How Do I Prep My Lawn for Fall?

How Do I Prep My Lawn for Fall?

With fall approaching, it’s time to consider some changes to your yard care routine so you can best prepare for the season.

As long as it’s still hot out, continue to water your grass regularly and try not to cut it to a length shorter than two inches. When the grass blades are too short, they’re more likely to dry out and become damaged because they cannot shade the soil and roots from the sun. You can water the lawn with either a sprinkler or a soaker hose. Move the sprinkler or hose every half hour to ensure even watering. It’s also best to water when it’s cooler, either early in the morning or in the evening, to prevent the blades from scorching when the sun is at its hottest.

Once temperatures start to drop, you can mow your grass a little shorter than normal so it’s not damaged by the snow during winter. Don’t forget to clean your yard by raking leaves – or mulching them with your grass clippings as you mow – removing debris, storing garden lights and emptying flower pots. Give your yard one last fertilizing before the dormant season. Boosting its nutrients prior to winter can help it stay healthy and come back more quickly in the spring.

The fall is also a good time to reseed any dead areas since most birds have migrated and won't be able to pick at the new seed. The snow will hold the seed in place through the winter so the seed can start growing in the spring.

If you’re considering aerating your lawn, early fall is an ideal time to do so because the grass is still growing and the soil tends to be moist, making the plugs easier to remove. To aerate your lawn, you can put an aerator attachment on your Troy-Bilt garden tiller. Before you begin, you should mark off any sprinkler heads, invisible pet fencing and shallow pipes or electrical lines in your yard.

You should aerate your lawn every one to three years to reduce soil compaction, which makes it difficult for air, water and nutrients to reach grass roots. Aerating also promotes deeper root growth, which makes your lawn thicker and less vulnerable to drought. If you’re unsure whether aerating is needed, simply dig up a small square of grass from your lawn and look for signs of thatch and to see if grass roots are well-established – meaning deeper than two inches into the soil.

It’s always a good idea to take stock of your lawn care procedures as the seasons change. Doing so will keep your yard looking great year-round.