Fall is almost here. I like to get a little bit of a head start by working on the lawn during the pre-fall maintenance period, (Late-August to Mid-September).
I have found that if I invest a little time and effort during this time period, I will see a return on my efforts this fall, (Late September) and next spring.
Some lawn observations from this past summer.
- In the midwest we had a lot of days above 90 but we received timely rains about every 7-10 days. I have not watered as much as I have in past years.
- The grubs were really bad. I had applied a preventive in May and I found myself adding more at the end of July. I’m still battling a couple of spots that the grubs took over. It’s not too late to apply a grub preventer. Most of the products on the market work within 36-48 hours.
- For the second straight year, I found a little window where highs were in the mid-70’s and I was able to put down a fertilizer application in the summer. Just adding a little nitrogen in the summer can really make for a thicker, greener lawn.
- Weeds were also an issue in late July. I think the combination of warm temperatures and regular moisture helped promote the growth of weeds. I used to use a weed killer fertilizer but I had a bad experience with the product and I ended up burning a number of parts of my lawn. I prefer the hand-held weed spray and walking around and spraying the weeds individually.
Some Fall Lawn Tips
- I plan on adding more grass seed in the first couple of weeks of September. September is a great time to overseed and grow more grass seedlings.
- Aerating is an option in the fall. Many people like to do this, but I am now on my fifth year of not aerating and I plan to continue to overseed.
- (Midwest/Snow Areas) Water at least once a week. It is important to keep watering into the fall. Before you know it, the temperatures will fall and then it will be time to winterize the sprinkler system or take in the hoses for the winter. Other areas where it does not get as cold, I see people cut back on mowing, but they still water on occasion.
- It is also a good time to put down some fertilizer in September or a winterizer in October. I lean more toward the end of September to help enable growth of the new seed that was applied in early September.
- Rake those leaves or mow them. Pretty obvious task
A Word about Landscape Care
It is always a good idea to trim up the bushes, but do not go too short in case of a hard freeze or colder than normal winter. In addition, think about buying some additional potting soil and adding it around the stem of the bush, especially rose bushes. This process will help insulate the rose bushes from the harsh winter temperatures.
Dealing with Lawn Issues in the Fall
If you have some areas of your lawn that simply been dead spots all year long, consider getting a lawn and garden test to see the makeup of the soil and receive recommendations on proper amendments to bring the soil back to life for proper grass growth. You can order a lawn and garden test online and the supplies will be sent to you to collect your sample along with a return shipping label. Once the sample is received, you can expect results in 3 business days.
Hoping your fall lawn season is a successful one.