One of the best ways to help your yard grow green and lush next spring is to continue to care for it through the fall. Make sure the lawn stays healthy by following these tips for fall lawn maintenance.
1. Rake the Leaves
Colorful fall leaves look pretty scattered on the lawn, but they can damage the grass. A thick layer of leaves traps moisture and blocks sunlight to the grass, causing fungus and disease. When the leaves begin to fall, rake them or use a leaf blower as they start to accumulate on your lawn.
2. Fall Lawn Maintenance Requires Watering
While fall typically brings more moisture and less evaporation, that is not necessarily enough to keep your lawn healthy. If you’re not getting more than an inch of rain per week, supplement with sprinklers to make sure your lawn is well-hydrated going into the winter months. Continue to water your lawn through the end of October.
3. Mow Your Grass
Another fall lawn maintenance tip is to continue mowing your grass through the fall. The grass will keep growing and need to be mowed until the first hard frost, though probably not as often.
Letting it grow too high may cause it to become matted and hinder its ability to grow back quickly in the spring. Make sure you don’t cut it too short, though, since this can impact how it withstands colder weather.
4. Lawn Maintenance: Aerate in Fall
To prevent your soil from compacting, aerate your lawn every couple of years, or more often if your yard gets a lot of use. When soil becomes compacted, roots, rocks, and packed earth can block water, sunlight, and necessary nutrients from getting to your soil.
Aerating your lawn breaks up the dense soil. It’s best to aerate your lawn right before you’re ready to fertilize it. This will help the nutrients from the fertilizer better reach the roots.
5. Fertilize Your Lawn
Fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn. Fertilizer makes the roots of your grass stronger and gives it the energy to grow again once warmer weather returns. If you’re fertilizing near a water source, keep a distance of 5 feet between the fertilized area and the water to prevent contamination.
6. Spreading Grass Seed for Fall Lawn Maintenance
Distributing grass seed helps fill in bare patches and thinner areas, and fall is a great time to do this. The ground is still relatively warm, there’s moisture in the air, and the sun isn’t quite as hot. Apply the grass seed early in the fall to allow enough time for it to germinate before the weather gets cold.
Each of these steps will help keep your lawn healthy and boost curb appeal. Take care of the work yourself or consult with a lawn care professional who can prepare the lawn to withstand winter and come back better than ever in the spring.