Fall Lawn Care Checklist: 6 Essential Fall Lawn Care Tasks in Maryland

Your lawn goes through a lot during the year.

It bursts into life in spring with lots of great growth. Then, with adequate care, it survives summer’s heat and drought.

As summer winds down, it’s getting ready for those cooler temperatures of fall, when it can take a sigh of relief and regroup, preparing to hunker down for winter.

But even though the season -- and your lawn -- are chilling out, it’s not time to neglect your lawn. In fact, fall is the perfect time to do some simple maintenance tasks to ensure your lawn is prepared for winter and ready for next spring’s growth.

This fall lawn care checklist can help you with these autumn chores.

Fall Lawn Care Checklist

Ready for a comprehensive fall lawn care checklist for your Maryland lawn?

We hear you! Keeping track of everything you have to do to ensure your lawn is ready for winter can be tough.

Check these to-dos off your list in autumn and it will do wonders for keeping your lawn looking great all year long.

1. Leaf Cleanup

Leaf cleanup can feel very overwhelming during autumn, especially if you have a lot of trees in your yard.

But removing leaves from the grass is super important for lawn health. That’s why you shouldn't ignore this fall yard maintenance task.

Raking up the leaves or blowing them into piles and disposing of them or removing them helps your lawn not only look fresh, but it also better prepares it for winter slumber.

2. Check & Correct Your Soil pH

While managing your soil pH can be done any time of the year, fall is one of the better times to do it.

lawn care professional performing soil ph test

A soil test determines what your soil is lacking. Then lime applications can be made with a spreader to help correct its pH. Lime helps increase pH in soils that are typically highly acidic, which Central and Southern Maryland tend to be.

This is a fall lawn care tip that helps your lawn absorb more nutrients.

3. Fall Lawn Fertilization

During the fall, taking the time to properly prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter is important.

lawn care professional fertilizes lawn in fall

One necessary fall lawn care task in this process is fall fertilization. This process gives your lawn the nutrients it needs going into winter dormancy so it can burst forth with thick, green growth come spring.

Because there is a law in Maryland that states fertilization can’t happen between November 15 and March 1, we make sure to get that last lawn fertilization in before those dates.

4. Fall Weed Control

There are some weeds that germinate in fall in Central and Southern Maryland lawns.

lawn care professionals inspect lawn for fall weeds

Staying ahead of these can keep your lawn from having to share nutrients.

Some of the worst weed offenders in fall:

  • Chickweed: This winter annual weed has smooth stems and leaves and can form dense patches in your lawn.
  • Henbit: This winter annual has scalloped, rounded leaves and a fibrous root system that creeps along the ground.
  • Clover: This is a low-growing weed composed of three-leaflet leaves that is common in Maryland lawns.
  • Bittercress: Shady areas or areas mowed too short are where this weed likes to grow. When left to grow, it can turn into a tall eyesore in your lawn.

healthy thick lawn

A healthy, thick lawn can help combat most of these weeds, which is best done through proper mowing, watering, fertilization, and aeration, and overseeding. But for areas with existing weed problems, a fall herbicide application can help ensure these weed seeds don't erupt or are left to multiply in the lawn in fall and cause more problems come springtime.

5. Aeration and Overseeding

Fall is the best time to aerate and overseed your lawn in Maryland.

lawn care technician aerates lawn with walk behind aerator

First of all, aeration allows your grass some time to develop stronger roots while exposing the soil to a good dose of nutrients. Aeration, as the removal of small plugs of soil, gives your tired, worn, compacted lawn a chance to more easily receive oxygen, nutrients, and water at the root-level where it’s needed most.

lawn care technician overseeds lawn during fall season

Overseeding as part of a fall yard maintenance plan is a perfect addition to aeration because those removed plugs create the perfect holes for seed to contact the soil and germinate. This improves the germination process considerably, making overseeding more successful in strengthening and thickening your lawn.

6. Final Mow

As fall winds down, you’ll want to do the last mow of the year. A good time to do this is when the grass stops growing for the year, which is usually when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Think late October or early November.

You want to lower the mow height just slightly as you approach this final lawn mow so your end cut is about 2 to 2.5 inches high in winter. This ensures it’s not too tall for developing snow mold, but not too short to let cold stress it out.

Remember this fall lawn care tip: Never cut more than one-third of the grass height in one mow to avoid stressing out your lawn.

It’s Time to Schedule Fall Lawn Care for Your Yard

Autumn is knocking on your door. School has started in many areas, so you know fall will be here along with it.

You might already be looking around and wondering what cleanup tasks you need to do to ensure your lawn has a great fall and winter. But you might be too busy to even think about it. With everything on your plate, the last thing you want to add to your list is preparing for winter. There are pumpkins to carve and fall leaves to admire. We completely understand.

But you also don’t want to wait until the last minute. Natural Green Systems can help you prepare your Maryland lawn in fall for a tidy winter and gorgeous spring.

Want to improve your lawn’s health and create a thicker, greener lawn? Natural Green Systems can help. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we’ll customize a plan that gives you the most attractive lawn on the block.

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