6 common fall lawn care mistakes — and how to avoid them

As the season changes, so does the routine – and Canadian Tire is here to make sure you are Ready for fall. From tips on setting up a long-term lawn care strategy to the right way to rake falling leaves, we bring you everything you need to get back into your routine and rest with ease.

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Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean you can take a break from maintaining your lawn altogether.

Prepare your lawn properly in autumn and you will thank yourself for it in spring. When done right, autumn gardening can help keep your lawn enjoyable for year round, not to mention avoiding stressing out about what’s going on under the snow when the winter weather sets in.

However, not everyone manages to master their lawn care in the fall. Here are 6 of the most common fall lawn maintenance mistakes homeowners make – plus important steps you can take this fall to make sure your lawn is healthy and ready to thrive next spring.

1. Overwatering or no watering at all

Canadian Tire lawn sprinkler for watering the lawn

Photo via Canadian Tire

Watering the lawn is important to growing – and maintaining – a lush, green garden, but overwatering can prevent the grass from developing deep roots. Most lawns require around 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, although the exact amounts will depend on both soil conditions and weather. Still, it usually takes about 30 minutes for the water to get to the roots of the grass. An oscillating irrigation sprinkler is a great option here that will help you maintain a green lawn by providing even water distribution through 18 precision brass nozzles.

Even if your lawn still needs watering in the fall, it is important to remember that less water is needed in cooler weather than your lawn needs in hot summer temperatures. If a lawn is overwatered, the water will likely evaporate before your grass can absorb it.

To make sure your lawn is getting the right amount of H2O, it’s important to buy a garden hose that won’t leak when attached to your sprinkler. This extremely durable, rustproof hose is resistant to leaks and punctures, making it a great option for preventing overhydration.

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2. Let leaves and debris pile up

Man with Canadian Tire leaf blower

Photo via Canadian Tire

With our busy fall dates, it can be tempting to leave twigs, leaves, and other debris on your lawn for a weekend or two. Add the change in weather and lawn can go from manageable to a carpet of leaves from wall to wall, seemingly overnight.

However, once fallen leaves get wet, they are harder to remove and trap water on your weed, preventing it from drying out properly. Since grass needs sunlight for healthy growth, it is important to get the pollution removed as soon as possible. A solution? Have a sturdy steel rake handy to help clean up, and try not to pile these sheets up so they don’t become a major headache.

If you have a lot of lawn to cover, opt for a larger rake that is sturdy yet light enough to be easy to use. Another alternative for those with larger lawns is a leaf blower that lets you get the job done in half the time. Tools like a garden shovel can also make the job easier when it comes to moving those piles of leaves from your lawn into garden trash bags.

3. Mowing with blunt blades

Lawn mower mows grass close up

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Yes, you need to mow your lawn in the fall too – and it is important that you use sharp blades when doing this. That’s because dull blades rip through the grass instead of cutting, leaving jagged ends that are likely to turn brown.

Fall is the perfect time to sharpen your lawnmower blades to make sure you get some clean cuts before winter. A tool sharpener is a great option to help you sharpen, sharpen, and sharpen your blades until they mow with ease.

4. Forget about fertilizing

Scotts Turf Builder with handheld lawn fertilizer spreader

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Contrary to popular belief, in autumn lawn care doesn’t stop with raking the garden, mowing the lawn and watering the grass. Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is an important step in maintaining its health all year round.

Spread a fertilizer specially formulated for the season around Halloween – like Scott’s Turf Builder Fall Lawn Food – so the roots of your lawn can withstand the stress of winter. A handy tool like the Scotts Whirl Handheld Spreader helps spread the fertilizer so you don’t miss a single spot, resulting in a stronger, healthier, and less spotty lawn in the spring.

5. Let weeds run wild

Weeding with weed killers and other power tools

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When it comes to the biggest fall lawn care mistakes, there’s a common theme: suppose you can pause routine lawn care as soon as the temperature starts to drop. But homeowners who just sit back and let mother nature take its course will regret it in the spring, especially when it comes to weeding.

Fortunately, early fall is a great time for weed control. Use treatments like RoundUp Grass and Weed Killer to keep dandelions and other perennial weeds from coming back with a vengeance next spring. You can also remove weeds manually using tools like the WORX 20V lithium-ion cordless trimmer, which has a cutting head designed for hard-to-reach areas, so it’s easy on your back and your lawn at the same time.

6. Leave ventilation for spring

Handheld cultivator from Canadian Tire for lawn aeration

Photo via Canadian Tire

The benefits are obvious: aeration can provide the roots of your grass with more oxygen, water, and nutrients, resulting in a lush, healthier lawn. And since lawn aeration requires drilling small holes in your garden and disrupting the soil of your lawn, this is one more reason to plan this important task in the fall, as your lawn will then have all of fall, winter and spring when to recover.

Tools like the Botanica cultivator and the Yardworks stainless steel hand cultivator are excellent choices for loosening and aerating the soil. Pro tip: It’s a good idea to fertilize after aeration, as this will make it easier for the fertilizer to get to the roots of your lawn.

Fall is all about getting back to the routine and Canadian Tire is here to make sure you are Ready for fall. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to prepare your house and lawn for the cold season, or for tasty, healthy recipes that will make the nights a breeze, you’ve come to the right place.

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