Fall is usually the time of year when homeowners start to prepare their lawns and gardens for winter. It can be a busy month for gardeners, as harvests may still be coming in and many additional home maintenance tasks take up precious weekend time.
If you have a grass lawn you also know that there are many tasks that should be done to prepare the lawn for a cooler winter. Follow these tips for successful fall lawn care and maintenance.
1. Rake the leaves
If your seasonal fall brings a lot of fallen leaves, use them to your advantage.
Depending upon how many leaves you get you may simply want to rake them up and put them in a yard waste bin. Or you may want to add them to your compost pile or work them into the soil of your yard for added nutrients.
If you have a lawn mower you can run over the leaves on your lawn, creating tiny leave pieces that can easily be left on the lawn itself as an organic fertilizer.
Just make sure you don’t leave wet, soggy piles of whole leaves on the lawn as it can suffocate growth and contribute to an unhealthy lawn.
Regularly removing the leaves as they fall is the best way to stay on top of this annual task.
2. Decrease watering
Depending on fall weather, you may need to continue to water your lawn.
Cool season grasses are still growing in the fall and they may not actually need additional irrigation.
3. Aerate and overseed
Cool season lawns should be aerated and overseeded in the fall.
Some experts recommend doing this the same weekend each year, such as Labor Day weekend, as September is an ideal month for this task.
A core aerator removes small “plugs” of grass and soil and helps lawns receive more oxygen, sunlight, seed and fertilization.
After aerating a cool season lawn it’s a great time to overseed the area and add the fall fertilization.
4. Fertilize and feed
Fall is a great month to fertilize a cool season lawn.
Cool season grasses use the fall months to recover from the heat and growth of the summer and may need a good dose of nitrogen.
The exact fertilization requirements should be determined by conducting a soil test to see what nutrients the soil is lacking.
Making sure your lawn has what it needs to stay healthy (and keep weeds at bay) is very important, especially if you desire a nice green lawn next spring and summer.
5. Mow and edge
Cool season grasses are still growing in the fall months but probably won’t require as much mowing or edging as the summer months.
Your cool season lawn may just need mowing once every couple of weeks; never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade height.
6. Weed and control pests
Cool season grass usually doesn’t require traditional weed or pest control in the fall months.
However, cool season grasses are sometimes susceptible to moss and fall may be a good time of year to apply moss killer.
Callum Palmer says:
November 13, 2019 at 3:44 am
Ellie Davis says:
January 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm
Derek McDoogle says:
January 29, 2020 at 7:50 pm
Vivian Black says:
February 27, 2020 at 2:28 am
With my lawn, I will for sure go with something you listed here next year. I think that doing proper fertilization and feeding is essential to a healthy lawn. I’ll also look into going with a professional since they would have the proper equipment to get the job done right.
It’s interesting to know that conducting a soil test will let you understand the fertilization requirements for your lawn. My husband and I moved to our new house, and we are looking for advice to keep our lawn in good shape. I will let him know about your recommendations to have a great looking lawn in our house.
My brother lives in a cold-weather area and he is looking for tips to keep his grass healthy. I like how you said that fall is the month to fertilize cool-season lawns. I will suggest to him to contact a lawn care company so that he does not have to worry about that.
You made a great point about fertilizing and feeding to make sure that you allow time for regrowth. My husband and I are looking for a lawn care service that can help us take care of our new yard since we never have had one before. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.