Fall Lawn Care — Keep it Healthy

Keeping Your Lawn Healthy & Water-Friendly

autumn-red-maple-leavesFall is the best time to fertilize lawns and control weeds. Here are some tips from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District for keeping a healthy fall lawn that looks nice and protects the health of nearby lakes and streams:

Mow – Mow often, leave clippings on the lawn and leave your grass 2.5 to 3 inches high. This strengthens roots and retains moisture for a green, resilient lawn.

Fertilize – Mid-to late October is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Fertilizer provides grass with nutrients for spring growth. Use “zero phosphorus” fertilizer (look for a middle number of 0 on the package). Water your lawn for 1 to 2 hours after application.

Control Weeds – September is the best time to treat dandelions, plantain, clover and creeping Charlie. Limited numbers of weeds should be removed by hand or spot-treated with herbicide.

Sweep up – Sweep up and reuse lawn care products that fall on streets, sidewalks and driveways.

Rake – Rake leaves to keep them out of storm drains and nearby water bodies, where they release phosphorus and other unwanted nutrients. Keep them away from driveways, streets and sidewalks.

What to do with leaves – There are a few water-friendly ways you can get rid of leaves:
* Compost – Recycles nutrients
* Mulch – Use leaves as mulch, either whole or shredded
* Mow – If there is less than 2 inches of leaves on your lawn, leave them in place and make several passes over them with a power mower. This provides your lawn valuable nutrients and makes it look like you just raked!
* Bag – Rake and bag your leaves for pick-up by city crews. Minneapolis and other communities compost bagged leaves.