I am so tired of mowing my lawn! But, we’re almost done–just a few more weeks and we can trade the lawn mower for a snow shovel. Sigh. Before you lock up your mower for the year, consider showing your lawn a bit of extra love. A few extra steps now can go a long way to guarantee fuller, greener, healthier grass in the spring.
Keep on Mowing
Cool weather grass like ours will keep on mowing all through the fall, till we get into really freezing temperatures. Growth will slow as the weather cools, though, so you may not have to mow quite so frequently. Ideally, you should keep your mower set at 3 inches, and remember to never cut more than 1/3 of the height of your grass at once.
Aerate the Soil
Before the first hard frost, it’s a great idea to aerate your lawn. Removing those little plugs of soil allows nutrients and fertilizer to access the root system of the grass. You can rent a machine from your local home improvement store for $60-$90.
Rake the Leaves
Although raking is hard work, it’s important to remove leaves frequently. If damp leaves pile up on your lawn, they create the perfect environment for mold, fungus, and other diseases that will damage your lawn. Consider a leaf vacuum or hire a neighborhood kid to do your dirty work.
Fertilize the Grass
Fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. Since the leaves are not growing as quickly, all those nutrients go straight to strengthening and deepening the roots. Fertilizing now can make a big difference in how your lawn looks next spring.
Seed Bald Spots
If you’ve noticed some bald spots in your yard this year, now is the time to fill those in. Gently rake the soil to loosen it up and remove debris. Next, evenly scatter a layer of grass seed (try to find one specifically suited to repairing problem areas) and water it well. Continue watering for two weeks to ensure that your seeds are well rooted.