As summer ends, we turn our focus to taking care of our lawns for the upcoming fall season. Fall lawn care is critical to maintaining a healthy, resilient lawn that thrives year-round.
This guide offers essential tips for caring for your lawn in the fall, including fertilizing, overseeding, weed control, mowing, and aeration. Follow along with these fall lawn care tips to grow a healthy lawn.
Clearing your lawn of summer debris, like leaves and twigs, is crucial before beginning any tasks. These remnants can block light and hold moisture, damaging the grass.
Use a rake or leaf blower to remove debris, promoting air circulation and preventing lawn diseases.
When it comes to fall lawn maintenance, mowing plays a vital role in the health and appearance of your yard. As the season transitions, adjusting your mowing routine is critical to ensure optimal results.
Lower the mower
Gradually shorter fall mows can help minimize the risk of matting and lawn disease. Mowing lower also allows more sunlight to reach the base of the grass blades, promoting growth.
Set your mower to a height of about 2 to 2.5 inches for the final mows to prevent snow mold and pink mold.
Sharpen mower blades
Ensure your lawn mower blades are sharp to achieve even grass height after mowing. Dull blades can harm the grass by causing uneven cuts.
Sharpen your mower blades every 25 hours of mowing or about 1-2 times a year.
Remember to stop mowing when your grass goes dormant for winter. Letting the grass rest during its dormant period supports its resilience and health.
Aerating your lawn is crucial after a busy summer with high foot traffic and heat as it alleviates soil compaction, facilitating deep water, nutrient, and oxygen penetration for a healthier lawn.
Aerate your lawn in early fall when the soil is still warm and the grass is actively growing. This timing allows for optimal recovery and root development before winter sets in.
To ensure even coverage, follow a pattern when aerating your lawn, such as overlapping rows or a grid pattern. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas or compacted sections of your lawn.
Depth and Spacing
Most lawns should aim for a core depth of around 2 to 3 inches. Space the holes 2 to 4 inches apart, depending on the severity of compaction. This spacing will allow for adequate soil fracturing and minimize stress on the grass.
Fall fertilization is vital for your lawn. It helps repair summer damage, encourages strong root growth for winter, and lays the groundwork for a healthy green lawn in spring.
Apply fertilizer to your lawn in the early fall, ideally before the grass enters its dormant phase. This timing allows the grass to repair itself from summer damage and grow strong roots before it goes dormant in the winter.
Opt for a slow-release nitrogen-rich fertilizer specially designed for fall, ensuring it is free from phosphates. Phosphates are not ideal for lawns as they can lead to harmful runoff, water pollution and encourage excessive algae growth in nearby water bodies.
Our premium-grade Fairway Formula Fall Fertilizer is a top choice for fall fertilization. It's specially designed to repair summer damage, enhance root growth for winter resilience, and encourage a fast spring green-up. Moreover, it's phosphate-free, ensuring a lush lawn throughout fall and setting the stage for a beautiful spring without harming the environment.
Follow Application Rates
Carefully follow the instructions on the packaging to determine the correct fertilizer application rates for your lawn size and grass type. Over-fertilizing can damage the grass, while under-fertilizing may not provide the desired results.
Fall Weed Control
Fall is an ideal time to tackle persistent lawn weeds as they tend to be weaker. As their growth slows, they become less resilient and are more easily treated.
Identify the Weed(s)
Before taking any action, identify the types of weeds in your lawn. Different weeds require different control methods, so knowing the specific weeds will help you choose the most effective approach.
For small weed infestations or isolated weeds, hand-pulling is an effective method. Be sure to remove the entire root to prevent regrowth, and place the pulled plants into a bag to prevent seeds or parts from spreading back to your lawn.
Selective herbicides can effectively target weeds while minimizing harm to desirable grass. Look for herbicides that target broadleaf weeds, as these are lawns' most common weed types.
Overseeding your lawn in the fall is an excellent way to rejuvenate thin or bare spots, promote thicker turf growth, and enhance your lawn's overall health and appearance.
Fall provides the best time of the year to overseed your lawn. Warm soil temperatures and cooler weather create the perfect conditions for seed germination and establishment before winter.
Choose high-quality grass seed that matches your existing grass type and is appropriate for your region. Opt for a seed blend with good disease resistance and suitable for the area's sunlight.
Our Fairway Formula Grass Seed Blends & Mixes are 100% pure seed with no inert materials or coating, making them an excellent choice for both bare spot repair and overseeding an existing lawn.
Keep the newly overseeded areas consistently moist but not overly saturated. Regular, light watering helps the seeds germinate, and the young seedlings establish themselves.
Learn how to plant grass seed in 5 easy steps >
In summary, it's essential to care for your lawn in the fall to keep it healthy and strong throughout the year. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure your lawn thrives during autumn and stays in excellent condition.
Remember to tailor your approach to meet your lawn's specific needs and follow the recommended guidelines for the best results. With proper care, your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood every year.