When fall starts bringing cooler temperatures and colorful autumn leaves, frost cannot be too far behind. Whether this winter will be mild or severe, give your lawn a little extra care in the fall to help it fight against the winter and rebound the following spring. Keep your lawn looking fresh this fall by following these fall lawn care tips:
Fall Lawn Care Tips
1. Remove Leaves
Beautiful autumn leaves are great to admire, but not when they are on your lawn. Make sure to remove any leaves from your lawn as often as possible. Leaves block sunlight, block airflow, and trap moisture. Your lawn needs to receive as much sunlight, airflow, and nutrients as possible so that the grass can survive throughout the winter.
2. Continue Mowing and Adjust Mower Height
Do not put away your mower just as cooler weather arrives. It is best to continue mowing your lawn until the first snowfall. Raise the mowing height so that you are cutting only the top 1/3″ of the grass blades. This will help your lawn stimulates healthy growth while shading soil, retain moisture, and encourage the development of a durable, thick, and lush lawn that is perfect for outdoor play and fall entertaining. Make sure to collect any debris, leaves, branches, etc. off your lawn. Before you stow away the mower for winter, raise the height to a normal setting for the spring.
3. Fertilize for Continued Growth
Fertilizing cool-season lawns during the fall is extremely important. Fertilizing in the fall helps leaf blade development and nutrient storage in grassroots. Those stored nutrients help the grass survive during the winter. Remember, the best way to fight weeds, fungus, and heat stress is to have a healthy, thick lawn, so having a reliable fertilizing program is vital.
4. Continue to Water Your Lawn
It is important to keep watering your lawn during the fall as grasses are still actively growing. Watering during the fall establishes long-term health, repairs summertime damage, and promotes thick and healthy grassroots. Continue water your lawn until the ground freezes.
Tee Time Tip: Do not over-water your lawn. Too much water can saturate the root system and end up damaging the lawn. Lawns need about one inch of water per week. Make sure to stay off too-wet grass to avoid soil compaction. Do not rake when the lawn is too wet or you might risk pulling up the grass by the roots.
5. Aerate Your Lawn
Your lawn has most likely suffered from soil compaction and heat stress from the summer. Core aeration removes grass and soil plugs from the compacted lawn so that nutrients, water, and oxygen can easily reach the grassroots. Fall aeration can help your lawn become green and healthy for the next year.
Tee Time Tip: The best way to aerate a lawn is with core aeration. Other aeration equipment may not give your lawn the results you are looking for. Read our Core Aeration Guide for more tips and resources on aeration.
6. Overseed Your Lawn
Fall is also the best time to overseed your lawn because the sun is not as hot during the day, and the soil is still warm with plenty of moisture. Overseeding will fill in thin spots and repair bare spots from the summer. Overseeding will also introduce the latest in resilient, drought-tolerant grasses.
Tee Time Tip: Make sure to keep the seedling moist until they germinate and establish roots before the weather becomes too cold. Read our Overseeding Guide for more tips and resources on overseeding.
7. Apply Lime To Your Lawn
You can apply lime anytime throughout the year, but fall in the most beneficial time. Using a lime treatment in the fall allows the lime to break down during the winter months. Applying lime can neutralize pH levels, increase the availability of nutrients in the soil, reduces soil toxicity levels, and improves soil structure. After applying the lime treatment, make sure to water the lawn to allow the lime to contact the soil.
Tee Time Tip: Only apply lime if it is necessary. Your lawn should have a balanced pH level of 7.0. If the lawns pH level is lower than this, adding lime will gradually increase the pH to a neutral range. Not sure if your lawn needs a lime treatment? Contact one of our offices. We would be happy to help answer any questions you have about lime.
Fall Lawn Care Tips: How Tee Time Can Help
Your lawn will stand a better chance at being healthier and greener when springtime rolls around if you take care of your yard during the fall. If this seems to overwhelm you or do not have the time to prep your lawn for the winter on your own, do not stress! Our lawn care professionals at Tee Time Lawn Care can help your yard remain healthy with our organic fertilizing plans, core aeration, overseeding, lime, and landscaping services. Give us a call or fill out this form to get your free quote.