I know what you’re thinking “the calendar still says it is summer so why are you telling me to start thinking about fall lawn care? “ Well, what does your lawn look like after a long summer that may have been very hot and maybe not filled with a whole lot of rainfall? I can tell you that my lawn is looking for a little “TLC” and fall is the best time of year to rejuvenate and repair your lawn. However, to succeed at any project you need to take a little time to plan and think things through and now is the time to assess your lawn’s needs so when the calendar turns to fall you’ll be ready to fix your lawn up!
The first thing I always look at is just how much stress has my lawn gone through over the summer. Do I have a few places here or there that appear to be problems or have I got a much bigger issue to tackle? For example, maybe you had a problem with grubs (Insects that damage grass by eating the roots) that killed a significant amount of your lawn. Growing up in Long Island that happened to us one year and believe me, our approach to the project was a whole lot different than if we just had a few spots here or there to address.
It’s important to answer this question as it can determine whether or not you just need to use some seed in a few areas or if you may need to invest in sod which are large pieces of grass that can be installed in strips. Sod can cover large areas quickly but it is also much more expensive than reseeding areas that have been damaged during the summer. It is also a lot more work preparing the ground for the sod, installing it and also maintaining it after the installation to ensure that it grows and doesn’t die.
Whether you use seed or sod it is important to prepare the area that is being repaired so that you give the new grass the best opportunity to take root. If I just have a few bare spots I rake the dead material out until I see soil. I continue to scratch the soil surface just to loosen the top soil a little bit. I then will seed the section and the way I generally do that is to take some top soil that I’ve purchased from a garden center or you can order it from us and mix it in a container with the grass seed. The size of your mixing container will determine how much seed you put into it but you want to make sure that after you mix the seed and soil together you see a good amount of seed in the soil mix. I then use a hand shovel to fill in the bare spot and take a hand “claw” tool to scratch my mix into the soil layer. Thereafter, you want to keep the soil mix moist until the seed germinates in about 7 to 10 days.
If you are laying sod you want to remove all of the dead material from the area you are repairing and turn the soil that is underneath it about 2 to 3 inches deep. You’ll want to rake the soil smooth removing any rocks or other debris. You then top the ground with a thin layer of top soil; maybe a ½ inch or so and then smooth the ground out again. You can then lay the sod on top of the ground and make sure you water it thoroughly and keep it moist until you can’t easily pull the sod away from the ground. Sod can take up to 30 days to take hold so you want to be diligent in your watering while this occurs.
You may have more specific questions about fall lawn care in your area and if you’ve created a profile with Blooming Secrets please feel free to contact us with those questions. If you haven’t completed a profile with us why not do so right now so we can help answer your questions too!
For additional information on Fall Lawn Care please check out Yard Day's Fall Lawn Care Tips.