Renovation During the Fall
With the refreshing welcome of cooler weather, now is the ideal time to renovate your lawn. Aeration is a very effective way to physically condition the soil by way of the rolling mechanism and hollow tines that open the soil which improve air circulation and root development while at the same time leaving a soil core on the surface to serve as a top dressing. This process is also very effective in loosening compacted, trouble areas for better seed germination. Broadcast seeding afterwards allows for effective seed to soil contact which is a main component for successful seed germination.
As a general rule, seed should be spread at a rate of about 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet of turf area. Seed selection is very important and should be suited to accommodate sun or shade conditions. Consider also the type of activity the lawn area will be used for such as one with heavy traffic activity or one that is purely for appearance.
Another reason to renovate in the fall is competition. Turf seeds will not have to compete with germinating weed seeds as they would with spring seeding. Weeds in the fall are on the downward cycle of their growth allowing the turf seed to germinate and establish itself with a much higher success rate. These elements combined with proper moisture and sun will yield good results.
Anyway you look it, fall is for planting; especially for turf.
Things to Remember:
- Cut high, 3 1/2 inches is the ideal height, never remove more than 1/3 of the plant at any time.
- Cut at a cool time of day, preferably early in the morning or late afternoon/early evening to avoid mower damage to the turf.
- Cut often and consistently. (If you want it to look like a golf fairway then cut everyday and remove only 1/16 of the plant.)
- Maintain sharp blades. If turf ends appear torn or shredded causing the tips to look dead, sharpen the blades.