Fall Lawn Care Tips

Reader Contribution by Jackie Greene & Katie Kuchta

After a busy summer growing season, many homeowners choose to do less lawn care once fall arrives. However, fall is the perfect time to prepare your lawn for next year to encourage fuller and healthier lawn growth. Consider these fall lawn care tips in order to make sure to help your lawn receives the nutrients that it needs.

Manage Leaves

There is a lot of discussion about falling leaves and if they are a good or bad thing for lawns. Dead leaves are a natural nutrient that is great for lawns but needs to be cared for in the proper way. Allowing whole dead leaves to pile up on the lawn can encourage moisture and damage the underlying grass. Make sure to use this natural food for lawns by mulching the leaves into smaller pieces. Mulching the leaves will cut them down into smaller pieces making them easier to spread and break down into the soil.

Continue Mowing

You probably won’t have to mow as often during the fall but make sure to keep an eye on the total height of your grass in order to know when to mow. Never take off more than 1/3 of the total grass height at a time in order to protect the grassroots from damage. Allowing grass to grow too long can encourage matting and cause fungi to grow. If you don’t have a leaf mulcher, mowing the lawn without a bag will help to use those leaves for fertilizer as well.

Protect from Thatch

Fall is a great time to aerate the soil in order to protect from thatch: the build-up of roots, stems, and debris that can seriously harm lawn growth. Thatch is a common lawn issue that blocks soil from important sunlight, water, and oxygen. A build-up of thatch in a lawn also interferes with nutrients that are important for lawn health. Make sure to aerate your lawn with either an aerator or special lawn shoes that will poke holes in the lawn. Doing so will allow all of those important elements to reach the root system of the grass.

Add Fall Fertilizer

Once you have aerated the lawn, consider adding a slow-release granular fertilizer in order to support the lawn over winter. Adding fertilizer will help to feed essential nutrients to the root system as well as help to sustain the roots in cold temperatures. Choosing a fertilizer that is heavy in nitrogen with some potassium will help protect the grass from disease as well as encourage root growth for a healthier lawn.

Consider Overseeding

The common practice of overseeding is a great way to help build up a lawn in the fall as well as discourage weeds from growing. Adding seed to areas of your lawn will help to fill in thin spots as well as help to support the overall lawn system. Spreading seed is not a one-time job though, as seeds will need more watering and special care in order to take hold before the cold weather arrives. Make sure to overseed in areas of your lawn that need a little boost of help as well as those that have become worn after a busy summer season.

Fall lawn care is especially crucial in order to keep it strong and healthy through the cooler weather. Consider adding fertilizer and seed to lawns in order to build up the lawn and prevent disease. Make sure to continue cutting the lawn when needed throughout the fall season as well as aerating the lawn to support the root system. Finally, enjoy those fallen leaves but make sure to mulch them into the lawn afterward to add important natural nutrients to the soil. Follow all of these fall lawn care tips in order to promote healthy growth and sustainability of your lawn this year.

Jackie Greene is a blogger, gardener, and nutrition enthusiast. She enjoys creating organic meals for family and friends using the fresh ingredients she produces from her backyard homestead.