Lawn enthusiasts, as fall approaches, it is time to pick up that rake and start preparing for the cooler weather ahead. Beautiful green lawns grow with a consistent effort through all the seasons. The lush green lawn you see in your neighbor’s yard or parks during summer is not just the result of maintenance at the start of the season. Keeping the lawn healthy through the dormant and blooming seasons is vital to practical results. The cool and moist weather is beneficial for grassroots. Hence, taking advantage of this, you can implement fall lawn care. This will reap great results in the summers.
Here are all the fall lawn care tips you must implement to protect and maintain a healthy lawn.
Top 9 Fall Lawn Care Tips
You pay less attention to your lawn as fall comes and the weather starts turning cool. Knowing that this weather is critical in giving you a lush lawn in summer is essential. During this time, you must protect your lawn against pests, focus on growing healthy roots, and reseeding to grow back grass in summer and maintain its appearance quickly. Fall lawn maintenance keeps your lawn healthy through all seasons. Follow these lawn care tips to achieve a healthy turf.
1. Clean & Mow
Fall means that you will be seeing many dead leaves on your lawn. Raking is an essential part of autumn to keep your lawn tidy and healthy. These dead leaves block sunlight from reaching the grass, stopping grass growth. When the dead leaves are left on the grass for too long, fungi start to form on it due to the accumulated moisture. This can spread and ruin your lawn. Hence, rake your lawn once or twice a week depending on the dead leaves build up. A leaf blower can also be used to clean up the debris that comes from winds.
2. Water as per the Lawn’s Requirement
Watering is essential, and it should be done according to the environment of your area. If it receives frequent rain showers, you must water it less regularly. If you have less rainfall in the area, then you should water it at least an inch each week. You can keep a rain gauge to keep track of the amount of water your lawn receives. While there may be moisture in the air, it does not mean that the lawn is also well hydrated. As winter approaches, the soil needs water to sustain through it. Therefore, keep watering till the end of October.
3. Seed in the bare spots
Seeding during the fall prepares your lawn to regain its thickness in the upcoming spring and summer. There are two types of seeding during fall: seeding grass for the first time and fall overseeding. Fall overseeding covers the bald spots that may start appearing. This revives and strengthens your lawn against drought and disease. Additionally, as the weather cools, seeding during this period means that the birds fly away, saving your seeds from becoming their food.
Fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn. The heat makes it difficult to fertilize during summer as it can burn the lawn. The fall period provides the perfect environment for fertilizer to work effectively. With soil testing, ensure that you use the best fertilizer  for it to work effectively. This fertilizing will prepare your lawn for the harsher winter while retaining strength to grow in spring.
5. Aerate the lawn
Aeration during fall is essential as the summer leaves it with soil compaction and heat stress. With such conditions, you cannot retain the lawn’s health and prepare your lawn for winter. This leads to thinning of the grass and brown areas. The soil plugs are revived through aeration so that the nutrients and air can circulate properly. With aeration, your fertilizer will also get effectively absorbed into the soil. Aeration also sets your lawn for a quick recovery in spring, jumping back to its green and healthy form.
6. Treat the Pests
During fall, there are various insects that become active and come to feed off your lawn. These larvae and grubs slowly become large infestations, causing larger damage to your turf. Hence, insecticides and pesticides are important for this season as the pests can grow and eat up your lawn, resulting in a larger infestation. Identify any pest problems as soon as possible so they can be treated as soon as possible to reduce turf damage. There are different pest treatments in the market. For better results, opt for environmentally friendly and biological insecticide treatments available in the market.
7. Start Fungi Prevention
As fall enters, you start seeing colorful toadstools and mushrooms. Other fungi , such as fusarium and red thread, are also prevalent during this time, which infect and cause massive damage to your lawn. If you start seeing patches, sliminess, discolored patches, and spots on grass blades, your lawn can be infected by damage-causing fungi. Taking general lawn care such as aeration, overseeding, and scarification prevents these fungi. However, if you still see fungi infestation, you can opt for professional help, which solves all the fungi problems with expert fungicide solutions.
8. Protect Against Weed
Fall is the best time to treat the weeds in your lawn, as they are the most vulnerable. Doing so also paves the way for a healthy, thick lawn in spring. Carrying out weed control  in the fall means that winter annuals such as Chickweed, Dandelion, and Henbit are treated. Additionally, perennial weeds are treated at this time since they start storing the food for winter in their roots. Applying herbicide to these allows it to reach the roots, killing them at the source. If your lawn gets infested by weeds in the fall, then it is better to apply preemergent herbicide in October.
9. Have a Fall Lawn Maintenance Routine
A fall routine is essential to reap significant benefits in spring and summer time. As this period is short and soon after winter arrives, you have a small window to follow all these steps on time. Seeding or fertilizing too close to winter will not be beneficial as the soil cannot absorb the nutrients. If aeration is done earlier while it is hotter, then it will be less effective. Therefore, you need to carry out the fall lawn care precisely in the short time you get. Having a tight schedule for you, where you can add the tasks to your calendar, makes the fall maintenance timely and efficient. This is the key to having a lush green thick lawn throughout the year.
Consistent lawn care is essential for a thick, healthy lawn. This care becomes even more critical during some months of the year. Fall and spring are when you lay out a foundation for your lawn that yields high-quality results around the year. Preparing your lawn in these months helps you achieve your beautiful turf goals. You must perform some vital fall lawn care steps so your lawn can return to its lush form promptly. These start with cleaning, raking, and mowing your lawn, then move on to nourishing the soil through seeding, fertilizing, aerating, and treating pests and weeds. You can also consider professional help to assist you in taking timely care of your lawn.
1. Which is the most important lawn care step for fall?
Fertilizing your lawn in fall is extremely important as it helps the grass store food to get by the harsh winter weather. Between early September and late October, you must fertilize your cool-season grass, such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass. This helps it jump back to its health quickly in spring.
2. Which is the best fall fertilizer?
Applying fertilizer keeps your grass to withstand the harsh winter weather. Hence, it requires a fertilizer that enhances root health, provides resistance against diseases, and gives wear tolerance. Use a fertilizer that has nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
3. When should aeration be performed?
Aeration is best done in late summer to early fall. It can be performed between mid-August and the beginning of October. It helps your grass to rejuvenate its health when going into the winter period.
4. How to cut the grass in the fall?
Due to the colder months ahead, the grass must be cut short during fall. Cut the grass 1 to 1-½ inches. This will prevent snow mold from forming, and the grass blades will not lie down to smother new grass in spring.