Mid August to October is a great time to take care of your lawn to ensure its success for the next year. September is a good time for seeding too because air temperatures are cooler but the soil remains warm, which encourages root growth. Your turf will focus on establishment as opposed to top growth like it does in spring and summer.
Late Summer/Early Fall Weed Control
Get your lawn in shape now for next spring. August through October is the best time to treat for weeds. You get great “translocation” into the root system when applying a weed control in fall, resulting in a better and more complete kill.
Try Bonide Weed Beater Ultra…it can withstand air temperatures down to 40° and it will fight the toughest weeds including winter annual weeds like Chickweed, Hairy Bittercrest, Annual Bluegrass and Henbit. Another great option to consider is Ortho Chickweed and Clover.
Looking for something natural? If you are not planning to do any seeding, Corn Gluten is a great option. While it does not kill existing weeds, it does help prevent weed and other seeds from germinating.
Fall Turf Restoration
As we mentioned, Fall is the ideal time to rejuvenate and restore your lawn. By seeding in the fall, you increase the chance of survival into the spring time. Preparation is key to success.
Begin by creating good seed-to-soil contact. Seed that is on actual soil stands a better chance of developing a strong root system. Core aeration or a hard raking will help with this.
Another important step is to start with a quality Starter Fertilizer. A starter fertilizer provides the essential nutrients that will help with germination and growth.
Once you have prepared the area and put down the starter fertilizer, it is time to put down the grass seed. When selecting a grass seed, be sure to look at the light and soil conditions for the area. Flowerland recommends a blend of two to three types of grass seed. One type for quick growth while the other fills in later. Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the best option for your specific conditions.
It is important to cover new grass seed with mulch to hold in moisture and nutrients. If the grass seed dries out, it takes longer to grow or might not root at all. You can use clean straw or Penn mulch.
Once you have put down the grass seed and covered it with a protective layer of straw or Penn Mulch, keep the soil moist but not soggy by watering lightly every day.
Older Established Lawns
For established lawns there is no better time to fertilize than the fall. It helps establish thick healthy turf and aids in a quick green up for the spring time.
We recommend not cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade per mowing. Make sure to have sharp mower blades. We recommend for healthy turf to maintain a turf height of 3 to 3 1/2 inches during the spring, summer and early fall months. Starting in October, we recommend beginning to gradually lower the mower deck until it is at 2 1/2 inches. This will reduce snow mold and suffocation of the roots. You can also finely mulch some leaves into the turf.
Newly Renovated Lawns
Newly renovated lawns are lawns that have been seeded and the seeds have begun to germinate.Even newly renovated lawns enjoy a late feeding going into winter to help with establishing and maintaining turf health. Definitely plan on applying a good quality Winterizer fertilizer between mid-October and early November.
Avoid applying a Fall Weed & Feed if you are planning to seed until the newly renovated lawn has been mowed at least 4 times at a height of 2 1/2 inches or higher.