With the busy holiday season upon us, now is the time to remember about proper lawn care over the fall and winter. Fall lawn care will vary by grass species, but a few major tips may be helpful to ensure a nice, healthy lawn next spring.
If you have not conducted a soil test in some time, now is a good time to measure the soil pH and nutrient availability. Contact your local extension educator or the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Soil, Water, and Forage Analytical Lab (405-744-6630) for proper sampling procedures. With this information, you will be prepared to fertilize and/or amend the soil properly next spring. It is also a good idea to test your irrigation water quality which can also be completed with help from you local extension educator or the OSU Soil, Water, and Forage Lab. Soil and water recommendations will be available with your test results.
Another major issue is fall lawn watering. Inadequate precipitation and/or irrigation during the fall and winter months can contribute to turfgrass winter kill. Warm-season turfgrasses such as bermudagrass will go dormant over the winter months, but still need adequate moisture to maintain plant health. Cool-season grasses such as tall fescue also need adequate moisture during the winter months to sustain life. In general, you may need to adequately irrigate your lawn every 10-14 days during dry periods. This can sometimes be difficult due to freezing temperatures during the days or nights. Ideally, irrigate your lawn in the morning on a relatively warm day when temperatures are expected to stay above freezing. In addition, remember to remove and store your water hoses and sprinklers between fall and winter irrigation events.
Following these fall lawn tips will help to ensure a healthy, green lawn next spring.