Preparing Your Lawn for Fall

After enjoying your yard during summer, it’s time to look forward to the cold weather ahead. Along with preparing your home for fall, you should also prepare your lawn as well. The following fall lawn maintenance tips will help you get ready for winter and have a healthy and beautiful lawn when spring comes.

Cut Back Grass to the Right Height

Grass doesn’t stop growing until winter, so you should continue to mow your lawn during the fall. Keep on cutting back your grass to its standard height until the first frost. Letting your grass get long will lead to fungi. Additionally cutting it too short will limit the root system and the ability to withstand cold weather, leading to dead patches.  The ideal grass height is between 2 and 3.75 inches.

Rake Leaves Regularly

If you let leaves cover your lawn for an extended period, fungi will form from the moisture retained. Fallen leaves also block sunlight which the grass needs to survive. A traditional rake is more effective than a leaf blower when getting rid of thatch on your lawn. Start raking when the leaves start falling to avoid blocking the passageways. Throughout the season, rake your leaves at least once a week, but increase that amount if you live in a woody area.

Spread Grass Seeds

If your lawn is thin, spread grass seeds to cover bare parts. Fall creates the ideal conditions for cool-season grass seeds to germinate. Over-seeding will lead to thick and strong grass during spring. Make sure you do this at least 45 days before the anticipated frost so the grass is well established before the cold weather begins. 

Keep Watering Through the Season

Most people don’t think that watering is an essential fall lawn maintenance tip. They assume that the grass doesn’t need to be watered since there is more rain and less sunlight. This precipitation may not be enough to maintain healthy, well-hydrated, and established grass to survive during winter. Your lawn needs at least one inch of water every week if you want the grass to sustain itself. Use a rain gauge to measure the amount of water your lawn is getting and water your lawn if it’s received an insufficient amount.

Fall Lawn Maintenance Includes Aeration

Aeration plays a vital role in fall lawn maintenance. During summer, soil tends to compact and undergo heat stress leading to thinning or brown grass on your lawn. Regular aeration helps by removing soil plugs to free up passageways for nutrients to reach the roots. When you aerate during fall, your grass will be more healthy, green, and ready for the next season. Use professional machinery for this task to prevent damaging your lawn.

Fertilize For Best Results

If you want your lawn to be healthier and lush in the spring, apply fertilizer during fall. Using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer gives your yard the nutrients to withstand the winter. This process will also help your grass grow stronger. Fertilize your lawn immediately after you aerate so that the nutrients can sink deeper into the soil.

Follow a Fall Lawn Maintenance Schedule

For these fall lawn maintenance steps to be effective, you need to do them at the right time. Make a schedule and stick to it throughout the fall for best results. If this proves to be too difficult, seek the help of a professional lawn care service.

Garza Inspection Services provides roof inspections and other home inspection services to Chicago and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule an appointment.