Now that fall is upon us we may feel as though we can finally park the lawn mower and just forget about our grass until next spring. However, as tempting as the thought may be, this is actually the perfect time to perform a few yard chores that will give next year’s lawn a significant boost.
Your grass may appear to be going dormant, but it is in fact storing away moisture and energy for spring. You can help your lawn by raking (or using your lawn mower’s bag attachment) to remove fallen tree leaves on a frequent basis. The idea is to pick up the leaves before they form a mat under which the grass will become smothered. If left in place, the layer of leaves may also promote fungal diseases.
This is also the right time to amend any patchy or bare spots in your lawn. Just rake the area(s) to remove dead growth and loosen the soil. Then sprinkle with grass seed and gently cover with a light coating of soil or use one of the many all-in-one lawn repair kits available in hardware stores and garden centers. Pat down the filled-in area and be sure to water daily for two weeks or until the new grass is well established.
Other steps which will help to guarantee a healthy lawn are de-thatching and aeration. De-thatching and aeration allows water, fertilizer, and air to reach the grasses' roots, where they are most needed.
Mid-late fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn. If you chose to do this yourself, you might opt to use a walk-behind or hand-crank style drop spreader. The walk-behind spreader will give more consistent coverage.
And there you have it! As the cold weather sets in, you can relax and rest assured that your lawn was properly bedded-down for the long winter months.