Many people think that the spring season counts for the upkeep of the front or backyard.

However, fall is the prime time to get your lawn back into shape. As winters take a toll on the lawn, making it thin. You can save the grass with the right fall lawn care before it goes dormant.

The cool temperatures of fall and the rainfalls bring about the best situation for damage restoration and controlling weed growth. 

We have picked some useful fall lawn care tips to pave the way for lush, green, and lively lawns for the upcoming seasons.

10 Tips to Add to Your Fall Lawn Care Schedule 

An infographic on fall lawn care

The fall lawn care you shouldn’t be missing out on are as follows:

1. Plan Out Pruning of the Lawn

When a plant is actively blossoming, do not prune. Rather, wait until later in the fall when the leaves start to fade and shed.

You should make quick height adjustments and remove dead parts from shrubs as soon as the leaves fall off.

Otherwise, the plants may become dormant. 

Pruning is a fall lawn care practice that translates into optimal growing condition of your lawn.

The Best Time For Pruning

A chart explaining the best time for pruning trees

The timing of pruning for lawn maintenance depends on the weather in your area.

Generally, winter is the ideal season for pruning. When shrubs lose their leaves and go dormant, it’s a great time to prune them if you live in a region with harsh winters. 

When the leaves wither, the shrub’s branching structure is clearly seen, allowing you to make pruning decisions. 

Dormant pruning is often carried out in late winter, six to ten weeks ahead of your area’s expected winter time.

Shrubs can be pruned at any time of year if there is a specific scenario.

For instance, there is a need to eliminate growth coming in the way of a walking passage or remove broken branches or dead or diseased wood. 

Pruning increases the danger of disease transmission as well.

So, the first lawn fall care tip is to stop trimming till the leaves shed completely.

2. Continue Cutting at the Proper Height

If you are getting the idea of putting your lawn mower away after reading the previous fall lawn care tip, it’s too soon for that.

Grass grows until the first hard frost, so frequent cutting is necessary to maintain its perfect 2- to 3-inch height. 

It will become susceptible to fungus like snow mould if you let it grow too long.

Cutting the grass too short reduces the depth of the roots, which is related to cutting height and makes the lawn less resilient to tough winters. 

Mowing also removes bothersome leaves by breaking them up and providing a mulch that improves the soil behind.

Your lawn is protected from fluctuations in moisture and temperature by mulching and composting.

Mulching is the technique of covering your soil with a layer of protective materials to increase growth, hold on to heat, preserve moisture, and inhibit the growth of weeds. 

It shouldn’t be limited to a fall lawn care practice; spring and summer are good seasons to mulch.

3. Don’t let Debris Suffocate the New Grass

When the blanket of fallen leaves turns your lawn into a riot of dark colours, lawn maintenance seems tedious.

Letting nature take care of these excess leaves and debris is something we will not recommend in this fall lawn care guide.

To make room for grass and other ground-covering plants, get rid of the dead ones first.

The debris blocks the sunlight, making it hard to store carbohydrates.

Not to mention, as it gets wet from dew or rain, they adhere together, making a layer on top of the lawn. 

This layer suffocates the grass and gives rise to various fungal growth.

If you were not following this fall lawn care tip already and are witnessing brown patches in the lawn, you need to rake it.

Steps For Raking the Lawn

Three steps on how to rake a lawn

  • Loosen the brown grass by raking the dead areas with an outdoor vacuum or a lawn mower.
  • If there is dead thatch, disintegrate the top layer of it without leaving clumps.
  • Put seeds in the barren area and start watering it if necessary.

4. Pull Out Any Remaining Weeds

Weed persists long after fall arrives. 

Weed can gather in your grass and take up the nutrients required to keep your plants alive throughout the cold months.

To make sure weeds can stay and then come back in the spring, you should pull any remaining weeds as a fall lawn care measure. 

Prevention of Weed in the Long Run

You can utilize a pre-emergent herbicide as a fall lawn care step to stay away from lingering weeds.

An alternative to prevent these weeds from hiding in your lawn until the weather rises again is to consider hiring a professional service.

5. Aerate the Soil 

Good grass growth depends on the health of your soil, so aerate your soil at least once a year to help combat thatch buildup and soil compaction.

It is a fall lawn care task that shouldn’t be overlooked because of the benefits and results it provides.

To make it easier for fertilizer, water, and oxygen to reach the roots of the lawn, you should aerate your lawn.

The compacted soil caused by the sun’s rays makes it challenging for your grassroots to obtain the nutrients they require to grow successfully. 

A spike or plug aerator is typically used for soil aeration. In reality, a plug aerator takes out cylindrical plugs from the ground. Using a spike aerator creates holes in the ground. 

Benefits of Soil Aeration 

Soil becomes less compact when it has little holes in it.

Because of these holes, the grassroots can easily receive oxygen, water, fertilizer, and nutrients.

Your grass’s roots will spread farther into the soil if it has easy access to nutrients.

Because deep roots can tolerate both extreme heat and cold, they contribute to the robust health of your lawn.

The grass will have more nutrients in the spring if its roots are deeper when sprouting in the fall.

