landscaping Tips: 30 Ways to Prepare Your Landscape for Winter and Spring

There’s no denying the beauty of Northern Virginia in the fall. Bright oranges, deep reds and maroons, and even flashy yellows adorn our trees, creating picturesque views and perfect bonfire backdrops. Even though you may want to linger a little longer on your deck or patio these days, there’s a lot you can be doing right now to prepare your landscape for colder weather – and even next year’s growth. To honor our 30th anniversary, here are 30 fall landscaping tips: Swap out your summer annuals for fall plants. Pansies and mums are a wonderful way to add a little color as the temperature drops. Pull weeds from your beds. The more you get rid of now, the less you’ll have to deal with next year. Apply an herbicide to your lawn. Kill dandelions and other pesky weeds that are choking out your grass. Keep in mind, though, that most herbicides work best when it is 60 degrees or warmer. Test your soil. Get the intelligence now that you can use to keep your lawn lush and healthy next year. Our turf renovation blog  has information on inexpensive, invaluable soil tests for Virginia residents. Aerate and reseed your lawn. Why is core aeration and overseeding so important? Check out our blog on core aeration and overseeding. Fill in bald spots. If you have areas of turf that died over the summer, now is the time to patch them with compost and seed. Start a new lawn – if you have to. If your lawn is completely overrun with weeds or has extremely large bare areas, you may need to just start over. Fall is a great time to seed or lay sod. Fertilize your turf. Roots

Getting Ready for Fall with Core Aeration and Overseeding

As the summer fades away and the kids go back to school, it’s good to start thinking about what lies ahead for your landscaping. Two important maintenance practices should happen every fall in Northern Virginia: core aeration and overseeding. Even though some homeowners ignore these steps, they are arguably the two most important things you can do to enhance the quality of your lawn. What is core aeration? Core aeration is the process of removing tiny plugs – or cores – from your lawn. Usually done with a machine, the cores are roughly ½ to ¾ of an inch in diameter and 1 to 6 inches long. The holes are typically 2 to 6 inches apart, depending on the aeration machine used. Another method of aeration called spiking involves pushing spikes into the ground without removing any cores. We do not recommend this method because it actually contributes to further lawn compaction and not aeration. Why should you aerate your lawn? Core aeration eases turf compaction. In Northern Virginia, the majority of our soil is mixed with native red clay. This clay is dense and heavy, making it hard for water, nutrients, and air to flow into the ground. Aeration alleviates that density and makes it easier for the grass to get what it needs to grow strong and healthy. It basically gives your grass room to breathe – and eat and drink. Another common problem that aeration solves is heavy thatch. Thatch is the blanket of tightly connected roots, stems, and leaves – both living and dead – that lays on top of your turf, just below the grass blades. It is beneficial to your lawn when it stays thinner than ¾ of an