Fall Yard Care
Hey everyone! Back in May, I posted this reminder:
Fall is the number 1 time for weed control, think of your fall application as setting yourself up for a great spring. As the temperature drops after Labor Day your lawn and the weeds in your lawn really begin drawing in as many nutrients as the can so they can last through the winter months. Think of a Power Lifter gobbling up all the protein they can as they go through their load phase….or maybe think about the skinny guy who shoved 62 Nathans hot dogs down his mouth to win the hot dog eating championship, yup that is what your weeds are trying to do before it snows. You can see how putting weed killer down in the fall when they are gobbling up every possible thing they can is really the ideal time to hit them. Then next spring you start all over again.
So if you are using the holiday method as a trigger to remember lawn care procedures, then Labor Day kicks off one of the most productive times of the year for you and your lawn! We posted a great article on the Kent Equipment Facebook page from our friends at MSU where Kevin Frank wrote about the benefits of reseeding this fall. http://www.mlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/09/fall_lawn_care_tips_from_msu_t.html
In his article, Kevin briefly talks about aerating your soil, and I am a big believer in core aerating each fall, even when you are not reseeding. Core aerating helps break up soil compaction, cut through thatch build up and allows new grass to spread out and grow. (Because you all ready sprayed for weeds with your 2-4-D ….right?)I core my lawn every spring and every fall, I just feel like I am letting the soil breathe a little better without all the thatch build up.
One step Kevin did not mention, that really helps your newly seeded lawn take hold, is to roll your yard after you have cored and seeded it. By doing this you crush the soil plugs that are pulled out of the ground with your aerator. This core soil then becomes a covering for your new seed to help keep it from washing away during a rain storm. So between the seeds dropping in the holes created by the core aerator and the roller packing the seeds down with the crushed soil, you greatly enhance your germination rate for newly seeded yard.
FYI - Purchase the highest priced bag of seed you can afford. The more you pay the higher your germination rate. You may pay $40 for that new bag of 50 lb. seed but only 30% of it will germinate the 1st year; the rest may start growing in 3-5 or even 10 years. While paying $90 for that 50 lb. bag of grass seed may get you a 60% germination rate this year. You can get even better germination rates, but that type of seed can only be purchased through specialty dealers and most people can’t afford that. But if you can…go for it! Here is a simple analogy that can help you remember: grass seed is like whiskey…the more you pay the better it is.
Warm soil combined with cooler fall temperatures and occasional rain showers, makes Fall a really great time to plant anything. From grass to trees, shrubs, bushes, and perennials, you can’t go wrong. Many people think spring is the only time to plant but you can do less work in the spring by taking advantage of planting in the fall, and often get better pricing at your local nursery. So don’t just think of fall as a time to pull up your garden and plant mums. Get out there and have some fun… plant a tree and save the planet! - Bryan