Labor Day signifies onset of the fall season. During fall many homeowners think that their lawns need less upkeep. However, this is not necessarily the case. During this time of year, grass is busily absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a long, dormant winter. By giving your lawn continued attention in the upcoming months, you are ensuring a healthy and lush spring lawn! Here are some fall lawn prep tips:

The first step to preparing your lawn for fall is to drain your irrigation lines. If water freezes in the lines it could cause damage to the system. You can empty the system with compressed air or use drain valves. For best results, shut off the water to the system and drain each zone separately. Also drain the main supply line from the house. If you use an air compressor, don’t exceed 50 psi of air pressure.

Fallen leaves can be a hassle to deal with. It is important to rake them up before snow falls, as leaf buildup can lead to excess moisture and block sunlight from reaching the soil and grass. If you don’t want to rake them up, you can run your lawn mower over the leaves multiple times to chop them into fine pieces. The smaller pieces will decompose faster and help to contribute to grass health.

Fall is the key time to fertilize your lawn. Applying a good fertilizer in late fall will give your lawn a real pre-winter boost and get it ready for the upcoming cold because of fertilizers’ most common ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen helps build strong, healthy roots, while Potassium helps your lawn survive the cold.