Fall Lawn Care Tips

Time is of the essence when it comes to fall lawn care. Start fall lawn care once summer has ended and before cold, winter weather begins. Assess your lawn for summer damage and tailor your fall lawn care routine to address your lawn’s specific needs.

If possible, we recommend planting grass seed at least 45 days before the first fall frost to allow for proper germination before the winter hits.

 

Remove Excess Thatch

Thatch is a layer of organic matter consisting of stems, dead grass, and leaves, that builds up above the soil and below the crown of the grass blades. Thatch is a normal part of every lawn, but too much thatch can cause headaches for your yard.

Thatch buildup that is more than ½ an inch thick on your lawn can block access to air, water, and nutrients that grass seedlings need to grow. Excess thatch on your lawn can also harbor disease-causing fungi and insects that weaken and ultimately kill your grass.

Remove excess thatch by using a metal rake, but do not rake so vigorously that healthy green grass is removed from your lawn.

 

Aerate Compacted Soil

Compacted soil can inhibit healthy root development and limit the flow of oxygen to the soil. Soil must be loose and porous prior to seeding for grass seedlings to germinate and grow.

Core aeration removes soil plugs from your yard, therefore creating space in the soil for air, water, and necessary nutrients to travel to your lawn’s root system. You can manually do this with an aerating tool, or rent a gas-powered aerator.

If you’re looking for an alternative to heavy and unwieldy aerators, Jonathan Green Love Your Soil® naturally loosens compacted soil and increases necessary airflow to your lawn’s root system. Plus, you don’t need extra equipment, it’s easily applied with the same spreader you use for grass seed and fertilizer.

 

Overseed a Thinning Lawn

READ OUR FULL OVERSEEDING GUIDE HERE

 

If you want a thicker, greener lawn for spring, fall is the perfect time to overseed! The hot, summer sun has probably done a number on your grass, causing thin or dead spots. Take advantage of the fall season’s warm soil temperatures, ample moisture, and cool nights to thicken up a thinning lawn.

To prepare your lawn for overseeding, adjust your mower to the lowest setting and mow the area you want to seed. Be sure to bag clippings afterward. After mowing, rake the area with a metal rake to create grooves in the soil and remove dead grass and debris. This will help grass seeds make seed-to-soil contact and improve the rate of germination.

Next, spread grass seed. For larger areas, spread seed with a rotary spreader. You should wait until your new grass grows to about four inches before mowing.

 

 

Feed Your Lawn

Fertilizing your cool-season lawn during fall is important to repair summer damage, supply it with nutrients to withstand the brutal winter months, and green up quicker in spring.

Cool season grasses like to be fertilized twice in the fall – one application in early fall (late August to September) and another in late fall (late October to November). The first application helps strengthen weak or brown spots from summer and the second helps to protect your lawn against winter disease. Make sure your second application occurs before the ground freezes.

Opt for a fertilizer rich in both potassium and nitrogen (the N and in the NPK ratio found on the front of fertilizer bags) such as Winter Survival Fall Lawn Fertilizer. Nitrogen aids in plant growth and greener grass. Potassium builds stronger cell walls and root systems, which helps your lawn endure times of stress and harsh weather conditions.

 

Lawn Mower Height

As your grass is still growing throughout fall, it is important to continue to maintain a regular mowing schedule. Once grass growth begins to slow down, lower your mower height to about 2.5 inches. For the last mow of fall, which will usually be between late October to early November, drop your mower to 2 inches to discourage winter disease, such as snow mold.

 

Watering the Lawn

Fall weather signals the end of sweltering, summer heat and the need to frequently water your lawn. Rainfall in autumn results in less evaporation and more moisture so your lawn can sustain itself. While this means your grass needs less to drink in the fall, this doesn’t mean you should stop watering altogether. Water your lawn as needed, making sure it receives about one inch of water per week, including rainfall. Continue to water your lawn until the ground freezes.

 

Remove Leaves

While fall leaves may look picturesque on your lawn they can be harmful to your grass. Leaving piled-up leaves on your lawn blocks necessary sunlight for new grass seedlings. If your lawn is damp, wet leaves can encourage lawn fungus and kill the grass underneath.

Remove leaves from your lawn by using a leaf blower or a rake. For newly seeded lawns it is best to use a leaf blower, as a rake may damage or hinder new seedlings from growing.  If you choose to rake, carefully glide the rake over the leaves when the soil is dry to remove them.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Tag Sale! 33%-50% Off Select Trees & Shrubs

Our Nursery Sale has just gotten even better! Shop early for best selection!

33% Off All Yellow-Tag Trees & Evergreens (Includes Rhododendrons & Azaleas)

50% Off All Yellow Tag Deciduous and Flowering Shrubs

Sale on yellow tag items only while supplies last through 10/31/22. All sales final.

