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October/November Lawn “To Do” List

October 2, 2015

Feed your grass even if it looks good now. Feeding Northern lawns (like Fescue, Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass) at least one more time really helps to expand root growth. Turf experts recommend two to three feedings in fall at 6 week intervals from September thru late November. Southern grass lawns (like St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia can be fed one last time this fall in the most southern areas. However, in the mid-south you should hold off feeding as these kinds of grasses approach winter dormancy. Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food is a good choice.

The grass square on the left has strong roots because it has been well fed.  The grass square on the right is starving with very thin roots.

The grass square on the left has strong roots because it has been well fed. The grass square on the right is starving with very thin roots.

Kill lawn weeds. As long as your daily temps are reaching a high of 50 degrees or more the day you spray, you can kill pesky perennial weeds like Dandelion, Clover and Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie), as well as annual weeds like Chickweed and Henbit. Kill them this fall and they will not be in your lawn next spring. There are various Ortho Weed-B-Gon products depending on where you live. Click here to see your options. If you have lots of weeds throughout your lawn, you can use Turf Builder WinterGuard Weed & Feed rather than spot spraying. If you use Weed & Feed, be sure to apply to moist foliage on a day when rain is not expected.

Note: If you planted grass seed this fall, it is best to wait until the new seedlings have been mowed 4 times before you apply weed killers.

Fall is a great time of year to kill Ground Ivy (also known as Creeping Charlie).  Click photo to enlarge.

Fall is a great time of year to kill Ground Ivy (also known as Creeping Charlie). Click photo to enlarge.

Mow fallen tree leaves. Don’t allow fallen tree leaves to smother your grass. You can skip raking your tree leaves by mowing them to dime size or smaller and feeding your grass after mowing. This two-step process will help encourage the micro-organisms in your soil to compost the leaves right on your lawn.

Rather than raking your tree leaves, save time by mowing them to dime size just prior to feeding. This will help them “compost on your lawn”.

Rather than raking your tree leaves, save time by mowing them to dime size just prior to feeding. This will help them “compost on your lawn”.

Mow your grass until is stops growing. Continue to mow at one of the taller settings rather than scalping your lawn with a very short cut. The grass height after mowing should be:

2-1/2 to 3 inches for Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Fine Fescue

3 inches for Tall Fescue and Buffalograss

3 to 4 inches for St. Augustinegrass

1-1/2 to 2 inches for Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass and Zoysia

I mow my Tall Fescue/Ky Bluegrass lawn at around 3 inches (after the cut)

I mow my Tall Fescue/Ky Bluegrass lawn at around 3 inches (after the cut)

 

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4 Comments
  1. FullTime Dad permalink

    Ashton,

    Can you explain here or perhaps a future blog about organic feeding? I have read 2 articles and watch 1 video where they are hinting that a certain 4 step program is just adding chemicals to the lawn. I’m confused because isn’t nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium part of the lawn anyways? The only thing I changed this year was I didn’t feed my lawn in June and instead doing 2 feeds in the fall. The past 4 years I fed early spring, late spring, and early summer. My lawn always held up during the summer. So I came across these articles and videos while understand if I go back to what I did or continue to feed early spring, late spring, early fall, and late fall.

    Thanks

    • Hi FullTimeDad
      Your feeding plan of early spring, late spring, early fall and late fall is a good plan based on your location. Whether you us organic feeding (like Scotts Natural Lawn Food) or more traditional feeding (like Scotts 4 Step or Scotts Turf Builder), the key is getting down the proper nutrition at the right time. You will get great results going either way. You do get crabgrass prevention and weed control in the 4 Step. If these problems are basically under control because you have thick grass from regular feedings, you can feed with Scotts Natural Lawn Food or Turf Builder and just spot treat weeds if you get them with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX. I would treat for grubs as they can be a problem in Ohio. GrubEX applied around May will give you the protection you need. Good Luck with your lawn.

  2. FullTime Dad permalink

    Sorry I should have mentioned I’m in Ohio. And 1 last question does adding peat moss to the lawn do anything as I was wondering if I should spread this when I overseed to assist in holding moisture when watering due to our work schedule.

    • Hi FullTime Dad (again)
      Peat Moss can absorb moisture and hold that moisture for an extended period of time, however when it dries it can be hard to wet. You may have experienced this when you break apart a dry bale of peat moss. So putting it on the soil surface is not as good as mixing it into native soil to improve it. The mulch that is in the Scotts EZ Seed looks like peat however it is primarily made up of coconut fibers that do a better job of holding moisture next to the grass seed while it is germinating. It absorbs moisture more readily than peat moss.

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