The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of lawn care. Making a few smart decisions now can help to give your yard a head start for spring.


Continue mow your lawn, as needed, through the fall. As the season draws to a close, drop the mower’s blade to its lowest settings for the last two mowings of the year. This will allow more sunlight to permeate the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown throughout the winter.

Side note: Remember not to trim more than 1/3 of the grass blades at any one time. If necessary, gradually lower the cutting height until the time of the final two cuttings.


Keep your lawn tidy and the leaves raked as often as possible. Leaves that are left too long become wet from rain and the morning dew and clump together. This forms an impenetrable mat that if left unmoved will suffocate the grass and allow fungal diseases to breed.


If you pick only one time of year to fertilize your lawn, do it in the fall. Grass grows much more slowly as the weather turns cool, but the grass roots continue to flourish at their normal rate. An application of fertilizer in the fall delivers the necessary nutrients for grass to grow deep roots and keeps some on reserve for a healthy start in the spring.


Autumn is also a great opportunity to fill in any bare spots and bald patches in your lawn. The best way to do this is with an all-in-one lawn repair mixture. Most garden shops will sell this, giving you a ready-to-apply mixture continuing grass seed, a special quick-start lawn fertilizer and mulch. A garden rake can be used to scratch the loose soil at the site of the bald spot and then a thick layer of the lawn repair mixture can be applied. Lightly compact this mixture and then water thoroughly, continuing to water every other day for two weeks.


If you have weeds such as dandelions, now’s the perfect time to fight back. Killing weeds now will lessen the likelihood of their return in the spring.

For more information on landscaping and landscape design and installation, contact our offices in Los Altos, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Willow Glen, CA and Los Gatos, CA. We look forward to hearing from you.