Gardeners who seek a lush and healthy lawn must not overlook autumn lawn care. The work you put into your lawn during the fall of the year will play a large role in the future health of your grass. One of the principle areas to focus on in autumn lawn care is the development of strong, healthy roots. In early autumn, grass continues to develop important root structures that will be instrumental in keeping the lawn lush and green during the next growing season.
Increase the cutting height of the lawnmower to between 2 and 3 inches. Continuing to cut grass shorter than 2 inches during the autumn will make the grass unable to keep growing healthily during the cooler autumn months. Longer grass will absorb more sunlight and this will make the grass stronger as it goes into the winter.
Fertilize the lawn with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer instead of a quick-release fertilizer, following package recommendations for the amount of fertilizer to use for the size of your lawn. This will provide the roots with nitrogen throughout the entire winter instead of dumping the nitrogen into the lawn all at one time. The slow-release nitrogen will build stronger roots to survive the winter and begin growing again in the spring.
Thatch the lawn during the first part of September to aerate the soil and remove dead grass. This will enable the lawn to recover from the thatch process before winter begins.
Switch the cutting height back to 1.5 inches for the last mowing of the fall season. This will make the grass shorter as it goes into the winter, which will help air to circulate more adequately. Better air circulation will eliminate mold that often forms around blades of grass over the winter.