Simple Trick for Spreading Seed: Tired of dumping out a lot of grass seed where you just need a little? Reuse an empty parmesan cheese dispenser so you won’t pour out too much. Smart Dispenser. The three-holed side of the container dispenses seeds smoothly and evenly. If you need more seeds for a big bare spot on your lawn, use the open side of the lid.
Take advantage of cool fall weather to fertilize, control weeds, and improve the health and appearance of your yard. Read on for more!
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn if you live in the North. Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass, respond well to feeding in early September and again in late fall (late October or November). It helps them green up earlier and look better in spring.
Adjust Your Mowing Height If you raised the height of your lawn mower in summer to reduce heat stress to your lawn, return the mower deck to its normal mowing height (about 2 inches tall is best for most grasses) in fall. Cutting your lawn slightly shorter in autumn helps prevent the grass from matting down under leaves and snow. Avoid cutting the grass too short, however. Tightly clipped turf has fewer roots and allows weeds to get a foothold.
Dandelions, clover, and other broadleaf weeds are easy to spot in spring, but fall is the best time to rid your yard of these pests. Perennial weeds readily send herbicides containing glyphosate, 2, 4-D, and MCPP applied as a spray or granules to their roots in fall. Sprays work best on days with moderate temperatures and when the soil is moist. Check out our weed identification guide.
In the North, overseed thin lawns or large dead areas. Keep the newly seeded sections moist while seeds sprout. Frequent light sprinklings are best at first. Gradually increase the interval between waterings to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Learn about the differences between cool-season and warm-season grasses.
Repair Dead Patches Early fall is a great time to reseed any small dead or thin patches in cool-season lawns. If you seed in autumn, you'll have fewer weeds. And the seedlings will become established before stressful hot weather conditions arrive. A mulch product embedded with seed and fertilizer is a convenient way to fill the gaps.
Spring or fall is a good time to start a new cool-season lawn or patch existing turf with sod. Moderate temperatures and abundant moisture get sod off to a quick start. High-quality sod will be thick, dense, and weed-free. It's a convenient way to get an instant solution to bare spots. Get easy step-by-step instructions for laying sod.
Check for Thatch Thatch is a layer of dead organic matter mixed with living plant parts that can lead to disease and insect problems as well as damage from drought and cold weather. Thatch may develop when you overfertilize your lawn or water too frequently. Check for thatch by removing a plug of grass and soil. One-half inch of thatch or less is not a problem. If there is more than that, your lawn is ready for a thatch-management program. (See the next slide for tips on dealing with t...
Remove Excess Thatch Dethatching involves cutting through the thatch layer and ripping out the debris. Power rakes or vertical mowers are effective tools for this. Use a hand rake to remove the thatch from the lawn after it has been pulled out by one of these machines. Note: Power raking and vertical mowing can damage centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and others that spread by surface runners. Use a machine that has knives correctly spaced for these grasses.