Fall Lawn Maintenance Checklist

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Fall in Northeast Ohio – temperatures are dropping, trees are changing colors, and every time you think you can put your rake away more leaves seem to fall on your lawn. Many enjoy the change in seasons and spending time outside in the cool air, despite nature’s yard work. Ultimately, the extra time and energy you put into maintaining a good fall lawn care routine pays off though in spring when your grass comes back healthy and strong. Follow our fall lawn maintenance checklist to be sure you cover all the important steps in caring for your lawn before winter arrives.

  1. Clean up leaves

Leaves left on lawns through fall and winter prevent grass from getting the sunlight and air it needs to stay healthy. They also can trap moisture, which causes lawn diseases like snow mold. Raking also helps break up the soil, letting your lawn breathe. The circulation of fresh air eliminates compaction for a healthier, stronger yard.

  1. Mow Your Lawn

It’s important to continue to mow your lawn up until the first frost. Your final mow of the year should be kept short at 2″. Try using a mulching mower to chop up leaves into dime-sized pieces, which can give you a well-deserved break from raking while providing compost for your grass.

  1. Apply Fertilizer

Prepare your lawn for winter with a fall fertilizer application. Fall fertilizer helps restore damage to grass caused by the stress of summer heat, promotes nutrient storage for winter, and supports root growth, which creates a healthier lawn in spring.

  1. Treat Weeds

If you want to get rid of weeds permanently, start by treating them in the fall. Freezing temperatures will make them more susceptible to weed control treatments. You can also pull them by hand, just be sure you get the roots.

  1. Aerate and Seed

Thatch, or the appearance of brown and gray buildup on your lawn from dead roots, stems, and grass, compacts your lawn’s soil, leaving less room for essential nutrients to reach its roots. Aeration breaks up thatch by removing small plugs or “cores” from the soil, which allows air, water, and fertilizer to penetrate the root system creating a stronger, healthier lawn.

Cooler temperatures, frequent rain, and a freshly aerated lawn make fall a great time to fill in bare spots with grass seeds, which will help create a thicker lawn in spring, reducing the appearance of damage and patchy spots.

  1. Apply Lime

lime treatment will balance your soil’s pH. In Northeast Ohio, when your soil’s pH is between 6-7 it can more easily absorb nutrients especially from fertilizers, which ultimately help develop strong grass roots creating a healthier lawn.

The increase of rain and snow combined with the freeze thaw cycle throughout the fall and winter will help integrate the lime into the soil, preparing it just in time for new grass growth in spring. Be sure to get a soil test to ensure you are using the correct amount of lime based on your soil type and pH results.

Cleveland Ohio Lawn Care Services

LawnMatters offers lawn care services in Northeast Ohio for every season. If you’d like help maintaining your lawn this fall, please contact us to learn how we can help.

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