10 Fall Lawn Care Tips
Fall lawn care is important because it determines what your turf will look like in the spring. If you give it the attention and care it needs now, you’ll be rewarded with a thick, green, and healthy lawn later!
Mow Your Grass Shorter
Grass continues to grow up until the first hard frost, which typically doesn’t happen until October. Until then, it’s important to keep your grass at 2.5 to 3 inches, which is the ideal height. If it gets too tall, it can become matted under leaves and snow, making your grass more vulnerable to lawn diseases like snow mold.
Continue to Water
Cooler weather in autumn means more rain, more dew, and less evaporation. But that’s not necessarily enough moisture to keep grassroots hydrated and healthy. Most lawns require one inch of water per week, so keep an eye on how much mother nature provides with a rain gauge and supplement it with your sprinklers when necessary through October 31.
Loosen the Soil Through Aeration
Your lawn likely suffered from soil compaction and heat stress over the summer, which can cause brown patches and thinning grass. Aerating the soil in the fall can undo this damage by breaking up thatch and giving your grass room to breathe, making it easier for roots to take up nutrients and water. We offer liquid aeration, which is more convenient and effective than traditional core aeration.
Apply Lawn Fertilizer
Fertilizing in the fall prepares your grass for the coming winter by encouraging root growth and establishing energy reserves. Stronger, more expansive root systems can find water easily, keeping grass hydrated even when the top layer of soil is frozen. For best results, fertilize after aerating.
Overseed Bare Patches
Colorado has primarily cool-season grasses, which germinate and grow during the fall. Overseeding bare patches in late August gives the grass time to germinate before the first frost hits. You’ll definitely see results in the spring when sparse growth is replaced by a lush, full lawn!
Red, yellow, and orange leaves may look pretty sitting on your lawn, but they can actually smother your grass. Layers of leaves can block sunlight and trap excess moisture, leading to an unhealthy lawn. Mulched leaves, however, are extremely beneficial! Using your lawnmower to mulch leaves into dime-sized pieces allows them to quickly decompose and add nutrients to the soil, helping to feed your grass.
Weeds like crabgrass and thistle create competition for resources, stealing water and nutrients away from your grass and undoing your yard work. To prevent this, remove all the weeds from your property. Unless you want to risk accidentally killing your grass with store-bought weed killers, it’s best if you leave weed control to the professionals.
Test Your Soil
Your soil’s pH will naturally fluctuate over time, but if it becomes too acidic then the grass will be unable to grow. By testing your soil in the fall, you know exactly what needs to be done and amendments like lime applications have time to do their job and prepare your soil before spring.
Clean Your Tools and Equipment
Do yourself a favor and clean your lawnmower after you’re done mowing for the year. Pulling out a lawnmower caked with grass clippings is not only annoying, but it can also damage your equipment as the grassroots, molds, or causes rust on the blades.
Stick to a Schedule
All of these lawn care tips have to be performed at the right time, otherwise, all your hard work will be for nothing. If you seed and fertilize too close to winter, the soil won’t be able to hold onto the nutrients. If you aerate while it’s too hot, additional damage from heat stress can occur.
Figuring out a schedule can be difficult, but American Turf & Tree Care can help. We’ll carefully plan fall treatments based on the type of grass you have, its current condition, and any problem areas that exist. The result will be a healthier, stronger lawn than ever before. Learn more about our lawn care services in and around Greeley.