Fall is here and with it comes cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, and a period of time when nature prepares for another winter season. Your lawn is also preparing for cold weather. Preparing your lawn for winter gives you the best chance at having a healthy lawn in the spring.
Lawn Care in the Fall
To ensure your lawn is ready for winter's cold, we've assembled 7 fall lawn care tips to help you prepare your lawn.
1 - Don't Leave the Leaves
The biggest part of lawn care in the fall is leaf management. Allowing leaves to remain on your grass over the winter will have a negative impact on your spring lawn. It is important to remove leaves from your lawn before rainwater mats them down and they damage grassy areas. If you have a compost pile, finely chop up the leaves and mix them in. Or, if the leaf covering is light, simply mow over them. Should you blow your leaves or rake them? Check out our advice on how to remove leaves without damaging your lawn.
2 - Know Your Lawn's Size
If you aren't sure of your lawn's size, head to www.findlotsize.com. Type in your address and begin to trace out the borders of your lawn. This website gives you a good idea of how much lawn and garden space you have so you can buy the correct amount of products. This is important if you plan to seed or fertilize your lawn for the winter.
3 - Do a Soil Test
Test your soil using a soil test kit to know what nutrients your soil has or is lacking. Having this information will allow you to correct any irregularities in your soil. You’ll want to correct these soil irregularities as part of your fall lawn care. Remember, a healthy lawn starts with healthy soil—much like a sturdy house needs a solid foundation.
4 - Apply a Winter Lawn Fertilizer
Part of lawn care in the fall is prepping your grass so that it can survive. Although grass growth has slowed, the roots are still storing energy for winter. Fertilize in early November with a natural fertilizer; if you're overseeding your lawn this year, do these two activities at the same time. The goal of this fertilizer application is to help your turf store nutrients over winter for a healthier, greener lawn come spring.
5 - Aerate and Seed Your Lawn
Seeding your lawn should be part of your fall lawn care routine. Sow grass seed in early fall when daytime temperatures hover around 75°F. For best results when spreading seed over a currently established lawn (also called overseeding), aerate the soil, spread your seed, and then water. We recommend watering the seed with a seed starter. Seed starters speed up germination and enhance root growth in all plants, including grass. Core aeration can be done by either renting the equipment or paying a professional to do it for you.
6 - Attack Weeds with Proper Mowing
Weed seeds germinate in the fall as well as the spring. University and private research firms have shown year after year that proper mowing alone can control up to 80% of potential weed problems in your lawn. Mow your lawn high, keep your blades sharpened, and only mow your lawn if it needs it.
7 - Know Your State's Regulations
Certain states have fertilizer restrictions that they require both homeowners and professionals follow. Before applying fertilizers to your lawn, check local laws on timing and nutrient limitations.
Fall Lawn Care
For best success in your lawn, follow our 7 steps and your lawn will be healthy and ready for the spring.
- Clean up fall leaves
- Measure your lawn
- Soil Test
- Seed and aerate
- Mow to keep away weeds
- Apply winter fertilizer
- Check local regulations
Your lawn is an investment and can give you not only a sense of pride but can add value to your property if properly maintained. This is a great time of year to begin a DIY lawn care program, so be sure to consider us in your mix!
We hope you’ve found our 7 tips for fall lawn care helpful. If you are wondering about additional ways to prepare your lawn for fall, please contact us. We're happy to answer any questions you may have.