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5 Easy Steps for Complete Fall Lawn Care

September 19, 2022
Written by Aaron

You shouldn't overlook your fall yard work while you're browsing fall fashions and slamming pumpkin spice lattes! A little lawn care will save you plenty of effort next spring once the snow has melted. Trust us—the last task you want to add to your spring cleaning list is rotting leaf removal! 


Complete These Fall Lawn Care Tasks for Gorgeous Spring Grass 

Your lawn will be better off next year if you go through these five steps before the snow flies. You’ll find everything you need to know to get your landscape prepped for fall in this blog.

Eising Garden Centre-Ontario-Fall Lawn Care Guide -dethatching the grass

Step 1: Dethatch the Lawn

Grass can get quite matted and tangled over time. If you leave it as is, it will be much more difficult for new grass to emerge next spring. Dethatching the lawn will tear up these tangles of old dead grass to make room for new lush growth.

Grab a rake and drag it through the tangly grass to dethatch the lawn. Apply some pressure—it's okay if the rake penetrates the soil a bit. Having taken good care of your grass through spring and summer, it should have nice strong roots to help keep it in place while you dethatch. 

Eising Garden Centre-Ontario-Fall Lawn Care Guide -aeration of lawn

Step 2: Aerate the Soil

Soil naturally becomes compacted with time, especially after lots of rain and foot traffic. If we don't do anything to alleviate the compaction, you'll encounter problems with poor moisture drainage. Moisture needs to drain through the soil—if it pools at the surface, that's a recipe for root rot and fungal problems.


Aerating is easy, and there are two methods to do it:

1. Spike aeration drives skinny spikes into the soil, loosening it up and improving air circulation. 

2. Plug aeration pulls actual plugs of soil out of the ground, allowing for even greater air circulation—though not everyone loves the look of soil plugs scattered across the ground.

Whichever method you prefer is up to you—both options work great!

Eising Garden Centre-Ontario-Fall Lawn Care Guide -fertilizing the grass

Step 3: Fall Lawn Fertilization

Applying fall fertilizer formulated for lawns will help your grass develop stronger roots, even as its foliage dies. The remaining nutrients will be available in spring once the ground thaws and your grass starts growing again. The best time for applying fall lawn fertilizer is about six weeks before the ground freezes. However, you can wait until three weeks prior at the absolute latest.

Eising Garden Centre-Ontario-Fall Lawn Care Guide -raking the leaves

Step 4: Rake Leaves & Clean Up Plant Debris

If you have a thick layer of fall leaves across the lawn, you'll want to rake and bag them before the snow falls! You'd be shocked at how heavy snow-packed leaves can get. During spring melt, it can become a mucky mess. While you're at it, remove any old branches or junk lying around. 

It's another matter if you only have a light, sparse layer of leaves scattered across your lawn. You can leave a small number of leaves behind, as this offers shelter for overwintering pollinators! When the snow melts and your spring-blooming bulbs emerge, the beneficial bugs will be close by and ready to pollinate.

Eising Garden Centre-Ontario-Fall Lawn Care Guide -mowing the lawn

Step 5: Do One Final Mow Around Halloween

You can stop mowing your lawn around late October or early November. Remember not to cut the grass too short—2.5 inches is the absolute minimum! This length ensures your grass can still photosynthesize to its full potential while making it more difficult for weed seeds to take root.

If you have questions about fall lawn care in Ontario or need recommendations on tools and products, we're here to help! Eising Garden Centre in Simcoe is your one-stop-shop for all the advice you need on landscape care—let us help you take advantage of that fall weather!

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