As we celebrate autumn’s arrival, it is a good time to do some maintenance on your lawn before winter’s arrival. Here are five tips we put together to help you out, so your lawn is ready for spring.

Fertilize Your Lawn In Autumn

Just like any other plant your lawn needs food! Autumn is the best time to fertilize your lawn.  At this time of year, lawn growth rate slows down and the weather is cooler, but the rate of growth for grass roots remains the same. Since the roots are below ground level they are less affected by the temperature changes. 

Keep Cutting Your Lawn

Your lawn still needs to be cut but make sure you keep it two and half to three inches tall.  A shorter lawn will reduce the energy available to the grass which is needed to obtain nutrients for healthy root systems.  A shorter lawn can also impede the lawn’s ability to resist the winter’s cold and dryness. Mowing also chops up the leaves and turns it to mulch which enhances the soil. 

Dethatch And Aerate Your Lawn

Rake out the thatch which is a layer of material that accumulates between the grass and the soil. Removing this allows the grass to grow better by allowing nutrients and water to more easily get to the grass roots. If you have soil that is easily compacted, such as you find with clay soil, then aerate the lawn. This improves drainage in the lawn and is done with a machine that makes holes in the lawn by pulling out cores of soil. You can leave the cores on the lawn to break down in the next few weeks.

Repair Damaged Lawn

If you have bare patches or brown patches where there is no green grass you can rake these out and reseed them with the right variety of grass seed for your area of the country. If you have larger areas to fill in you may want to consider using sod which is just a roll of grass that is held together by its roots and soil. You need to give the sod enough time to establish itself before the ground freezes, so make sure you plant it early in the fall. 

Clean Up Your Leaves

One of the major tasks that we all have to perform in the fall is cleaning up leaves. They have a lot of potential uses in the garden ranging from compost to mulch. One additional way I use them is to chop them up with a leaf vacuum and store them outdoors in a black garbage bag. 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. This really worked well for me the past few seasons and I plan to do this project again this fall.

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