Transitioning Summer Lawn Care to Fall: Prepping Your Lawn for Cold Weather

Labor Day is just around the corner. Days are shrinking. And your yard is calling: “Prep me for fall!”

No problem, lawn; we’ve got your back.

Luckily fall prep is fairly simple and pays dividends when warm weather returns. Just a few essential steps will lead to an easy transition into fall.

1. Let grass grow

If you live in warmer climates, let your grass get a bit taller, so it can begin to reserve food supplies as winter approaches.. This will lead to a healthier spring lawn. However, if you get significant snowfall, you want your last cut to be shorter to avoid molds.

2. Manage weeds

Yes, this is something you have to do all year, but it’s particularly important leading into fall. If you can get rid of as many weeds as possible prior to your lawn going dormant, it will result in fewer spring weeds. The reason is simple: If they’re gone, or dead, they can’t germinate when warm weather returns.

3. Aerate the lawn

If you didn’t do it in the spring, consider aerating your lawn. This allows nutrients and water to easily flow through the soil, which may be compacted after a summer of kids and dogs running across it.. These tips can help you, if you have questions.

4. Plant perennials

It may seem counter-intuitive to plant flowers as the growing season ends, but it’s actually perfect timing. Getting perennials in the ground now allows them to establish themselves before cold weather hits, and ensures you’ll have beautiful flowers popping up next spring. Plus, you can usually get them on sale this time of the year.

5. Seed the lawn

There’s a good chance it’s developed a bald spot or two over the heavy summer use. Take the time now to re-seed it. If you’re unsure what type of grass you have, ask your local landscaper what they recommend for your climate. Also, if you live somewhere with warm winters, over-seeding your lawn will keep your lawn green during “cold” months. Follow our From bald to bold: 5 steps to repairing bare patches for step by step instructions.

6. Final fertilizing

Yes, you want to get one more round of fertilizer down before fall disappears. If you have a cool-season grass, make sure your fertilizer is high in nitrogen. For warm-season grasses, higher levels of phosphorus and potassium are OK.

By prepping your lawn now, you’ll be thanking yourself in the spring when you grass returns lush, green and weed free!

Prepping Lawn

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