Fall is a fabulous time for finishing up summer projects. As we look forward to cooler temperatures, and the kids (finally) being back in school, there are a few items you’ll want to check off your lawncare to-do list before that snow begins to fly.

  • Rake Those Leaves: Many of us are all too familiar with the dreaded rake, and yet understand the importance of picking it up. Falling leaves may look beautiful but they can be a serious detriment to your yard. It’s important to clean up any leaves and debris the trees may drop, to prevent a sodden, dead lawn when things thaw in the spring.


  • Trim Dead Limbs: Living in the Midwest means a plethora of trees around our homes and yards. With the intense storms Old Man Winter can bring, it’s vital that you remove any dying or flimsy branches that could snap and damage your home. Also, “You can protect small ornamental trees from further damage by cutting cracked, loose, and diseased limbs close to (but not flush with) the trunk; leave the wounds exposed to heal.” (This Old House)


  • Fertilize The Grass: Believe it or not, fall is the ideal time for fertilizing your yard. Better Homes & Gardenssuggests, “If you only feed your lawn once a year, autumn is the best time to do it. In fact, your lawn could take a light application of fertilizer in early fall and again in late fall.” Check out your local hardware store for fertilizer options.


  • Check the Gutters: Gutter cleaning is always at the top of everyone’s favorite chore list. (Not.) But it’s important to get out any leaves or other gunk that may be clogging them up before wintertime. Pro Tip from Scotts, kill two birds with one stone while hanging up holiday lights if you’re not a fan of heights.


  • Plant Grass Seed: For a lot of areas in the Midwest, this summer has been a dry and hot one, taking its toll on many yards. Fall is a great time to plant new grass seed to fill in these bare spots. “The autumn season comes with a mix of warm soil and cool air, perfect for planting grass seed and allowing time for new grass roots to develop before winter sets in.” (Scotts)


By following these tips, you can head into winter hibernation confident that your lawn is well taken care of and set up for success next year.