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Mowing your lawn in the fall, this is what you need to do

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.

● Leaves

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.

● Acorns

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.

● Wet

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:

  1. Sharp blades: Sharpen your mower blades and preferable use mulching blades.
  2. High setting: Raise your mower wheels or the mower deck to the highest position.
  3. Silicone spray: Use silicone spray to avoid the leaves sticking on the mower.
  4. No catcher bag: Avoid using grass or leave catcher bag.
  5. Side discharge: If you have the option, make use of the side discharge.
  6. Remove sticky leaves: Regularly remove the sticky leaves from your lawnmower.
  7. 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.

Related questions

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.

Final remarks

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.

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  1. Eddie Rhodes says:

    Good tips on preparing the lawn for winter.

  2. Clifton Ruiz says:

    Do I need to sharpen my mower blades often?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Sharpening your mower blades once a year is recommended for a clean cut. Follow these tips for mowing in the fall and prepare your lawn for winter successfully.

  3. Letitia Fletcher says:

    I will definitely follow the advice on mowing before winter.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Letitia! Following these steps will definitely help keep your lawn healthy and prepared for winter. Happy mowing!

  4. Mark Henry says:

    What if I don’t remove the leaves from my lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It is essential to remove the leaves from your lawn in the fall to prevent diseases and maintain a healthy lawn. Mow regularly and follow the steps outlined in the article for the best results.

  5. Sofia Little says:

    Is it recommended to mow after a frost?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Sofia. It’s not recommended to mow after a frost. Wait until the grass is no longer frozen to avoid damaging it. Happy mowing!

  6. Bobby Cox says:

    Great article with detailed steps for mowing in the fall!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Bobby! I’m glad you found the article helpful for mowing in the fall. Happy mowing!

  7. Jorge Mason says:

    Great tips for mowing in the fall!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks, Jorge! Glad you found the tips helpful for fall mowing. Happy mowing!

  8. Gary Andrews says:

    Is it okay to mow wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Gary, avoid mowing wet grass as it can lead to clumping and uneven cuts. Wait until it’s dry to prevent damage to your lawn. Happy mowing!

  9. Jeremy Adams says:

    I found the information on acorns very helpful.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Jeremy! I’m glad you found the information on acorns helpful. Happy mowing in the fall!

  10. Katrina Reed says:

    I never knew mowing grass in the fall required different techniques.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Katrina! I’m glad the article was helpful. Mowing in the fall is crucial for preparing your lawn for winter. Be proactive with maintaining your grass during this season.

  11. Ramon Thompson says:

    Can I mulch the leaves instead of collecting them?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Mowing the leaves instead of collecting them is a great way to fertilize your grass in the fall. Just make sure the mulch layer isn’t too thick.

  12. Kristen Holt says:

    How do I prepare my lawn for winter?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To prepare your lawn for winter, mow regularly, gradually decrease the grass height, remove leaves, and avoid mowing frozen grass. Ensure your lawn is ready for spring by following these steps.

  13. Everett Mason says:

    Thank you for the tips on dealing with wet weather.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Everett! Make sure to keep those mower blades sharp and prepare your lawn for winter with regular mowing. Happy mowing!

  14. Kirk Morrison says:

    How can I deal with a lot of leaves on my lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Mow leaves with a bag or mulch for added nutrients. Be careful with acorns, and wait for grass to thaw before mowing. Adjust mower for wet conditions. Happy mowing!

  15. Shane Kennedy says:

    Should I overseed my lawn in the fall?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, overseeding your lawn in the fall is beneficial for preparing it for winter and maintaining its health. Follow the steps outlined in the article for the best results.

  16. Frederick Hamilton says:

    What’s the best way to remove leaves and acorns from the lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      “Use a mower or rake to remove leaves and acorns from your lawn. Avoid mowing frozen grass and wait for it to thaw. Proper preparation is key for a healthy lawn in the fall.”

  17. Joel Foster says:

    I appreciate the advice on how to mow after frost.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Joel! I’m glad you found the mowing after frost advice helpful. Happy mowing!

  18. Kenzi Mendoza says:

    Can I mow more frequently in the fall?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      You can mow more often in the fall due to increased grass growth. Remember not to cut the grass too low and sharpen your mower blades for a clean cut. Happy mowing!

  19. Bella Peck says:

    I never knew about not mowing frozen grass, very useful information.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Bella! I’m glad you found the information about not mowing frozen grass useful. Happy mowing this fall!

  20. Stacey Simmmons says:

    Should I remove the acorns from my lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Stacey! It’s best to remove acorns from your lawn to avoid damage to your mower and potential injuries. Use a leaf vacuum, rake, or Lawn Sweeper for efficient removal.