How To Take Care Of Lawn In Fall

Fall lawn clean-up should be given more attention to ensure its health and beauty for the upcoming spring. During the summer, lawns provide a pleasant, green backdrop for outdoor activities. However, the lawn may not thrive in the following months without the proper care during the fall season. 

Proper lawn maintenance and care during the fall season can lead to a lush, green lawn that will turn heads. Following these fall lawn care tips will ensure your grass stays in top shape.

Early Fall Care

Adjust Mowing Heights

Mowing should continue as long as the lawn is actively growing. To help protect grasses during the winter season, it is recommended to cut cool-season grasses to 2½ inches and warm-season grasses between 1½ and 2 inches for the final mow before the cold weather.

This practice can help prevent compression of the grass blades under heavy snow, promoting a healthier and thicker lawn.

a sprinkler is spraying water on a lawn.

Give Your Grass Plenty of Water

It is important to continue watering your lawn during the fall season as it is still in a state of growth, albeit at a slower rate. To ensure a healthy lawn, it is vital to water less frequently in the fall to encourage root growth while ensuring that the soil surface remains moist.

Check Out Your Soil

In the fall, it is a good idea to assess the soil pH of your grass to determine if the summer weather has an adverse effect. To do this, you can purchase a soil pH test online or consult with a professional lawn care team.

Mid-Fall Care

Attack Lawn Weeds

Preventative treatment of your beautiful lawn in the fall can stop the growth of weeds and protect your fall grass from damage.

Removing weeds by hand is an effective way to address the problem, as long as the roots and buds are pulled out completely. Applying herbicides and weed killers during the active root growth season can also successfully eliminate weeds and prevent them from reappearing

Before sowing new grass seed, allow sufficient time for the herbicides to take effect and the chemicals to dissipate to avoid damageng the grass.

a man is mowing the grass with a lawnmower.

Check for Thatch

A build-up of dead plant matter, old roots, sticks, and other organic material in a lawn is referred to as thatch. Over time, this layer of material can become thick. A thatch layer over half an inch can dry up roots and create fungal issues, which can become more problematic during winter.

Power rakes or vertical mowers effectively remove excess thatch buildup in your lawn over time. These tools can be rented from hardware stores and rental agencies. Once the debris is removed with a rake, a thin layer of thatch can help conserve moisture and protect against extreme temperatures.

Aerate to Help The Grass Roots

Aerating effectively reduces soil compaction caused by foot traffic and creates additional pore space for essential nutrients, air and water to enter. This helps to create a healthier and greener lawn by allowing fertilizer to be absorbed more quickly into the roots.

Lawn aerators can be rented from home and garden equipment rental stores. Selecting an aerator that extracts plugs of soil rather than merely creating holes in the ground is vital. Core aerators are the preferred type of aerators.

Repair Dead Patches & Reseed

Cool-season lawns can benefit significantly from reseeding in autumn. Reseeding not only improves the quality of the lawn but also repairs bare patches, increases shade and drought tolerance, and bolsters its resistance to diseases.

For bare spots that need help, it is recommended to sprinkle half the rate of lawn seeds for new lawns. It is best to replenish warm-season lawns in the springtime rather than during the fall lawn care.


For a healthy and established lawn, applying a thorough layer of fertilizer in the mid-late fall is crucial. This will provide the necessary nutrients to the root system so the grass can remain strong and healthy for the following spring. For a more even and consistent application, using a quality fertilizer spreader is recommended. Make sure to fertilize all lawn areas, leaving no single spot untreated.

a person in yellow rubber gloves holding a cake.

Late Fall Care

Clear Any Debris

Clear your lawn of any garden tools, children’s toys, and tree leaves to prevent snow mold and ensure the health of your property this fall. Unattended fallen leaves can block sunlight and create a soggy mess, robbing your grass of essential nutrients. Invest in a leaf vacuum or blower if you have a more extensive yard, or use an ordinary rake to keep your lawn clean and healthy.

Drain Your Irrigation System

Before the onset of freezing weather, it is important to completely drain the irrigation system in the lawn to prevent pipes and spigots from becoming frozen. Shut off the water to the system once it has been dismantled.

Pack Up Your Tools

Thoroughly clean and store all tools after use to help prevent rusting. And to be prepared for the snow season, ensure that you have an adequate supply of salt, car de-icer, and strong shovels.

a man with a broom and a bucket of leaves.

Expert Assistance for Fall Lawn Care

It’s relatively common to still have many questions about how to take care of lawn in fall. Riverwood Landscape proudly provides homeowners with trustworthy, eco-friendly fall lawn care services. Our knowledgeable team offers comprehensive year-round lawn maintenance, turf care, and more challenging tasks.

Schedule an appointment with our experts today to discuss lawn care and receive an estimate for maintaining the health of your fall lawn.


Colin Thomas MacMillan

Colin Thomas MacMillan, CEO of Riverwood Landscape, boasts over 8 years of expertise in landscaping and 3 years in transportation and logistics. A prominent figure, he serves as a board member for the Waterloo Chapter of Landscape Ontario and has been a vital part of the community for five years. Recognized for his insights, Colin has contributed to major industry events, including LeadsCON 2023. His entrepreneurial journey in landscaping began post-high school, driven by a lifelong aspiration and self-taught skills. Outside work, Colin's interests span history and video games, and he's dedicated three years to learning German, reflecting his commitment to personal growth. His professional ethos emphasizes a resilient, people-first approach, advocating for mastering current tasks and prioritizing quality in business and client relations. An avid reader of industry articles and an active networker, Colin's dynamic approach to professional development cements his status as a leader and an inspiration in landscaping and logistics.

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