Fall Lawn Care for a Green Spring
Fall lawn care will help keep your yard green and healthy throughout the winter months and give it a jump start in the spring. October is the perfect month to start over-seeding or re-seeding your lawn. Doing it now takes full advantage of our climate's mild fall temperatures and frequent rainfall to germinate the grass seed.
If you have mossy areas, apply a moss killer, wait ten days, and then rake out the dead moss. While you're waiting, evaluate why moss is a problem there: usually it is some combination of too much shade, acidic or infertile soil, or a compacted or poorly drained area. Yearly liming, a regular organic fertilizing program, correcting soil problems, and overseeding with a more shade-tolerant grass can often help make moss a thing of the past.
If your lawn doesn't drain well, or has areas of compacted soil, rent an aerator. Aerating your soil will allow water and air to get to the grass roots. If you have thatch build up, this is usually a sign of inadequate soil microbial life. Top dressing with compost and using a good organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth™ lawn food with added microbes will correct this long term. In the short term, a power thatcher will help new grass seed make contact with the soil's surface to germinate as well as let the healthy grass spread more quickly.
After aerating and thatching as needed, apply a thin layer of Gardner & Bloome™ Soil Building Compost, reseed, apply dolomite lime and the Dr. Earth™ Lawn Food, and cover with a thin dusting of peat moss. Soil Building Compost replenishes valuable nutrients lost over time, while the peat moss retains moisture, hides the seed from hungry birds, and keeps the seed in place as you water. Make sure the soil stays moist for 2-4 weeks (you may need to water if the rains don't cooperate) and mow after the new grass reaches 2" high.
If your lawn doesn't require overseeding, in September apply dolomite lime and Dr. Earth™ Lawn Food, and topdress with Harvest Supreme™ Soil Amendment. For peak resistance to winter's stresses, feed again with the Dr. Earth™ around Thanksgiving. This combination will keep the grass green, healthy, and well-fed, which will help to crowd out winter-growing weeds and moss. Remembering to keep the lawn mowed during the growing season at 2-3" height will also encourage a thicker lawn.
If you have any questions, stop by and ask our grass experts about your fall lawn needs.
By Mike Walton & Charlie Shull, WCN
Skylights Autumn 2009, Vol 24, No. 3
articles on lawn care