As summer comes to an end, you might not be thinking about lawn care, but autumn is a great time to prepare your grass so it comes back healthy and lush next spring! By following a few simple steps, you can keep your lawn looking healthy all autumn-long and continue to enjoy your backyard until the first snowfall.
Grass doesn’t grow as fast in the fall, so you won’t need to mow it as often. However, when you mow, make sure to lower your mower height shorter than you had during the summer. Gradually reduce the blade height every time you mow until your grass length is approximately 1 1/2″ high. The key is to remove 1/3 of the blade of grass or less, so you don’t shock your lawn. We recommend mowing your lawn in the evening when the sun is not beating down for healthier looking grass.
Aerate the Soil
As time passes, the soil in your lawn becomes compacted, lessening the air pockets that enable nutrients and water to reach your grass’ roots. To prevent issues, you should aerate your lawn once a year. Fall is the ideal time to aerate because it gives your yard the best chance to receive the nutrients and water it needs to survive winter and grow back healthy in the spring.
Rake the Leaves
Raking is crucial to lawn care, and for proper lawn care, don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen off your trees to begin raking. If you don’t remove the fallen leaves as soon as possible, they will get wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and cause an impenetrable barrier that will suffocate your lawn and breed fungal diseases. If you have a particularly large yard with lots of trees, you can opt for a lawnmower outfitted with a vacuum system or collection bag instead of a rake.
As the season progresses, grass reproduction slows, and you could start to see patches of dirt instead of beautiful, green grass. Not only does it look bad, but these areas are prime real estate for weeds. To prevent this issue, spread grass seed over your entire lawn at the recommended rate before the first snowfall. This will encourage new grass to grow, fill in any weak spots, and ensure that your lawn grows in thick and green next spring.
As the weather cools down, grass blades grow more slowly. However, grassroots and rhizomes continue to grow quickly. That’s why fall is the best time to fertilize! Fertilizing in the fall will supply your lawn with the essential nutrients it needs to grow deep roots now while keeping some nutrients on reserve for a healthy start next spring. Wait until mid-to-late fall, then sprinkle a dry lawn fertilizer on all the grassy areas; try not to miss any spots. We recommend using a drop spreader since it’s the best way to apply an even consistent fertilizer layer.
During the fall, your grass is busily absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients to prepare for a long, dormant winter. With these five easy steps to care for your lawn in the fall, your grass will look great all-year-round! If you enjoyed these tips, don’t forget to read the SkyHomes blog for even more helpful information.