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Fall Lawn Maintenance

Q: What should I be doing in the fall to maintain my lawn? Should I mulch up the leaves and leave them on the lawn or should I remove them completely? Do I need to fertilize before winter?

A: Fall is the best time to apply broadleaf herbicides. You should mow at regular heights until growth stops; mulch tree leaves into turf.  Fertilize moderately by applying 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet after cool days slow leaf growth. Nutrients at this time will encourage root growth and thickening of turf. Soluble nitrogen fertilizers (containing urea, ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate) are used more efficiently by turf in late fall. Keep leaves from packing and smothering grass. Irrigate, if necessary, so that turf goes into winter with moist - not wet soil. Recondition lawn mower; store with clean oil.

-Richard Poynter