Prepare Your Lawn for Halloween

October 17, 2022

Somehow it’s almost Halloween again, and it’s time to start thinking about protecting your lawn from the feet of trick-or-treaters, while ensuring the safety of those spooky visitors. You can work toward both of those goals with just a few straightforward tasks.

Remove leaves: People can lose their footing on layers of leaves under the best of conditions, and rain just before the holiday can make this problem much worse.  It’s best to clean the leaves off your lawn regularly anyway, since they can form a mat that prevents air and water from reaching the grass underneath.  It’s easy to trip on branches and limbs as well. 

Point the way: Fortunately, Halloween offers a variety of decorations that can do double duty as fences and other obstacles.  A few stakes combined with seasonally appropriate banners, streamers, rope, or tape won’t stop everyone, but most visitors will get the message.  You can also define a path using rope lighting or light stakes.

For another layer of protection, set up your candy distribution station outside where you can keep an eye on things.  If you’re in the Halloween spirit, wear a costume to greet your visitors.

Plan your decorating: Your treat center should be placed on a mulched or paved spot, as should any large decorations.  Porches and patios are also options.  If your vision requires more space than your driveway, you can minimize damage to your grass by only placing your bales of straw and inflatable frights on your lawn for short periods.  At the end of the day, move them onto hard surfaces or into a storage space like a basement or a shed.  You might also consider placing them in different spots every day to minimize the amount of time that any particular area is cut off from air and sun.

You also have access to a lot of space with decorating potential that involves no threat to your turf at all: the air above it.  All sorts of creepy accessories can be hung from tree limbs, the edges of your roof, tall stakes that you deploy temporarily, and so on.

A holiday trim: Mow your lawn at the height suggested for your grass type in autumn a few days before trick-or-treating will occur. Check your shrubs and (especially) trees to ensure that damaged branches are removed before they can fall and pose a tripping hazard or conk a neighborhood child on the head.

Don’t water just before the big day: Even if you’re going to rope it off, the risks of slipping just aren’t worth it.  In addition, slipping is more likely to damage grass when the soil beneath it is wet.  If you have an irrigation system, don’t forget to turn it off during the relevant hours.

Attending to this short list of tasks will go a long way toward ensuring that your lawn survives the scariest night of the year.  Happy Halloween!