October Lawn Care Tips
It’s mid-October; homeowners with cool-season grasses savor these mild fall temperatures. If you have been following Uncle’s Idiot Proof Lawn Program and you have a cool-season grass, your lawn is looking incredible right now. After all, cool-season grasses, like Blue Wave, Estate Mix, Macho Mix, and Heat Wave, look their best during the “cool seasons” of spring and fall. When Mother Nature cooperates, it’s easy to have a great looking lawn in October, but how do we keep them looking like Augusta National next July?
See Related: What about warm-season zoysia grass?
Why is Fall Fertilization Necessary for Cool-Season Grasses?
Follow the plan; the best-prepared yards for summer are overseeded and fertilized in the fall. Don’t forget to follow all the steps to Uncle’s Idiot Proof Program. It’s easy to overlook when the lawn looks spectacular a few weeks after fall renovation and overseeding. That first fall application of Renovator or Golf Course Starter fertilizer you threw down kicks it up a notch. Oh, we understand; it’s a glorious feeling when you look forward to mowing your lawn. You can lose track of time gazing at those beautifully cut diamond patterns and edges trimmed to perfection. You will be easily mesmerized by the deep dark green living carpet that is your lawn and easily overlook that critical second fall fertilizer application. Here’s your reminder. Stop staring at your lawn stripes and look inside your garage. If you bought an Idiot Proof Lawn Program and still have bags of Renovator or Golf Course Starter sitting on your garage floor in mid-October, get out there and throw it down. Pay attention to the details and prepare your lawn now; for next year’s unpredictable season.
See Related: Uncle’s Idiot Proof Lawn Program
Next Summer’s Lawn Care Starts this Fall
Cool-season grasses are storing nutrients to survive winter dormancy and early spring green-up. Fall applications of nitrogen, contained in Renovator and Golf Course Starter, develop energy reserves essential to endure winter stress and sustain a healthy lawn. But, it’s not all about nitrogen, don’t forget about Snowman, the winter root builder. Throw Snowman down at Thanksgiving, before the ground freezes hard. Snowman contains supplemental elements like phosphorous and potassium to encourage root establishment, boost disease resistance, and enhance drought tolerance.
See Related: Snowman – Key to Lawn Domination
Eliminate Bare Areas and Eliminate Summer Weeds
Get out and walk the lawn looking for bare or thin spots that may have been missed at overseeding. Throw down Macho Mix or Estate Mix; both contain a percentage of elite sports turf quality perennial rye that will germinate quickly in cooler soils and establish rapidly. Use PrimeraFC or sphagnum peat moss over the top of the seed and keep it moist. Washed out areas around gutter downspouts or steep slopes can easily be repaired using sod. Sod is steadily available at all Grass Pad locations until the ground has frozen, typically mid-December. Remember, “No bare spots will mean no weeds next spring.”
See Related: How to Install Sod
Can I Kill Weeds after Overseeding?
October and November are an excellent time to control broadleaf weeds like dandelions, clover, and chickweed. In fall, broadleaf perennial weeds are busy collecting energy from photosynthesis and storing it in the crown and roots. Speedzone and Trimec contain systemic herbicides that will move through the leaf tissue and into the crown and roots for a complete kill. Killing broadleaf weeds in fall will allow the grass plants more room to grow and fill in before spring weeds and summer crabgrass germinates. Wait for twenty eights days after overseeding before applying herbicides. Waiting until you have mowed the new grass at least three times is a good rule to remember.
See Related: Weed Control after Fall Overseeding
Should I Mulch or Bag the Clippings?
It is important to mow your lawn as needed, maintaining your normal height of cut. Use a sharp blade on a day when the grass is not wet. When it comes to mulching or bagging, use your best judgment. If it’s late in the season and you have a heavy layer of leaves on top, it may be best to bag it. If you have fewer leaves and a decent mulching mower, it would be acceptable to mulch mow. Avoid leaving thick smothering layer of grass clippings or mulched leaves over the top of the grass.
See Related: Mowing Height of Cut for Grass
Do You Have Lawn Problem Areas That Keep Showing Up?
If you have places in your yard that don’t perform well, year after year, now is the time to analyze why they fail. You can’t expect those areas to perform in the heatstroke of summer when they can’t flourish in cool fall temperatures. Here’s a list of common issues we see in our customer’s lawns.
- Poor Soil Conditions
- Water – Too much or Too Little
- Heavy Shade from Big Trees
- High Traffic Areas
If any of these issues are causing problems on your lawn, we can help with a do-it-yourself solution. We have friendly, knowledgeable staff at all our Grass Pad locations that can offer you idiot-proof and straightforward solutions to almost any lawn or garden problem. Call us or stop into any of our six sites, and our Green Team of turf experts can help. And remember, the advice is always free at the Grass Pad.
See Related: Grass Pad Locations