Few areas of the U.S. present such a variety of weather conditions over a twelve month period (hey, sometimes over a twelve hour period!) as our area of Northeast Ohio. The climatic conditions challenge homeowners to be thinking months ahead as we plan our fall maintenance activities.
Lawn and yard maintenance experts point out that the healthy, green lawns of spring actually start with the work we do in the fall. Fall lawn maintenance plays a critical role in overall lawn and garden health even as we prepare for the cooler temperatures of winter.
The experts recommend several fall activities to foster a healthy lawn in the spring:
- Aeration – Aeration promotes root health. By perforating the soil, aeration relieves compacted soil and built up grass, and increases the flow of air, water and nutrients into the soil. Fall is one of the best times to perform this essential maintenance activity.
- Overseeding – Overseeding, the planting of additional grass seed into existing turf, repairs the stress and damage of summer drought, insects, and foot traffic. Overseeding in the fall gives the new shoots the maximum time to develop a deep, extensive root system and mature before the onset of the next warm season.
- Watering – If a lawn has a dry appearance or brown areas, moderate fall watering helps to regenerate plant growth even in this slower growing season.
- Mowing – Don’t neglect mowing in the fall. Mowing actually helps keep your lawn healthy and free of weeds and lawn damaging insects.
- Raking and Dethatching – Gently rake and remove accumulated layers of leaves and plant debris regularly. This activity allows your lawn to breathe.
- Grub Control – September and October are the best time to treat your lawn for grubs, while they are still active and before they burrow deep into the soil for winter.
- Bird Feeders – Clean and ready feeders for heavier usage during the winter feeding season.
- Bulbs – Plant bulbs in the fall for spectacular spring flowers!
Many homeowners choose to leave their lawn care to the experts. Our BBB area has a multitude of high quality accredited lawn maintenance companies.
Many lawn care services require home owners to sign a contract of some kind. Your contract stipulates the number and frequency of visits, and the types of services the lawn and landscape maintenance company will provide.
If you presently use a lawn care company, review your contract carefully and plan any desired changes for next year. In particular, look for any clause that provides for automatic renewal or “opt-out” requirements. Such clauses stipulate that, unless specifically canceled, the terms of a contract are automatically renewed the following spring. Such clauses are included as a service to consumers. If you are satisfied with the service you received this year and you have an opt-out contract, in many cases you do not need to renew since that will take place automatically.
But what if you are not satisfied with some aspect of your service, or wish to add additional services for the 2016 growing season? Check your contract carefully for the specific method required to cancel or modify a contract. If you wait until the snow melts to begin this process, you may be surprised to look out your window some day early next spring and find the company’s crews busily preparing your property for summer.
And of course, when you consider a company for lawn maintenance or landscaping services, be sure to check our website, www.bbb.org/akron, to find accredited businesses in your area and check their ratings. You can also contact our office if you have any questions about companies or the services they provide. Let BBB help you find the businesses you can trust!