When the summer turns into the fall and the days are getting shorter, your grass is growing slower. Leaves will fall, and the ground will contain more moisture than during the summer. Depending on where you live, there will be more rain, and the temperatures are dropping. What does this mean for mowing your lawn? This article will provide you with all the necessary steps and secrets for mowing in the fall.
Mowing your lawn in the fall, this is what you need to do:
Mowing your lawn in fall is not that different from the other seasons. But there are a few things to watch out for. The first thing is to prepare your lawn for winter. Preparing for winter is extremely important as you do not want your yard to get infested with diseases due to not taking the right steps before winter. Fall is the season of leaves and acorns. Although it might look good, it is most annoying since you will have to get them off your lawn. We recommend using a mower or rake to get it off. Mowing your grass when it is frozen is not recommended. Please wait until the grass is not frozen anymore before you cut it. Finally, knowing how to deal with rain and a wet lawn is essential as it will rain a lot in the fall season.
Mowing your lawn in the autumn:
Mowing your lawn regularly is important to keep it nice and tidy throughout the year. Also, this is important in the fall as you need to prepare the grass for the coming winter season. This article will show you how to mow your lawn in the autumn and what to do to keep it healthy and prepare it for the winter.
● Cutting your grass in the fall:
You may have noticed that your grass’s growth slows down in summer, mainly when it is hot, and there is not a lot of rain. When fall arrives, there is often more rainfall, resulting in a higher growth rate of your grass. Unfortunately, this will result in that you will have to mow much more frequently. When mowing your grass, you should watch out that you do not cut the grass too low. Use the one-third rule. Do not cut more than 1/3 third of the grass height. Make sure that you sharpen the mowers blades at least once a year. Sharp blades result in a clean-cut that not only looks better but also creates resilience against diseases.
● Preparing your lawn for the winter:
Preparing your lawn for the winter season is essential. Leaving your grass too high can result in matted grass, and it will be more vulnerable to become diseased. Cutting the grass too low is also not advised since this will result in the lawn roots being overly exposed to damaging winter elements. So throughout fall, you should gradually lower the height of the grass until the last cut before winter. Make sure to remove excess leaves from your lawn since these leaves. A thick layer of leaves can increase damage from fungal diseases. If you need, you can overseed your yard 6-8 weeks before the first period of prolonged freezing. When winter is over, these extra seeds will make sure that your lawn looks super healthy in the spring, compensating for the unavoidable loss of some of the grass on your property.
● The last grass cut before winter:
When the winter season is almost starting, there is still one major job to do. The last cut before winter. This cut is essential to keep your lawn in perfect condition during the winter season and should be done more carefully than the mowing done before. It should be done when the grass stops growing since you do not want it to really get longer after it. The cut should not be too high because then the grass will decay. And cutting the grass too low will damage the grass’s roots during the winter, and it can not properly photosynthesize when it is cut too low. The last cut of the season is the lowest of the whole year and should be around 2 ½ inches for most grass types (but check the correct winter length for your particular type).
● Mowing after frost
In the fall, temperatures can fluctuate a lot. One day it can almost be summer. The next day it can feel like winter has started early. Frozen grass after a cold night is not uncommon for a lot of areas. Mowing grass while frozen is not recommended, so wait until the grass warmed up, and the frost is gone. Mowing while the grass is still frozen will damage your grass, and it will not be cut evenly. If you have no choice and still want to proceed, set your lawnmower blades high enough to cut one-third of the length or less.
● When does grass stop growing
Knowing when the grass will stop growing is good to know, as you do not want to do the “last cut” multiple times. Generally, grass stops growing when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Depending on your location, this can be somewhere between the end of October into November. But later is also possible. Follow the long-term weather forecast to get a better feeling of what will happen and when you can plan your last cut.
