Carved pumpkins, sweater weather, and gorgeous leaves are all things we associate with autumn. But when in comes to fall there’s something else to consider: Your lawn. The steps you take now during the fall months will determine the health of your lawn for seasons to come. By adhering to a handful of simple tips, you can greatly increase the chances you’ll experience a thriving, productive lawn once spring rolls around. Here are 7 essential lawn and garden tips for fall.
Keep Watering and Mowing
It might come as a surprise, but during fall you should continue to water and mow your lawn more or less as usual. In general, it’s a good idea to lower your mower’s cutting setting to approximately 2 inches in height, as shorter grass tends to fare better in autumn (shorter grass means more sunlight exposure, which makes for a healthier lawn).
Aerate the Soil
Oxygen, water, and fertilizer cannot penetrate the soil if it’s too tightly compacted. That’s where aeration comes in—and fall is the perfect time to do it. By puncturing holes in your lawn, and removing plugs of soil here and there, you give your yard the opportunity to absorb any surface nutrients it might have otherwise been missing. Tip: For best results, fertilize just after aerating your lawn.
An even blanket of dry fertilizer applied in mid to late fall is a smart way to ensure a healthier, more productive lawn through the rest of the year. We recommend going organic with your fertilizer if at all possible.
Rake Up those Leaves
As fallen leaves pile up on your lawn, they begin to choke the life out of your greenery. Robbed of oxygen and sunlight, the soil becomes less and less fertile over time. To give your lawn the best chance of flourishing in spring, keep it free of leaves through the fall and winter months.
Use Plant-Based Pest Control
Making your yard inhospitable to pests can save your lawn considerable damage during the fall months. We recommend treating your yard with a non-toxic outdoor pesticide. Here’s how to do it:
- Thoroughly spray the entire yard. Be sure to spray all hedges, shrubbery, flower gardens, bases of trees, and anywhere else bugs might hide.
- When spraying, pay special attention to the perimeter of your yard and home, including all fencing, foundations and brick barriers. This will prevent bugs from entering your yard or home after treatment.
- During the fall months, we advise spraying your yard at least once every 4-6 weeks, or more as needed.
Cedarwood chips can also be used to create a repellent perimeter around your lawn and home. Simply sprinkle the chips along your home’s foundation and fence line, as well as any other insect trouble areas.
Kill the Weeds
Weeds are most vulnerable to herbicides in fall. If you’re hoping to finally conquer those pesky weeds, now’s the time. Be cautious when choosing an herbicide, however, as most are extremely toxic and unsafe for pets, people and the environment. Tip: Go with a non-toxic alternative instead.
Fill in the Bald Spots
Thick, healthier lawns are less susceptible to harmful pests and weeds—and filling in your yard’s bald spots is one of the easiest ways to achieve a healthier lawn. In fall, the ground is still warm, there’s plenty of moisture and there’s less direct sunlight drying out the soil, so seeds are more likely to take hold now than summer or spring. We recommend consulting a lawn and garden store regarding your specific grass and soil types, but in general an all-in-one organic repair mixture is the most convenient option for naturally filling in bald spots.