Taking care of your lawn in the fall is essential for it to maintain its health throughout our cold Canadian winters. When homeowners think about lawn care, they often think about hot summer days cutting the grass, seeding and watering, but lawn maintenance shouldn’t end when the heat does. Preparing your lawn for fall is critical for a quick bounce back in the spring, so follow these fall lawn tips and tricks for the best results.
Once you feel the chill in the air, it’s the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. With the cooler weather, the grass’s top growth will slow, but the roots will continue to grow. Applying fertilizer in the fall needs to be used at the right time, while the grass is still taking in nutrients. Once the grass has completely stopped growing, or the ground is frozen, it’s become too late. Timing is everything for fall lawn maintenance. If you’ve fed your lawn at the right time, the fertilizer delivers a burst of necessary nutrients when the lawn needs it the most. While the grass is still green, it will store the nutrients over the winter, making the first sight of spring its alarm to tap into those nutrients. Fall fertilizer will make it easier to bring it back to its former glory.
Fall Overseeding & Aeration
Doing another round of overseeding and aeration in the fall is an excellent idea for homeowners because it allows new grass to germinate before spring. Inspect your lawn for trouble spots or low spots where puddles may form. Levelling out your yard in those spots is vital to avoid damage. If you can give the grass time to establish itself in the fall, it will grow strong in the spring. Start by aerating your lawn, especially in the bare spots needing a little TLC. Overseed the lawn by evenly distributing your chosen seed all over the yard. The best time to do this is the early fall, around late August to late September. These fall overseeding tips will help your lawn look the very best by the next season.
Fall Cutting and Watering
Ensuring you’re continuing with your cutting and lawn watering regime is essential, even though you may not feel like it’s necessary as the season progresses. The grass will slow its growth, but it should be cut until it’s completely stopped growing. As it’s still growing, it still requires regular waterings. Regular watering helps the grass build up its root system heading into winter and prevents it from drying out. Installing an irrigation system helps you set and forget your watering schedule on your terms. It’s great for your lawn, and many irrigation systems can meet your needs. As winter is knocking on the door, you should complete your final mow, trimming it much lower than you may otherwise do, as it stops the growth of mould and the grass from becoming matted.
Let Your Lawn Breathe
If you haven’t aerated yet, now is the time. Even if you do nothing else for your lawn this fall, using an aerator helps your lawn breathe, loosen any compacted soil, and allows more sunshine and water to penetrate your grass. Using your aerator, you will want to test an area to measure the level of thatch. Thatch is the build-up of partially decomposed material between the grass and the soil surface. This can help prepare your lawn for the spring in a big way. If your yard has a thick layer of thatch that the aeration won’t pass through, you may want to consider loosening it with a power dethatcher, or manually with a rake.
Keep Your Lawn Clean
Last but not least, now is the time to clean up your lawn. Take care of the little details you may have been putting off all summer. Rake up any fallen leaves from the changing season, pick up all children’s toys, dog toys, gardening tools, or other tools. These items can damage your lawn if they’re left out. Under the snow, they will suffocate the grass. They also steal the much-needed fall sunlight from the grass. If they’re left over the winter, it can be awful to deal with come spring, as they may decay during the thawing process.
As a homeowner who takes pride in their yard, fall lawn care is so important to prep your lawn for a strong comeback in the spring and summer. Your lawn will be the envy of the neighbourhood when you put the time and care into keeping it maintained all year round. The combination of these fall lawn care tips will work together to give your lawn a fighting chance once the snow melts.