Getting Your Yard Ready for Cooler Weather
The fall season is the perfect time to take care of your lawn. The cooler weather makes yard work easier. Fall lawn maintenance improves the look of your landscape and gets your grass ready for winter. There are many things you can do to keep your lawn healthy through the cold months ahead. Below are some tips for caring for your lawn this fall season.
Caring for Your Lawn in Fall: Mowing the Grass
Continue to mow your lawn until it begins to frost. Keep the length of the grass between 2.5 and 3 inches. Too short, and you risk exposing the roots which will damage them. Grass that is too long has the potential to become matted, which can suffocate the grass and stunt future growth. For an end-of-the-season clean-up, examine the lawn and pull weeds that you find.
Water the Grass
You’re likely to see an increase in rain during fall, but you may need to water the grass during a dry spell. A healthy, mature lawn requires about one inch of water every week. If your lawn doesn’t receive that much precipitation, water it to help the roots continue to grow.
Rake the Lawn During Fall Lawn Maintenance
Leaves left on your lawn block sunlight and prevent grass from using the nutrients it needs. Moisture retained by the leaves will promote mold. Mow over smaller amounts of fallen leaves, but large amounts must be raked and bagged or composted.
Fertilize with a Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer
Fertilize your lawn so your grass will grow back more attractive and healthier in the spring. Fertilizing helps your grass rebuild damaged roots caused by the hot, dry summer months. This also provides your grass with enough nutrients to survive the winter.
Caring for Your Lawn in Fall Includes Aerating the Soil
Fall lawn maintenance involves aerating soil that has become compacted over time. This can occur in high-traffic areas and in areas with very dry soil. Compacted earth inhibits root growth and restricts airflow. Core aeration removes tiny plugs or “cores” from your lawn, creating gaps that allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grass’s roots.
Overseed the Lawn in Fall
During the summer, patches of grass can succumb to heat and drought which is why reseeding is smart in fall. Milder weather is excellent for germinating cool-season grass seed. Overseeding a thin lawn will encourage the grass to grow back thick and healthy in the spring. Seed your lawn at least 45 days before the first anticipated frost to make sure the seed has time to germinate before the cold weather arrives.