August Lawn Advice
August is actually a great month to help your lawn but is often overshadowed with end-of-summer vacations and getting the kids ready for school. August is a time to start lawn repairs, aerate, overseed and treat for damaging insects like sod webworm, chinch bugs, and even grubs.
Regarding weeds, August is not a great time to treat for broadleaf weeds, as that is best left to cooler fall weather. However crabgrass can be treated in August if you have issues along your driveway or other edges where the lawn meets another surface.
August Lawn Repair: Reason 1
There are many good reasons to begin lawn repairs in August. The first reason is the length of the remaining growing season. Seeding in August allows for three growing months, give or take a few weeks, in most areas in NH and VT. Some grass seed can take up to 3 or 4 weeks to germinate, so the sooner you seed the more growing time the young grass has before winter.
August Lawn Repair: Reason 2
A second good reason to seed in August is most annual weeds and crabgrass won’t interfere as they would with a spring lawn repair. This time of year means many weeds, including crabgrass, don’t have time to germinate and crowd out your new grass as they would in the spring. This can be a big ingredient in seeding success or failure.
August Lawn Repair: Reason 3
The third reason to start lawn repairs in August is the warm soil temperatures. Seed will germinate much better in warm soil than cold spring soil. Most cool season grasses used in lawns in NH and VT will germinate between 1-1/2 to 4 weeks depending upon the grasses used. The faster your grass is growing, the more growth it can have before winter, setting your lawn up for next spring.
As always the case when seeding, in the absence of regular rainfall, watering is critical during the first few weeks as the grass becomes established.
Aeration and Overseeding
Aeration with overseeding is another fantastic lawn procedure that has all the same factors associated with a lawn repair and getting the seed down sooner than later. Sure you can aerate and overseed into October, but the sooner the seed gets down, the faster it will grow and have a better chance to survive winter.
Aeration is a great way to reduce soil compaction brought on by drought or heavy summer use – around pools, volley ball nets, or where the kids practice soccer or other outdoor activities. Soil compaction is an extremely common problem found in lawns yet no one realizes the affect it has on weakening your lawn to the point of thinning it out into visible bare patches. Add overseeding with aeration to improve your lawn’s overall appearance and regain lost or thinning turf.
The last cautionary tale is to watch out for unusual browning caused by insects versus drought or heat. Insect damage is often difficult to determine without a professional’s inspection. August is a big month for many turf pests and if left unchecked, the damage only gets worse – even carrying over into the following season. While sod webworms won’t generally take out your lawn, chinch bugs and grubs can eat your lawn while you think it’s simply drought stress or summer damage.
August is a busy month for all of us, but don’t forget that your lawn could use some extra help to prepare for fall and next spring. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring a reputable company to help you take advantage of all the benefits August has to offer for your lawn.