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Prepping your lawn for the winter during the fall season is a big job. After all, you want to ensure your lawn has what it needs while it grows dormant and that it will be healthy and green again next spring.
In this article, Gardening Know How will provide you with a complete guide to fall lawn care.
Although you can absolutely prep your lawn for winter the DIY way, you can also hire a professional lawn service. A professional lawn service can help to keep your lawn hardy and healthy before and after the winter.
How Can You Get Your Garden and Lawn Ready in the Fall?
After the summer season is over, many home and property owners forget about tending to and caring for their lawns. However, the fall season is just as important for lawn care as it is in the spring and summer. What you do to prep your lawn in the fall will ensure a beautiful, healthy, green lawn in the spring.
So, what do you need to do to properly care for your lawn in the fall? Here is a great checklist for gardeners to follow:
Mowing regularly throughout the fall season—as long as the weather remains mild and the grass continues to grow—is still a good idea, especially as the leaves begin to fall. Mowing not only keeps your lawn clean, clear, and trimmed but it also helps prevent a build-up of leaves, twigs, and debris, which can kill your lawn and make it difficult for your grass to grow in the spring.
Yes, watering your lawn during the fall season is still important. Some climates see an increase in rainfall and a slight drop in temperatures during the fall season; therefore, watering as frequently as you might have during the summer may not be as necessary.
As soon as the leaves begin to fall, this is a sign that it’s time to get out and start the raking process before it’s too cold to do so.
Giving your lawn a good raking is one of the best things you can do to prep your lawn and garden for spring. This removes dead grass clippings, dried leaves, twigs, and other debris that will accumulate during the fall season. Keeping your lawn clean of debris will allow beautiful grass to grow in the spring.
Using a slow release pellet fertilizer to feed your lawn in the fall is a good idea, especially if you have a cool season grass type. Before fertilizing, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the weather. It’s important that your lawn gets water within five days after fertilizing to ensure your lawn receives the minerals and nutrients it needs for the winter.
Aerating isn’t just on your gardener’s to-do list for the spring; it is also good to do during the fall! Aerating your lawn provides many benefits, including the following:
- Stimulates root growth
- Makes the soil more porous, which allows more water, oxygen, and fertilizer to get into the soil
- Ensures stronger grassroots
- Reduces puddles
Seeding your lawn right before the winter might seem like a waste of time, however, it can actually help to introduce new grass to fill in bare or thin areas as well as thicken healthy areas of your lawn.
Be on the lookout for seed products online or at your local hardware store or landscaper. Be sure to select the right product for your lawn based on your location and climate for the best results.
Again, similar to seeding your lawn, isn’t mulching best done in the spring? Believe it or not, mulching provides your garden, plants, and lawn with numerous benefits during the fall and winter. After raking up leaves, you can mulch them by using a mulching mower. This will shred the leaves up into smaller pieces, which won’t smother your lawn or turn it brown.
You can also use some of your mulched leaves to surround your plants, flowers, and garden to protect them during the winter.
Check Your Equipment
The fall is also a great time to check your lawn equipment. This includes your lawnmower, mulching mower, weed wacker, spreader, chain saw, and even your snowblower. Ensuring all your equipment is cleaned, maintained, and functional will make it easier for you to prep your lawn for the winter.
These steps above are integral for preparing your lawn, but you might not always have the time to complete all items on this checklist—that’s where a professional lawn care service can step in.
Should You Get Professional Fall Lawn Care Services?
There are a number of reasons why the help of a professional might be the right choice for you. However, it’s not for everyone. Below are the top pros and cons of lawn care services.
Professional Lawn Care Service Pros
Access to Professional Lawn Equipment and Machinery
Homeowners, property owners, and gardeners typically have basic lawn equipment, such as a lawnmower, weed whacker, edger, a hedge trimmer, and so on. However, these tools and equipment can be a significant investment. A professional lawn care service brings all the tools and equipment they need to properly prep your lawn for the winter.
Get the Job Done Right
Homeowners, property owners, and gardeners with multiple properties, commitments, and responsibilities are already short on time. Thinking about raking and doing fall lawn care might seem overwhelming. Additionally, people with larger properties in terms of square footage may not have the time to rake, mulch, and do proper fall lawn care.
Hiring a professional lawn care service to fully prep your lawn for winter ill not only be one less thing you have to think about, but it will also ensure the job gets done right rather than relying on the DIY approach.
Protection for Your Lawn
Another advantage of hiring a professional lawn care service is the peace of mind knowing that your lawn is fully cared for and prepared for the winter and that it is healthy and protected for the spring.
Professional Lawn Care Service Cons
Although hiring a professional lawn care service is relatively affordable, it is still an added cost versus the free, DIY approach.
Possible Damage to Your Lawn
There are a number of reputable and professional lawn care services out there that provide exceptional service, but that doesn’t mean that every service is the right choice for every homeowner. In fact, choosing the wrong professional lawn care service might end up hurting or damaging your lawn more than helping it.
If you are looking for an experienced, reputable, and professional lawn care service to help you with fall lawn care, we recommend TruGreen.
Our Top Recommended Provider for Fall Lawn Care: TruGreen
If you don’t have a great deal of time to spend caring and prepping your lawn and garden for winter, TruGreen offers a number of products and services that homeowners, property owners, and gardeners need to clean up and prepare their lawn and gardens for winter.
TruGreen is available nationwide, except Alaska and Hawaii.
Below is a quick overview of the plans offered by this company:
|TruHealth℠ Lawn Plan||TruComplete℠ Lawn Plan||TruSignature℠ Lawn Plan||TruMaintenance℠ Lawn Care Plan||TruNatural℠ Lawn Care Plan|
|Lime soil amendment||✓||✓||✓|
|Pre-emergent & targeted weed control||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Healthy lawn analysis||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Tree & Shrub Plan||✓|
|TruExpert certified specialists||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Healthy Lawn Guarantee||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|100% natural fertilizer||✓|
|Minimal environmental impact||✓|
|Weed control upon request (at no additional charge)||✓|
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I fertilize my lawn in the fall?
The best time to fertilize your lawn in the fall should be up to several weeks before the ground freezes. Depending on your climate and geography, this could range between September and November. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize after the first frost as this signals that freezing temperatures on their way but the ground isn’t frozen yet.
What is the best fertilizer for grass in the fall?
The best type of fertilizer for grass in the fall is a slow release fertilizer. This type of fertilizer comes in a pellet form and slowly releases minerals and nutrients into your lawn. This ensures that your lawn receives the nutrients it needs while it grows dormant in the winter.
Can you seed your lawn in the fall?
You can. Again, depending on your climate and geography, the best time to seed your lawn in the fall is at least five to six weeks before the first frost.
When should you stop mowing your lawn in the fall?
You shouldn’t. As long as the outdoor temperatures are favorable and mild, and your lawn continues to grow, you should be mowing! As a general rule, once the leaves have all fallen, and they have been raked and mulched, this should be the last time you mow your lawn before the winter.