Fall is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to shift gears in your lawn care. Many home and business owners tend to assume that the onset of fall means they can stop worrying so much about their lawns, but failing to take care of them properly can cause problems in the spring. Here are some of the things you should do to prepare your lawn for cooler weather.

Do not Stop Mowing

As the temperature starts to fall, your lawn will not grow quite as quickly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mow. In fact, your grass will continue to grow all the way up until the first major frost, and you should continue to mow it back down to its normal height until that happens. When you do call it quits for the season, if you are mowing your own lawn, make sure that you winterize your mower by giving it a tune-up and removing any excess fuel left in the tank.

Remove the Fallen Leaves

Leaves will often start falling before the first official day of autumn, and it is important that you remove them frequently to protect your lawn. As they lie on top of the grass, they prevent photosynthesis from occurring, and this can cause patches of grass to die out. Though a blower will work now and then, it is important to manually rake (the old-fashioned way) at least once a week to remove the buildup that occurs over time.

Aerate Now – Not in the Spring

Aeration is important for creating passages that allow nutrients to reach your lawn’s root system, and fall is the best time of year to get it done. During the summer, heat stress and foot traffic can cause the soil to become compacted and hardened, so loosening it up will help your lawn stay healthy. While you can do this by hand, this is a job that is best left to a professional landscaper with the proper equipment. It aerates more deeply and thoroughly, which creates lusher, more beautiful lawns.

Apply Your Fertilizer Before the First Frost

Fall is also the best time of year to apply fertilizer since grass tends to deplete its source of nitrogen throughout its most active growth phase in the summer. Furthermore, applying fertilizer to a freshly aerated lawn boosts its effectiveness. Though grass will lie dormant in the winter, it will still require some nutrients to keep it alive and help it come back bright green and full the following spring.

Plant Grass Seed Where Needed

Finally, if you notice any bare spots or brown spots in your lawn as you are raking, mowing, aerating, or fertilizing, make sure you are applying the appropriate grass seed. It is important to ensure that the seeds fall all the way down to the soil in order to germinate, and in the summer, this can be difficult. Professional landscapers use seeding processes that are designed to force more seed down into the soil and produce thicker, fuller regrowth.

Fall is not the time to stop worrying about lawn care; in fact, it is the best time of year for many of the things that will keep your lawn looking bright and full all year. For the best results, rely on an experienced professional landscaper to help you prepare your lawn the right way and enjoy a beautiful lawn next spring.