Fall Lawn Care Tips for Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon experiences fall weather quite late. In the beginning of October, temperatures finally dip to the low 60s and 70s. These cooler temperatures make it the perfect time to prepare your lawn for next year’s spring. If you’re a homeowner, you may think that fall lawn care is needed less due to all the summer mowing you did. But the opposite is actually true.

Fall is the perfect time of the year when the grass is absorbing moisture, energy, and nutrients to prepare for the long and harsh winter months. By giving your lawn the attention it needs now, you'll have a healthy and lush green lawn come spring.

1. Adjust Your Blades

As your lawn needs it, keep on watering and mowing throughout the fall months. As fall comes to a close, lower your blades on your mower to the lowest setting and cut two last times. This will let the sunlight reach the crown of the grass more easily, and there will be less grass leaf to turn brown in the winter.

2. Rake Your Leaves

No one really likes to rake leaves, but it's necessary for good lawn health. One thing is not to wait until all the leaves have fallen off the trees. This is because the leaves will soak in all the rain and morning dew, causing them to stick together and form a thick mat over your lawn. If it isn’t moved, then your grass will suffocate, and you’ll end up with fungal diseases on your lawn.

3. Aerate Your Lawn

Fall is one of the ideal times to aerate your soil. This will let water, fertilizer, and oxygen reach your grass's roots. If you don't want to aerate by hand, you can rent a walk-behind gas-powdered lawn aerator. It's a self-propelled machine which will punch holes into the dirt and pull out plugs of soil. If you don't want to do the work yourself, you can always hire a lawn care professional.

4. Filling In The Bald Spots On Your Lawn

Fall is one of the best time to fill in any bare spots you have from hard summer usage. The best way is to do it with an all-in-one lawn repair mixture. This is ready to use combination of grass seed, organic mulch, and quick-start fertilizer. You would rake up the soil to loosen it where the bald spot is at. Then spread the mixture over the area, lightly compact it, water thoroughly and then water every other day for two weeks.

In the fall, you should overseed existing turf to fill in the bare patches and thin spots. Because there's enough moisture and the sun isn't radiating summer heat, reseeding is more effective.

5. Control Your Weeds 

Fall is when weed control is the best time to fight back to control those pesky weeds. Since fall is when weeds are the strongest in absorbing nutrition, adding weed killer to your lawn will be even more effective. If you use an herbicide now, then your weeds won’t return in the spring. According to most herbicide manufacturers, the ideal time is to apply weed killer during early to mid-fall. The daytime temperatures need to be consistently around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Fertilize

The roots of grass not only need water to get through the winter, but they also need the plant sugars which help to protect the roots from freezing. Plus, the sugars give the grass the energy to grow in the spring. By applying a late-fall application of 24-0-10 of slow release granular fertilizer, this will help make that happen.

Also, potassium should be added since it aids in disease protection, drought tolerance, root growth and cold resistance. Be careful about spreading the fertilizer near ponds and waterways, since the run-off can contaminate. 

By taking care of your lawn in the fall to prepare it for winter, your yard will be beautiful in the spring.

Need help preparing your lawn for fall? Visit our Portland lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Portland, we provide lawn care services in Northwest cities including Seattle and Spokane.