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By customcarelawn3990, Sep 9 2015 06:05PM

Now is good time to aerate, dethatch and overseed lawn

It's hard to believe, but September is already here. Based on the number of calls I'm getting about lawns, it looks like the month has caught a lot of other folks by surprise, too.

September is the best month to work on your cool-season lawns (Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and fine fescue). During this month, we should be overseeding, applying a treatment of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, aerating and dethatching, if needed. We talked about fertilizing last week, so let's look at some of the other fall chores.

Dethatching is needed only on lawns that develop a heavy thatch layer. Kentucky bluegrass is the main cool-season grass that needs dethatching at this time of year; tall fescue typically doesn't develop much of a thatch problem.

Even if your zoysia grass lawn has a very heavy thatch layer, don't dethatch it now. It probably won't survive the winter if you do a major disruption right now.

All lawns in our area can benefit from aerating. Core aeration helps overcome surface compaction, and encourages better water and air movement into the soil.

Overseeding, or seeding a renovated patch, really needs to be done in September; at least no later than the first or second week of October.

It takes time for the grass seed to germinate, get rooted in and become established well enough that it will survive winter weather. If you wait too long to seed, the tender seedlings may die with our first overnight freeze. If they survive that but still aren't well-rooted, the repeated freeze/thaws we get in the fall might actually heave the young plants out of the ground, causing them to dry out and die. If you can't get the lawn seeded within the next couple of weeks, you might be better off waiting until spring.

If you plan on getting tough with troublesome weeds this fall, please remember that most of these products also will kill young grass seedlings.

A good thick lawn is your best weed control.

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By guest, Sep 9 2015 05:56PM

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