FAll Lawn Care
Early fall is the best time to renovate the lawn. Soil temperatures are still warm while the air temperatures are beginning to cool, creating the perfect environment for successful seed germination. There is also less competition from weed seeds (as opposed to planting in the spring). Plan to begin renovation in mid-August through early-October to allow your grass to become established before leaves fall and frost arrives.
We can perform a soil test on your lawn to determine what nutrients are lacking and if you will need an application of lime to raise the pH. A soil pH of 6.5 – 7.0 is required for optimum grass health. If your pH is too low, your lawn will not be able to utilize the nutrients in the soil. Most lawns in our region need an application of lime in the spring and/or fall.
We will be concentrating on perennial weeds this time of year including; dandelion, thistle, plantain, clover and ground ivy. Weeds will be chemically spot treated prior to seeding. Organic control methods such as hand weeding and horticultural vinegar are also available.
Core aeration removes plugs of soil from your lawn, allowing air and nutrients to reach deep into the soil for healthy roots. Aerating also helps to break up heavy clay or compacted soils.
After aerating, we can apply a topdressing of compost to further break up clay soils and to increase nutrients. Compost is key in organic lawn care because it introduces healthy microorganisms which improve the soil.
Seeding, Fertilizing and Mulching
We will take your site conditions and dimensions into account before selecting seed. Is it sunny, shady, high traffic? Over-seeding in the fall will result in a lush lawn that will naturally crowd out weeds, and will continue to look great next spring.
Fertilize using a specially formulated starter or a slow-release organic lawn fertilizer.
Mulch the seed using salt hay to protect and to help keep the soil moist. Salt hay is a sustainable and locally harvested product that is naturally free of weed seeds and has a fine texture. This can be left in place as the seed grows & does not need to be removed.
Watering and Care
Water lightly on a daily basis ensuring that the soil is kept evenly moist until the seed germinates. Areas that are in late afternoon sun will require special attention, young seedlings should not be allowed to completely dry out. After germination, water deeply and less frequently to encourage root growth. Once the grass becomes more established you may water deeply once weekly.
Some grass varieties like Kentucky bluegrass can take 3 to 4 weeks to germinate, while perennial rye can take 1-2 weeks depending on weather conditions. You can expect to have an established lawn in 6 to 12 weeks after seeding. Cut your new grass when it reaches 3” in height, making sure your blades are clean and sharp.
Fertilize once more in late fall for a deep green lawn, the grass roots will continue to develop and store energy reserves for the spring.
Contact us at 215-280-2124 to schedule your free lawn assessment!