Fall may not seem like an ideal time to think about lawn care, considering that your grass will go dormant for the winter. However, autumn is the opportune time to groom your lawn for beautiful growth next spring. Fall’s cool and moist weather helps grass roots develop much better than in summer, and taking advantage of this growing period will pay lush dividends. Here are eight fall lawn care steps that’ll help make your lawn dazzle next year:
- Keep mowing. Grass doesn’t stop growing until it frosts over in winter, so there’s no reason to stop mowing come autumn. Continue cutting your grass at its normal height until it stops growing. Once you call it quits for the season, you’ll need to winterize your mower. This includes sharpening the blades, changing the oil and spark plugs, inspecting the mower for damage, and cleaning the air filter. Our Lawn Mower Maintenance services can help you with this.
- Water when needed. Autumn rain results in less evaporation, providing plenty of natural moisture for the grass to sustain itself. Even so, you should keep tabs on how much water your grass is getting with a rain gauge. If the lawn isn’t getting one inch or more of moisture per week, you should water it. See our lawn irrigation tips for more details.
- Rake often. When leaves fall on your lawn, they block out sunlight and can prevent plants from making food. Additionally, the soggy moisture they hold can lead to lawn fungi. Start raking as soon as the leaves fall in order to keep these passageways open. Even after the leaves stop falling, you should continue to rake as the wind blows them onto your property. Ideally, you should rake once a week in the fall.
- Think about aerating. Over the summer, your lawn has probably suffered from some degree of soil compaction and heat stress. These two problems often cause most (if not all) of the brown or thinned grass you may have experienced last season. Aerating is the process of removing soil plugs from a yard in order to free up passageways for precious nutrients to reach the grass roots—nutrients they often struggle to bring in under compaction and stress. This task is most effective when professional machinery is used, and our custom Turf Tamer equipment can help your lawn recover and turn lusher than ever next spring.
- Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If you want your lawn to look better and be healthier, fertilize in the fall. This process will give your lawn plenty of nutrients to get it through the winter and help the grass grow stronger in spring. As a result, autumn is the single most important time of year to fertilize. If you decide to aerate in the fall, you should fertilize soon afterwards in order to ensure that the nutrients will reach the soil.
- Seed to fill in bare and burned spots. As we’ve mentioned, many patches of lawn can die during the summertime, so it’s a good idea to reseed those areas. Keep in mind, however, that seeds that don’t touch the soil won’t germinate, and it can be difficult to cover an area of grass thoroughly. Contact us if you want a professionally seeded lawn that will make your yard look brand new.
- Keep up with lawn pest control. Insects that live in your lawn now can cause serious problems once it starts growing after winter ends. If you notice a pest problem on your grass, take care of it in early fall to limit the damage. You can apply a pesticide, or reach out to us to identify and eliminate lawn pests.
- Keep a Tight Schedule. All of these autumn lawn care steps must be performed like clockwork. If you seed and fertilize too close to winter, the soil won’t be able to take in nutrients. Aerate while it’s still hot out, and the process will not be nearly as effective. If you struggle to find time to work on your lawn this fall—or if you’d like to put your yard in expert hands—our lawn aeration service can get your lawn in the best shape of its life when spring arrives again.