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October Lawn Checklist

October 2, 2016

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 very southern areas where there is not much of a winter. However, in the mid-south you should hold off feeding St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia 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. Click photo to enlarge

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

2 to 4 inches for St. Augustinegrass and Bahiagrass

1 to 3 inches for Centipedegrass

1/2 to 2 inches for Bermudagrass

3 /4 to 2 inches for Zoysia

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2 Comments
  1. Todd permalink

    Hi Ashton,

    I was wondering if it would hurt to put down an application of Scott with Winterguard now and then another one in November?

    The reason I ask is because I installed the Scotts app on my phone and it recommends that. Last year I did regular Scotts in October and then Winterguard in November. I have 2 bags with Winterguard and would like to use them this year if it won’t hurt.

    Thanks
    Todd

    • Hi Todd
      The most important thing for northern lawns is to get 2 feedings down during October and November. Both of those feedings can be Turf Builder WinterGuard applied about 6 weeks apart.

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