Lawn care is often erroneously associated with only the spring and summer. People think the fall is for preparing the house for winter and then hunkering down. In reality, there’s a lot you can do for your grass in the fall that will help improve the health of your lawn. Fall’s warmer days and the crisper nights are actually perfect for several aspects of lawn care, and you’d be foolish to let the season run its course without taking advantage. Put these five projects on your fall to-do list if you want to maximize your lawn’s health.
Rake and Remove Leaves
This is the one lawn-related fall activity most people actually do consistently, but it’s worth restating here because it is so important. When leaves are left to cover the lawn over the winter, they create excess dampness. They also keep vital oxygen from reaching the grass, in essence suffocating your lawn. What’s more, all those dead and rotting leaves have a tendency to cause diseases. To avoid all these problems, you need to be rigorous in removing fallen leaves from your lawn. Rake and remove the large quantities of leaves, then pass over any remaining detritus with your mower to mulch it.
Your lawn has a long, hard winter ahead of it. In order to survive the months of frost, the grass needs deep and healthy roots. You can prepare your lawn for a winter of hibernation by feeding it with a high-nitrogen fertilizer a month and a half before the season’s first expected frost. A well-fed lawn will establish hearty roots and store up excess energy, making it more likely to come through winter as green and vibrant as ever.
Do Soil Testing
If your lawn has any unhealthy spots, fall is a great time to test the soil. Once you know where your soiling is lacking, you can make the proper adjustments right then and there. By adding soil amendments in the fall, you give them the whole winter to do their magic. This means that when spring comes along, your soil will be good and reader to produce a greener, healthier lawn.
Kill Your Weeds
Killing those pesky weeds is just as important in the fall as during any other season. Early autumn will bring almost as many weeds as spring and summer, so it’s important not to get complacent. Use a combination of weed-killer and fertilizer on your entire lawn to limit the total weeds, then go for a spot killer with a nozzle to target especially problematic areas.
Try Fall Seeding
Seeding your lawn in the fall might seem counterintuitive. We’re hardwired to imagine spring, not fall, as the time for planting and seeding. Planting in the fall, with winter right around the corner, is entirely useless, right? Wrong! Autumn actually provides the perfect conditions for over-seeding those annoying patches of your lawn where the grass stubbornly refuses to take hold. As long as you seed about two months before the year’s first frost, the grass will manage to take hold before the winter comes. This young grass should survive the winter just fine, and when spring comes around you’ll have a head start on the season’s lawn care.
If your goal is to have the nicest lawn possible, then taking the autumn off can be a costly mistake. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy with your lawn in the fall, and all of them will pay off in the long run. When you do the projects mentioned above in the fall, you give your grass the best chance possible of starting the following spring off on a healthy footing. When you see your lawn shimmering in the April sunshine next spring, you’ll be glad you took the time to complete the above-mentioned projects in the fall.