Most homeowners assume that at the end of the
summer, their grass care duties are over. Nothing could be more wrong. The
truth is, fall is the time when your lawn needs you the most. That's the best
time to get it ready for spring. Follow these five steps and you'll have the
healthiest lawn you've ever had next spring when things start greening up again.
Don't skip the fall fertilizing. Before the lawn goes dormant for the winter, you should feed it well.
1. Water: If it's been a dry fall,
make sure the soil is moist going into winter. It's very stressful for the root
system to go for months in bone-dry soil. Even when it's cool, the soil is
still losing moisture to the atmosphere, just not as quickly as it does when
2. Rake: Don't leave dead leaves on
your lawn. They'll only promote mold and smother the grass when it's trying to
get started next spring. Plus, it's much easier to rake them up in the fall when
3. Aerate: If you have heavy soil,
fall is the time to aerate. Do it when the soil is moist and before you
fertilize. Aerating loosens the soil, which allows roots to spread and oxygen
4. Fertilize: Even though the lawn is
beginning to turn brown, the roots are hard at work storing nutrients for
the winter and the following growing year. Fall is the single most important
time to fertilize.
5. Mow: For the last cutting of the season, set your mower to about
1-1/2 in. and cut the grass short. That will help prevent snow mold in your yard.
— Travis Larson, Senior
Tips on achieving the
How to Eliminate Weeds From Your Grass
How to Grow Greener Grass
Lawn Care: How to Repair a Lawn