As it nears the end of summer, you may wonder what steps you should take to prepare your landscaping for fall. Proactive fall lawn care will get your lawn ready for the cooler winter months and make spring landscaping a breeze. Leaves start changing colors, it’s a season fulfilled with cooler weather conditions that make you want to stay indoors as much possible- which means less time spent on your lawn care duties, but don’t worry because we’ve got everything covered for you.
Fall Landscaping Tips
The best way to get the most out of your landscaping this fall is by following these simple tips. You’ll be able make sure that you have an awesomely beautiful yard all season long and keep up with your fall lawn maintenance through out the season.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your lawn for fall weather.
Fertilize Your Lawn
Fall is the perfect time to feed your lawn with some excellent fertilizer. Your grass roots will need some extra nutrients and protection from the freezing to get through the winter. If you fertilize your lawn, you’ll be giving your grass a boost of energy in the form of plant sugars.
Be sure to choose your fertilizer carefully, since not all fertilizers are created equal. Look for a fertilizer that fulfills the nutrient needs of your specific grass. You can find out how much of each nutrient your lawn needs by doing a soil test.
Learn more in our lawn fertilizer guide.
Don’t Stop Mowing
Many people are tempted to stop mowing their lawns as soon as September rolls around, but that would be a mistake. You should keep cutting your lawn until the first hard freeze of the season. The last few times you cut your lawn before then, you should drop down your mower and cut your grass about 1 to 2 inches shorter than usual.
Rake Away Fallen Leaves
There’s a myth that leaving fallen leaves on your autumn grass will insulate your lawn from the harsh winter weather. This simply isn’t true. Leaving leaves on your grass can prevent your lawn from getting the sunlight it needs, and lead to thinner grass in the spring. The wet leaves can also cause lawn fungi. No one wants that.
Rake away leaves as they build up on your lawn or mulch them into small pieces. Once a week should be enough.
Keep the Sprinklers On
You don’t have to water your lawn in the fall as often as you did during the summer, but don’t turn off the sprinklers entirely. The lawn will likely still need some additional water during the fall months. Check how
much water your lawn is getting naturally by using a rain gauge. If it’s less than 1.5 inches in a week, you may want to supplement with sprinklers.
If you’re wondering when to stop watering your lawn in the fall, the answer is up until the ground freezes. At that point, the water won’t penetrate the ground and get to the roots of the grass, so watering would be useless.
Overseed Your Grass
If your lawn is sparse, it’s much more susceptible to weeds. That’s why you should consider overseeding your lawn in the fall. The overseeding will fill in any bare patches or thinner areas in your autumn grass and protect it against weeds such as dandelions.
Unfortunately, overseeding isn’t as simple as just broadcasting seeds over your lawn and hoping for the best. If you’re wondering how to overseed a lawn in the fall, start by deciding how which tool you’re going to use. A slit seeder is one option, but you can also try a power seeder that will inject the seeds into the soil.
Once you get the seeds on your lawn, make sure to keep them moist and in full contact with the soil. That will ensure they can grow before the weather gets too cold.
Apply a Weed Killer
You should also consider applying a weed killer in the fall. In terms of what to put on your lawn in the fall to kill weeds, a pre-emergent herbicide should address troublesome weeds like crabgrass. You may also need a post-emergent herbicide to deal with perennial weeds like clover and dandelion.
Fall Lawn Care: Frequently Asked Questions
When should you stop mowing your lawn in the fall?
You should continue mowing your lawn through the fall until you start getting frost in the winter. Until then, the grass will continue growing, so you should continue cutting it.
When you do stop mowing your lawn in late fall or early winter, don’t forget to winterize your mower. Inspect your mower for any damage, sharpen the blades, clean the air filter, and change the oil and spark plugs, if necessary. Properly winterizing your mower will ensure that it’s ready to go in the spring when your grass is growing tall again.
Should I aerate my lawn in the fall?
Fall is definitely the right time to aerate your lawn. Even late summer would be a good time, so try for some time between mid-August and early October. Aerating during this period helps prepare your lawn for the spring. If you aerate during the fall, your lawn will be thicker and greener in the spring.
How often should you mow your lawn in the fall?
In early fall, you’ll want to mow your lawn about as often as you would in the warmer spring months, probably about once a week. Once the temperature drops, your grass won’t grow as quickly, so you can cut it less often than that. You probably will only need to mow your lawn once every 10 days to 2 weeks once fall is out in full force.
Fall Landscaping Services
Handling all your own fall lawn care can be intimidating. If you’re looking for some help in the form of fall landscaping services, reach out to our lawn care services team today. We specialize in providing year-round commercial grounds maintenance, including fall lawn care.