Preparing your Lawn for Fall

When the leaves are changing colours and the kids are getting excited about Halloween, your lawn may be the last thing on your mind right then. However, fall is the perfect time to start getting your lawn ready for winter. Regular autumn rains and the season’s cooler temperatures lend themselves as great conditions to ensure you’ll have a healthy and vibrant lawn for many years to come. 

Just because your grass is growing slower, that doesn’t mean it requires less maintenance! In actuality, your lawn is using this time of year to get ready for the winter ahead. Your lawn ramps up the absorption of moisture, nutrients and energy as it prepares to hibernate or go dormant for the coldest months of the year. 

If you want to do everything you can to help your lawn soldier the burdens of winter then keep reading these helpful tips to prepare lawn for fall with GTA’s most trusted lawn care and landscaping professionals at Ontario Quality Landscaping. We’ll discuss lawn fertilizer for fall, lawn aeration for fall and so much more!

Remove the Leaves

So what’s the best lawn treatment for fall? It’s hard not to enjoy the beautiful colours of fall leaves that have fallen across your yard. You might even be tempted to jump into piles of them! But as pretty as they are, these leaves are not good for your lawn.

They prevent light and rainfall from reaching your grass, putting your lawn in a precarious position from a health perspective. If possible, rake up or blow away the leaves at your earliest convenience. Even after all of the leaves have fallen, continue to get rid of the leaves, otherwise, any lawn stuck under a carpet of dead leaves will not be in good shape come the spring.

Keep Mowing Your Lawn in the Fall

Even though it’s fall, you shouldn’t be storing away the lawn mower for the winter just yet. Despite the crisp temperatures of autumn, your grass will keep growing until the first serious frost of the season. Keep your grass at approximately 3 inches in height or you’ll risk the turf getting matted and being susceptible to the growth of mould and fungi. Don’t cut your lawn too short either! Going below the 2-inch mark could impede your grass’s root system and the lawn’s ability to survive the harsh winter weather. Mowing your lawn at this time of year also has the added appeal of being able to munch up the leaves that turns them into a kind of mulch which is very enriching for your soil. 

This is an important tip for homeowners when you’re pulling out the lawn mower in the fall. You should never trim more than 33% of the grass’ height at any one time. Even if you’ve left the lawn to grow for longer than you should have, be patient. Don’t be tempted to hack it all off at once. Take the time to do multiple passes with your lawn mower and lower the blade a little more each time until you achieve the desired length.

Continue Watering Your Lawn in the Fall

You may be wondering how to care for your lawn in the fall. Many homeowners make the big mistake of neglecting to water their lawns once fall arrives. The temperatures start to go down at night, people turn off their outdoor water taps, and they figure that mother nature can take it from here. Well, that’s incorrect!

Even though there’s less moisture evaporating and a lot of morning dew, it’s likely still not enough to keep your lawn looking healthy and thriving. Use a rain gauge purchased at your local hardware store to monitor how much moisture is accessing your lawn. Your lawn should be getting at least one inch of water per week. Once October ends, it’s a good time to disconnect your hoses and flush out your outdoor taps to avoid freezing and damage to plumbing systems.

Plant Seed 

Do you know what to do for your lawn in fall? You can never add too much seed to your existing lawn, especially in the fall. Ensuring your lawn is very dense means it will be harder for weeds to grow. You’ll also be able to fill in bare spots. Because of the cool nights, not overly hot days and a lot of moisture, it’s the optimal time to spread new grass seed on your turf. But you can’t just throw seeds at the lawn and hope they grow.

You’ll need to ensure that the seeds land in good soil, stay moist and have to time germinate so a solid root system can take hold. And this all has to happen before the first serious frost of the year. Overseeding is one of the most difficult lawn care tasks but well worth it if you can pull it off properly.

sodding landscaping for the front yard of the house
Choosing right sod for your lawn

Fertilize Your Lawn in the Fall

As important as water is for the health of the lawn, fertilizer is just as crucial for the long-term outlook of your turf. Special plant sugars keep your grass’s root system safe during the winter and provide much-needed energy so everything can come back in full force when the snow melts in spring. Chlorophyll produces the special sugars that keep your lawn healthy, but in winter they need help with some nitrogen.

Nitrogen can be found in many types of lawn fertilizer, which also includes healthy amounts of potassium and phosphorus. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on your bag of fertilizer and you’ll successfully keep your lawn safeguarded from rotting and disease. When fertilizing, it’s important to think about the surrounding environment. As a general rule, try not to spread fertilizer within 2 metres of a waterway on your property.

Aerate Your Lawn For The Fall 

You can also consider aerating your lawn. The act of aeration is simple and the benefits of aeration are numerous. A lawn aerator is a large machine you can rent that will make many holes in the soil and pick up pieces of dirt that you used to fill them. This provides hundreds of direct channels for fertilizer, water and oxygen to easily access the root system of your lawn.

If your property is a standard suburban backyard, you can easily rent the lawn aerator and push it yourself. However, if you have a larger commercial or rural property, it would probably be more financially beneficial and practical to hire a landscaping contractor like the ones at Ontario Quality Landscaping to do the job for you.

Keep Your Lawn Clean

A clean lawn is a happy lawn any time of the year – that’s why it’s important to remove any toys, garden tools or leftover leaves that may be getting in the way of precious nutrients from the rain and sun that keeps your lawn healthy and lush.

Dedicating a few moments of lawn care for the fall can go a long way toward good results in the spring. You could use a rake to remove unwanted leaves, but for an even cleaner lawn consider investing in a leaf blower. It will save you a lot of time and perhaps you won’t be so hesitant to do your fall lawn maintenance!

Time Your Lawn Maintenance Perfectly 

If you want the top results then you’ll have to ensure that these lawn care steps are done at the right times and in the proper order.

Some golden rules to follow: 

  • If it’s too late in the year, don’t bother overseeding. The seedlings will never survive through the winter if they don’t have a chance to toughen up first. 
  • If you fertilize your lawn too late then it’ll be a total waste because your grass won’t have time to absorb the desired nutrients. 
  • If you fertilize your lawn too early then new grass will grow and get wiped out by frigid temperatures. 
  • Aeration is to be done in the fall and you should never try spring aeration as this will just exacerbate any potential problems with the overgrowth of weeds and other unwanted vegetation.

Having a perfect lawn is a pretty demanding task with a lot of maintenance to keep track of, especially in the fall. Sometimes, these tasks involve renting pieces of big heavy equipment that may be difficult to operate and hard to get a hold of at this time of year.

That’s why a professional landscaping service like Ontario Quality Landscaping could be an incredible asset for you and your family. You’ll get your time back to do the important things while a professional crew makes your lawn look perfect.

Contact Us

Do you need landscaping contractors in Toronto or landscaping services in Toronto? It’s time to call the region’s most experienced professionals when it comes to better lawns and gardens. The experts at Ontario Quality Landscaping are committing to providing the highest level of service. We dispatch the most knowledgeable and courteous team of experts to your home who take the time to explain the best process for keeping your lawn pristine all year long. 

While ambitious, many homeowners are unable to dedicate the right amount of time to taking care of their landscaping. You have more important things to do and that’s why our landscaping contractors are standing by to give you an estimate. Call now to book your consultation and let’s grow something great together!

Where Beauty Meets Functionality: Ontario Quality Landscaping