Lawn Care Tips for the Philadelphia Area
Keeping a lawn green and healthy in the Northeast requires a delicate balance of warm and cooler weather care. It’s important to follow a schedule of lawn care tasks and avoid skipping any if you want your lawn to look its best.
Because temperatures are cooling down, many people think that they should be decreasing the amount of time they’re spending on their lawn. But the truth is that this is a crucial time for lawn care. Putting in the effort in the fall will pay off in a beautiful lawn in the spring and summer.
Start with a good dose of fertilizer. In fact, fall is when you should be fertilizing your lawn the most. In the Philadelphia area, you shouldn’t apply fertilizer past October, because it’s likely that temperatures will drop too far for it to be effective.
You should also continue watering and mowing as you did in the spring and summer, although you can skip watering if it rains on a regular basis. Rake the fallen leaves on your lawn at least once a week, or use a mulching mower to chop them up small enough so they can be left on the lawn. Leaving full-size leaves on the lawn can cause fungus and mold, so be diligent about your raking.
Fall is also the perfect time for overseeding, since all of the grass types that grow well in this region start out best when temperatures are cooler. Plan to do this a month before the first frost usually occurs so the grass has time to get itself established.
Get your mower ready before it’s needed by having the blades sharpened and bringing it in for any needed repairs or service. Once the grass gets to be about 3 inches tall, you can begin mowing. Don’t cut more than a third of the grass’s length at a time. If the grass doesn’t seem to be growing well because of compacted soil, aerate to loosen it.
You can apply a small amount of fertilizer in the spring if needed, but save the heavy application for the fall. Slow-release or organic types of furniture are your best bet.
Since summers in the Philadelphia area sometimes come with hot, dry periods, it’s important to know what to do with your lawn. In times of restricted water, it’s fine to let your lawn go dormant. Even if it turns brown, it will recover once there’s enough water. During the hot periods, you probably won’t need to mow as often as you will when it’s cooler.
Taking a seasonal approach to your lawn care is the best way to grow attractive grass in the Philadelphia area. Following these tips will ensure that your lawn weathers the winter and comes back healthy in the spring.