The average American has a lawn that’s approximately a quarter acre.
Whether you’ve got a postage stamp backyard or ten rolling acres, it’s important to take care of your lawn.
When summer turns to fall, it’s easy to assume that all the hard work is done.
In reality, it’s important to take care of certain fall lawn maintenance tasks to ensure that your lawn returns in the spring healthier and more beautiful than ever. Let’s take a look at 10 tips for lawn maintenance in the fall.
- Keep Mowing
Even though your grass might not be growing as vigorously as it did in the summer, it’s not time to stop mowing yet. Your grass is going to keep growing until the first hard frost in your area.
The ideal height for your mower blade is 2.5-3 inches. If it gets too long, you run the risk of it matting down and being more susceptible to mold and other undesirable things.
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- Aerate Your Soil
One helpful lawn maintenance care tip for fall is that you should aerate your soil. This helps to keep water, oxygen, and fertilizer in the soil so that these vital components can get to the roots of your grass. You can rent an aerator if you don’t have one or you can hire a contractor to perform this task for you.
- Rake the Leaves
If you listen to any of these lawn maintenance tips, listen to this one. Raking leaves can be an annoying chore, but it’s important to remove leaves from your grass just about as fast as they fall.
If you wait, rain can make the leaves too wet to easily rake and can lead to fungal growth. Matted down wet leaves can also stifle your grass, which is the last thing you want.
- Continue Watering
It might seem like you don’t have to water anymore once the summer sun cools off. Even though there might be less evaporation, more rain, and more dew to keep your lawn hydrated, you’ll likely want to still supplement with regular watering.
You want your lawn to be getting at least an inch of water a week. To find out how much rain your lawn is getting, you can use a rain gauge. Of course, as it gets closer to winter you’ll want to prepare your irrigation system so that it doesn’t freeze and burst.
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It’s a good idea to give your lawn a shot of fertilizer before the winter. The recommended kind of fertilizer is 24-0-10, the numbers in which indicate how much nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are in it, respectively.
You’ll want to make sure your lawn runoff won’t be responsible for contaminating nearby waterways, however. If you live close to waterways, do some research before fertilizing.
- Seed Your Lawn
A good way to protect against pesky weeds is a dense lawn. The fall is a great time to overseed since the ground is still moist, the ground is still warm, the sun isn’t as hot, and the nights are cool.
- Control the Weeds
Weeds aren’t just unsightly, they can actually steal nutrients for your grass. Overseeding your lawn and making sure your lawn is dense is a good way to protect against weeds.
- Clean It Up
Before you hang up your lawn care tools for the winter, give them a cleaning. This can help prevent them from rusting and prolong their life.
You’ll always want to winterize your lawnmower and other motorized lawn care tools before the winter.
Don’t forget to put away any lawn furniture or lawn objects, too. If you leave them on the grass, you can kill the spot that they’re sitting on. It’s best to store them away for the winter and bring them back out when the spring returns.
- Fix the Bald Spots
If your lawn has seen better days and has a bunch of bald spots, fall is the perfect time to remedy the situation. When you plant in the fall, your grass has all winter to germinate and grow. This means that the root system has the opportunity to grow more deliberately and slowly, making your lawn stronger.
- Maintain a Schedule
Unfortunately, you really can’t just calendarize your lawn maintenance. It has to do with the whims of mother nature and the particular season. Leaves don’t just fall on Saturdays, so you need to stay on top of them when they do fall.
It’s important to do the right things at the right time. You want to avoid over-seeding too late into the fall because you’ll create seedlings that aren’t strong enough to survive through the winter. You don’t want to fertilize the lawn too early, either, as it could cause the grass to grow too quickly and die when the winter hits.
You also don’t want to fertilize too late into the season. If you do this, the grass roots won’t have the chance to soak up the nutrients before the ground freezes.
You want to avoid aerating in the spring because that’ll just make it easier for weeds to grow.
Fall Lawn Maintenance: It’s Worth It
Most people don’t like chores, but there’s actually something pleasant about fall lawn maintenance. You get to be outside, breath in the crisp, cool air, and prepare your yard for the harsh winter ahead. Though it can feel like a pain at the time, you’ll be glad you gave your lawn some TLC when the winter turns to spring. If all else fails, you could always consider some online instant lawn
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