End of summer brings the last of long, hot days of mowing the lawn. You will want to keep mowing until the grass quit growing into mid to late fall. Leave your grass at least two inches high on the last mowing of the season. This will help the grass stay remain strong against the weight of the winter snow.
Water the Lawn
If the fall does not bring much rain, and the weather cools, water the lawn in the morning 2 or 3 times a week.
Aerate the Lawn
If your lawn has become compacted or doesn’t seem to be doing well. Aerating can help your lawn by allowing more air, water, and fertilizer to the roots. After you aerate the lawn, you may follow with a thin lay of sand or compost. Here are a links to aerating tools.
- Yard Butler Multispike Hand Lawn Aerator – 4-3/8″ diameter spikes penetrate, loosen, and perforate the ground. Lets air, water, and fertilizer to the roots. Made of structural steel rod. 40″ overall length. Handle is vinyl gripped.
- Precision 40″ Tow Plug Aerator – Features a 12-gauge steel tray with dual lever action and dichromate finished hardware. 7″ semi-pneumatic tires. 32 single bolt assembly plugging spoons. 40″ wide. Includes steel reinforced hitch with pin.
- Yard Butler Sod Coring Hand Lawn Aerator – Pulls out two 1/2″ cores of soil 3-1/2″ long. Structured steel rod construction with vinyl grips. Lets air, water, and fertilizer to the roots. 40″ overall length. Tips made of hardened steel.
Overseed the Grass
If your lawn is thin or has dead spots, fall is the ideal time to overseed. Select appropriate grass seed and spread thinly over the entire lawn. Water with a light mist until seeds sprout, then continue watering as needed. For dead spots, remove some of the dirt and another three-quarters of the surrounding grass. Fill in with good soil, spread seeds, lightly cover according to package directions, and protect with straw or chopped leaves. Mist with water frequently until seeds sprout.
Fertilize the Lawn
Fall is the ideal time to fertilize your lawn. Grasses such as bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass benefit from feeding in early September and again in October or November. The benefit to fall fertilizing is that they will green up earlier in the spring.
Rake the Leaves
Once the leaves begin to fall, you may be tempted to leave them lay on the grass until spring arrives. It is better to rake up those pesky leaves as too many left on the ground, topped with the weight of snow will smother your grass by spring. If you are lucky enough to have a mower with a mulcher, you can mulch the few end of the season leaves. This will add nutrients to the grass as they decompose.