Adding this step to your fall lawn care lets you rest easy and wait for the temperature to drop.

6. Manage Thatch in the Fall

A man using a lawn dethatcher in fall

Another fall care tip is to control thatch for lawn maintenance.

Disease-causing microorganisms, such as snow mould, are found in thatch. Sometimes, the plant’s growth point is higher above the ground in turf with abundant thatch. 

The thatch lacks the insulating qualities of the earth as it is the dead turf material. And, it forms because of various reasons, including inadequate fertilization.

Thatch-rich lawns are more vulnerable to winter damage. 

How To Dethatch the Lawn

Take a rake and drag it through the tangle of grass. Put some force into the rake strokes. Remember, only a little soil penetration is acceptable. 

The grass will have great, strong roots if you take good care of it over the spring and summer, which will help it stay in place as you dethatch.

Best Way to Control Thatch 

Dethatching and core aeration are the two main strategies for reducing thatch. By excising cylindrical plugs from the grass, core aeration breaks up the thatch and brings up soil rich in microorganisms that facilitate the process. 

A machine that cuts into the thatch vertically brings out the debris, which is picked up and disposed of. 

This process is known as dethatching or verticutting.

The best time to reduce thatch is also the suitable time to overseed and apply the first fall fertilizer application. 

That takes us to our next tip–Fertilizing the lawn.

7. Fertilize Before the Cold Rolls In 

Feeding your plants before they go into hibernation is important for fall lawn care.

The roots grow quickly even when the grass appears shorter on the surface. 

Therefore, for lawn maintenance, a good feed is a requisite.

The ground is soft in fall, so you can easily store nutrients there with fertilizing before it becomes hard in winter.

Fall lawn care needs a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote root growth on a deeper level. 

It works as a booster shot for the grass to grow greener and healthier in the spring.

Fertilizers for fall lawn care have a specialized formula indicating the blends of nutrients the lawn will get.

For instance, if you don’t want a nitrogen-packed fertilizer for your lawn, you can look for a formula with more potassium or phosphorus content.

These elements will trigger root development.

As a result, in the cooler part of the year, the lawn will have a strong defence system. 

Additionally, after the winter season arrives, you don’t have to worry about fertilizing again.

8. Make Overseeding Your Best Companion 

In this fall lawn care step, you get more seed down to the soil for better growth.

Overseeding prepares the lawn to germinate in the warm season.

To be precise, the lawn seeds germinate as the soil temperature reaches below 10 degrees Celsius.

Thus, if you don’t want your effort and the lawn seed to go to waste, use a soil thermometer. 

Method For Overseeding the Lawn

  • Match the grass seed with the remaining part of your lawn.
  • Cut the grass to a low height.
  • Clear the area with dead grass to allow new seeds to reach the soil.
  • Be sure about the perfect dosage.
  • Fill in the bald spots and gaps with seeds.

9. Give Them Enough Water 

The purpose of fall lawn care is to let your lawn recover and get ready for the run-up of events in the winter season.

That is why, for lawn maintenance, you need to give them a lot of water. 

Your grass probably doesn’t get the water it needs in the summer due to summer droughts and water restrictions.

That means with this fall lawn care tip, you can address that, too. 

Method for Watering Well, Practically

Aim for one inch of water every week, varying slightly based on the amount of rainfall. 

To avoid freeze damage, cease watering altogether as soon as the freezing temperature hits.

A few soaks work well for lawn maintenance in the fall season. As the weather shifts, the natural atmospheric moisture will do the job for you.

To water the lawn efficiently, select the time when the wind pressure is low. 

During these times, the evaporation is less. A simple fall lawn care trick is to water the lawn in the morning.

10. Watch Out For Flammable Plants

An infographic of flammable plants list

Lastly, this is a bonus tip for fall lawn care.

Wildfires and summer seem to go hand in hand, yet fall is also a season when they can occur. 

Natural oils found in many plants can catch fire easily. 

Those dedicated to lawn maintenance should consider getting rid of these plants if wildfires are a serious concern where they reside. 


How to care for a lawn in the fall?

The steps for fall lawn care include raking the debris, seeding, aerating, mowing, dethatching, and fertilizing.

When to start fall lawn care in Calgary?

The best time is around the last days of August and November.

What industry targets fall lawn care?

The landscaping industry manages fall lawn care and all the other activities that include improving the aesthetics of outdoor spaces, such as parks and lawns.

What fertilizer is best for fall lawn care?

Different fertilizers help maintain the health of your yard in various ways. For instance, if you want it to regrow, use 20-8-8 (the first number represents nitrogen, the second is for phosphorus, and the last stands for potassium).

In Conclusion 

With that, you are fully equipped with fall lawn care to give a new lease of life to your yard.

By following these tips for lawn maintenance, you can get rid of the damaged area and watch it thrive next spring.

For a good start, get done with cleaning, mowing, and mulching. Then, move on to aeration, overseeding, watering, and fertilizing.

If you don’t want a so-so stretch of grass on your lawn, Falcon Landscaping is just a call away to make it amazing.

We have the expertise to transform a lawn with no life into a beautiful one, all set for your next outdoor party.