Fall Lawn Care Tips

Invest in your lawn during the fall months for rewards in the spring. As the growing season ends, grass, plants, and trees begin the process of hibernation. Rather than growing, they now begin a season of establishment. Give your lawn a thorough makeover in preparation for the cold winter and for top performance in the spring.

Mow the grass. The ideal length of two and a half inches allows grass to continue feeding during the winter and prevents winter mold. Bag the clippings for the compost pile or leave them on the lawn. 

Rake fallen leaves. Involve the family in a necessary fall activity. Leaves left on the lawn mold and rot, producing nitrates that can pollute water as the winter snow melts. Bag leaves for your compost pile or leave them on the lawn. With a power mower, run over leaves, grass clippings, and flower trimmings multiple times for tiny pieces of natural lawn compost.

Aerate for soil health. An aerator machine or a hand aerator tool pokes small holes in the lawn, which allows air and water to circulate in the soil. Aerate the establishment during the fall months.

Test the soil. Discover the pH and other factors in order to add necessary nutrients. Healthy soil grows healthy plants. Ensure the soil in your lawn adequately provides for the grass while the soil in your flower beds or garden area contains adequate nutrients for the plants in those areas of your landscape.

Use a fertilizer spreader and boost the lawn with nutrients needed for growth over the winter months. The warm fall soil readily accepts fertilizers that promote healthy growth of the grass root. Use a fertilizer mix based on the results of the soil test. Incorporate peat moss, compost, and top soil if needed. Be sure to till additives at least four to six inches into existing soil rather than spreading them on top where they can easily wash away over winter.

Seed the lawn. Ideally, fall weather allows grass seed to root and sprout in preparation for a lush lawn next year. Over seed the existing grass or reseed areas for additional growth and lawn health. Choose a high quality seed. Water the lawn after seeding.

Spray for broadleaf weed control. Rather than spray the entire lawn, hand pick individual weeds or target larger areas. Spray weeds with poison at least two weeks before spreading seed or fertilizer.

Plant trees around your home. In the warm soil, a tree establishes roots and adjusts to the new location in your landscape. Plant trees for decorative purposes or add them to an existing privacy border.

Prepare your landscape for next spring. Plant flower bulbs for color and variety in your spring landscape. Weed all flower beds, and cut perennial growth to within three inches of the ground. Spread a light layer of mulch to protect the ground during the winter. Chart any expansion projects or new perennials you wish to plant in preparation for the spring. Be sure to move flower planters indoors, store watering hoses, and mark your lawn’s boundaries for snowplows.

Hang and stock bird feeders. Feathered friends thrive on seeds and treats and provide hours of enjoyment to you during the cold winter months.

For a healthy lawn and landscape in the spring, prepare your lawn during the fall months. Spend time and effort planting grass, aerating the soil, and controlling weeds for improved lawn health next year. Additionally, prune flower beds and plant trees to add variety and value to your landscaping. Your lawn and landscaping will reward your efforts with luxurious color and growth in the spring.

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