How Can I Prep My Lawn for Next Spring?

No matter the task at hand, preparation is always key. And with a new season on the horizon, your fall lawn preparation strategy is critical to ensuring a healthy, spring-ready lawn.

Consider these five simple lawn care tips to help prepare your lawn for next spring.

Clear Debris

Fallen leaves and debris can do serious damage to your lawn by suffocating grass, inhibiting proper drainage and creating brown patches. It's critical to remove leaves throughout fall; not just right before winter hits.

Apart from leaves, it's important to remove harmful fungi and excess thatch, which consists of pieces of dead grass that collect at the roots of your lawn throughout summer. Depending on the extent of thatch buildup your lawn consists of, you can either give your yard a good once-over with a leaf rake or opt for a dethatcher to treat more severe cases.
 

Mow Low

Since you're not counting on significant growth in the coming months, it's okay to lower your mower height to about 1¼ inches. This will expose your lawn for some of the next steps.

If your grass is particularly tall (more than 3 inches), mow it to about 2 inches; letting it rest for a few days before taking it all the way down to the desired 1¼ inches.

Aerate

After a good rain or watering when your soil is soft (but not soggy), make a few passes over your lawn with your aerator.  Aerating helps improve your lawn's drainage and allows for oxygen, water and fertilizer to easily reach grass roots.

Fertilize

If you could only fertilize your lawn once a year, fall would be the time to do it. Just like in your garden, above-ground plants and vegetables grow more slowly as temperatures cool, but roots continue to grow due to warmer below-ground temperatures.

Applying a dry layer of fertilizer will help your lawn's roots grow and strengthen as winter approaches.

Depending on the size of your lawn, either distribute fertilizer by hand, or use a tow- or walk-behind spreader. If you choose to spread by hand, use a leaf rake to evenly distribute excess fertilizer.
 

Overseed

Now that you've opened up your lawn for new growth, it's time to add the finishing touch. Overseeding simply means applying seed to an existing lawn. Overseeding keeps your lawn youthful and ensures consistent growth.

Following the same principles as you did with fertilizing your lawn, use your hands or a spreader to overseed your lawn (depending on the size of your lawn).