For a lot of people removing the leaves from their lawn is a yearly struggle. If you have many trees near your lawn, you can see a considerable amount of leaves covering your grass. These leaves need to get off your lawn before you can mow the grass. There are a few methods to remove those excess leaves. Ranging from a leave blower, leave a vacuum, mowing the leaves, or raking them. If you have a larger lawn, raking can be time-consuming and takes a lot of energy. As you already have a lawnmower, mowing leaves from the grass can be a really good option. There are two main methods. The first one is to use the lawnmower collection system and collect the leaves in a bag. Set the lawnmower to its highest setting and mow the leaves in your collection bag. Use a special leave bag that is bigger than the one you use for your grass. But even easier is to mulch the leaves and spread them over the grass. The mulch will fertilize the grass. Ensure that the mulch layer is not too big, as it can hide the grass from the sun.
When the leaves fall from the trees, it is time acorns will drop as well. These acorns will lay between all the leaves but are annoyingly hard to get rid of. You can not mow them similar as you can do with leaves. But they will not damage the lawnmower, but you have to be careful not to hurt yourself since the mower can spit the acorns out at you, which can hurt you. Some ways to get rid of the acorns are to use a leaf vacuum that sucks in the acorns, rakes them, or uses a Lawn Sweeper. If you use a leaf vacuum, it will also suck in the leaves, but the downside is that the bag will fill itself rapidly. Mowing the leaves before removing the acorns can solve this. If you do not have access to a leaf vacuum, you can always use a rake to collect the leaves and acorns. But this can take a while if you have a big lawn.
Even though fall is, for most regions, technically not the year’s wettest season, it can still be extremely wet. This wet weather comes with some problems for mowing and removing the leaves. Removing wet leaves is just much more difficult. The wet weather causes the leaves to stick at the mower’s underside and the collection bag if you use one. This means you have to stop and remove them often. The best solution for wet conditions is to wait until the leaves have dried up. If you do not have the time for that and the leaves are not super wet, you can give it a try with the following tips:
- Sharp blades: Sharpen your mower blades and preferable use mulching blades.
- High setting: Raise your mower wheels or the mower deck to the highest position.
- Silicone spray: Use silicone spray to avoid the leaves sticking on the mower.
- No catcher bag: Avoid using grass or leave catcher bag.
- Side discharge: If you have the option, make use of the side discharge.
- Remove sticky leaves: Regularly remove the sticky leaves from your lawnmower.
- Small part: Go only over a small part each time. That means that part of the mowing deck will go over a previously mowed part, and part will go over an area that still has the leaves on them.
1. Can you damage your lawn by mowing late in the fall after the first freeze?
As long as you do not cut frozen grass, there is no problem. Wait until the grass is no longer freezing before you start mowing.
2. How often should you mow your grass in the fall?
Generally, you should mow your grass once a week or every other week. But as the days are getting shorter and the temperature drops, the grass will grow slower. It means you can mow less often, like every other week or even less frequently.
3. Should you trim long grass before mowing?
Yes, it would be best if you trimmed it first before cutting. Before you can use your lawnmower, it should have a length that is suitable for your mower. When it is too long, it can hurt your machine as it can likely not handle the amount of clippings and damage your lawn.
Mowing long grass requires patience. If it is really long, the best method is to cut the grass’s top layer with a grass trimmer (sickle or string trimmer) or a brush cutter to a manageable height first. Then allow your lawn to heal and recover from the initial trim. Once it is healed, mow the lawn to your desired height with your lawnmower. You may reseed the bare patches if there are any. If you follow the directions given in this article, you will most likely have a lush, healthy, and well-maintained lawn quickly.
4. How long does it take for mulched leaves to decompose?
It takes the leaves between 6 months to a year to decompose naturally on the ground. If you choose to decompose the leaves in a compost bin, it takes around 3 to 6 months for the leaves to rot. Mulch will take even less time.
Mowing in the fall is not much different than in other seasons. Only make sure you plan your last mowing session before the winter well. This is important to prepare the grass for the winter so it will be ready when spring arrives. Using the tips provided in this article, we hope it helps you to have a beautiful lawn during the whole year.