Fall Lawn Care: Prevent Disease & Utilize Compost

 Fall Lawn Care, Prevent Disease & Utilize Compost

Prevent Disease & Utilize Compost
Utilize Compost

It’s that time of year again when you need to start worrying about your lawn and how it will fare when the weather changes for the colder. This is also the season for certain routine lawn care measures to be taken. For October, homeowners should be concerned about: gray leaf spot, compost, and aeration.

Gray Leaf Spot

A foliar disease that infects and destroys leaf blades, gray leaf spot is true to its name – you can easily tell if your lawn has this particular disease if you see small and brown-gray colored leaf spots with brown to purple borders on leaf blades. The “spotting” can spread into a longer form or cause diamond-like shapes. In warm, wet weather, spots can even be covered with gray mold. Sometimes a yellow circle can appear around spots. Though gray leaf spot is discouraged by cold weather, the heat and humidity from the Texas summer prolong summer diseases and help gray leaf spot to grow.

If you notice gray leaf spots in your lawn, avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization and make sure you water in the early morning so the lawn surface will not stay wet overnight.


Fall is the perfect time to treat your lawn with compost. Compost, composed of almost any organic material from uneaten banana peels to fallen leaves, works to build up food reserves for your lawn by encouraging soil fertility and stimulating healthy root development in plants. Your lawn will thank you for the much needed food rationing once winter is in full swing.

Adding Compost

If you are planning to simply spread compost on your lawn surface, then 1/2 an inch of compost should be sufficient. More than 1/2 an inch can suffocate your lawn and will not allow it to breathe openly.


To do more than just spread compost on your lawn, use a core aerator to make holes in the ground throughout your lawn. Aerating your lawn will help keep them healthy by reducing soil buildup to allow water and fertilizer to penetrate the root zone and help to control lawn thatch, which makes it difficult for lawns to breathe.

To achieve the most for your lawn, it is recommended that actual cores or plugs of soil be pulled from the lawn. Holes should be 2-3 inches deep and no more than 2-4 inches apart. Also, lawns should be thoroughly watered the day before aerating so plugs can be pulled more deeply and easily.

After aerating, you can then spread 1/2 to 1 inch of compost over the lawn and get it in with a plastic leaf rake. It is very important to water your lawn afterwards, as you want to activate the compost microbes and wash them onto your soil.

Again, fall is the best time to compost and aerate, doing this earlier in the year can encourage weeds to get a head-start and stay dormant during the winter and pop up later.

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