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Fall lawn care starts now

The Minnesota Lawn Care Calendar says it’s time to think about lawns! Fall is the best time for almost everything you’ve been waiting to do, so consider all your options and get them on your home calendar. Include only the items your lawn needs.

Dethatching and aerating

If you’re dethatching or aerating this fall, 2 to 3 days before, put an inch of water on your lawn and let it soak in. You need to take out at least a 3- to 4-inch plug when aerating, and that won’t happen if the soil is too dry.

The best time to schedule either of these is between mid-August and the end of September. Read more about how to dethatch your lawn.


If you’re overseeding this fall, the best time to do that is around August 20 to September 10. You can stretch that a little later, but not after the end of the month. The roots need to mature enough to survive the winter. Here's a good list of articles about seeding:


It’s also time to fertilize. Around the beginning of September, put down 2/3 of your total annual nitrogen application. If you haven’t done a soil test, a fertilizer grade of 24-0-12 is good for many lawns, and 24-0-18 will add a little more potassium to help roots get through winter. Read more about fertilizing lawns.

For more detailed lawn information, sign up for our Turfgrass Science newsletter at UMN Home Lawn Care Newsletter.

Author: Kim Sullivan, Extension Master Gardener - Anoka County

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