10 Fall Turf Tips from a Pro Greenskeeper
Most homeowners assume that at the end of the summer, their grass care duties are over. 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. We wanted to know what the pros do on their turf, so we asked Riley Kieffer from Willingers Golf Club in Northfield, MN, for advice. Follow these steps and you’ll have the healthiest lawn you’ve ever had next spring when things start greening up again.
Remember to Water
Don't Leave Leaves on the Ground
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 they’re dry.
Aerate to Allow Roots to Spread
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 to penetrate. Follow these other turf tips to keep a healthy lawn.
Fertilize and Revitalize
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.
Give the Grass one More Trim
Reseed Bare Patches
Drain Garden Hoses or Waste Money on Replacements
Three Easy Winterization Steps for Your Lawn Tractor
- Moisture inside an unused engine leads to corrosion. 'Fogging' the engine—spraying an oily mist into each cylinder—prevents this. All you have to do is remove the spark plugs and blast in some aerosol fogging spray (sold at auto parts stores). Then reinstall the spark plugs.
- Storing a battery that isn't fully charged can lead to permanent damage, especially in cold weather. Connect the battery to a battery charger and charge it until you get a reading of 12.7 volts.
- Stored gas will slowly gum up the whole fuel system, and the repairs can be expensive. So add a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL or Seafoam to the gas tank before winter. (Adding stabilizer to your gas can year-round is also a good idea.) But remember that stabilizers aren't effective in gas that contains ethanol. If you don't know whether the gas contains ethanol, run the engine until the tank is empty.