Brian PruntyA Year’s End: Fall into next year’s organic program?


You survived the first year of your organic lawn care program. Your grass is green and still alive. You don’t have any more weeds than usual. You followed the program, made smart lawn care behavior changes and growing a healthy lawn. Now fall is approaching and the work you perform today will assist for next year.

What to perform in the fall depends greatly on any issues you had or your goals for next year. The only thing definite for fall is the leaves will drop and you’ll be outside with a rake or blower. I mulch my leaves with my mulching mower several weeks in a row. Then I follow the mulching with a blower to pile up any larger chunks of leaves. The remaining leaves are cut into tiny pieces which will feed the beneficial microbes in the soil and eventually add more nutrients and organic matter to the soil. I Mower Heighthave in the past mowed and bagged the leaves and grass clippings and then deposit them into my compost pile. Between the mulched leaves and grass clippings it’s a recipe for a perfect blend of compost. Beware, too many shredded leaves can smother the grass and cause damage over the winter. Also, remember it is okay to lower your cutting height back down to 3-3.5 inches now that the heat of summer has past and cooler, rainy fall weather has arrived. Once grass goes dormant in late fall, lower that cutting deck even lower to give your lawn a buzz cut for the winter.


Corn Gluten MealEarly September is a perfect time to overseed your lawn. This will allow for a thicker lawn and crowd out weeds. It is also a great time to top dress with compost again or apply another application of compost tea. Core aerating your lawn will also be beneficial. If weeds were an issue and you don’t plan on overseeding, then you may want to apply another round of corn gluten meal. Remember a good program is based on soil test. I personally like to perform a soils test in the fall. That way, I can send the sample to the lab, get my results, review the results and come up with next year’s program during the winter months.


This series of articles was intended to provide helpful information and effective options for your lawn. Hopefully this series armed you with enough basic knowledge that you can easily research and maintain your own organic program. An important message to remember during this process is that organic programs have slower results. Even an organic program can cause more harm by trying to speed up the process or by not following the directions on product labels. When followed properly, an organic program will provide a well-balanced ecosystem resulting in a healthy, safe and sustainable lawn.




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