The air is crisp and the trees are changing colors. That must mean fall is here! Even if your yard isn’t fully blanketed in crunchy leaves just yet, you can still start on these essential fall lawn care tasks. 1. Rake the leaves. It turns out that the quintessential fall chore really is the most important one. If you love the look of a blanket of fall leaves, you’ll want to listen up. They may be pretty and fun for kids to play in, but a covering of damp autumn leaves is awful for your grass. Not only do leaves block sunlight, they also trap moisture, leading to a soggy, decaying mess come spring. There’s no need to cut into your fall fun too much, though. You can always rake leaves as you see them, dividing a couple afternoons’ worth of work into more manageable 10- or 15-minute tasks. 2. Don’t winterize the sprinkler just yet. It’s a myth that cooler weather means your lawn needs less water—it might even need more! It’s true that there’s less evaporation in cooler weather, but dew and rainfall isn’t always sufficient for keeping grass healthy. Just like in summer, you’ll need to pay attention to precipitation and use your sprinklers intermittently until the first frost. Use a rain gauge to make sure your grass is getting at least an inch of water a week, and plan to have your sprinklers running until right around Halloween. 3. Keep mowing. We’re all eager to put away our mowers for the year after a long summer of cutting grass. But it’s still perfectly appropriate, not to mention necessary, to mow your lawn well into fall. Grass will keep growing until the first hard frost, so you’ll likely need to keep trimming it down to the ideal three-inch height. Leaving grass too long can leave it vulnerable to snow mold, and cutting it too short can weaken it against dry, frigid winter weather. So stick to what you know for now, and keep a lookout for news of the first hard frost. 4. Treat your lawn with fertilizers. Prepare to have the greenest lawn on the block come April. There are myriad fertilizers available for every need, including winter. Investing in a slow-release granular 24-0-10 variety and spreading it in late fall can help protect grass roots from freezing, allowing your entire lawn to bounce back quickly in spring. Just be sure, as usual, that you’re avoiding contamination by not spreading fertilizer too close to waterways; a five-foot buffer is best. 5. Plant bulbs and spread seed. Mid to late November is a great time to plant spring bulbs before the ground freezes. Follow the instructions for the bulbs you’ve chosen and be ready to sprout tulips, daffodils and more in spring, with all the hard work done for you. Late fall is also a great time to spread seed, thickening up your grass and keeping it strong and healthy against the elements. 6. Stick to schedule. It’s a fact: lawn work takes time, and more than that, it takes commitment. You’ll want to stick to a fairly strict schedule to achieve the best results. For more information regarding the best time to perform all the steps above, contact your local lawn care company for a consultation. Or, better yet, hire them to do it for you for a professional quality lawn that turns heads. To sell or buy with confidence, call National Property Inspections. National Property Inspections’ highly qualified inspectors have the experience and expertise to give a full report on the condition of your home. Find your local inspector today to buy or sell with success.