By this time of the year, most Indianapolis-area homeowner’s are over their lawn. Done. No more. It’s not uncommon. After months of mowing, watering, fertilizer applications, weed control, etc., etc., it’s only natural to lose interest. But wait! Don’t lose interest too soon. Fall is actually the most important time of year to care for your lawn.
Well after the grass appears to stop growing, the roots are still hard at work absorbing nutrients and moisture. Just as bears gorge themselves before hibernating, your grass is storing up reserves to make it through the winter and thrive in the spring. So if you have put off that winterizer lawn application or felt like it wasn’t necessary, you may want to reconsider. This application sets the stage for spring growth and development. If grass goes dormant with strong, nutrient-rich roots, it will wake up next spring energized and ready to grow.
Also, just as you think the grass is done growing, give it one last mow. Set your mower to 2″ and give it one last pass. Yes, we have always said you should mow your grass tall, between 3-4 inches, but that is during the growing season. As grass goes dormant, a nice short haircut will prepare it for winter. You may want to save this step until after all the leaves have fallen from the trees in your yard. That way you take care of two things with one step. Mulching the leaves will help cover bare spots and provide nutrients to the lawn. But, if you mulch a lot of leaves you may have to raise the mower deck and make a couple passes to get them chopped up.
So just when you thought you could hang up your mowing shoes for the season, it appears there is still work to be done. But don’t fret, you’re almost to the finish line and taking these extra steps will benefit your lawn next spring.