Fall is a critical time for your lawn. This is the time of year when we need to prepare your lawn for the long, cold winter, so that it comes back in the spring looking great. Some of the fall lawn care jobs are well known, but sometimes we get the “deer in the headlights” look when we start talking about soil amendment delivery. Don’t worry, we’ll break it all down for you in some easy-to-follow tips.
Fall Lawn Care Tips
1. Topdressing Your Lawn
Fall is the best time for topdressing. This job involves spreading a thin layer – think less than half an inch – of high nutrition material over your lawn. There are several options for the type of material you can use. For our region, there are three products that work great.
- Orgro is a soil amendment with very high nutrient content and also contains a bit of lime, which will help balance the ph levels and also adds some important minerals to the lawn.
- Orgro can also be mixed with Topsoil for a blend that works great too.
- Topsoil/Leaf Compost Mix provides the nutrient-rich compost with naturally occurring Virginia loamy.
Any of these choices are great for your lawn. Spread a layer just 1/4″ or so to your lawn. This can be done in conjunction with overseeding.
Fall is the best time to overseed. You should do this even if your lawn is healthy. After all, you want to keep it that way! Select a good seed, paying attention to the sun intensity on your lawn. Some seeds do better than others in low sun applications.
Trim your lawn short and spread your seed over the entire area. You’ll want to do this soon, to give the seeds time to germinate and grow before the first hard frost.
Get rid of those leaves, one way or another.
Of course, the time honored tradition of raking your leaves in the fall is just fine. But in cases where there are not too many trees, you can also mulch the leave with your self-mulching lawn mower. Just take the bag off the mover, close the side or rear chute and mow. You can also buy leaf mulch in bulk. Don’t let the leaves get too thick. If you have a heavily wooded yard, mulching leaves is not the best option. While leaf compost does get broken down by worms and helps produce organics, too much will block needed fall sunlight and end up smothering the grass.
When you’re getting into the fall, start mowing at shorter heights. Your mowing will continue until the grass goes dormant, usually after few frosts. Once the soil temperature gets to a certain point, the grass will stop growing for the winter and you can stop mowing. To leave your lawn in the best position the following spring, mow a bit shorter than you would in peak growing season.
With these few steps, your lawn will be happy and healthy! Start by ordering your soil amendment or top soil and get your fall lawn care underway.