Fall lawn care may not require quite as much effort as in the spring or summer, but if you want to keep your grass looking healthy and beautiful now is not the time to slack off. The first autumn I spent in my current home I made that mistake and ended up regretting it so learn from me and take a few steps during this season to save you time and effort in the future.
Attending to your yard all year round can be hard work and time consuming. Consider artificial turf to lower your work load but still maintain a beautiful yard throughout the year.
Fall Lawn Care Fertilizing
For starters, you’ll want to apply your fall fertilizer. Remember you should be applying fertilizer to your lawn twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. The fertilizer will give your grass the nutrition it needs, particularly during the winter. Just follow the instructions on the fertilizer you choose (I’m a strong believer in organic lawn care so I prefer organic fertilizer but the choice is yours) for your type of grass and the size of your yard.
Before you start applying that fertilizer, you may want to check out your weed situation. If your yard contains a lot of weeds, you might find it easier to use a weed and feed type of fertilizer this time around. With weed and feed, you end up giving nutrients to the grass while killing the unwanted weeds – it does double duty. However, if you don’t have that many weeds just pull them out by hand.
Other Steps to Fall Lawn Care
After the summer ends, you’ll also notice your grass starts to grow slower so you need to rely less on your lawn mowers. Obviously, you’ll still want to keep it trimmed nicely, but you definitely want to do at least one good mowing before winter hits. Focus on cutting only the higher grass though – you don’t need to go as low as you do in spring or summer.
Another important step is to make sure you keep those falling leaves raked up. When your yard is covered in piles of dead leaves, those leaves can bury your grass and prevent it from getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. If you have a smaller yard, you can use an ordinary rake to take care of the leaves manually. If you have a larger yard, you might want to consider buying a leaf vacuum or leaf blower to help you. What you definitely don’t want is for those leaves to end up piling up on your grass all winter long.
Of course, you’ll also need a way to get rid of those dead leaves. You can turn them into compost that can be used for fertilizer/mulch next spring and summer. We tried this one year and had good luck by carting garbage-bag size piles behind our shed, then sprinkling the piles with lime to encourage decomposition. Then you just have to turn the pile over once a month. I don’t use this method anymore just because it takes too much time, but I would definitely recommend it as a good choice for organic lawn care.
Otherwise, you’ll need to bag all of those leaves in heavy duty garbage bags. Many garbage companies have specific days when they will pick up lawn debris, especially during the autumn. You may want to check with your sanitation provider for more information.