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September Lawn Tips and Product Advice

September 1, 2018

All lawns need feeding. Southern lawns like (Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia) should be fed once or twice this fall for a total of about four feedings a year. Centipede only likes two or three feedings a year from late spring to early fall. Northern lawns (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass) should be fed two or three times this fall for a total of four feedings a year (or an extra fifth feeding if you lawn was neglected over the past few years). Scotts GreenMAX Lawn Food or  Scotts Turf Builder are good choices for your first fall feeding. Your last feeding of the year can be Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food.


Left grass square has strong roots because it is well fed. Right grass square is starving.

Some lawns need seeding. Fall is a great time to seed Northern lawns (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass). If you have more dead grass than bare soil, rent a Slit-Seeder to help make sure the grass seed comes in contact with your soil. If you are only seeding small areas, you can use a rake or spade to break the soil surface prior to seeding. For our best grass seed, go with one of the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed blends rated for Sun, Sun/Shade, Dense Shade, High Traffic, or Heat-Tolerance or Scotts Thick ‘R Lawn. Spread Scotts Starter Food for New Grass the same day you seed (if your seed does not already contain lawn food). Water a couple of times a day for several weeks. Mow your new lawn when it is tall enough to cut with the height set at around 2-1/2 inches. About a month after seeding, feed your new lawn with Scotts Turf Builder. If you only have a few bare spots, Scotts EZ Seed is a good choice because the special mulch holds moisture next to the seed while it is germinating. Do not use a weed control on your new grass until after it has been mowed 4 times.

Grass seed that lies on dead thatch in a lawn will likely not reach the soil and will likely not begin to grow. It is best to rake prior to seeding or use a slit-seeder.

Some lawns need weeding. Fall is a great time to kill weeds without hurting your good grass. Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie), Clover, Chickweed, baby Dandelions from the seed that blew around last spring and lots of others tend to show up in your grass this time of year. These weeds are in your lawn because the wetter, cooler fall weather is the ideal time for them to grow. The good news is you can terminate them the same time you feed your lawn this fall with Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed & Feed, or if you only have a few, you can spot spray them with Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer after you have fed your lawn with one of the Scotts Lawn Foods mentioned above. Put down Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed & Feed on moist foliage on a day when rain is not expected and do not water the day you put it down. Spreading first thing in the morning when your grass is covered in dew works very well. All you need is the mid-day temperatures to get between 50 and 85 degrees. After the granules have been on your lawn for 24 hours it is ok to water your lawn. If you are in Florida or Texas and have St. Augustinegrass (including Floratam), zoysia, centipede or carpetgrass, use Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed to control your weeds. Give your lawn a good watering after spreading this product. One last bit of advice: If you put down grass seed this fall, you should not put down weed controls in those areas you seeded until after your new grass has been mowed 4 times.

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

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  1. Patrick permalink

    Ashton – not sure if it makes a difference but I am in eastern PA, but my question relates to Starter Lawn Food when overseeding. Is it okay if I use the regular Turf Builder Lawn Food when overseeding, or should I stick with the Starter Lawn Food?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Patrick
      Starter Lawn Food is best for grass seedling development because of the extra phosphorus compared with regular Turf Builder.

  2. Joyce permalink

    Hi Ashton, I want to know if it is ok to put down insect control (granules) at the same time as doing my over-seeding and lime and starter fertilizer?

    • Hi Joyce
      I like to allow a week between insect control and other products. However if timing is tight, I think you could apply your insect control and lime; water these in, then apply your seed and starter lawn food.

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