Fall Maintenance

Here are some lawn care and home maintenance tasks that will see you through the winter:

Autumn Lawn Care Basics

Fall is a great time for new grass seed to take root, so consider reseeding in bare areas. Reseeding also eliminates areas for weeds to grow in the spring. Fertilize your lawn one more time with a high nitrogen fertilizer to encourage root growth. Look at a “winterizing” lawn fertilizer.

It is a good idea to rake leaves and debris off your lawn in the fall; ensure to rake out areas where heavy thatch has built up.

Cut your lawn one last time after it has stopped growing, but before the first snow. Adjust your mower setting to cut your lawn to about one inch. The final mowing should be done with a bagger to pick up cut grass, stray leaves and other debris, which leaves fewer places for snow mold to develop.

Fight Snow Mold

Snow mold is one of the most common lawn diseases and typically it shows up in the spring. As the snow melts, it uncovers a lawn that has spent several months hidden under the snow, with no air and no sun. In its cold, wet, dark environment snow mold slowly forms, leaving blades of grass dead and brown. New grasses will sprout up behind it, but unless you vigorously rake it away, the new growth will be slow and thin.

Aerating

Aerating your lawn is a great way to reduce thatch, loosen up compacted soil and pave the way for water and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass.

Maintain Gutters

Remove all debris from the gutters so water can drain properly, which minimizes standing water and slows the freeze/thaw expansion process that occurs in the winter. Gutter guards can prevent debris from entering the gutter. Down spouts direct the flow of water away from the house preventing damage.

Trim Trees

Watch for large dead branches; detached branches hanging in trees; rotten wood; and cracks or splits in the trunk.