Fall Lawn Care Do’s and Don’ts

Fall lawn maintenanceAfter a long, hot summer, we’re all excited to put away the lawnmower and give ourselves a break from lawn care maintenance. But don’t put your feet up yet! There’s still quite a lot to be done in the fall to ensure your lawn stays healthy throughout the season and is ready come spring.

Here’s a quick guide of the do’s and don’ts of fall lawn care maintenance :
Raking in leaves
DO keep mowing your lawn, preferably to a height of 2 ½ – 3 inches. As a few leaves start to fall, you’ll be able to simply mow over them and mulch them up.

DO rake your leaves frequently. While your lawnmower can handle the odd leaf here and there, it’s not the right tool for the full job. Once the leaves really start falling, be sure to stay on top of it weekly. Letting leaves pile up can harm your grass – it blocks sunlight and encourages moisture – and it’s unsightly too.

DON’T stop watering just because it’s cooler out. Your lawn still needs a regular dose of water (about an inch a week), and if rainfall isn’t sufficient in your area during the fall, you’ll need to supplement with sprinklers. You can purchase an inexpensive rain gauge and see if it fills up within the week; if not, get out the hoses!

DON’T forget to disconnect your hoses and sprinklers. Usually by the end of October you can stop watering your lawn, so be sure all hoses are disconnected, and if you have a sprinkler system be sure it’s flushed properly. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing (and, subsequently, bursting) during winter.

DO aerate your grass, even if your lawn is already looking lush and green. Even the healthiest of lawns can still benefit from aeration (at least once every two years), which pulls nutrient-rich soil plugs up to the surface and creates holes for water to access existing roots more deeply.

DO fertilize your lawn. Again, even if your lawn is healthy, fertilizing before winter can help prepare your grass for the long winter ahead. And especially in lawns with weeds or bare spots, you’ll want to give your grass all the help you can so it has the best chance of emerging greener in the spring.
Patches of dead grass
DON’T forget to overseed! Fill in bare patches and thin spots (especially those where weeds have been removed) with fresh seed. Water frequently to aid the seeds in germinating. And be sure to do this as soon as it gets cool, but don’t wait too long because the seeds need ample time to germinate and take root before the first frost.

DO call for help! It’s important to do each of these steps at the right time – not too soon and not too late. With back-to-school and fall sports and everything else going on in our lives, it’s easy to get too busy for lawn care, and maybe you think you’ll leave it until spring. Don’t! By then it’s too late for some of these tasks, or they’ll be way less effective. Consider working with a professional lawn care company to help with some or all of the above.

If this list sounds daunting or is too much to handle this fall, we can help! We’ll be sure to perform the right tasks in the right order, and will help your lawn stay healthy through fall and winter so it’s ready for spring!

If you’re in Springfield, IL or the surrounding area in Central Illinois, contact us for a free estimate. We can help take care of your residential or commercial property as much or as little as you need, any season of the year.