As autumn’s colors replace summer’s vibrancy, the focus shifts to lawn care for your fall lawn clients.
This season offers tailored care opportunities, helping soil recover from the hot, dry summer and setting the stage for a thriving spring. Essential practices like aeration and overseeding for cool season lawns revive turfgrass’s potential.
Yet, it’s not just aesthetics that matter. The true value lies in reassuring clients with a customized lawn care plan. Emphasize fall lawn care as an investment, not just a task. Your fall lawn clients will trust your expertise and be satisfied with healthy, lush turfgrass next spring.
Essential Fall Lawn Care Tasks for Your Fall Lawn Clients
While cool and warm season grasses need care to recuperate after the brutal summer heat, some fall lawn maintenance tasks don’t apply to both grass types.
For example, cool season grasses need aeration and overseeding, but warm season grasses don’t need aeration and seeding until the spring.
Homeowners with mostly warm-season grasses but use tall fescue in shaded areas need to aerate and seed the fescue lawns only in the fall.
If you provide liquid aeration products, both cool and warm season lawns benefit from this type of aeration in the fall. Liquid aeration opens up the soil and
- It rehabilitates the soil making it porous and open to receive oxygen
- There are no soil plugs lying on the lawn
- Homeowners have peace of mind that you won’t damage any underground cables, invisible pet fencing, or their in-ground sprinkler systems.
However, liquid aeration has its drawbacks as well, such as
- It doesn’t work as quickly as traditional core aeration
- It doesn’t provide a permanent fix
- It doesn’t work well on heavy soil compaction.
You may need to educate your fall lawn clients on other essential lawn care tasks, such as
- Raking and leaf removal so leaves don’t smother the grass underneath them. You can also provide leaf mulching, where your mowers will chop up leaves and let them lay on the lawn as mulch.
- Cleaning the lawn of debris, which includes seed pods, nuts, and other yard waste, so you can continue to mow, fertilize, and take care of the turfgrass until the ground freezes and the grass stops growing for the season.
- Clearing lawn debris helps homeowners’ lawns get regular sunlight, improves water absorption, and prevents disease and pests from living under wet leaves and seed pods.
- Fall lawn care also includes fertilization and adding amendments to rehabilitate the soil so that turfgrass can develop deep root systems before winter.
Promoting Thick, Lush Turfgrass Growth
Your fall lawn clients may need to realize that lawn maintenance tasks in autumn promote healthy, thick turfgrass with fast green-up in early spring.
Homeowners who invest in the following lawn services now will benefit from the healthy outcomes in March:
- Winter fertilization with higher potassium helps turfgrass cells to harden and encourages deep root growth
- Weed control for cool season grassy weeds, such as poa annua, in warm season lawns
- Cool season lawns also need weed control to stop fall weeds from germinating.
- You’ll also need to provide after-care information for your fall lawn clients whose lawn you provided overseeding that they need to continue to water their lawn lightly until turfgrass seeds begin to germinate.
- You can also remind your fall lawn clients to have their outdoor sprinkler systems adjusted to water less frequently in autumn and that they need their sprinkler systems winterized before the ground freezes.
Expert Pest Prevention
Every season brings the threat of pests that can ruin your fall lawn clients’ yards.
You can write up a fact sheet about the common bugs that invade home lawns in your region. You can send this fact sheet through your newsletter, upload onto your website, and feature it in a blog.
Include photos of these pests in people’s yards so your fall lawn clients know what to look for. Encourage your customers to invest in your insect control program to keep these pests at bay.
Different parts of the U.S. deal with certain lawn pests more than others. For example, armyworms tend to affect southern lawns more.
Here are the most common pest problems that you’ll fall lawn clients’ will face with their properties:
- Chinch bugs
Ohio State University Extension names different chinch bugs that live in parts of Canada and the U.S. For example, the hairy chinch bug favors cool season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, perennial ryegrass, and bentgrass. The hairy chinch bug will also attack zoysiagrass, a warm season grass.
The common chinch bug attacks a mix of cool and warm season grasses, including Bermudagrass, fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and zoysiagrass.
Homeowners who mow their lawns extra short are more susceptible to cutworms. These pests surface from the ground at night and eat the grass closest to the soil line.
- Fall armyworms
Did you know that a moth can lay up to 1,000 eggs in one night that hatches into fall armyworms? Clemson University notes that when the armyworms reach the 4th larval stage, they’ve eaten 93% of turfgrass foliage, which is considerable damage.
In late summer, the second generation of beetles will lay their eggs in your fall clients’ lawns. And these larvae will overwinter deep in the soil and re-emerge next spring into grubs.
Give your customers a head start in stopping grub damage by putting down grub control now that kills grubs before they can burrow.
- Sod webworms
Sod webworms, also known as lawn moths, come in various species. If your fall lawn clients tell you they see tan moth activity at dusk, they may have a sod webworm problem.
Lawn moths lay their eggs in early summer while flying over lawns.
Eggs hatch 7 to 10 days later, and the larvae eat turfgrass at night. When the larvae develop into moths, the reproductive process starts again with egg laying and larvae developing.
This second generation of larvae will consume turfgrass until late September, when they overwinter. Again, putting down pest control before the larvae overwinter is key.
Pros of Hiring a Lawn Service
Depending on the demographic you serve, your fall lawn clients may want to know the details for lawn maintenance in the fall.
And you may have other customers who are so busy with their careers and families that they want you to take care of the lawn tasks without wanting to know the details.
Remind your fall lawn clients that autumn is the perfect time to revitalize their worn-out yards from summer stress and prepare their turfgrass for a strong spring revival.
Invest in Your Fall Lawn Clients with Spyker Spreaders
At Spyker Spreaders, we’re more than lawn spreaders. Indeed, we have lawn care equipment that will make fall lawn maintenance tasks efficient, such as
Spyker Customer Service: For warranty, service parts, or help at any time, reach out to our team by calling our toll-free number (800-972-6130) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Replacement parts can also be ordered online at Spyker’s website.
Content.Ces.NCSU.edu, Cutworms in Turf.
Extention.PSU.edu, Sod Webworms in Home Lawns.
Pennington.com, Fall Lawn Maintenance Tips.