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By Philip Talbot

Fall lawn maintenance is a little different than the work you do in the spring and summer. For many lawns, the peak growing season is behind them, and cooler temperatures are slowing down the growth rate. Even so, there are some useful steps you can take to help your lawn look great, and be ready for the next wave of growth in the spring. Let us look at these fall lawn maintenance tips!

1. Verify your climate zone

The growth rate for your lawn grass will depend on your climate zone. You can find a chart showing this info at garden supply stores or in lawn and garden guides. For moderate climates, you can see continued fall growth with both cool season and warm season grasses.

2. Adjust your mower height

As your lawn growth slows, you will want to cut the grass a little lower. This helps to avoid thatch build-up. Each type of grass has a recommended range of mowing height. Use the lower range value for fall lawn maintenance.

3. Rake the leaves

Leaves can block the sun from reach your grass during the fall timeframe, which may contribute to early browning of your yard. Leaves can also raise the acidity level, creating additional problems. To avoid these problems, rake and bag your leaves for disposal or composting.

4. Adjust your fertilizing schedule

With the fall slowdown in growth, your fertilizing schedule will be dependent on the type of grass you have. For warm season grasses, your lawn is heading into a dormant mode. Adding fertilizer now will just promote weeds. For these grasses, it is best to wait until the spring.

For cool season grasses, a fall fertilizing cycle is important to extend the cool growing season in the fall, as well as providing reserves that will improve the greening of the lawn in the springtime. Check your grass variety for recommended levels of nitrogen and other minerals to ensure a balanced feeding for your lawn.

One thing to remember about fertilizing is that your mowing time will increase due to the extended growth you are promoting. If you want to minimize the amount of mowing you do during the fall months, then scale back of the timing and amount of your fall fertilizer treatment.

Fall lawn maintenance can be a straightforward task. Use these tips to guide you in the activities you need to be doing to keep your lawn in tip top shape!

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