Many people do not bother doing much to winterize their lawn other than one final mowing and sprinkling some fertilizer. It seems as if springtime is when people feel that caring for the lawn is important but there are many tasks you can take care of in the fall that will help your lawn and/or garden look much better next growing season.
After you have cut the grass, spend a little time looking at the bare or thin patches of your lawn. While fertilizer may be the answer, you can find out what the problem is by having soil testing done on samples from those areas. There is a good chance that the patches may be over-fertilized and that the soil is, in fact, killing the grass. You may also have drainage issues or sediment that is causing the roots to not form well. Soil testing is one important part of any sort of growing you plan to do. Find out what the issues are with your soil, this fall, and you can remedy the problem so that you can have a beautiful lawn next year.
Protect your grass and enrich the soil by chopping up fallen leaves with a lawnmower, and allowing them to provide mulch for the lawn through the winter. This is much easier than raking pile after pile and disposing of them. No one expects your lawn to look good through the cold season, but if you want it to burst forth lush and green next spring, take a bit of time this fall to winterize it.