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Norfolk Va  lawn Care fall Cleanup tips

Fall Cleanup tips. Thatch builds up when grass clippings are not chopped finely enough with a mulching mower or if excessive clippings are not removed after cutting. To prevent thatch from accumulating, rake your lawn after mowing—especially at the end of the growing season. If you have thatch buildup, you might need to dethatch. You should dethatch if thatch is more than ½" thick. Use an iron rake or a thatch rake to cut through and rake off thatch. This will also scarify the surface. For large lawns, you may want to consider renting a walk-behind dethatching machine. Lawn aeration in the fall will give you healthy grass in the spring. Aerating allows for greater movement of water, fertilizer and air. It also increases the speed of mulch decomposition and encourages deep root growth, so be sure to aerate before applying fertilizer. You can aerate your lawn with a hand cultivator or a mechanical aerator. For moderately compacted soil in a limited area, systematically prick holes in the soil with a spading or digging fork. Holes should be 2" to 3" apart and 1" to 2" deep. If you're dealing with a larger lawn area or you want to make the task easier, there are several types of push spike or coring aerators you can rent or purchase. Some models look a little like a manual push mower with spikes or star-shaped wheels instead of blades. Others are designed as attachments that fit behind a power mower. For medium-to-large areas, you’ll want to rent a gas-powered spiking aerator. Helpful Tip Lawn aeration is generally easier to do when the soil is moist, but it won’t work as well if the ground is wet. Although aerating can be done any time of year, it's best to do it in the fall after dethatching or after a thorough raking. Plant in the Fall for Spring Blooms Start planting bulbs now for the best spring bloom. Many common bulbs can be planted in fall, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Tubers such as daylilies and dahlias are also popular choices for the fall planting season. As you work with bulbs and tubers, squeeze them to find the healthiest ones. A good bulb or tuber will feel firm to the touch. Throw away any spongy-feeling bulbs or tubers. Use a blanket of compost or mulch several inches thick to cover your newly planted bulbs during the winter months. Fall is also the best time to plant cool-season grasses. Varieties such as perennial rye, bluegrass and fescue do well this time of year for filling bare spots. Overseed bare areas to allow seeds to germinate. Fertilize Your Lawn and Garden . www.moeslawncarenorfolk.com 

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