Fall in Calgary can begin anywhere from early September to sometime in November. If you want your grass to be green next spring, it is best to have your lawn prepared before winter sets in. There are several things you should do every fall to make spring start-up easier. Failure to take the necessary precautions can cause permanent damage to your lawn and create a whole lot of work in the spring.
The first thing you need to do in the fall is aerating. Aerating allows the dirt plugs to break down over the winter months and help moisture find a way to the roots. When spring arrives, you will be able to enjoy a lush green lawn much sooner, with little preparation. Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is important as this is when much of the root development takes place. Unused nitrogen from the fertilizer is stored over the winter and will help your lawn look greener in the early spring.
Remember to remove all debris and the majority of the leaf cover in the fall. A small amount of leaves leftover from the winter is alright but too many can cause your lawn to suffocate. Snow mould can form through the winter months resulting in damage to your lawn. Cut your lawn short for the final cut in the fall. Short grass prevents long blades from toppling over onto each other, creating a barrier against new spring growth. Long grass also forms the ideal environment for mice and voles to winter in and you don’t want this. Rodents cause permanent damage by chewing grass off at the roots, leaving a pattern that can look like a series of random lines after the snow melts. Not to mention you don’t need a family of vermin taking up residence near your home.
It is important to think about your lawn over the winter too. How and where you shovel your snow can have an impact on your lawn come spring. Salt from tires and ice melt can cause damage when snow is shovelled from sidewalks and driveways onto the grass. Snow continually piled up in one area will not melt quickly and can cause snow mould and winter kill.