FALL LAWN CARE - BY GEORGE EDGAR
Now is the best
time to renovate or reseed your lawn. First, water your lawn, wait a day
then aerate your lawn, wait a day, then apply a starter fertilizer, then
your grass seed, and start watering.
The worst thing that can happen to your grass seed is to have it
dry out. You will have to
water at least once a day to keep it moist. Overseeding or renovating
your lawn is best if done before the middle of September.
Make sure you
use a blend of the best seed you can find that is specifically for our
Nebraska clay soils, and is disease resistant. Cheap seed will cost you
more in maintenance costs over the next 5 years than buying quality seed
now. Look at the label on the bag or box of seed.
It will tell you what king of seed is in the mix and quality seed
will list the cultivars and what per cent of each.
It will also list the percent of “weed seeds” and the per
cent of “other crops” that will be weeds in your lawn. Buy a blend
of grasses so if a disease attacks one of the cultivars it does not wipe
out your total yard. Don’t buy cheap seed.
now is the best time to apply your fall fertilizer.
Following my “Lawn Care by Holidays”, the fall application
goes on around Labor Day. The
Labor Day and the Halloween (winterizer) applications are the two most
important applications of the year. Fertilizer applied now helps the
grass develop good roots systems whereas the spring applications only
make the blades grow faster and taller.
Use a good brand of fertilizer that is slow release and has iron.
Iron is what makes your lawn green and is needed in our clay
haven’t aerated, now is a good time to do that also.
Core aeration (removes plugs from your lawn) needs to be done at
least once per year in order to provide good drainage and help thatch to
decompose naturally. If you are renting an aerator or hiring a lawn
service to do it for you, be sure and check the length of the tines on
the machine. New tines are
6 inches long. If the tines
are 4 inches or less, have them put on a new set.
They don’t take long to replace so wait until it is done. If
you have hard clay soil, which is most of us:
Water your lawn thoroughly
the day before so tines can go in easily
Rake in a soil amendment
such as Structure or fine compost (not gypsum)
Water in your fertilizer.
Next week I
will talk about Fall Weed Control
Sept. 11, 2004