Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Continue Mowing Through the Fall

20151005As nights get colder and colder, remember that lawn grasses continue to grow throughout much of the fall, usually only stopping when temperatures remain below 50˚F (10˚C) or so for a good week. Even a first light frost will usually not stop them. So, in many areas, you will still need to mow into November or even later, although less frequently than in summer.

However, when the grass finally does stop growing, it’s time to mow one last time… and shorter than you did all summer long, too, at about 2 inches (5 cm) in height. And for once, collect the grass clippings (you can put them in the compost or use them as mulch). This will help to better aerate the lawn grasses, making them more resistant to winter damage and especially to the diseases that often set up shop under the cover of snow.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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