One of my favorite household chores of all time has always been cutting the grass. When I was really young, I got one of those plastic lawnmowers that would blow bubbles as you pushed it. When my dad and my neighbor would cut the grass, they would let me follow behind them with my bubble lawn mower and I felt like I was helping. Looking back on it, I was probably more of a hindrance than a help.

Iowa fall has finally arrived and with that can come some changes to how you maintain your yard. Some of your yard chores might change as well. Instead of picking weeds or watering your grass, you might spend more time raking or mulching your leaves. Even with the temperatures dropping, that doesn't mean your yard can go completely ignored before the snow comes.

In my opinion, fall is one of the best times of the year to cut the grass but when should you stop?

Unsplash - Rick Whittle
Unsplash - Rick Whittle

When To Put The Lawn Mower Away

Iowa State University has a pretty straightforward answer for us. You can pretty much cut the grass until you've noticed it's stopped growing. Whether your yard has Kentucky bluegrass and/or any other kind of cool-season grass, they usually will stop growing in late October or early November.


Iowa State University also has a great reminder that the fall is an important time to fertilize your lawn. Fall fertilizer applications "promotes root development, enhances storage of food reserves and promotes early green-up next spring." Once your grass has stopped growing, you can quit with the lawn mower and begin with the fall fertilizer.


Should you mulch your leaves or rake them? I'll be honest...I will probably never rake leaves again. Unless I become a parent and have kids that want to jump and play in them. I've always just mulched the leaves. According to Iowa State University, I've been doing this wrong my entire life. Supposedly, if you have a really thick layer of leaves, you should rake them and dispose of them accordingly. You can mulch the leaves with a mower if you have a small/thin layer and leave them in your lawn.

With a little effort this fall, you can promote a healthy lawn to look forward to next spring. Happy Fall!

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