It may be hard to believe during the dog days of summer, but fall in Chicago is only about a month away. It’s time to start prepping your lawn for cooler weather, more rain, and dare we say it, frost.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your lawn thrives over the next few months before the snow arrives:
- Apply winter fertilizer. A high potassium fertilizer feeds the lawn before it goes down for a long winter’s nap.
- Seed for cool season grasses. If you choose to go this route, do it early enough for the seed to sprout and grow deep roots by fall.
- Aerate your lawn. Giving the lawn some extra oxygen and water helps the fertilizer reach the roots.
- Weed control. To prevent weeds from growing during winter, apply an herbicide now so weeds don’t take in extra nutrients from the grass.
As the leaves begin to fall in another month or two, remove them as often as possible. While it’s tempting to wait until the last leaf drops, leaving them on the grass can be damaging to your lawn. When it rains, leaves will become wet from morning dew and stick together. The gathered leaves can suffocate the lawn and allow fungal diseases to develop on your lawn. If you don’t want to rake, mow the leaves with a bag collector. As bonus for this method, you’ve then created mulch for your compost garden.