Fall Lawn Care

Martha Stewart Living, November 1994

In many regions, fall is an ideal time to fertilize and repair the lawn. The seasonal transition from summer to autumn allows for expert gardeners to enhance their finest flowers, herbs, vegetables, and crops utilizing expert techniques and tips that guarantee growth. 


In northern areas, late-fall fertilizing (which occurs after the first frost) gives most cool-season turf grasses a head start the following spring. Use a slow-release fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 3-1-2.


Take the opportunity to aerate heavily trafficked and worn-out areas of the lawn. If the ground has been compacted, aerate and re-seed it well before the first frost so next year's grass will have a chance to root with less competition from weeds.


Use a power aerator or star-wheeled cultivator to till the target area to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Then, lightly coat the area with fresh soil, and sprinkle grass seeds to match the surrounding grass.

Sow about 15 seeds per square inch (check seed-box label for application rate). Till once again, and tamp lightly with your foot to get good seed-to-soil contact. Use bamboo stakes or bent twigs to mark newly seeded areas, and water well.


If you choose to live and garden green, eco-friendly lawn care may be a match made in heaven. Utilizing organic fertilizer, choosing to water consciously, and selecting eco-friendly plant strains are all methods of ensuring your garden is truly environmentally beneficial.


Composting is an excellent manner of recycling discarded plant scraps for a more vibrant and beautiful garden. Martha's Composting 101 provides a simple and seamless guide to composting for gardeners who wish to make the most out of their yards.


DIY Compost System

Design your very own compost system using a simple system of three bins.


Layer It On: Food Scraps

Beef up your bins using a layer of food scraps. Waste not, want not!


Layer It On: Paper, Lint, and Hay (Brown)

Black and white newspapers, lint, and hay enrich a hearty compost bin.


Layer It On: Soil (Neutral)

Tossing in terrain from your garden aids the compost's consistency.


Layer It On: Garden Waste (Green)

Clean, green trimmings left from tending to your garden lend compost more organic matter.


Layer It On: Dry Leaves (Brown)

Celebrate fall foliage further by incorporating old leaves into your compost.


Compost: Steps 1-5

Learn the proper layering technique for your compost bins, steps one through five.


Compost: Steps 6-9

Enrich your knowledge of long-term compost maintenance through moisture and rotation.


Choose Your Bin: The Tumbler

Begin with a bin, such as the classic tumbler. Tumblers offer an economy of space that other options lack.


Choose Your Bin: The Two-Door

Kick your compost up a notch with a two-door bin.


Choose Your Bin: The Roller

Build a bulging bin with a model that allows for greater volume. The rolling bin lends new meaning to the term "crop rotation".


Compost Tea

Your compost requires water as does your garden. Nourish compost with a nutrient-rich tea blend.


Get The Composting How-To


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