Most people don’t realize that to have a really great lawn, the secret isn’t in piling on extra fertilizer and watering as soon as the snow melts in spring. That’s right gardeners, the ugly words… lawn maintenance. The fact is that letting an unhealthy lawn lie over the winter can actually make them worse. But don’t worry! Using just a few lawn care tricks, you can have a yard wake up in spring to the green backdrop of a gorgeous lawn! So do you want a killer lawn? Then do this!

Fall Lawn Care Tricks

Kill Lawn Weeds

Been ignoring a dandelion problem? Hoping the crabgrass will “die off in the winter”? Nope, doesn’t work that way. Take care of your lawn weed problems now or it will be much worse in the spring. Weeds spend all fall absorbing energy, ready to attack with the first rays of spring sunshine. Use a liquid weed killer meant for lawns. Want natural weed killer alternatives? We’ve got plenty of options here. Photo by ‘Lawn Care Directory‘.

Fall lawn weed control

How to Aerate Your Lawn

Aerate your lawn to allow more water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil. You can rent an aerator or, if you have a small lawn, use aerating sandals to penetrate the hardened summer ground. Aerating your lawn allows the roots to access oxygen and water more easily, allowing for a stronger root system. This will jump start your lawn growth in spring. Photo by ‘QTurf‘.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Fertilize Your Lawn for Fall Lawn Care

Most experts agree that when it comes to fall lawn care, the most important thing is using this time to fertilize. Mid to late fall, use a dry fertilizer over the entire lawn to encourage root growth. For a winterized lawn, specialized late season fertilizer is the the best choice, especially in cold winter areas. Photo by ‘Grateful Grass‘.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Reseeding a Lawn – Overseed Thin Spots

If you have a few areas that have gotten thin or have died off from underwatering, now is the time to overseed. Get the lawn ready to be in full growth in spring with a little fall lawn care. Buy a lawn patch product at the nursery or home improvement store. These are blends that already have mulch included. Rake the thin spot well, then lightly broadcast the seed and water well. Try to keep it watered daily until the fall rains take over. From ‘Hermes Landscaping‘.

Overseeding lawns

Mow the Lawn Low

Adjust your mower height to mow lower than you did in summer. The idea is to gradually expose the base of the grass and allow more sunlight to reach it, preventing brown and mushy grass under snow and rain. Don’t cut it too short though, never less than 2 inches for most grasses.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Keep Watering that Grass!

Don’t stop watering your lawn until the fall rains have really taken over. Don’t water in the evenings in the fall, the cooler nights allow for fungus to grow. Basic lawn care means attending to the basic needs of the lawn, even in the fall!

lawn tricks

Fall Lawn Care Clean Up – Rake Those Leaves!

I don’t blame you if that’s the last thing you want to hear…but here is the truth. If you leave those leaves on your lawn to compact all winter, you will find that your lawn has been destroyed in spring. But, they can be very useful as mulch when you do your fall garden cleanup! Photo from ‘HGTV‘.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Blow out your Irrigation System

If you have any kind of sprinkler or irrigation system, you are going to want to drain that system before the ground freezes. Most areas have services that will come to your home and use a truck mounted air compressor to blow out your systems for about $25 to $35. If you want to try it yourself, here is a great tutorial on fall sprinkler maintenance from ‘Irrigation Tutorials‘.

Drain irrigation system

That’s it! Just because the grass starts growing more slowly above the ground in fall, doesn’t mean it grows slowly below the ground. And if you ignore that fact, your lawn will suffer from a poor root system in spring, resulting in a weak lawn prone to disease and weed growth. Just follow these fall lawn care steps to a killer spring lawn! And when you’re done, don’t forget to winterize those garden tools! Photo by ‘Greenview Fertilizer‘.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Looking for more than just fall lawn care ideas to improve your yard? Check out Outdoor Fall DecorClassic Lawn Edging Ideas and Alternatives to Grass: Front Yard Landscaping Ideas! Also check out Fresh & Pretty Fall Wreath Ideas over at OhMeOhMy, and Fall Front Porch Ideas over at TBD!


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  1. Landscaping Clarington October 29, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Thank you so much for the awesome lawn care tips! I never knew how important the Fall season was for lawn maintenance.

  2. Thomas Saracco September 10, 2020 at 7:02 am

    It is also important to apply a pre emergent in the Fall.

    1. Kathy Bates January 24, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      Good tip!

  3. Vancouver Landscaping January 23, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    So much LAWN LOVE! These are great tips for homeowners who don’t even know where to begin with lawn care. Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Quentin Robertson April 30, 2019 at 12:12 am

    Woh I like your articles, saved to my bookmarks!.
    Also visit my consequence :: best corded electric lawnmowers agreenhand

  5. James July 26, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    I have true green do my front yard. Every time I try to take over it starts to look bad. I’m going to perfect the back yard and then take over the front yard!!!!!

  6. Heather September 13, 2017 at 7:17 am

    These are some great tips – Hard to believe fall is here. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Teresa Roberge February 5, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Live in Georgia and every person I speak to give me a different answer on how to maintain the grass here and keep it green! Any suggestions?

    1. Kathy Woodard February 7, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Teresa! We are in the PAC NW, so can’t help you there! Have you talked to a local top landscaping company? They usually know your area best and might give you some tips! (Although be prepared for a “Sell” on their services, lol) Any of our readers in the South have advice?

      1. Genia August 7, 2017 at 8:07 pm

        Read Walter Reeves website. Also known as The Georgia Gardner. He is fabulous! We have Bermuda and Fescue lawns here in Georgia and they require different treatments.

    2. Randy September 11, 2018 at 7:33 am

      I’m have owned a landscape company in Atlanta for 33 years. I would be glad to help you out

  8. D September 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Oversees in late August early September and you won’t have the issue with seeds and leaves being present at the same time.

  9. Jody November 10, 2015 at 5:36 am

    How can you over seed in fall when you are taking leafs? I usually use my mower to pickup the leafs, but either way don’t you just pull up or suck up the seed with the leafs?!

    1. Kathy Woodard December 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Yes, if you run a lawn mower over a overseeded lawn, you will pull up seeds, not to mention damage grass seedlings trying to grow… If you overseed, you are going to have to rake up leaves the old fashioned way!

  10. Exmark December 5, 2014 at 8:42 am

    These are awesome tips! Kathy, we love to see people take great pride in their yards and lawns. In the fall, that mow lower trick is really great and spot on. Sometimes a high quality lawn mower can make a world of difference too. Thanks so much again and keep it up!


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