After this unusual summer, so many of us are looking forward to getting back to some sort of “normal” life, whatever that means, in this far from normal year. Maybe now that Labor Day has passed and the kids are back in school, you’re ready to check out of the typical summer routine of lawn care. Not so fast.

In case you haven’t had the nerve to look at the forecast, you need to know that the season has not changed, and your lawn still needs the TLC you’ve been giving it since June. In fact, now more than ever you need to pay attention to your turfgrass health. As fall and winter approach, you can set your lawn up for success next spring by keeping it strong and healthy before winter dormancy. What you do now does matter!

Maintain Proper Cultural Practices by continuing to follow the 1/3 rule. You may not want to spend as much time mowing the lawn this time of year, but it is crucial to keeping your grass healthy and strong. Irrigation falls in this category also – make sure you’re supplementing rainfall when needed. If soil compaction is a problem, late summer/early fall can be a good time to aerate.

Treat any problems by filling in bare spots and fertilizing where growth has waned. Don’t neglect weed control as many weed species are best controlled before or immediately after they emerge. Be sure you identify weeds and know how and when to safely treat them while preserving the desired plant. Be aware of any pests that may be harmful to your lawn and understand how to eliminate them. This can be everything from microscopic organisms that damage the turfgrass to small rodents that disturb the soil.

There’s no rest (yet) for the weary – stay the course now for a healthier lawn next season!