Fall Lawn Care Schedule for Beginners

by / September 1, 2019 maintain No Comments
Curled and brown leaves arranged in grass

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If your lawn is looking like a DIY project after the stresses of summer and heavy traffic, there’s good news – it’s the perfect time to start a new fall lawn care schedule. You don’t always need tons of tools or lawn care equipment, though having the basics can help, as long as you follow a few suggestions on timing for making the most out of your yard.

Early Fall

Early fall lawn care should include tackling:

  • Bare spots,
  • Thin patches of grass
  • Dead areas in your lawn

If you have warm-season grass, you’ll want to do this while temperatures are high. For those with cool-season grass, it’s best to hold off until when the weather begins cooling.

In small spaces, start by loosening the soil, either by hand or using a garden rake, and remove any dead grass or thatch. The next step is to sprinkle grass seed and lightly rake the seed into the loose soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Next, you can add either a rich compost to create a growing bed or an appropriate application of fertilizer. And, be sure to apply water to help the grass seeds take root.

Early fall can also be a great time to care for those more troublesome weeds, like creeping Charlie. If you have annual weeds in your lawn, there is no need to treat them at this time as they will soon die.


The middle of fall is when you want to:

  • Aerate your lawn
  • Overseed your lawn

By aerating your lawn and loosening the soil, you can better prepare the grass for a healthy lifecycle. Seeding is also important during this time, as the fall burst of growth in cool-season grass is some of the most natural and easy to take care of.

Although you may be tempted to fertilize and mow at this time, it’s important to give your new fledgling grass a chance to take root. Stay away from the fertilizer altogether, and focus instead on things like edging and trimming.

To take care of all your yard tasks, check out our Toro turf renovation line, as these tools are designed to get beautiful results over a large surface area.

Late Fall

As the cool weather continues, you’re going to start seeing a lot of debris and leaves falling from nearby trees and bushes. Your main job now is to keep that debris from covering your lawn and preventing sun and water from getting to the grass and roots.

A mulching mower, or a mulching attachment for a zero turn mower, will go a long way in breaking up the leaves and organic matter without damaging the grass below. This mulch is also a great way to put nutrients into the soil without introducing fertilizers, so take advantage of as much (or as little) of it as you want.

A little bit of fall lawn care now can make a major difference next spring. Take the steps to set your spring lawn up for success!