In full discloser, our lawn is a hot mess right now. My husband has been working his butt off to build us a back deck which means our lawn has taken a hit. While he’s tied up with that project I’ll do what I can to keep our lawn looking good. Here are my best fall lawn care tips for a more beautiful lawn come spring.
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Simple Fall Lawn Care Tips
1.) Rake up all leaves.
Similar to the snow, if your leaves sit on top of your grass all winter they will decompose and make your grass brown and mushy in the spring. Rake them up and mulch them if you can. (But not before getting a cute Instagram photo first.)
According to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, “mulched leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season. Therefore, leaves should be managed and used rather than bagged and placed at curbside to be picked up and hauled to landfills. There are four basic ways in which leaves can be managed and used in the landscape.”
“Mulching is a simple and effective way to recycle leaves and improve your landscape. Mulches reduce evaporation from the soil surface, inhibit weed growth, moderates soil temperatures, keep soils from eroding and crusting, and prevent soil compaction. As organic mulches decompose, they release valuable nutrients for use by your landscape plants.
Leaves can be used as a mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds and around shrubs and trees. As an option to raking, a lawnmower with a bagging attachment provides a fast and easy way to shred and collect the leaves. Leaves that have been mowed or run through some other type of shredder will decompose faster and are much more likely to remain in place than unshredded leaves.”
2.) Address weeds immediately.
I know I tend to think, “Oh, I’ll let that go. The snow will kill those off.” Wrong. In fact, pesky weeds only store energy in the winter, ready to come back with a vengeance in the summer. So, I’ll be weeding my flower beds again in late fall and then address the weeds in my lawn with a weed-killing spray. I always prefer a natural organic weed killer so it’s safer for children and pets.
3.) Gradually mow the lawn shorter.
In the summer we keep our grass a little higher so it doesn’t burn. But in the fall, you can cut it lower to gradually allow more sun to reach it. This will also prevent your yard from getting as brown and mushy in the spring after sitting under the snow for months. If it’s still hot and sunny where you are though, gradually lower the blade as the weeks go on to prevent premature burning. The key is to get the lawn as low as you can before the snow hits.
4.) Aerate your lawn.
This might be a strange term but all it means is to put small holes throughout your yard to allow water and nutrients to better penetrate the soil. This will lead to a stronger grass root system come spring. You can either rent an aerator or even get aerator sandals (so stylish!) if you have a small yard. (My husband says this step is ridiculous but don’t shoot the messenger!) 😉
5.) Fertilize and water your lawn.
Gardening experts seem to agree that the fall is the best time to fertilize your yard after you aerate it of course.
Right now, I’m using Get Sunday and it is so easy.
They send you three shipments spaced out appropriately with bags of nutrients that you just attach to your hose and go. The first shipment includes an iron booster and grass powerhouse. The other two shipments are custom created to fit your specific lawn needs! How do they know your lawn needs? You just send back an already pre-paid bag containing a soil sample. How fun is that?
And the best part is that Sunday Lawn Care is made without toxic chemicals so it’s safe for you, your kids, and pets!
Their site contains all sorts of helpful tips and videos. I just finished my second round of nutrients and while I’m excited to see a benefit soon, the real show will come in the spring when I can compare my lawn to last year. So go check out Sunday if your lawn is sad but you don’t know where to start. They make it easy.
And that’s it! Fall lawn care is easier than we think and will really pay off in the spring. Happy fall!