Five Lawn Maintenance Tips for Fall
If you spent a lot of time this summer maintaining your lawn, you probably welcome the arrival of cooler temperatures. However, the end of summer is not the end of lawn maintenance. “Fall comes with a mix of warm soil and cool air, perfect for planting grass seed and allowing time for new grass roots to develop before winter sets in,” according to Phil Dwyer, Ph.D., Turf Grass Scientist at Scotts Miracle-Gro.
“It is also a good time to feed and build stronger, deeper roots for winter, resulting in a thicker, greener lawn next spring,” Dwyer tells Freshome. Every lawn is different, but here are some lawn maintenance tips to take advantage of the fall weather.
Repair bare spots
During the summer, there’s usually a lot of lawn traffic. By the fall, Dwyer says, pets, kids playing, and foot traffic have probably resulted in a few bare patches. “Using a hand rake or other tool, loosen the top layer of soil to give the new seed a better chance to nestle in and begin to build strong roots.” Next, he recommends applying a repair product over the entire bare spot, according to the label’s directions. “Finally, give the newly seeded patch a deep and thorough watering – but stop if you see the water start to puddle.” Dwyer recommends watering the patch daily to keep those seeds hydrated and growing.
Overseed your lawn
If your lawn looks thin in the fall, this is a good time to thicken it by overseeding before winter sets in.“To overseed your lawn, start by setting your mower to one of its lowest settings so you can cut your grass to a height of 2 inches or less, and bag the clippings,” Dwyer says. Then, he recommends raking the lawn to remove dead grass and debris, while also loosening the upper layer of soil. “This will make it easier for seeds to take root once they’ve sprouted,” he explains. “Fill and adjust the spreader according to the instructions on the product package and apply as directed.”
Feed your lawn
Raking leaves is typical lawn maintenance in the fall. Brandt says they can be used as mulch, compost or several other applications. “One additional way I use the leaves is to chop them up with a leaf vacuum and store them outdoors in a black garbage bag,” Brandt says. “Rather than purchase new soil for my containers, I take the chopped-up leaves and mix them into the existing container soil.”
“As the leaves break down during the season, they improve the container soil and also help the soil retain a little bit more moisture,” Brandt explains. She’s been doing this for several seasons and achieving great results.