Thursday, September 2, 2010

Early Fall Lawn Care

Where did summer go? I can't believe I just typed "Early FALL Lawn Care" for a title. Seems like just a couple days ago I was writing "Early Spring Lawn Care".

We have had the wettest summer on record here in Sioux City. Not by just a smidge either, it was wetter than the previous record year, 1987, by a full three inches! The excessive moisture has complicated lawn care creating the perfect environment for mulch molds and lawn fungus.This makes it extra important for you to provide some extra TLC for your yard this month. The time you take now will pay off with a healthier yard next spring.

Fertilize - Fall is the good time to treat your lawn for broadleaf weeds like the dandelion. Many folks mistakenly treat for broadleaf weeds in the spring. The chemicals are best absorbed by the plants in the fall, which will keep them from sprouting in the spring. Fall is also a good time to replenish the nitrogen in your grass.

Dethatching  is also a good activity to open up the grass after a season of mowing. A thin layer is good for your grass, but thatch that’s deeper than 1 inch should be removed as it prevents air, light and water from reaching the turf's root zone. As thatch accumulates, there is a tendency for root growth to occur primarily in the thatch layer rather than the soil. This results in a weakened, poorly rooted turf that is prone to stress injury. Thatch also makes an excellent breeding ground for harmful insects and disease organisms. If you are feeling adventurous you can use a rake, but a weekend rental of a powered dethatcher will get the job done quickly and save your back!

Aerate the lawn after it has been dethatched. Aeration allows more nutrients and water to reach the grass root zone. Fall is a good time to do it as grass plants are beginning to store food for next spring 

One reminder -- BEFORE you aerate or dethatch with a power device FLAG your sprinkler heads so you don't hit them.

Remember to keep those mowing blades high! Your grass will thank you for it!

Have a super week!

Keep it Green!