Iowa sits in one of the most extreme climatic zones in the US. Winters are extremely dry and cold, including heavy snowfall. Summers are extremely hot and humid. However, Spring and Fall give Iowans the few months of pleasant weather.
If you have a lawn, you would know that your turf looks best between late February and mid-May. This is the Spring season, when you would need mostly cosmetic lawn care.
Iowa summers arrive by June, with high humidity and temperatures often as high as 100°F. Hence, people really enjoy that beautiful emerald turf during the short, but pleasant Spring.
Gardening and landscaping experts know that you need to prepare in Fall (between August and November) for that beautiful Spring turf.
All American Turf Beauty is a group of experts in gardening and landscaping from Des Moines. They know how beautiful lawns need proper maintenance and care throughout the year.
Here are 5 important tips for proper lawn care in Iowa between August and November –
#1: Don’t Stop Raking and Mowing
Anyone living in Iowa knows that gardening and mowing the lawn in the extreme summer heat is not nice. People usually slow down their lawncare activities from June onwards. Also, since grasses grow well in Summer, you will need to mow a few times a month. However, your turf grasses will need some extra attention when the dry leaves start to fall by mid-October.
An important feature of Fall lawn care in Iowa is regular cleaning and maintenance. Falling leaves eventually suffocate the grass-bed underneath. Also, the drying leaves and the extreme humidity encourage mold and grub infestations. Spend a few hours each week raking those dry leaves and mowing that unruly grass. It’s good exercise, and you’ll have a neat looking front yard!
#2 Get Rid of Those Weeds
In the Midwest, the most common Fall weeds are dandelions and crabgrass. Though they do grow in Spring and Summer as well; it’s in Autumn that they are most malicious. This is the time that weeds store up nutrients for winter hibernation – nutrition that your turfgrasses need too!
Unfortunately, you can’t really get rid of all weeds without professional landscaping. Des Moines (being a big city) may have good landscapers, but it’s difficult to find experts in other areas of Iowa. However, the wrong type of weed killer could do more harm than good. Some weedicides may affect other plants in your garden, so it’s best to take expert advice on this!
#3: Let You Soil Breathe
Since an Iowan summer means high humidity, your soil needs to aerate during the Fall. However, you must be careful not to dig too deep. If you reach below the top-soil, you’ll be destroying your seed-bed. Companies providing professional lawncare and landscaping in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids typically use a lawn aerator to get the job done.
Experts of lawn care from Iowa also advice against aerating soil that to too wet or dry. Experts like All American Turf Beauty suggest letting you soil breathe naturally for a few days after aerating. During this phase, use slow-release nitrate fertilizers and irrigate moderately. This makes your soil nutritious for the new grass seeds you are about to plant.
#4: Rectify Those Bald Spots
Even the best maintained lawns may have a few bald spots. These spots can be seen by the end of Summer where the old grass dried off. Fall is the best time to rectify these bald spots according to lawn care experts. However, laying down a turf patch isn’t the best option either.
If you see bald spots in Fall, it’s time for a bit of specialized lawn care. Iowa (and most of the Midwest) will have snowfall from the end of November. Any adult turf will die in such conditions. It’s best to let a fresh turf-bed grow on the bald spot than a cover-up. You can use something called a “Lawn Repair Mixture” which has organic mulch, fertilizer, and grass seeds. However, do make sure you’re using seeds of the same kind of grass as the rest of your lawn.
#5 A Few Final Touches Before Winter
Experts who do a lot of landscaping near Des Monies and Cedar Rapids know what winter does to your soil. Over the years, service providers like All American Turf Beauty have learnt some secrets of maintaining a garden and turf bed in the extreme climate of Iowa. Since we’ve covered the primary features of proper lawncare, it’s time to speak about the finishing touches.
Take care of this lawncare checklist before the snows of winter come in November –
- Do a final de-weeding run to rid your lawn of those tough broadleaf weeds
- Mow the last growth spurt and clean out the last falling leaves
- Get your plants and grass bed checked for diseases and grubs
- If needed, get a new seed bed for a brand-new Spring lawn
- Double down on the fertilizer to keep your soil nourished through the dry winter