10 Fall Lawn Maintenance Tips

by Sean Bryant on August 13, 2013

Fall Lawn maintenance TipsThe summer is quickly coming to an end, which means it’s time to get a head start on prepping your lawn for the winter. By doing proper lawn maintenance each year you will help keep your grass and plants healthy. Plus, you’ll avoid the extra costs associated with replacing any damage.

“Easy, end-of-summer yard work can dramatically improve the health of your yard,” said Jeff Linderman, an in-house landscaping expert with RepairClinic.com. “Spread out the work over a few weekends to save yourself time and energy. Doing this work now will provide a healthier yard when spring arrives,” he added.

Fall Lawn Maintenance Tips

Perk up your mulch

Simply taking a rake to perk up your mulch will help allow moisture to reach your plants.

Even out mulch around trees

For some reason a lot of people think the proper way to place mulch around trees is to pile it up like a mountain. This is actually wrong, because it only helps to attract pests. Instead, you need to even out the mulch while leaving a few inches between the trunk of the tree and the end of the mulch.

Figure out what type of fall fertilizer is best

If you talk to any lawn care specialist they will tell you that the fall is the most important time of the year for applying fertilizer. Β Fall fertilizer will help to make a healthy spring lawn. Head to your nearest lawn care center and ask them what the best type of fall fertilizer is for your area of the country and for your yard’s condition.

Re-seed dead areas of your lawn

If the summer heat has taken a toll on your lawn, you need to start thinking about putting down grass seed. Fall is the time to do this because you not only will have the cool fall temperatures to help promote growth, but you will also have the cool, wet spring acting as a second growing season.

Plant spring bulbs

While you might not think it’s important to start planning your spring flowers, it’s the perfect time to plant your spring bulbs. By planting bulbs in the fall you help to strengthen the roots.

Aerate your lawn

For those of you who are unfamiliar aerating your lawn, this process helps to remove air from the soil and its surroundings. This is extremely important for growing healthy grass. Aeration can occur naturally, however, the combination of dead grass and other debris can make it tough to happen.

“Using a garden fork or professional aeration tool, remove small plugs of thatch and soil to foster natural aeration,” Linderman said. “Creating passageways will enable greater water intake, make way for valuable microorganisms and worms, maximize the benefits of fertilizer, promote healthier roots and make the lawn more heat and drought tolerant.”

Dethatch lawns

Thatch is a layer of dead grass or debris on top of the soil. It prevents new grass from being able to grow, and blocks water from properly reaching the roots. It also produces fungal diseases. Removing thatch is as each as using a rake across your lawn.

Keep your grass at least 2 inches tall

If you are anything like most people, you are starting to get a little tired of mowing the lawn by the time fall gets here. You might think it’s OK to go ahead and lower your mower blade so you eliminate the need to mow as often. Shortening your grass will reduce energy available to obtain nutrients required for healthy root systems.

Stock up on burlap

Weeding the garden and flower beds is one of my least favorite gardening jobs to do. One great way to prevent weeds from growing is by laying burlap. Fall is the time to stock up, so you are prepared for the spring.

Prep gas powered lawn equipment for winter storage

Last but certainly not least, you need to prep all of of your gas powered lawn equipment for the long winter. Adding fuel stabilizer to new gas will help keep your equipment in good shape. Once you add the fuel stabilizer, make sure you run the piece of equipment for a couple of minutes, because this will help to prevent buildup within the carburetor.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • These are all really good tips. I have so much to do with my lawn before Fall/Winter comes around it’s ridiculous.

  • Holly Johnson

    Ugh, we need to do about all of these things =/ Thanks for the reminder!

  • Really nice tips though we don’t have a big lawn, it is still helpful and good reminder, also for many other things to prepare for winter. Ahhh why doesn’t summer stay longer πŸ™‚

  • Common Cents Wealth

    Great tips. This reminds me that I need to dethatch our lawn and put some fall fertilizer down. It sucks that summer is almost over already, but I guess we all knew it was coming.

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  • Catherine

    I’ve been a bad homeowner the last two summers with a newborn and now young child doing very basic maintenance only. I really need to step it up this fall and next spring/summer!

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