Fall has arrived, brrrrrrrrrrr! The past few months of weather have been somewhat unusual. First we experienced a wetter than normal June, a hot, dry and fungus ridden July, a relatively mild August, and a beautiful September and October. We are pleased to see many lawns are being re-seeded this fall, the best time of the year to establish and re-seed lawns is during fall months. The good news is it is not too late to successfully seed and fertilize your lawn.
Imagine the great root systems you can create by seeding and fertilizing now and have your lawn stand up to whatever next summer’s weather brings! The ground is still warm, rainfall is plentiful and there is a lot of moisture in the ground allowing grass seed to thrive. If you had problems in the past growing a great lawn try to think why you are having trouble. Perhaps you had too much crabgrass and weeds. If this is the case, you first need to get healthy growing grass growing in these areas so weeds do not have as much of a chance to take over. Excessive weeds may mean your lawn soil is poor which allows weeds to grow. Take a soil test to determine if you have a low pH value, this is common in weed ridden soils. Add Mag-I-Cal Calcium Fertilizer to raise your pH value or sulfur based products to lower pH in the soil. Grasses thrive best with pH values between 6.2-6.8. Incorporate Mag-I-Cal, Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil, and mix good topsoil into the existing soil after aeration with New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer. This is a great way to create a better environment to grow grass. Perhaps you need to fix drainage problems or you are experiencing soil compaction. Rent an aerator with a few neighbors for the day, your lawn will love it! The better the soil quality the easier it is to grow grass to achieve a great looking lawn.
We continue to hear from many homeowners that their tall fescue based lawns are holding up very well. Tall fescue is one of the most forgiving lawn species and is found in our Black Beauty family of grass seed mixtures. Black Beauty lawns hold up well in full sun areas, withstand heat and drought very well, tolerate a wide range of soil types and also do quite well in the shade, almost too good to be true! You also can reduce watering bills and decrease fertilizer requirements with tall fescues and your lawn can still look good. When you purchase grass seed, look for genetically superior varieties for the best long-term results.
Crabgrass in your lawn should be dead by now. After the first frost the leaves turn purple and then straw-brown after a few weeks. If you are seeding this fall rake the debris away before you re-seed. You can seed right into these dead crabgrass patches. If crabgrass has been a continual problem over the years, consider applying a second application of Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer in late spring-early summer next year, this in known as a split-application program. This will allow a longer period of control and ultimately little, if any, crabgrass plants next summer.
If you have not fertilized your lawn this fall with Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer you should have. This product is a true fall/winter formula that promotes root growth and gives the lawn a deep-green color. For homeowners in NJ your cut-off date is November 15thto apply lawn fertilizers. It is getting late to apply broadleaf weed controls effectively. If weeds are actively growing be sure to follow weed control label directions and apply as needed. Keep mowing as long as there is growth into late fall. Have you had your irrigation system closed down? Also, write a note on your calendar to “winterize” your lawn mower after Thanksgiving. If you follow these directions above then you can go watch some football!