It could be argued that fall is the best time of year in Colorado. I know others out there might say spring or winter, but the beautiful changing foliage and the temperatures shifting from hot to cold create a wonderful season. However, this also means that Colorado homeowners have a little extra work to do around the outside of their home. The occasional snow fall, dry air, and gusts of wind can wreak havoc on even the best of yards. So, what can you do to prepare for the fall, and eventually the winter? Here are some fall yard tips that will help you winterize your lawn and keep it looking good as Mother Nature turns the dial.
1: Continue to mow
Even though the temperature is going down, you should still continue to mow and water your yard as needed throughout the fall. For the last two mows, lower your blade and try to follow the 1/3 rule: cut the top 1/3 of the grass, leaving the bottom 2/3 to continue to grow. This way you’ll have less grass turning brown under the snow and leaves.
2: Aerate your soil
Fall is the best time to aerate your lawn to allow oxygen, water, and any fertilizer to get down into the roots of the grass. Most Home Depots or local hardware stores rent aerators for less than $100 a day. You can also use a local lawn care company to do this for you.
3: Leaf raking
This is best done by utilizing the help of children, neighbors or friends! Don’t have any help? Then make sure you stay on top of it a little at a time. Don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen and been covering your yard for weeks. If you do a bit at a time, it won’t seem like such a big job. If you’re like me, and you have the need to buy and use yard equipment that turns on and makes a bunch of noise, I recommend the blower/sucker combo. Rake all your leaves into a pile, then use the sucking setting to eat up all the those leaves. This breaks down the leaves, allows you to put them into fewer bags, and cuts down on bagging time. If you don’t have a blower/sucker, you can borrow mine, or a friend’s. Let’s face it, it only gets used about 3 times a year.
4: Use fall fertilizer
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall gives your grass the nutrients it needs to stay healthy over the long winter. Using a seed or fertilizer spreader, walk your property while applying a decent amount, making sure that the whole yard is covered. You can also use a fertilizer/seed mix, which will help your yard stay healthy and grow new seed where it is needed.
5: Fill in the dead spots
Once again, the fall is a great time to repair damaged areas. Purchase new grass seed from your local hardware store, and use the ready-to-use mixture to fill in the dead spots in your lawn. Compact with your foot, apply thoroughly, and water over the next couple weeks until you see the grass growing.
6: Kill weeds
If your lawn is like mine, then you are constantly fighting the battle with weeds. Weeds can spread and take the sun light and water that your lawn needs to grow healthy and strong. Using the proper fertilizer and herbicide can kill weeds now, so you’ll have less growing in the spring. This is also a great opportunity to spray areas in your yard that may have different annually growing plants. Get those weeds out now, when you don’t have as much growing, and stay ahead of the game for the spring.
Whether you love leaf peeping, or watching football in the fall, I hope you enjoy these tips that will allow you to enjoy more of this wonderful season and everything it has to offer.