As the weather turns to Autumn with cooler nights and shorter days, conditions turn favorable for plant growth and recovery. We need to be ready to take advantage of these changing conditions to complete important lawn and garden chores. Late summer and early fall offer a fleeting window of opportunity during which our efforts will reap maximum benefit.
New England cool season lawns have two distinct seasons during which they look their best, when environmental factors naturally promote vigorous growth and establishment. One is the April through mid June period, and the second begins right about now.
Early September through mid-October is, without question, the absolute best time of the year to start a new lawn or spruce up your existing lawn. It is the time to fertilize, lime, dethatch, aerate, patch, top dress, and any other treatment designed to reinvigorate turf trying to recover from summer stress. It is also a great time for broadleaf weed control or even a pre-emergent application to suppress annual bluegrass and other fall germinating pests. (Remember that most herbicide treatments will interfere with seeding projects, so read the label carefully before proceeding.)
Just what makes early Autumn on the lawn care calendar? It is that time of the year when the most favorable conditions for growth come into perfect alignment. Soil temperatures remain warm, which encourages germination and rooting. Competition from annual weeds is minimized. Short days and cool night temperatures lessen stress. There is a statistically greater chance for natural precipitation to fall on a regular basis. This, combined with the lifting of any town mandated water restrictions, increases the probability that the turf can establish successfully. The new lawn will not have to endure summer heat and drought stress until after two root strengthening growth cycles. Finally, fall is the best time of the year to push root consolidation and overall turf hardiness with several applications of very specific fertilizers designed prepare the lawn for a New England winter.
Enjoy the last warm days and visit us at one of our locations, and we can help you with the right tools, products and advice to make the most of your lawn. Better yet, this is often the time we have these products on sale, so be sure to check our current promotions!