Fall Yard Care 101

September 1, 2022

Fall is just around the corner and with it comes some changes. Just as you would prepare your closet for the cooler weather or your schedule for new activities, it is also important to get your lawn and yard ready for the new season ahead! Read on for some tips and tricks to help you get started.

1. Loosen the Soil
Early fall is the perfect time to show your lawn some TLC. Over the summer months, the soil under your grass may become compacted and covered with a thick layer of roots, stems, and other debris. Aeration involves creating holes in your lawn’s soil to prevent this from happening. Aerating your lawn once every other year helps ensure the proper amount of air, water, and nutrients can reach grass roots to enhance grass growth. To aerate your lawn, choose a time when the soil is moderately moist from irrigation or rain from the day prior. Aeration equipment consists of three main types, including spike aerators, slicing aerators, and core or plug aerators. Each one is a little different, but all of them can help you get the job done with ease. Once the process is complete, it is OK to allow the soil plugs and soil lie where they fall. This is a good time to apply seed, top dressing, or fertilizer to your lawn for optimal growing conditions!

2. Continue Watering
Actively growing grass needs water. As fall approaches, you can stretch out regular watering and let rainfall help. Healthy, established lawns generally need 1 inch of water weekly. As the temperature drops and growth slows, that same amount may cover 10 to 14 days, under normal conditions.

3. Use the Lawn Mower
In late fall, bring your lawn mower blades down and cut your lawn between 1-1 1/2 inches shorter than you would during the summer. Continue to mow your lawn shorter until your grass stops growing. You can also use your mower to mulch your leaves.

4. Bag Up That Yard Waste
When yard waste is left untended, it can suffocate lawn grasses and lead to bare spots. It is important to clear the organic waste from your yard before the ground begins to frost to prevent any kind of damage. Be sure to wear gardening gloves when picking up any brush or sticks.

5. Recycle Your Yard Waste for FREE!
Once you have collected and bagged your yard waste, recycle it at the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility during our fall yard waste drop-off program. Beginning September 11 through the end of October, all Scott County residents and SMSC employees and team members are welcome to drop off their organic yard waste at the facility for FREE on Sundays from 8am-2pm. Just bring your ID or badge with you when you drop off your items!

Accepted items:

  • Brush
  • Leaves
  • Sticks
  • Logs
  • Stumps
  • Grass clippings
  • Plants and pumpkins
  • Flowers
  • Shrubs
  • Old mulch
  • Hay bales