5 lawn tips for late fall

Judith Adam

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GaMa mascot Hazel stays away from the mower when it’s mulching leaves. (Garden Making photo)

Here are five tips for late fall lawn care:

  • Late fall lawns that are predominately made from cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye grass, will stay green into freezing weather. If sections of the lawn turn tan-coloured, it may be the result of annual weed grasses, such as crabgrass and foxtail grasses, succumbing to the cold. Seed these sections with cool-season grasses next spring.
  • To keep unused lawn and clover seed vigorous until next spring, store them in sealed bags in a cool, dry place indoors.
  •  Although cold temperatures have probably caused grass to stop growing, there are still leaves drifting in across the lawn. Once there’s a generous scattering of leaves in place, run the lawn mower over the entire lawn, chopping the leaves into smaller pieces. Allowing these roughly chopped leaves to remain will contribute fibre and nutrients to the turfgrass.
  • Autumn turfgrass fertilizer is best applied in October, but it can still be put down if the ground is unfrozen. This late fertilizer application will be stored in reserve for spring and get the lawn off to a good start next year.
  • Although turfgrasses have stopped growing, weeds are still able to grow whenever the soil is unfrozen. They’ll even wait under ice and snow, remaining green until a winter melt thaws a shallow depth of soil and allows them to pick up where they left off. Be vigilant! It’s always worthwhile to continue digging weeds whenever we want fresh air and a chance to be outdoors.
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3 thoughts on “5 lawn tips for late fall”

  1. Hello neighbour Judith,
    I have been advocating keeping leaves on property for years. The City of Toronto does it in the little parkettes in our community(I back onto Cotswold up by the 401).I use no other fertilizer on my grass. I still get neighbours shaking their heads, wondering why I leave the full leaves on the gardens, and the mulched ones on the grass. As unsightly as it seems, in a few weeks everything disappears into the background as the colours darken. How long will it take to educate people?


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