Fall Lawn Care

Keep Mowing. 

Your lawn may start to grow again in the cooler temperatures of fall, so continue mowing as needed until freezing temperatures arrive.  If you bag the grass clippings, they are invaluable for adding nitrogen to compost piles. You can also leave some on the grass to decompose and add nutrients to the lawn.

Leaves to Deal With

You can leave whole leaves in flower beds, but on lawns, they will compact and keep moisture from getting to the grass.  It’s best to shred the leaves into smaller pieces and then use on planting areas as mulch for winter protection of plants.  Th leaf mulch also keeps grass and weed seeds floating through the air and dropped by birds from taking root where you don’t want them.

Overseeding

Fall is a great time to overseed an existing lawn, start a new one, or fill in bare patches.  Give it at least a month before freeze so it can get established.  Over time, lawns thin down or just get old and need to be replaced.  Select the seed appropriate for your area and cut the lawn short and bag the cuttings so the seed can reach the soil underneath.  Fill your spreader, adjust the settings according to your type of seed, and apply. https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library/grass-grass-seed/how-overseed-thin-lawn

Fertilize the Lawn

Fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawn.  Some manufacturers recommend feeding the lawn four times a year.  Water the lawn well a few days before you spread fertilizer. Fill spreader with fertilizer and apply.  Feeding your lawn helps it stay green and grow thick.  A thick lawn prevents weed seeds from sprouting and moving in.

https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library/lawn-food/how-fertilize-lawn

Composting

If you want rich, nutrient dense soil for your spring and fall gardens, consider composting.  It’s easy to build a compost bin and add layers of leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps all through the year.  In fall, the leaves provide the brown material, grass clippings and kitchen scraps the green.  Saved grass clippings that have turned brown are still considered green material for the compost pile (containing nitrogen).  This combination of ingredients plus air and water will keep the pile hot enough to break everything down into a nice, nutrient dense compost.