Step up to the plate to give your turf a late summer advantage. As the weather starts to cool it is time to prepare your lawn for the cold weather ahead. A lawn that is healthy when the snow starts to fly is much more likely to green up lush and full next Spring. Here are a few things to take action on now to give your grass a Picture Perfect edge next Spring.
Step in the batter’s box with equipment maintenance
Check the oil and service your lawnmower
It's been a long hot summer and now is a good time to make sure that your mower is in shape to finish out the season.
Make sure the mower blades are sharp if you can't remember the last time you sharpened your mower blades then now is the time to do it. Dull blades tear the grass blades which dry out and brown. The shredded blade is also open to disease. To maintain the sharp blade make sure to remove any hazards like twigs and be sure to mow at an appropriate speed. Speeding through turns can cause the mower to scalp the grass.
Head to first base by mowing at a proper height
2.5 to 3.5 inches is a good mowing height for cool season home lawns. The added length helps shade the soil preventing evaporation of soil moisture.
The rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade during a mowing so the grass is not being stressed. Mow more often if needed to achieve this objective.
Advance to second base
Slide into third with Fall fertilization
If you choose to only fertilize once during the year, fall is the best time for that application. Take a Soil sample to have test on nutrient Analysis and % sand silt and clay. Contact your local county tension agent or a private soils lab
Choose a slow release fertilizer so you don't get a flush of growth so you are bailing grass. Use your soil test as a guide and follow all on bag instructions and precautions.
Head home and score a win for a lush, actively growing turf by over seeding
Is your turf shaded or does it get full sun? Choose a quality seed that is suitable for your growing conditions with a low percentage of crop and weed seed. Invest in quality grass seed, the old saying "you get what you pay for" certainly applies here. You will have better cultivars to help handle the challenges of drought and disease resistance to name a few.
The effort you put in will pay off in a green space that is actively growing and able to stand up to use. Go ahead and create some memories by hosting the family picnic or neighborhood baseball tournament.