Fall Into Sports

By Teresa Iqbal

September 6, 2016 4 min read

The arrival of fall often evokes images of fallen leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin carving and fall sports. Football, soccer and baseball are some of the most popular fall sports, which rely on more mild weather patterns -- that crisp, cool air. These sports also require access to a suitable playing space, which is typically rolling green lawns. To prepare and maintain your lawn as a suitable practice space for your children, you'll need a game plan of your own.

Preparing your lawn to grow into a lush landscape can help guarantee that your children will have a safe space to play this fall season. Plus, you have the added bonus of more family time while you help them practice their skills. Giving your lawn care and attention year-round will make things much easier when fall rolls around.

Some experts recommend beginning with a soil test. If you find difficulty achieving or maintaining a green lawn, it may be wise to get a better idea of which type of fertilizers work best for your soil. Take a soil sample, and send it to a local testing facility, where experts can give you information on its pH level and recommendations for appropriate fertilizers.

Aerating your lawn is important year-round to keep your lawn healthy. Through this process, you allow nutrients, water and air to penetrate the soil and reach the grass roots more easily. This results in a stronger lawn that will be able to sustain the beating of cleats, slides and tackles.

Checking your lawn irrigation system to ensure that everything is working properly throughout the year will also help keep your lawn green well before fall. Make sure the lawn is being watered evenly.

You might think that you can or should hold off on maintaining your idyllic, green lawn once fall rolls around. Why would you if the kids are going to be tearing it up? But there are a few things to keep in mind.

Although we all would like to excuse ourselves from mowing the lawn, doing so only helps keep your lawn healthy throughout the fall season, for mowing encourages continued plant growth. And according to Jeffrey T. Fowler of ExpertBeacon, "it encourages recovery from the use and abuse fields take during football season."

The last thing you want is for your children to drag their muddy feet into your clean house after a long game. You might consider not watering your lawn once fall sports are in session to avoid muddy fields. Although those seem like innocent intentions, it's better to instead be strategic about watering your lawn so you don't finish the season with no lawn at all. Try to water in the early morning hours or after sunset, which is typically recommended for the best water absorption anyway. This approach is a win-win for you, your kids and your lawn.

Touch-ups here and there are appropriate for your landscape. If you notice patches or areas that are being affected by continued abuse, spread some seed after games and practices so new seedlings have the opportunity to fill in the area. Additionally, if you have the space, it can't hurt to move the games over and corner off the spotty areas to give them a rest.

Although piles of fallen leaves can mean tons of fun, letting them pile up on your lawn can be terrible for its health. Not only are the leaves blocking sunlight but they are also creating moisture, which is a breeding ground for fungi.

Once fall is over, help your lawn recover so it can endure through the coming months. Fertilization is especially important, for the nutrients that are provided can better help your lawn sustain the harsher and colder months to come.

With these helpful lawn maintenance tips, you can be assured that you'll have an all-star landscape through fall.

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