If you seeded this Fall, you're not done with lawn care yet! Thanks to tropical storms, we experienced heavy rainfall at the end of September. You should check on your germinating seedlings to see if there are bare spots from rain washing away the seed, and re-seed any of these bare spots you find.
Wet leaves can smother a new lawn or seed, and the blocking of sunlight can slow, stop or kill the new seed from maturing. Therefore, it is very important to rake your lawn.
Mowing is extremely important to manage the vigor of your grass and its ability to compete against weeds. In the fall, the best results are obtained by mowing at the highest setting on your mower, the grass height should not be less than 1.5 inches tall. This will help insulate the grass during the winter. When grass is cut too short, the growth of the roots and the plant comes almost to a complete stop until the leaves can recover. This places a huge amount of stress on the plant. When the grass is mown at its correct height however, the roots can keep growing and the grass thrives. A sharp mower blade is also an important aspect of getting the new lawn off to a good start. If the blade isn't sharp, it won't make a clean cut and will rip and tear the grass. This injures the grass plants, making them an easy target for diseases and pests to attack.
Weeds are getting ready for next year, winter weeds are germinating now. After about the third mowing or approximately one month after your grass seed germinates, you need to address crabgrass and broadleaf weeds. Cooler fall temperatures make it great time to handle the weed populations. Apply a pre-emergent weed killer, like my Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up. If you are following an organic lawn care program, apply my Jonathan Green Organic Weed Control. Combating the weeds now will greatly reduce your weed problems next Spring and Summer.