Once summer is over, the temperature drops, leaves start falling and winter is once again on the horizon. It’s a good time to be doing some maintenance both inside and outside the home, including your lawn. Without proper preparation, your lawn has no way to handle the coming winter, requiring even more yard work once spring arrives.
Taking care of your lawn does not require that much time during fall but it will help cut yard work down by a good margin for the rest of the year.
Here are a couple of ways you can prepare your lawn for the winter and the coming year.
1 – Rake the Leaves
Like snow, leaves falling onto the ground is nice initially, but it can quickly pile up if left unchecked—This can be quite unsightly especially if you’re looking to sell your home on the Toronto MLS during this period where dead leaves will get soggy and disgusting after rainfall. Raking the leaves regularly reduces clutter and also allows the lawn to absorb more sunlight and breathe more efficiently.
You can also opt to mulch the leaves to provide the necessary nutrients for the soil. You can use the those leaves to provide a barrier of insulation for the compost while it is still composting.
2 – Cut the Grass
Just because the weather is getting colder, it doesn’t mean that you should stop taking care of your lawn altogether. While the leaves are falling, you should still be cutting the lawn on a regular basis—every 10-14 days is recommended. This is because it still requires water and nutrients so that it can build up stronger roots for the coming winter. During the last few weeks of fall, start cutting it down to 1.5 inches until the end of the season. Also note that during the fall, the grass will grow at a slower rate than during the spring and summer.
3 – Aerate the Soil
You should aim to aerate your lawn at least once a year. Start by carving out a small hole in your lawn to determine whether the thatch level isn’t too high. Thatch forms when there is a layer of living and dead organic matter set between the lawn and the soil. Thatch can be beneficial in that it provides good insulation for from things like cold weather and hardening from foot traffic. However, having too much thatch can actually lead to roots drying and fungal problems, potentially leading to a desolate lawn come springtime. To prevent this, you can aerate the soil using an aerator that plucks hole out of the ground. This once again allows oxygen and water to penetrate into the ground and allow the roots to grow deeper and stronger.
4 – Over-Seed the Lawn
Right after you aerate the lawn, it is the perfect time to over-seed it to help grow out any bare spots. This is because the aerator creates a lot of entry points for new seeds to enter and germinate. Over-seeding the lawn in general allows the lawn to become thicker and healthier and also prevents weeds from taking over the bare spots. If your lawn has lower points where water can collect, be sure to level it out before over-seeding—The low points can actually drown out the seeds if water collects.
5 – Add Fertilizer
Once everything is done, start helping your lawn prepare for the winter by providing it with nutrients that it can store. That said, you should still be fertilizing the lawn regularly to replace any nutrients that it lost during the hot summer weather so that it can keep growing at a healthy rate. A big benefit of fertilizing during the colder season is that before the first snowfall, the lawn is cold enough for the fertilizer to remain in the soil and feed the necessary nutrients to your lawn’s roots all season long.