First Day of Fall – A Beneficial Time for Landscapes
It’s the first day of fall. Along with the many reasons that we welcome fall — cooler temperatures, football, fall festivals, harvest colors and pumpkin spice lattes — are the benefits our lawns can experience from the change in seasons.
Fall is a great time of year for lawns. You don’t have to mow them as often, and turf and shrubbery thrive without the stress of the summer heat.
Here are a few of the climatic changes that benefit turf and shrubs in the fall.
- Cooler Temperatures. Plants, like people, prefer our fall temperatures over the sweltering heat of summer. Turf and ornamentals just naturally look better and have more energy for good root development when they are not wilted and stressed by the heat.
- Shorter Days. The number of daylight hours changes the growth habits of plants (especially turf). Leaf growth is excessive in the summer. As a result, plants expend a tremendous amount of energy in order to keep up with the leaf growth that is stimulated by the extra hours of light. Turf in the shade is especially affected as it grows excessive leaves reaching for light. All of this energy for leaf production is taken from energy that would otherwise be used for root production. In the fall, the available energy is redirected to enhance root growth, which creates a stronger turf that can withstand pests, weeds and disease.
Fall is a great time for our landscape to recover from the damage done by summer’s stress. You will start to see the brown areas that were caused by disease, drought and heat stress begin to fill in much quicker now. Turf begins to lie down and use the extra energy to crawl and spread.