To many homeowners it may seem counter intuitive; however, fall is the best time of the year for establishment of new lawns, and renovation of tired and neglected lawns.
Fertilization, weed and thatch control, over seeding as well as the complete rebuilding of a lawn for the more ambitious will produce their best results if undertaken in the fall.
The ideal time for planting grass seed to either establish a new lawn or renovate a poor quality one is the middle of August to the middle of September. During September grasses grow rapidly in the cool fall weather and have less competition from germinating weeds.
When over seeding, Power raking, also known as dethatching, is a great way to prepare your lawn and provide a better environment for the new seed to germinate in. This will keep the seeds from sprouting through a layer of thatch making the new grass weak.
If you intend to topdress your lawn, you should rake before so that the nutrients from the soil may go straight to the plants roots instead of decomposing a thin layer of thatch
Similar to aerating your lawn, power raking your lawn can improve water and nutrient flow to the roots and stimulate new growth in your lawn. Power raking accomplishes this goal by raking up and removing the excess dead plant material that has accumulated over time. The better you rake or thatch your lawn, the more improvement you will see in its growth, quality, and color.
If one is ambitious and going to take up the entire lawn, the key to long term lawn quality is proper soil preparation. Soil should be tilled six inches deep. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or peat, when tilling. If soil test results indicate a soil pH problem, sulfur or lime should be added at this time. After tilling smooth with a rake and apply starter fertilizer.
September and October are the best months to control perennial broadleaf weeds like dandelions and clover. In autumn the weeds prepare for winter by pulling nutrients and starches from their leaves into their roots. By doing this, they also draw herbicides into their root systems, thus more effectively killing the weed. Actively growing grass will quickly fill in the bare spots created after the weeds die.
Whatever your level of ambition, the time to maximize your results when it comes to taking care of your lawn, is in the fall.
Here at Cornell’s True Value Rental, we have the necessary equipment - Power Rakes (Dethatchers), Tillers, Lawn Rollers as well as the expert advice to get the job done.