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. The secret to a great lawn lies in fall lawn maintenance. That’s right gardeners, the ugly word… maintenance. The fact is that letting an unhealthy lawn lie over the winter is not going to make all those problems go away, and can actually make them worse. Using just a few fall lawn tricks, your can have a yard wake up in spring to the green backdrop of a gorgeous killer lawn! So do you want a killer lawn? Then do this!



Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring


Kill Those 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, as the weeds spend all fall absorbing energy, ready to attack with the first rays of spring sunshine. Use a liquid weed killer meant for lawns.

Fall lawn weed control



You can rent an aerator or, if you have a small lawn, use aerating sandals to penetrate the hardened summer ground. This 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.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring


Definitely Fertilize

Most experts agree that fall is the most important time to fertilize. Mid to late fall, use a dry fertilizer over the entire lawn to encourage root growth. Winterizer fertilizer is the best choice, especially in cold winter areas.

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring


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 and get the lawn ready to be in full growth in spring. 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.

Overseeding lawns


Mow 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!

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.

lawn tricks


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. Seriously, gotta do this.

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.

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!

Fall Lawn Tricks for a Killer Lawn in Spring

Looking for more ways to improve your yard? Check out these beautiful & classic lawn edging ideas!

Image Credits: Lawn Care Directory, Qturf, Grateful Grass Lawncare, Hermes Landscaping, HGTV, BHG, Greenview Fertilizer


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

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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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