NOW’s The Time For Working On Your Lawn
Right along with fall being the best time to plant trees and shrubs it is also the best time to renovate your lawn or plant a new one. Fall is nature’s time to grow new grass for many reasons. This is as simple as 1, 2, 3 when you follow the basics.
Pick the right time of the year, which you are doing if you are getting ready to renovate an existing lawn by core aerating, slice seeding and fertilizing an existing lawn or if you are going to start from scratch and seed a new lawn. If you have more weeds than good grass you might want to spray the lawn area with Round-Up® and simply start over. If you’re starting over get the Round-Up® applied in the next week or so then you will be ready to begin preparation and seeding by early September. For best results have your seeding completed by mid-September.
Ground preparation is the next most important factor if you are beginning a new lawn. Ideally, loosen the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. If we haven’t had adequate rains it will be necessary to irrigate before you start tilling as it is very difficult to loosen the dry clay soils that we have adequately for a satisfactory seed bed. You can begin to see why it is necessary to start early so there is time to get all the steps accomplished that will provide a beautiful lawn.
Choose the best seed, don’t buy cheap. Check the germination % of the seed and the expiration date on the package….fresh seed is a must so there is a good stand of grass to begin with. Go to your local independent garden center so you can count on quality seed. There are two choices of seed for sunny areas: the better blue grasses or a tall- type fescue (avoid any K-31 fescue). The tall-type fescues are more drought tolerant and do not require as much fertilizer as the blue grass types. While you are there at the garden center talk to them about fertilizer for getting your lawn off to a good start. Doubtful if you will need to apply lime as the pH level of our soil is very good for lawns.
Be sure you have a ready source of water and a good sprinkler so you can keep the area moist once the seed is planted. After the grass seed is sprouted it is critical not to let it dry out. A light straw cover will help you maintain consistent moisture. Now see, it wasn’t that difficult was it? There is more to it but these are the basics. Timing is the big issue.
The question is: WHY is late summer and fall the best time to establish a lawn? There are several reasons: The major issue is the elimination of weed pressure with fall seeding. Crabgrass does not germinate in the summer or fall. Most weeds sprout and grow in the spring and summer. The second reason is that the soil temps are warm and the seed will germinate well and quickly. The third reason is the air temperatures are typically cooler in the fall which is what the grasses that grow in this area favor. And fourthly, we normally get regular rains that reduce the need to run sprinklers.
We’re all looking for nice, green lawns with flowering and shade trees in the future.
Growing for you enjoyment,
Meadow View Growers