Our brief summer season has now passed us by but hopefully we will hold onto some warm weather in the coming weeks. It is now time to look once again at repairing and preventing problems in our lawns. In this week’s article, we will be discussing what steps you can take to care for your lawn this fall!
Fall: Mid September – End October
The fall season is the best time of year to add new grass seed to your lawn. Adding seed or overseeding is one of the best ways to have a healthy lawn as new grass plants replace older grass, fill in bare spots and thicken up the lawn. All of this helps with reducing weeds. The best way to overseed your lawn is to scratch the soil vigorously with at metal rake so the seed can contact the soil, apply seed at the recommended rate then add a thin layer ¼- ½” of topsoil. Water daily until the seed germinates. Don’t forget you can add soil to low areas and seed those areas at the same time. For a more in-depth look at the various types and mixtures of grass seed check out our former blog: https://vermeers.ca/spring-lawn-care-ft-nematodes/ .
Fertilizing Your Lawn
Late summer grass can be some of the most depressing looking grass of the year, but not this year! This year we have had the blessing of consistent rain and no extended periods of drought making this September’s lawn looking pretty good, maybe we don’t need to fertilize. But let’s not be too hasty. We need to remember that all the fertilizer that we applied earlier this year has now been used up and if we want our lawns to continue to look great and not let the weeds take over, we will need to apply fall lawn food. Fall fertilizer has the right balance of nutrient to thicken up the lawn as well as help strengthen the roots for the winter ahead.
When it comes to watering your lawn, Fall is not the time to stop as we can have dry periods in Fall as well. Here are some tips to keep your lawn and new seed thriving:
- Water before 10am to avoid evaporation during the day (avoid watering at night to avoid mildew and fungi)
- Water your lawn with about 1 inch of water per week. Measure water from rain or sprinklers with a cup or can to determine how much water to manually apply
- Increase your watering schedule during hot periods
- Allow 1 inch of the soil to dry between watering
- Frequent mowing is preferable to severe cuts when the grass has grown too high. If you let the grass grow too high, then cut it back by half or more, you shock the plant down to its roots. The growth of the roots is slowed and plant growth is halted until the leaves can recover.
- Allow water to absorb periodically if lawn is sloped
- Grass at the base of trees will require more water
Nematodes are a great way to combat lawns grubs. They also support the ecosystem and protect your lawn. Nematodes seek out and kill lawn grubs such as:
- June Beetle
- Japanese Beetle
- Rose Chafer
Nematodes are perfectly safe and 100% natural and would do no harm to people or pets. Nematodes are most effective when they are applied during their prey’s larval stage. The best time of day to apply them would be at dusk or when it is rainy and wet outside, since the nematodes are susceptible to dehydration when it is sunny or dry. You should always water the area before and after you apply the nematodes.
Fall is the best time to apply nematodes as the grubs are just hatching and it will not give them time to cause damage to your lawn or attract animals who like digging them up out of your lawn.