Autumn Lawn Care


Image by Nickbeer courtesy iStock.

One of the secrets to a gorgeous, happy lawn in spring and summer is the care you put into it in the fall. Here's my go-to list for keeping grass lush and green:

Water

Autumn can be a drier time of year for the East coast. Even though the days are cooler, it's still critical to keep your lawn hydrated before the onset of winter. If a week goes by without rain, get out there with the hose and give your lawn some water.


Feed

Your ornamental plants aren't the only ones that benefit from an extra dash of nutrients right about now. In autumn, I recommend feeding your lawn with either a seaweed- or kelp-based feed applied as a foliar spray. The best time to do this is in the next couple of weeks; it won't be effective once the grass has gone dormant. Think of it as a shot of wheat grass for its health. This type of formula encourages stronger root growth, nutrient uptake, and overall vitality. Neptune's Harvest is a brand I like to use. Alternately, you can sprinkle a light layer of compost over your lawn to give it a late-season boost.


Seed

Ample sunshine and mild temperatures make fall an excellent time for overseeding your lawn or mending bare patches. Click here for tips and tricks for seeding success.


Rake

It only takes a few blustery days to make your lawn disappear under a thick carpet of leaf litter. Be sure to stay on top of raking as leaf coverage can block critical sunlight from reaching your lawn. It also traps moisture and can lead to fungal and rot issues.


Mow

The charm of your weekly date with the lawn mower may be wearing off by now, but stick with it until the first frost as long as the grass is still growing. I use a level 3 mow height, which keeps things trim and tidy.