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Fall Lawn Tips for Cool Season Grasses -Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass


Fall is a critical time to groom your lawn for the coming year.  Fall’s cooler temperature generally wet weather helps develop roots much better than summertime.  Putting a little extra effort in the Fall will pay off for the following year.

  • Continue to water when needed- Fall usually doesn’t require much lawn watering but you still need to monitor and be sure the lawn is receiving one inch per week.  Water up until freezing temperatures set in. Then its time to consider winterization of your irrigation system.

  • Remove leaves from your lawn- Leaves block sunlight and prevent plants from growing.  If your feeling motivated the use of rake opposed to blower can also remove thatch from the lawn.  Removing thatch will keep passageways open to prevent water from tying up in the top layer of the plant, making its way easily to the soil and roots.  Reduced disease pressure is also a product of this practice. 

  • Aerate your lawn- Now is a good time to fight compaction and help with thatch removal.  Aeration will be removing soil plugs from the yard.  Opening passageways for water, oxygen and gas exchange necessary for healthy roots.  If your able to rent machinery or have this service performed, it will greatly benefit your lawns health and color the following year.  An added benefit is reducing disease pressure.

  • Overseed and fill in bare areas- If needed from a stressful summer, this is the time of year to overseed a thin lawn or spot hit bare spots.  Picking a high quality, well tested seed blend is important for plants ability to survive stressors, being disease, drought, or traffic stress.  Some seed varieties grow at quicker rates than others requiring more mowing.  Seed to soil contact is crucial.  Seeding can be done in conjunction with during the aeration process to provide holes for the seed to germinate.  Keeping a moist yard during this time is crucial for germination and development of grass plants in their infancy.

  • Apply fertilizer in the Fall- Apply a fertilizer with a good amount of nitrogen and phosphate. Choose a fertilizer with a similar analysis to 12-24-8.  The nitrogen will promote good health and color.  While the phosphate will take advantage of the cooler weather and provide food for the root system.

  • Keep mowing your lawn- Grass will grow until heavy frost sets in during winter.  Continue to mow grass at your normal height, until winter.  When finished mowing for the season it’s a good time to sharpen the blades on your mower, also inspect and perform yearly maintenance on your mower. 


Following all or some of these practices will put your lawn in a better position for the coming year.  If your able to complete all these practices, you just might have your neighbor looking to step up their game.


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