Setting up a new homeowner for a great yard in the spring, starts with high quality lawn care in the fall. Add in the extra benefit of enhanced curb appeal for prospective buyers, and there’s really no reason not to spend a little extra time on lawn care and maintenance. So, if you’re considering selling your home in the fall, don’t miss these tips for autumn lawn care. (Looking for more general fall home selling tips? Check out our recent blog post on the topic.)
If you’re located in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, or DC, these points are made with your climate in mind, so while these tips may be relevant for many, it may not be the case if you’re in say, Florida. That being said, here are our top 8 lawn care tips for fall home sellers:
1. Though it can be tempting, resist the urge to brush off fall lawn maintenance. This is because after a hot (and dry it seems) summer, your lawn often needs a little help to make it through the long winter in the best condition possible. And remember, the care that you take in the fall is what will give your home’s new owner that stunning lawn in the spring.
2. Make an effort to remove fallen leaves promptly. Though they are beautiful and create an incredible sight for a little while, fallen leaves can be ultimately detrimental to both the sale of your home and for your lawn care. This is because a lawn covered in leaves can damage the curb appeal of a home by giving it something of an unkempt appearance. For the lawn itself, it’s a little more scientific. Leaves trap moisture and keep out sunlight, which encourages mold, rot, and weeds to flourish. Yuck.
3. Keep mowing regularly. Growth may have slowed, but it hasn’t stopped quite yet – and it won’t until that first hard frost takes hold. Aim for grass that is around 3.5-4” tall and use mowing as an opportunity to cut up the dead leaves that have recently fallen. This way you save time raking AND also get free much along the way. Not bad.
4. Don’t forget to fertilize. This is particularly true going into the end of the fall season. Fertilizer will help to keep roots strong and also build tolerance against drought.
5. Watering is just as important as it is in warmer months (even if it’s not as regularly). Cooler weather tends to trick us into drinking less water (and watering less), and while there’s not as much water evaporating from your grass in the fall, it still needs to be watered regularly. A good amount of water to aim for is about an inch per week.
6. Get rid of weeds. Particularly those classified as ‘broadleaf weeds’, like dandelion, broadleaf plantain, and ground ivy. Fall is a great time to really attack weeds so that by the time spring comes back around, a fresh and weed free yard can grow in.
7. Aeration is important. This process removes small cores of soil, supporting the natural process of air exchange between soil and the atmosphere. Aerating has a number of benefits for your lawn, but the biggest include stronger roots, less puddling, and over time, less susceptibility to disease.
8. More seeds, please! Fall is a great time to lay seed so that it can get a head start into the springtime months. And in many cases, it’s even better to overseed! This is because it’s a great opportunity to introduce hardier grasses and to fill in any holes that may have arisen over the warmer months. Make sure to cover your seeds lightly with straw or mulch so that hungry birds don’t turn them into lunch.
Having a beautiful lawn can make all the difference in your home selling process because it’s one of the first things that a prospective buyer sees when they first pull up to your home. Though fall lawn maintenance can be a lot of work, the return is sure to make it all worthwhile.
It’s not too late to list your home in 2019 (or to start talking about 2020, for that matter!), so if these tips have inspired you to start down the path to home sellership, let’s talk! I’m licensed in DC, MD, VA and WV and would love to help you with your home selling needs. Contact me today at email@example.com