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Follow These Fall Lawn Care Tips for Your Best Looking Lawn Next Spring

by Jeffrey Anderson, All About Lawns Columnist

All spring and summer you've worked hard to keep your lawn looking its best. With fall in full swing, it's time to prep it for the harsh winter months so it has a chance for a healthy start next spring.

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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Rake Those Leaves

Leaves left on a lawn all winter prevent grass from getting adequate sunlight and air, both necessary for the grass to endure cold temperatures.

Rake all leaves and store them in a compost bin for mulching later or use a mulching mower so they don't interfere with your lawn's health.

Fertilize and Water

Grass needs watering until the ground freezes. If rain is not providing enough moisture, use your hose or irrigation system, but don't forget to drain both prior to freezing temperatures.

Fall lawn care includes applying fertilizer so your lawn's roots receive the nutrients they need to remain strong all winter. When you apply the fertilizer depends on the type of grass.

Fertilize warm-season grasses in July, August, or September:

  • Bermuda
  • Bahia
  • Centipede
  • St. Augustine
  • Zoysia

Fertilize cool-season grasses in September, October, or November:

  • Ryegrass
  • Fescue
  • Bluegrass

The type of soil in your yard may dictate using a fall fertilizer with larger quantities of certain nutrients.

Fall Lawn Care Includes Keeping Grass at the Right Height

The last several times you mow, adjust the blades so the lawn's height is between 2 and 2-1/2 inches.

  • Grass shorter than 2 inches hinders its ability to make and store the food it needs to survive.
  • Grass longer than 2-1/2 inches will bend over, which can lead to disease.

Next spring, your fall lawn care efforts will likely be rewarded with a lovely, healthy yard. Enjoy!

About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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