 

 

 

 

Sneak Peek: A Taste of Fall

It’s hard to believe, but the fall season is upon us. Stop in to shop a taste of autumn as we begin to transform the store! Mums, kale, grasses, ornamental peppers and more are now arriving daily.

 

 

 

Special: 25′ Zero-G Hose $29.50

reg. $49.99 | valid through 10/26/22 or while supplies last

Compared to traditional heavy and professional water hoses, the Zero-G offers:
• Up to 40% lighter weight than heavy duty vinyl hoses
• Kink-free uninterrupted flow
• Easy to store – small and compact
• Tough woven fiber jacket resists leaks, abrasion and punctures.
• 600+ psi burst rated
• Consistent, high flow equal to a conventional 5/8″ hose
• Flexible and easy to maneuver even in cold weather down to 35°F
• Lead-free aluminum connectors – Drinking Water Safe

FALL IS FOR PLANTING

.. Maybe Even the best time for planting…

It happens every year, people from towns near and far make their spring pilgrimage to Mahoney’s. They come filled with anticipation of new perennials, lush lawns, and flowering shrubs. Simply put, it’s spring, and they want to plant something. No question of course, that spring is a great time to plant, but what many people don’t realize is that fall is not only an equally good time to plant, in many ways it’s better.

To understand why, it’s good to remember that plants do not think like people. While we lament the end of summer, plants – especially newly planted plants – find the cooler days far less stressful. We may dig in our closets for a sweater, but for plants the soil feels warm, which boosts root growth. And while fall rains seem gloomy to us, plants much prefer it to the hot dry summer. And this is true for a whole host of plants: trees, shrubs, perennials, roses, ornamental grasses and even your lawn. Practically anything planted now will have extra time to establish, so when it’s time to grow and flower next year, it will give you a great show at your house, not at the garden center.

 

HOW LATE INTO THE FALL CAN YOU PLANT?

Fact is, if the ground isn’t frozen and you can still dig the hole, you can still plant. Planting in September and October however allows that much more time for plants to become established, so sooner is better.

There are other reasons fall is a great time for planting. Unlike a lot of garden centers that wind down for the year, Mahoney’s brings in lots of fresh new plants every fall, especially shrubs. Check out our new shipments arriving daily. Planting them now will allow you to enjoy the foliage throughout all seasons, including color changes this fall.

Fall is also the unofficial “hide your neighbor” season. Why, we’re not sure, but a lot of people plant hedges in the fall. We’ll have fresh arborvitae, boxwood and other hedging evergreens as well as privet, hydrangeas, ninebark, spirea, weigela and many more deciduous shrubs. (Social note: for neighbors that need immediate hiding, we carry large and fast growing hedge shrubs. The ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae is especially popular)

Also very popular in the fall are miniature evergreens for urns, containers and window boxes. They add a festive touch for the holidays, and with a little protective care they will survive in a container through the winter. If you want to be greeted with tulips, daffodils and other flowers next spring, you have to plant the bulbs in fall.

Perennials especially benefit from the extra time in the ground before next spring. We bring in a lot of fresh perennials in the fall – especially the fall blooming varieties. We also have a wide selection of ornamental grasses – great for landscapes or containers.

Speaking of grasses, fall is the very best time to pay attention to your lawn. Not only do most lawns need a serious pick-me-up after the summer heat and dry spells, the warm fall soil encourages quick germination and cool air temperatures reduce stress.

 

 

 

Keep the critters out of your garden!

 

It’s the time of year when the sight of a rabbit, deer, or chipmunk in the yard can awaken your inner Elmer Fudd. Rabbits and deer nibbling at your leafy annuals and perennials, chipmunks and squirrels munching on your tomatoes – it’s a scene all too common these days…. even in the most urban of yards! Repels All and Rabbit Scram! are our go-to solutions  for the weary gardener who feels helpless against the army of critters.

 

Repels-All®

The unique blend of ingredients like putrescent egg solids, cloves, and garlic is offensive to an animals sense of smell without harm! Lasts up to 2 months. When they come in contact, it causes a natural instinct to escape and avoid the area. Available in a concentrate, granules and ready to spray.

 

Rabbit Scram

 

 is different because Rabbit Scram is more than just another offensive scent or unpleasant taste to foraging rabbits. Blended from selected organic and natural components, Rabbit Scram rabbit repellent is sniffed off the ground by foraging rabbits before they enter your gardens. Rabbit Scram is guaranteed to keep rabbits off your plantings because, through their uncanny sense of smell with their nose on the ground, it convinces rabbits that harm is nearby. As rabbits near the applied barrier of Rabbit Scram, rabbits actually alert to a sense of danger – even death! Rabbit Scram’s unique scent of death reaches the rabbit and triggers a genetic biological defense mechanism to flee from predators. Regular application of Rabbit Scram
rabbit repellent creates a barrier — 24 hours a day! – that rabbits will not cross to reach your plants. And Rabbit Scram’s granular application won’t wash off with rain as many spray repellents do.