Fall is a prime time to prep your yard for the next growing season

Aerate your lawn:

If any rainfall pools on your grass, I guarantee it’s time to aerate your compressed soil so both water and nutrients can reach the roots. It’s possible a garden fork can do the job on a very small yard—yet I can also guarantee that’s labor intensive. For larger lawns, you can either rent/use a walk-behind aerator that pulls out 2½-to 3-inch-deep soil plugs, which will break down naturally by spring or consult a local expert who does aerating professionally. Those plugs resemble goose turd. It’s just plugs of soil that will melt away when it rains. No need to rake them up—just let them dissolve naturally. Whatever you do, don’t buy those spikes that attach to your shoes and prance around your yard. For one, you might damage irrigation lines and two, those actually compact the turf, rather than loosen the soil.

Feed your turf:

Your grass roots keep growing until the ground gets down to around 40 degrees—so now is a good time to feed them. Have a professional company do it for you or if you’re up to the task—you can apply a high-phosphorus (12-25-12) mix to your lawn to encourage roots today, so turf greens up earlier next spring.

Mow one last time!

Disease has a harder time with shorter grass and leaves that fall will blow easily across the lawn because they have nothing to latch on to. Don’t cut too low, though. Consult the pros, after all, they know your geographical area best. Grass makes most of its food in the upper blade which is why you want to be careful of the height.

Collect leaves:

Don’t let thick, ugly leaves matte down areas of your turf. You’ll pay for it in the spring by having patches to fill.


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