We have been very fortunate this year with the warm weather lasting into mid October. However, there is no way to avoid it, the temperatures are dropping and you need to consider preparing your lawn for the cold winter ahead.
You might have noticed that as the temperature drops your grass’ growth slows considerably. This is because your grass is getting ready for winter and soon will become completely dormant. This does not mean that your grass dies over winter, but it does goes to sleep. There is nothing really to do for grass at this time, unless of course you have not completed your fall fertilizing and aeration, in that case we suggest you get those done as soon as possible as the two help nourish your lawn throughout winter and get it ready for the following spring.
Other than your grass there are other areas in your lawn that do need your attention:
Tidy up your garden by clearing out annuals and other dead plants. Trim the dried stems of perennials down to soil level after frost. Remove the dried up and dead stems of annual plants. Also cut away any diseased or dead foliage from evergreen plants. Compost all this organic material for later use in mulch, unless it is diseased then throw it away.
Remove fallen leaves and fruit from the lawn. Consider making a leaf mold from the fallen leaves. Leaf mold is a great soil conditioner. Create a leaf bin using chicken wire or snow fencing or something along those lines, as long as the leaves are held in place and air can get at them. Then just fill the bin with all your leaves and wait a year or two until they decompose. The leaves in the middle of the pile will decompose first, once you have a good amount of leaf mold mix it around with the other leaves and use it as mulch in your garden and on your lawn.
Protect trees especially the young ones. To protect young trees from animals wrap the stems or trunks with wire or another high quality tree guard product. To protect evergreen trees from dry winds of winter, set up square burlap screens around the tree. Make sure the burlap is not touching the trees too much. Doing so can cause ice to be held against the plants tissues.
Finally if you’ve planted some new bulbs in the fall it would be wise to protect them over the winter. Take some full evergreen branches and place them over the area where the bulbs are until the area is fully covered. This will protect the soil from heaving which can cause shallowly planted bulbs to come to the surface.