Posts Tagged ‘upper valley lawn care’

Autumn lawn care

Published by mrgrass on September 29th, 2015 - in Fertilizer, Lime

October beckons more treats than tricks when it comes to attending to your home or commercial lawn this fall. After a brutal summer of drought and heat, October is your best last chance to make repairs before winter because the soil is warm and competitors like annual weeds are dead or dying. And that’s no trick.


Don't let fall play a trick on you see year, give your lawn plenty of treats like lime and potassium.

Don’t let bad summer weather trick you out of a great lawn this October.

As you place your pumpkin and harvest baskets of flowers out, don’t miss a golden opportunity to seize one of the best months in the year for growing healthy grass and making repairs. Consider October a cousin to May, without the cold soil and germinating annual weeds.
Have your soil tested for low potassium. I have been finding lawns low in potassium this year and October is a great month to apply a specialized blend of high potassium fertilizer designed to correct this deficiency. For the benefits of potassium fertilizer read



Have you limed lately? Fall is a wonderful time to lime your lawn. Lime will move the soil pH upward from acidic to a slightly acidic range, optimum for turf growth plus making fertilizer more available to your hungry grass. If a calcium based lime is used, your lawn will love you even more because turf loves calcium and so does your soil. For the benefits of lime read
Don’t forget about mowing height as Halloween approaches. This is the time of year when you can begin to slowly drop your mowing height from 3” in the beginning of October down to 1.75” by the time trick or treat arrives. Any mowing in November, or your final cut, can be razor short at 1.5” in preparation for snow. If you put your mower away too early, you risk having your lawn overwinter with an early 70’s hair cut that is much too long lending to snow mold, winter kill, vole and winter damage. Before winter retirement, take your mower blade off and get it sharpened. You’ll be ready for spring and your lawn will thank you.


Why 2015 was a tough year for grass

I’ve said it time and time again, 2015 has been a really tough year on New England lawns. As the New Year rolled in with bone-chilling cold and tons of snow, our winter certainly continued through February. A wintery March came and went while snow banks lingered well into April in many towns. The next punch landed in May with hot, dry weather – crushing normal turf recovery after a brutal winter of cold and long-lasting ice and snow. With a shortage of rain in May, many lawns saw permanent damage and a backward swing from the fall of 2014.



Fall is the best month to help repair damage caused by summer heat and drought.

Fall is the best time to help repair damage caused by summer heat and drought.

June was the “best” lawn month with some rain and a somewhat normal temperatures only to have the oven turned to broil as July/August lingered in hot and humid weather for weeks upon weeks. Our cool season grasses simply never had the opportunity to recover never mind prepare for a dry, hot, humid summer. But there is more!

Trying to control broadleaf weeds without good soil moisture and reasonable air temperatures meant many were left to linger and grow. In a normal lawn season, these weeds would have thinned out. If that were not enough, the heat flamed the fan of crabgrass growth which took off like a rocket. Any crabgrass barrier failed prematurely with the hot, arid soil simply baking in the summer heat. Thin or bare patches of lawn soon became a sea of limey green crabgrass as the invasion progressed from late July into August.

Seriously, this was a hard year for many lawns. But there is still hope. Fall has arrived with rain, wonderful rain, and cooler temperatures. Perhaps all is not lost. There is hope for recovery; there is hope for repair. But what should be done? Fix damaged lawns with loam and seeding. Aerate and overseed thinned lawns or those needing extra help from the beating they received only weeks ago. A modest amount of fertilizer can bulk up your lawn and get things back on track. Prepare now for next spring, for we know not how the winter will treat our grassy friends. There is much to be done in the next two months, don’t let this vital time slip through your fingers. Not this fall.


Back to school: Ideal time for aeration

All the ads for back to school supplies are great reminders that it’s the start of a new season for lawn care too. Late summer/early fall is a great time of year for many lawn care services and this especially this year, your lawn deserves some extra attention. 2015 has been and continues to be a tough year for New England lawns beginning with a dry spring and a humid summer with less than desirable rainfall. Right from the start, a late spring dealt a harsh blow to grass attempting to recover from an arctic winter.



Aerating your lawn in the fall is a great way to prepare for next spring.

Aerating your lawn in the fall is a great way to prepare for next spring.

A dry spring faded into a dry summer with some areas receiving less than ¼ of the amount of normal rainfall. Humid weather brought red thread and placed even more stress on turf already feeling the pain of summer. Crabgrass, grubs, and chinch bugs began popping up in browned-out lawns. This is exactly why back to school time should include some extra attention to your lawn.

Fall ushers in the best time to seed in NH and VT due to warm soil temperatures and the demise of annual weeds like spotted spurge and crabgrass. Unlike spring, annual weeds are dying and provide an ideal opportunity to seed damaged and thin lawn areas alike. Don’t let this opportunity pass, it will be another year before it arrives again!
Specifically, core aerate to reduce thatch and compaction from dry weather.


The aeration holes provide an ideal scenario to overseed into an existing lawn area or one that is thin. Overseeding is not designed to establish a lawn, but add to an existing lawn by providing better turf grasses for future growth. For more damaged areas or bare patches, consider topdressing with a loam/compost blend and then seed at a full rate. Topdressing is a great way to repair insect or drought damage from this season.

Fertilizing, lime, and compost tea are all great ways to work on rejuvenating your lawn this fall. If your grass simply has weeds, fall is a super time to treat for them before winter arrives. Back to school time reminds us that preparation is key, not just for children and their parents, but for your lawn as well. The more you do for your lawn now, means a better start to next spring.

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