7 Things to Do Now for a Greener Lawn Next Year

Congratulations, you've managed to keep your lawn alive through the stifling summer heat. Now in fall—with winter on the horizon—you may be tempted to rest on your laurels and relax your routine. After all, the yard will soon be covered by snow, and as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” But the truth is that in many parts of the country, fall is a key season for lawn care. What you do at this time year largely determines the state of your grass in spring. So take these steps now to ensure a greener lawn all next year.

Expanded View >
  1. Buzz Cut

    B4f6d5965b957062c6890e02842ce883

    The last couple of times you cut the lawn this year, do so with the mower on its lowest blade-height setting. Cutting so closely allows more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass blades, and it may minimize the extent to which your lawn looks brown while dormant. Just be careful not to trim off any more than a third in a single session. Overly aggressive cutting can shock the lawn and compromise its health. 

    Related: The Right Way to Mow the Lawn

    shutterstock.com

  2. Don't Leave Leaves

    0dfd3ebc1ec9d2bcdacc5667f8f64e53

    As trees begin to drop their leaves, rake and rake often. Why? Because most lawns contain at least some cool-season grasses, and true to their name, these varieties are active in the cool weather of fall. Left under a layer of leaves, deprived of sunlight, cool-season grasses are bound to struggle, if not die.

    Related: The Dummies' Guide to Raking Leaves

    shutterstock.com

  3. In Northern States, Aerate

    5e6e0d591d8a5d6b4a634bc2ecca01ed

    Even if you've never aerated before, you would likely recognize the process's leftovers—wine cork-shaped cylinders of earth. Primarily a means by which to combat soil compaction, aeration is the recommended method of ensuring that air, moisture, and nutrients are able to reach grass roots. Since cool-season grasses are active in fall, now is an ideal time to aerate if you live in the North (if you live in a warm climate, then aerate in summer).

    Related—How To: Aerate Your Lawn

    shutterstock.com

  4. Fall Fertilizing

    Cd0b8ec0fc8efa4230bc7fa884b479e1

    In warm climates, fertilizing is a year-round affair. But in regions with cold winters, fall is the most important time to administer a slow-release organic fertilizer. In areas that get full sun, lay down between one and four pounds per 1,000 square feet of grass; in shaded areas, use a little less. Use a spreader tool, because even dispersal is key. 


    Related: Don't Forget to Fertilize Your Lawn This Fall!

    shutterstock.com

  5. Overseed

    Cba4c1c5b86459c009fc6601acf4db38

    After aerating and fertilizing, go ahead and plant grass seeds in a cold-weather climate. For one thing, the process couldn't be easier. And second, the weather creates perfect conditions. There's sufficient sun and plenty of rain; there's less competition from weeds; and the nip in the air gives way to strong roots. To give newly planted seeds the best chance of survival, do take the time to properly till the soil. 


    Related—How To: Plant Grass Seed

    shutterstock.com

  6. Be a Super Soaker

    0fdd804899a8f73c0c9df0a5fc74ef9d

    This time of year, you don't need to water as often as you did over the summer, but you should still maintain a regular sprinkler schedule. That's true in part because watering aids fertilizer to work more effectively and is of vital importance for newly planted seeds. 

    Related: Top Tips for Watering the Lawn

    shutterstock.com

  7. Kill the Weeds

    C83b3274ed695d14175db0d5a62aa198

    As they prepare for winter, broadleaf perennial weeds, such as dandelion and clover, pull nutrients from the soil into their roots. Treat problem spots with an application of commercial herbicide or try an organic alternative.


    Related: 9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

    shutterstock.com

  8. For More...

  • Favorites Flipboard Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email AddThis
SEE MORE IN
Lawn & Garden

WHAT DO YOU NEED HELP WITH?

Don't Miss

x