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Fall Cleanup Is Important for Backyard Lawn Care

by Francine Huff, All About Lawns Columnist

Having a well-cared for lawn requires ongoing maintenance. That means that even though it's cold outside, there are still things you should do to keep your lawn in good shape. Here are four tasks you should include as part of a fall cleanup.

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  1. Rake leaves. Cleaning up leaves keeps them from smothering your grass all winter. You want your grass to continue to get air and sunlight, even in the cold weather. Leaves can be bagged and hauled away. If you don't want to rake, mulching leaves can be good for your lawn. Over time the mulched leaves will decompose and provide nutrients to the soil.
  2. Use fertilizer. Make sure your lawn gets the nutrients it needs. There are different brands of fertilizer but they all should have three numbers, which stand for the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Depending upon your weather you can still fertilize your backyard lawn in November. Fertilizing as part of lawn maintenance can help the roots of your grass resist disease and drought.
  3. Remove thatch. When you see a build-up of roots above ground that's called thatch. Having thatch in your lawn can keep the soil from getting sunlight, oxygen, and moisture. You can use a dethatching rake or use a power dethatcher to remove the thatch.
  4. Pull weeds. Get all those weeds out of your lawn and garden now to prepare your landscape for spring. It's easier to pull weeds from damp soil, but if you're looking for a good tool to use on dry soil, make a trip to your local hardware store.

Doing a thorough fall cleanup can help cut down on some of the tasks you typically have to do when spring arrives.


About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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