Temperatures are dropping and leaves are falling—autumn is just around the corner. However, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your lawn care routine just yet. There are a few tasks that you need to tackle in the fall, both to help your grass survive the long Minnesota winter and to help it look its best come spring. Here’s your guide to the fall lawn care tasks you should take care of this month.
Most everyone knows that falling leaves mean you’ll need to rake soon, but why is raking such an essential part of fall lawn care? Leaving leaves on your lawn prevents your grass from getting the air and sunlight it needs, which can deprive it of nutrients and create the ideal environment for pests and disease. Rake or use a leaf blower to clear your lawn, especially before the first snowfall.
You can use your leaves to add nutrients to your yard, either by adding them to your compost pile or by breaking them down with a mulching mower and leaving them to decompose on your grass.
Weed control in the autumn should focus on broadleaf weeds, like dandelion, white clover, and ground ivy. If you choose to pull the weeds by hand, make sure you’re removing the entire root from the soil, as these weeds tend to regrow each year from the same root system.
If the weeds are extensive, you can opt for a selective herbicide to handle them. After you’ve cleared the weeds, your lawn might look a little thin, in which case, fall is also the perfect time for overseeding!
Cool-season grasses, which are common in the Midwest, benefit greatly from fall fertilization. Not only does it help your lawn look better in the fading days of autumn, but fertilizer also helps prepare your grass for the spring green up. When your lawn goes dormant in the winter, the roots keep growing—fertilizer helps keep them healthy and strong until spring.
Sorry to say, but you don’t get to stop mowing just because it’s fall. In fact, mowing in the fall is especially important to prepare your lawn for winter. Leaving your grass too long can encourage disease when it’s matted down with snow, while mowing it too short can expose the roots to frost damage.
You should mow your lawn two or three times before the first frost, with your last cut leaving the grass around 2 to 2.5 inches. When the snow melts in spring, the shorter cut allows the sun to reach the soil sooner, leading to a faster green up.
After this year’s hot, dry summer, thorough fall yard care is vital to the health of your yard, and Mimbach Fleet is ready to help you tackle your lawn maintenance checklist. Find broadleaf weed control, grass seed, fertilizer, and other essentials at our location in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.