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Fall Lawn Care: How to Prepare Your Grass For Winter

Fall Lawn Care: How to Prepare Your Grass For Winter

Fall is a great time to rejuvenate and restore your lawn for successful spring growth. We’re back with more fall lawn care tips to prepare you for fall lawn care tasks or services.. 

Whether you’re handling your own fall lawn care this year or hiring a local lawn care company to do it for you, here’s how to care for your lawn in order to prepare it for those services. (We’ve also sprinkled in a few extra fall lawn care tips, too!)

Before you begin fall treatment for lawns

Caring for lawns in the fall  also means raking or removing leaves and thatch from the lawn. While this isn’t everyone’s favorite fall lawn care task, it will help prepare your lawn for successful reseeding and prevent the potential buildup of mold and turf diseases as this organic matter decays. 

Clean and store your lawn furniture before beginning your fall lawn care checklist. Wet furniture can become damaged if not stored properly through winter, and if you live in a region that gets heavy rain in the fall, furniture can create divots or holes in the lawn. 

Prepare the rest of your landscaping for winter by trimming perennial plants and clearing weeds and debris from your landscaped areas. Apply new mulch if your landscaped areas are looking bare or roots are exposed.

Remember when we told you to keep your grass long at the end of the summer? Well, at the end of the growing season when your grass has finished growing for the year, it’s best to cut shorter to avoid mold. You can reduce grass length to as low as 1 inch. When you’re ready to start your fall lawn care checklist and you’re certain your grass is finished growing, cut low and bag your clippings to avoid weed seed spread.

Some lawns get saturated with rain in the late fall, especially when not graded properly. Avoid walking on saturated grass or exposed mud during this time of year, because it can damage your lawn, create bald patches, or create holes and deep imprints throughout the lawn. 

Fall lawn care steps 

If you haven’t read any of our other articles, lawn care in fall is pretty straight forward and requires a few different tasks (with some optional extras). Fall lawn treatments help address damaged or unhealthy areas, prepare your lawn for a dormant winter, and protect it with proper nutrients during dormancy that are ready and available to new spring grass. Here’s  how to take care of your lawn at the end of the growing season:

1. Aerate

Fall is the best time to reseed and to address unhealthy lawns or lawns overrun by weeds. Aeration is the first step in all of these situations. Here’s more information about aerating and reseeding your lawn

2. Reseed

Be sure you choose the right grass seed and apply after aeration. The best time for your initial seeding in New Jersey is between August 15th and October 5th, according to a Rutgers study. 

3. Apply lawn fertilizer for winter

Once you’ve aerated and reseeded, apply a natural fertilizer or compost to condition and enrich the soil throughout the dormant season. This will give seedlings and established grasses the best chance of success when the spring thaw comes.

4. Optional: treat for weeds 

Did you have a problem with weeds this year? This is a good time to explore your weed treatment options and to be mindful about spreading weed seeds by bagging your clippings.  

After you complete your fall lawn care checklist 

After you complete your fall lawn care checklist, it’s a good time to repair, sharpen and clean your lawn care equipment and tools. Avoid the scramble of spring equipment maintenance and store your things clean and ready for the next growing season.

Wondering what lawn care in winter looks like in New Jersey? Take a break! Both you and your lawn can rest and enjoy the dormancy of winter.