Summer is still firmly established in Iowa, but it’s not too early to start thinking about late- summer lawn care near Sioux City. Jay-Lan Lawn Care has a trusted five-step process for how to care for your lawn in late summer and prepare it for early fall – with the ultimate goal being a lush green lawn come next spring.

Step 1: Rake

Autumn leaves look great and kids love to play in them, but your grass doesn’t share the same sentiment. Leaves left untended on your lawn end up blocking out light and trapping moisture, which hastens decay. If you want to avoid dealing with patches of dead grass next spring, we recommend blowing/raking them off your lawn whenever they begin to accumulate. This process will likely continue beyond the point when your trees are leafless, but your diligence and hard work will definitely pay off.

Step 2: Water

Many homeowners incorrectly assume that cooler weather means not having to water their lawn anymore, the reason being that fall brings more dew, more rain, and cooler temperatures that reduce evaporation. However, your lawn requires at least an inch of water per week, something Mother Nature may not consistently provide. Stay on the safe side by using a rain gauge to measure your lawn’s water level, and keep the water flowing as often as needed. In many cases, you’ll find that you’re watering your lawn until late October, at which time you can disconnect your hoses and prep for winter.

Step 3: Aerate

Another of our important lawn care tips involves aeration, a process that loosens the lawn’s soil and allows valuable nutrients, oxygen, and water to spread freely within. Core aeration is the ideal solution, since it ably penetrates whatever thick layer of debris has settled over the lawn, goes down into the ground, and pulls up plugs of soil. Aeration not only breaks up the soil for easier mineral dispersion, it also makes it much easier for fertilizer to get all the way down to your lawn’s roots.

Step 4: Fertilize

Like water, fertilizer is vital to a lawn’s ability to endure the winter. Fertilizer provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs to blossom come springtime, and in the meantime it protects your lawn’s roots from freezing. The ideal fertilizer for a late-summer/fall application is one that integrates potassium. This alkali metal is a kind of “super nutrient”, boosting your lawn’s cold resistance, disease protection, drought tolerance, and root growth.

Step 5: Overseed

The denser a lawn, the more protected it is against weeds and drought, and the better it will be able to ride out the winter. Overseeding your existing turf allows you to thicken up the thin/bare spots and add the newest, strongest grasses to your lawn. Late summer/fall is the ideal time to overseed because nights are cool and days aren’t as hot, which translates to soil that is still warm and moist.

Helping You Achieve Your Lawn Goals

For more than 50 years, Jay-Lan Lawn Care has provided year-round lawn care expertise to Sioux City residents. Summer lawn care is an important stepping stone for prepping your grass and soil for the winter ahead, and we look forward to helping your execute this five-step plan.