Fall Lawn Care

Andrea Burns
Special to the Globe

The fall-like temperatures are a good sign of things to come.

This would be a good weekend to get out and take inventory of your lawn to see what damage the summer had on it.

September is the best month to reseed cool-season lawns such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass.

However, you can get by with an early to mid-October planting for tall fescue.

Oct. 15 is generally considered the last day for safely planting or overseeding a tall fescue lawn in the fall. If you do attempt a late seeding, take special care not to allow plants to dry out.

Anything that slows growth will make it less likely that plants will mature enough to survive the winter. Seedings done after the cut-off date can be successful, but the success rate goes down the later the planting date.

Late plantings that fail are usually not killed by cold temperatures but rather desiccation. The freezing and thawing of soils heave poorly rooted grass plants out of the ground, which then dry and die. Keeping plants watered will help maximize root growth before freezing weather arrives.

This is also the time of year to be thinking about putting down a pre-emergent for broadleaf weeds in your lawn such as henbit and dandelions.

However, extreme caution should be used this year for Bermuda grass and buffalo grass lawns.

Many of these just broke their dormancy less than 6 weeks ago.

Do not treat for weeds until those particular types of lawns are dormant!

Now would also be a good time to aerate or de-thatch your lawn to help stimulate growth and recovery next fall.

For more information on lawn care, contact me at the Ford County Extension Office. Have a great weekend!