Lawn outside of a small house on a sunny day.

Six Things You Should Do for Your Lawn Before September Ends

What you do with your lawn before September ends will affect its condition the following spring. While there are still a few more weeks left before the cold season starts and your grass turns dormant, it’s best not to wait until the last few days to prepare your lawn for the winter.

Six Things to Do to Your Lawn in September

Late September marks the beginning of the autumn season in Canada. It is also a great time to renovate your lawn and prepare it for the colder months ahead.

1. Mow Your Lawn at Least Once a Week Until the Grass Stops Growing

Depending on your location and the weather in a given year, the end of September might mark the end of growing (and therefore mowing season). In some cases, you might want to mow well into October and even early November.

Regular lawn mowing is one of the essential aspects of lawn care, even as winter approaches. Your grass can better resist diseases, attract less debris, and will be less likely to invite snow mold if you cut it at the right height before it goes dormant during the colder months. The ideal mowing height during this time is lower than normal. Consult your trusted lawn care specialist about the ideal height for your grass type.

It is also not recommended to give your lawn one big chop in a single mow because it can impair the root growth. You have to lower the grass height progressively. You can follow a common rule of thumb: never clip the grass more than one-third of its height when mowing.

2. Fertilize the Grass to Help It Grow and Stay Healthy

Your lawn has likely struggled through a hot, relentless summer, enduring excessive heat, being trampled by kids or dogs, and battling weeds. Sothe answer to the common question, “Should I fertilize my lawn in late September?” is yes. After what your lawn has gone through, it needs a good meal before settling in for a winter slumber.

Late September offers ideal conditions for applying fertilizer. The weather is still warm enough for the soil to absorb nutrients, so the grass can regenerate roots lost in humid summer weather and restore its density before going dormant.

Use fertilizer specifically formulated to meet the needs of lawns in autumn. Make sure to consider the type of grass, the proportion of nutrients, and the application method when choosing a product. If it’s your first time buying an autumn lawn fertilizer, consider consulting a professional to ensure you get it right.

3. Pick Up Fallen Leaves and Other Debris From the Yard to Avoid Diseases

Getting rid of fallen leaves in autumn is an awful lot of work. It’s tempting to skip this job, especially when pros tell you that leaving leaves on the ground gives the soil essential nutrients and provides a habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, a thick layer of leaves on your lawn offers more disadvantages than perks.

A heavy layer of leaves can smother the turfgrass beneath. Your grass won’t be able to get enough sunlight and will become susceptible to snow mold disease. That is why you should make the removal of leaves before the first frost of late autumn or early winter part of your lawn care routine.

Some homeowners wait until all the leaves have fallen to the ground prior to raking. Others rake as the leaves fall. If there’s only a thin layer of leaves, you can skip raking and use a lawn mower fitted with a blade that can cut leaves into tiny pieces. Shredding the leaves cuts down on labor and returns nitrogen to the soil.

4. Aerate Your Soil With a Garden Fork or Aerator to Allow More Oxygen Into the Soil

Your grass must absorb enough nutrients, water, and air to develop thick, deep, and strong roots. But the essentials won’t reach the roots if the soil is compacted. Lawn compaction happens when soil becomes packed down by mowing, foot traffic, children and pets playing on the lawn, and vehicles. If you don’t address this issue immediately, it can result in turf injury, thinning, and tearing.

Aeration is the best way to fix lawn compaction. It is the process of poking holes in the soil to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the grass’ roots. It is a task most homeowners can handle unless they have a massive lawn. You can use several tools for aerating, one of which is a garden fork. It is affordable, easy to find and use, and does not use electricity or fuel. It also allows precise targeting of specific problem areas.

However, using a garden fork for lawn aeration is physically demanding and is not ideal for large lawns. In this case, an aerator may be a better option. It comes in many types and is available for rent if you don’t want to buy one. If you don’t have the time, tools, or confidence to aerate your lawn, you can search for “lawn care near me,” and you’ll surely find a pro that can do it for you.

5. Apply Natural Herbicides as Needed to Protect Grass From Pests and Diseases

Shortened days and lower temperatures in autumn trigger the growth of perennial weeds, like dandelions and Canada thistles. But you can stop them from taking over your lawn by applying natural herbicides.

Perennial weeds also prepare for winter by transporting food from their foliage to their roots. If you apply herbicides in autumn, the weed will absorb them along with their food, resulting in the weed’s destruction.

When it comes to the type of herbicide, you have synthetic and natural options. Synthetic herbicides offer immediate effects but can harm the environment and people. To minimize the safety risks associated with herbicides, switch to natural products. Organic herbicides may take a little while to work, but they’re generally safer.

6. Water Regularly to Help Keep the Grass Green and Healthy

Your lawn won’t require as much water as it does in the summer. However, this does not mean you should stop watering. The grass will remain thirsty and need water to stay green and healthy in autumn. You can stop watering only when the ground freezes because watering the grass when the ground is frozen would be pointless.

The amount of water your lawn needs in the late autumn will depend on the weather. If your area receives enough rainfall, you may only need to water areas that have been overseeded. If a dry spell occurs, water your lawn just as you would in the summer.

Your lawn will need more attention as the cold season draws near. So make sure to do the things on this list before September ends.

Hire Reliable Lawn Care Services

Applying fertilizer, aerating the soil, and controlling weeds and pests in your lawn are some things you can leave to lawn care professionals. These skilled individuals possess a wealth of knowledge on soil types, fertilization, weed control, and pest management. By entrusting your lawn to them, you ensure it receives the precise care it needs, saving you time and effort.

Early Autumn Lawn Care by LawnMart

Early autumn is a critical time for lawn care, and LawnMart has you covered with expert guidance and products. As the summer heat subsides, it’s the perfect time to prepare your lawn for the impending cooler months. Our six-step process of organic lawn care ensures your grass remains healthy and vibrant throughout the season.

LawnMart recommends essential steps like aerating the soil, controlling weeds, and applying a balanced fertilizer to nourish your turf’s roots. Our organic lawn products designed for this season guarantee optimal results.

Contact us today to find out how we can help transform your lawn.

Michael Schäfer

President – LawnMart Inc.

Years of Experience: 31 Years

  • Land Class 1 and 3 Licenses Since 1993
  • Pest Control Operator License Since 1995
  • PIC Accredited Pest Technician Examiner Since 2004
  • Biting Flies Control License Since 2020

Michael Schäfer is President and Founder of LawnMart Inc. After training privately under Dr. Larry Whiddell of Ohio State University, he became a Lawn Technician at Barefoot Grass Lawn Services (1993) and leveled up to Tree/Shrub Care Manager before taking over all Canadian operations as Area Manager. In 1996, Michael founded LawnMart Inc., which has since grown into a multi-award-winning company that cares for thousands of lawns in the Golden Horseshoe area.