Fall is an excellent time to repair the damage caused by the summer of 2010. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to prepare your lawn for next spring by adding new grass to brown or bare spots. Even if your lawn seems ok, there is always work which can be done to improve it for next year. If your lawn suffered from the hot, dry weather of 2010 don’t think you are alone. Most grass suffered under minimal rainfall, above average temperatures, and brutal heat which in turn promoted insect and drought damage. Don’t be fooled and think your lawn is brown simply from a lack of water or heat. Any brown areas in your lawn in September or October can be prime indicators of chinch bugs, white grubs, sod webworms, or other noxious turf pests. If you are in doubt, have an expert examine your lawn because many of these pests will not go away. In fact, they will overwinter and return next spring only to continue the population explosion and expand their dominion conquering your lawn and raising the flag of victory. The problem is, the flag is not your’s and will only mean expensive renovations and possibly drastic measures to eliminate the enemy.
What procedures should you consider? Aeration is at the top of the list and can be done up until the ground freezes in November. Seeding after aeration is called overseeding and is a great procedure. For most of us in Upper Valley region, we can seed well into mid October and still expect decent results in most years. Depending upon weather conditions, seeding later is a roll of the dice and results may be reduced by the onset of early snow or unusually cold weather. Have sea kelp applied to your lawn to improve root density and promote organic matter. Let us not forget lime, our old friend who will adjust soil pH so fertilizer works better. Of course, applying a high potassium fertilizer in addition to a standard balanced fertilization is wonderful- especially in October. Potassium thickens cell walls and makes the grass more resistant to drying out, ice and drought damage. Many benefits are derived from a late season balanced fertilization which is not intended to push top growth, but become stored for use next spring in the root system and soil environment. The tougher your grass, the better it can withstand ice, cold, and the drying winds of winter.
In summary, a lot of things can be done in a very short period of time to provide a whole lot of benefit to your home or commercial lawn area. Don’t miss the window of opportunity to enhance your brown lawn this fall.