A Guide to Fall Lawn Care in Detroit

Austin fall foliage

Fall is one of the best times in Detroit. The temperatures start to get cooler, and the leaves on the trees change colors and start to drop. It’s a great time to get out and enjoy fall festivals with your family. Your yard also requires some specific tasks to ensure it’s in tip-top shape to survive the cold winter ahead.

After the hot, dry summers common in Detroit, homeowners must be purposeful with their actions and ensure they take steps to ready their lawns. Fall brings more rainfall, and most grass types enter a season of growth in September and October until the temperatures start to freeze.

To prepare your lawn for winter, here are some tips for fall lawn care in Detroit.

Reseed Bare Spots

Hot, dry summers can cause bare spots to appear in your lawn once grass comes out of the dormancy stage. If the spots stay bare, there’s time to fix them before the spring. Fall is a great time to reseed, if necessary. Areas that are the size of a soccer ball and larger need to be reseeded. Areas smaller than that tend to come back as the existing grass comes into the area.

Make sure you use a rake and clear away any of the dead material in the area. You want the seeds to make contact with the soil. Some homeowners like to aerate their soil during this time as well.

If you have a lot of dead grass, you might want to strip out all of that debris and lay down new sod. There is plenty of time for the sod to establish and grow before winter arrives.

Continue to Mow Your Lawn

Let your grass tell you when it is time to stop mowing. As long as the temperature stays warm and rainfall continues, your grass will continue to grow. As the air temperatures cool down, you will reach a point when the turf stops growing as fast.

Consider a Fall Application of Fertilizer  

If you have to reseed spots in your lawn, apply fertilizer in the fall is a good idea. Fertilizing in September or October encourages deeper root growth rather than top growth. You want deep roots as you enter winter time because they can withstand drought conditions, as well as any diseases. Also, strong roots store food produced in the grass blades which is necessary for spring growth once the snow melts.

Fall fertilizing is one of the most important times in your lawn care checklist! Detroit fall climate brings cool nights, warm days, and plentiful rainfall. These conditions strengthen the lawn and create the best start for winter. You are more likely to come out with a healthy late next spring.

Soil Aeration

Compacted soils aren’t uncommon in Detroit, especially after stressful, summer conditions. Compacted soils lead to shallow roots that can’t withstand the winter conditions common in Michigan. Core aeration removes soil plugs from the lawn, allowing air and water to move throughout the soil. It helps to improve oxygen and water movement, encouraging root growth.

Not all lawns need core aeration. Lawns with frequent foot traffic, soil with more clay, and soil with thatch benefit the most.

Control the Weeds

Fall is also a great time to get control over those weeds! Weeds struggle to survive as the temperatures get colder. Use this time to apply post-emergent herbicides.

Water if Necessary

During early fall, your lawn might require some watering. Lawns need at least a ½ inch of rainfall each week, so pay attention each week! If the week offers no rain, lightly water your lawn. The best time to water your grass is early morning into early afternoon. Try to avoid wet grass during nightfall to reduce the possibility of fungal growth.

Prepare for Winter with Fall Lawn Care

winter grass

To get ready for the long, cold winters that are common in Detroit, try these steps for the best fall law care in Detroit. Fall lawn care is easy, and you only need to dedicate a few hours a week toward the proper care. Without the right care, your grass might die as the cold weather approaches. These steps prevent that from happening


Bethany Hayes