Lawn Care Basics
Important Lawn Maintenance Projects for the Fall
These quick projects can make the difference between so-so and spectacular when it comes to fall grass — and next spring's lawn.
Here are some easy 15-minute yard maintenance projects you can do that will make a big difference come spring.
Feed Your Lawn
The difference between a 'so-so' lawn and a truly beautiful lawn both now and next spring is apply a Fall feeding. Fertilizing in the Fall gives your grass the nutrients it needs to store up energy for a healthy spring push, plus helps to break down mulched-up leaves. Apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Fall Lawn Food 32-0-10 in mid-to-late Fall for a better lawn next spring. Optionally, you can apply Fall lawn food in early Fall to help your lawn rebuild grassroots that were damaged during the hot, dry summer.
Spruce Up Your Lawn
When kids play on a lawn that's still hurting from the summer heat and drought, it can get damaged. If you have bare spots in the lawn (like the one left behind after the kiddie pool is put away), use a product specifically formulated for repairing bare spots like Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair 1-0-0 which is guaranteed to grow grass anywhere (when you give proper care). To thicken up a thin lawn, use Scotts® Lawn Response 9-1-1™, which is a 3-in-1 product uniquely formulated to help turn weak, thin grass into a thicker, greener lawn. With any seeding project, keep the soil surface moist. Aim for a light watering once a day or as needed until the seedlings have reached a mowing height.
Mulch Your Leaves
Don't let tree leaves smother your grass. Contrary to popular belief, fallen tree leaves will not insulate your lawn during winter. In fact, they can block vital sunlight and thin your grass. So, drop your rake and mulch your leaves to dime-sized pieces with your lawnmower before applying one of your fall feedings to help the soil microbes break down the leaves.
See our article on mulching leaves for more information.
Check the Gutters
While you're hanging holiday lights, check the gutters and give them a good cleaning while you've already got the ladder out. You don't want clogged gutters when winter storms roll in.
Mow Your Lawn Shorter
In late fall, drop your mower down and cut your lawn 1 to 2 inches shorter than you have the rest of the growing season. Continue to mow shorter until your grass stops growing in early winter. You should cut your lawn slightly lower for the last cut.
Stow Your Lawn Furniture
It's probably too cold now to sip lemonade on the patio, so put your cushions away and haul the grill and furniture into storage until next year.
Clean Up your Tools for a Fresh Start Next Spring
They've served you well all season, but now that you've completed your fall yard maintenance, it's time to put the tools away. You'll keep them from rusting if you clean them up before you hang them up. Also, if you're done mowing for the year, do your winter mower maintenance for storage.
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