Fall Lawn Care Tips

October 7, 2014

You may think that fall is a time when you can be lax with your lawn, since the grass doesn’t grow as quickly. You’d be wrong, however. Fall is an ideal time to prepare your lawn for the spring. During this time of year, your grass is absorbing a lot of moisture, energy, and nutrients in preparation for the winter.

First, keep mowing. While some grasses, like warm-season turf grass species such as zoysia grass, go dormant when the cold weather kicks in and don’t need mowing, lawns made of cool-season grass should continue to be mowed as usual. As the season starts to wrap up, drop your mower blade to the lowest setting for the last few cuttings. This helps more sunlight hit the crown of the grass, and there will be less to turn brown during the winter.

You know should be raking your leaves. It’s important to get rid of fallen leaves as soon as you can. Don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen.

Fall is also a great time to aerate your soil. This makes it so that oxygen, water, and fertilizer can reach the grass’s roots. Aerators are self-propelled, gas-powered machines that punch holes in the soil and extract plugs of dirt.

You might also consider fertilizing your lawn. Traditionally, lawns require fertilization only during the spring and summer growing season, but a fertilizing your lawn in the fall can help prepare it for winter and give it a good start in the spring. Grass leaves grow much more slowly as the weather cools, but the grass roots continue to grow quickly. Fertilizing in the fall delivers essential nutrients that make grass grow deep roots now and keep nutrients on reserve for the spring.

Fall is also a great time to fill in the bald spots filled in. Find an all-in-one lawn repair mixture at your local garden shop or home center. This mixture contains grass seed, a quick-starter lawn fertilizer, and organic mulch. Use a rake to loosen the soil in your lawn’s bald spot, and then spread on a thick layer of lawn repair mixture. Lightly compact the mixture, water thoroughly and keep watering every other day for two weeks.

If weeds like dandelions have taken over, now is the time to fight them. Weeds are in energy absorbing mode during the fall, so they’ll drink in anything you feed them, including weed killer. Apply some herbicide now and they won’t come back next year.