Aspen's Fall Lawn Checklist: Tips for the Picture-Perfect Autumn Oasis
Why is lawn maintenance for fall so important?
Performing an annual fall cleanup is essential for several reasons:
- It removes debris, such as leaves and twigs, that can block your lawn from natural sunlight and promote fungal growth.
- It ensures your grass gets the essential nutrients it needs.
- It prepares your property for winter by minimizing opportunities for storm damage or pest infestations.
Fall lawn cleanup tools and equipment
- Rake to remove leaves and other lawn debris
- Lawnmower, as you'll need to keep mowing the lawn until the first hard frost
- Aerator to loosen compacted soil and improve water and nutrient uptake
- Fertilizer spreader to evenly distribute fertilizer throughout your lawn
- Pruning shears to trim trees and shrubs before winter
- Leaf blower to help remove leaves and debris more efficiently
Step-by-Step Checklist for Fall Lawn Cleanup
Now that you have the right equipment in hand, let's get to work!
Rake your lawn
Start by removing leaves, twigs, and other debris from your lawn.
Next, gather the debris into piles to dispose of later. Doing so will help prevent fungal growth and ensure your lawn can breathe and absorb sunlight effectively.
Mow your lawn
It's important to keep mowing the lawn until the first hard frost, as grass will continue to grow. Regular cutting will keep it at an ideal height of 2½ to 3 inches.
- If you let it get too long, it will start to mat and become prone to fungi like snow mold.
- It is equally harmful to cut grass too short, as it restricts the root system.
- Cutting your grass too short in dry areas with lots of sun exposure can brown your grass. Therefore, the ideal height for these areas is 3-4 inches.
- Also, switch up your mowing pattern to prevent grass from becoming compacted and leaning in one direction. Switching up your pattern also helps to hide weeds.
Remember, the depth of the roots is proportional to the height of the cut, which can hinder the lawn's ability to withstand winter cold and dryness.
Aerate your lawn
Aeration in the fall allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil and reach the roots of the grass. This allows the roots to grow deeper and stronger, leading to a healthier and more drought-resistant lawn.
Fall aeration also helps break up thatch—a layer of dead grass and other organic material that can build up on the soil's surface and prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots.
By removing this layer, the lawn can better absorb the resources it needs to thrive.
Fertilize your lawn
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall helps it stay healthy throughout the winter and lush and green come spring. Fall fertilization provides essential nutrients that ensure your grass grows strong, develops deep roots, and prepares for the colder months ahead.
Additionally, the cooler fall temperatures can slow the growth of weeds while allowing your lawn to absorb the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Pro Tip: Remember not to over-fertilize, as this can burn your grass, leaving behind brown circles. Read labels carefully and distribute your fertilizer accordingly. Walk at a moderate pace to avoid over-fertilizing areas, and never go over the same area twice.
Trim trees and shrubs
Trimming trees and shrubs in the fall helps remove any dead or damaged branches that could fall and cause damage during winter storms.
Additionally, trimming can help to shape the tree or shrub, encouraging healthy growth.
Lastly, removing overgrown or low-hanging branches may prevent rodents and other pests from using the tree or shrub as a hiding place during winter.
Water your lawn
As the weather gets cooler, homeowners tend to water their grass less or not at all—assuming that the natural elements will take care of this important step.
While there is usually more rain, dew, and less evaporation during the fall, it may not be sufficient to keep the grassroots hydrated and healthy going into the winter. Therefore, it is essential to continue to water the grass regularly to ensure it remains healthy.
Keep the sprinklers or irrigation system running until the end of October. After that, disconnect your hoses and flush the system to avoid frozen pipes and spigots.
Store lawn equipment
Store your lawn care equipment in a safe and dry place to protect it from the elements.
Doing so provides the following benefits:
- It prevents your tools and equipment from damage during the colder months, such as rust or freeze damage.
- It helps keep your garage or shed organized and clutter-free.
- It ensures your equipment is ready to use when you need it again in the spring.
Proper storage can also extend the life of your equipment, saving you money in the long run.
Do I Need Lawn Cleanup Services?
Maintaining your lawn yourself can be a lot of work and might prevent you from enjoying the fall season ahead. Therefore, working with a lawn care team for annual fall cleanup can be highly beneficial for several reasons, including:
- The team can provide specialized knowledge and experience to ensure your lawn is properly watered, mowed, and fertilized.
- Lawn care teams typically have access to professional-grade equipment that can make the job more efficient and effective.
Lawn care services near you
At Aspen Ridge Lawn and Landscaping, we understand the importance of preparing your lawn for the colder weather ahead. Our team of experts is here to help you with lawn maintenance for fall so your property can thrive and be healthy for the next season.
From aerating and fertilizing to removing debris, we’ll take care of all the critical upkeep for you, freeing up your time, so you can sit back and enjoy the view of your autumn oasis.