Lawn Maintenance Now for a Greener Spring
|Photo courtesy of John Deere|
(HIT) – Late fall is one of the best times to fertilize a lawn. One final dose of fertilizer before the cold weather strikes is good for strengthening roots and increasing the nitrogen stored for an earlier spring green; while the top growth of the grass stops, all energy is reserved for the following season. The specific time of day you fertilize depends on the current weather conditions, and fertilizer should not be applied if rain is in the immediate 24-hour forecast.
Instead of pacing the yard with a cart or hand-held bucket, try using a tow behind spreader with a lawn mower or garden tractor to quickly spread fertilizer, seed and even ice melting products when the snowfall arrives.
John Deere Attachment:
- Pull-type spin spreader: Handles a variety of necessary yard-care jobs, including even distribution of materials such as seed, fertilizer, insecticide, and salt
- Tow-behind sprayer: 60-inch-wide boom for quick broadcast spraying and adjustable handgun with valve and 18-foot hose lets you spray up to 30 feet
Aerating is ideal in cooler months for removing plugs of soil and thatch from a lawn. It encourages deep rooting, improves water and nutrient penetration, helps break down thatch and promotes growth of beneficial soil microorganisms. In place of spiked shoes or spray-on liquids, options includes plug aerators, spike aerators and thatcherators that easily attach behind a tractor and removes plugs of soil from two to three-inches deep.
John Deere Attachment:
- Plug Aerator: Removes plugs of soil up to 3-in. deep to allow penetration of air, water, and nutrients and help relieve soil compaction.
If you prefer not to rake or bag grass or leaves, mulching is an ideal alternative. Be sure to mulch leaves only when they are dry since mulching wet or damp leaves can cause build up under the deck or clumping. Remember that grass needs sunlight in the fall to help store food for winter, so be careful when mulching this time of year. A thin layer of mulched leaves will do and helps add nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer.
John Deere Product:
- Select Series X310: Mulching attachments can be installed and removed easily without tools
- 100-Series Lawn Tractor: 3-in-1 mowing deck lets the operator choose between mulching, bagging and side-discharging
- Zero-Turn Mowers: Mulching attachments available for mowing deck
Creating a compost pile allows you to take advantage of decomposed organic material to create a rich soil. The fall season is a good time to create a compost pile with decaying matter throughout the yard, like vegetables, grass clippings and leaves, which contain the nutrients necessary to add nitrogen the soil needs for planting come spring. Be sure to alternate layers of “brown material,” or high carbon materials, with your grass clippings.
Using a rear bagger with your lawn mower or tractor will help make collecting grass clippings a breeze. You can also collect materials with a blade or shovel to easily and efficiently create your compost pile. When winter strikes, you can use these attachments to plow, pick up and transport snow.
John Deere Attachments:
- Rear Bagger: Varying capacities, removes leaves from lawn with suction power, allows for easy unloading at compost location
- Lawn Sweeper: brushes sweep leaves into hamper, much like a broom and dust pan