Get your lawn ready for winter and preparing it for a great spring!
(September – November)
Fall brings back ideal conditions for your lawn. Cool nights, ample rainfall and morning dew are just about as good as it gets for grass. Now the lawn is ready to grow again, and is looking for the nutrients it needs to recover from summer damage. Some experts will say this is the single most important lawn feeding of the year. Apply your final feeding right before the winter months, when grass is prepping for a winter nap. This will strengthen roots and increase nitrogen storage for an early spring green up and a healthier lawn next year. If you miss the September feeding remember that any fall feeding is preferable to playing catch-up in the spring.
The best time to seed your lawn is in the fall. The soil is still warm but the air is cooler. There are fewer weeds for new grass to compete against. Since your trees are starting to shed their leaves, there’s plenty of sunlight. Also, diseases that attack seedlings are less active. For seeding, you’ll want to cut your grass a little lower than normal. Also, remove the clippings. This will allow the grass seeds to get down to the ground more easily. You may also want to core aerate. A core aerator pulls out cores of soil and deposits them on the lawn. The cores will break up, creating a top dressing on the lawn. This also opens up spaces which allow more water, air and fertilizer to get to the root zone. So if compacted, heavy soil is an issue in the lawn, core aerating can help.
What seed you choose depends on where you live and what problem is making your lawn thin in the first place. For instance, if your lawn is shady, choose a shade-tolerant seed. If kids play in your yard, choose a variety that can stand up to foot traffic. For best results, look for a grass seed that’s 99.99% weed-free. An example is Scotts® Turf Builder® Fall Mix Grass Seed. The people at your neighborhood Phillips Hardware stores can help you choose the seed that’s right for your lawn.
To get seedlings the essential nutrients they need for fast growth, spread Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer. Gently rake the seed and fertilizer into the soil. Keep the soil moist for 7-14 days or until the seedlings are 2 inches tall. Any local hardware store will have all the products and knowledge that you need to seed and fertilizer your lawn this far to prepare it for a great spring!