Australian researchers from Queensland University announced that the smell of freshly mown grass sooths stressed out rats and mice. After a hard day running the wheel, one waft of the just clipped green sent the rodents into Zen-like states, improving their memory while lowering their anxiety.
The problem is, none of those squeakers ever had to deal with an actual lawn. After a summer of clipping, edging, raking, and watering, the last thing the lawn evokes is a calming sense of stress release. That thin, sluggishly growing diva gets your blood pressure climbing, and a flamethrower starts looking like a serious option for better lawn care.
Give it – and yourself – a break by giving that grass a late season application of fertilizer. The boost grass gets from the extra nitrogen will have it making and storing food for the winter, then using it for powerful growth in spring. This simple act will have you complimenting, rather than cursing, your yard.
As long as your grass is green, the last shot of fertilizer can be put down in the first part of November. This keeps the grass photosynthesizing as it heads into winter, storing the food it makes in its roots. Once spring warms the turf, it greens up, becomes lush and dense, but doesn’t grow so quickly you need to mow often.
Any lawn fertilizer will do; you don’t have to choose a product labeled as winterizer. The nitrogen is what’s important, so use up any fertilizer left from the summer.
While you’re feeling the lawn love, take time to put your mower to bed. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug before starting, so you can drain the gas from the gas tank without risking fire from an unplanned spark.
If you prefer to leave the gas in the mower tank, add a fuel stabilizer to prevent corrosion and keep the fuel fresh. Replace the spark plug in your mower, change the air filter and oil, and your job is done.