Fall is still a warm time when it comes to the usual weather patterns of Arizona. Homeowners will find that the scorching summer temperatures have dwindled but that there can still be days of pretty warm temperatures as the desert moves into the latter part of the year. Caring for your lawn in the fall is vital in Arizona due to the extended growing season. Choosing environmentally friendly ways to care for your lawn is especially important in preserving and protecting the natural habitat and climate around your home. Consider these eco-friendly fall lawn care tips this season.
Know When to Water
You most likely watered your lawn in the early morning or late evening throughout the summer in order to keep your lawn irrigated under the hot sun. It is recommended that residents water around the same time in the fall although you might not have to do so quite as early as the summer. Cooling temperatures, along with the fact that the Earth is turning away from the sun, allows homeowners to water their lawns a little bit later in the morning or a little bit earlier in the evening. Make sure to water your lawn at least two to three times a week in the fall in order to keep it strong and healthy. This will also minimize the amount of water that is easily evaporated instead of being allowed to soak into the ground which cuts down on water use and supports the local environment.
Let Clippings Fly
While mowing your lawn, consider taking the bag off of the mower and allowing the clippings to return back to the lawn. Doing so will allow those clippings to naturally break down and release important nitrogen back into the soil. This practice also helps cut down on the amount of yard waste that enters landfills which helps to support the environment as well. Allowing clippings to fly back to the lawn is also much easier for homeowners and saves time.
Aerate the Soil
Many Arizona homeowners choose to aerate their lawn in the fall every other year. Doing so allows small chunks of the soil to be pulled out of the lawn in order to allow essential nutrients to enter the soil. Such things like rainwater, fertilizer, and sunlight are all helpful for the underlying soil beneath a lawn. Consider renting or borrowing an aerator or using other manual techniques in order to provide extra access to the soil for aeration.
Use Organic Fertilizer
Choosing to use natural or organic fertilizer for your lawn in the fall cuts down on the amount of added chemicals that are in your environment. Organic fertilizers are clearly labeled and other natural elements, like compost, can be added to a lawn in order to return essential nutrients to the soil. Choose a slow release fertilizer that will feed your lawn slowly over the winter in order to give it enough support to come back strong and healthy in the spring.
Mulch Fallen Leaves
Raking up and jumping in a pile of leaves is a favorite fall activity for many but don’t throw away those leaves just yet. Consider mulching the fallen leaves into smaller pieces in order to spread them back over the lawn. Leaves are a natural way to add energy to the soil and provide the lawn with a boost of nutrition. Using a leaf mulcher will do the trick but also mowing over the leaves will also cut the leaves up and disperse them around the lawn. Returning the leaves to the soil supports the environment by adding free energy to the soil as well as cutting down on yard waste that bagged leaves require.
There are plenty of fall lawn care methods including efficient watering and mowing that can all be done in a manner that’s better for your lawn as well as the environment. Consider these eco-friendly tips while caring for your lawn this fall.
–David Wheeler is a landscape design writer and nature enthusiast.