For those among us who love the heat of summer, it feels like the warm season has flown by – how can August already be here? For those with the opposite mindset, it feels like September and fall are still eons away – and that includes your cool weather grasses. The reality of living in this region means that our excessive hazy, hot, and humid season extends well into September, which means that you’ve got at least another 6 weeks of summer lawn care for those cool-season grasses. There’s still plenty that you can do to help them thrive into the more temperate months that they prefer. In fact, you may find that August actually has you far busier caring for your healthy lawn than the prior summer months did.
Since it is time for seeding and the prime season for your cool weather grasses is right around the corner, that means you need to do soil corrections if they are necessary. The only way that you can know for sure that you need soil corrections is to test your soil. You can’t tell by just looking at your lawn because most cool season grasses go into a state of dormancy during the high heat of summer. Head to your local gardening center and ask them for a soil test kit. If you’re unsure how to use it, the gardening experts there can teach you the basics. Once you know what sort of soil corrections you’re going to need, they can also help you to do them when the time is right.
If you have areas of compacted soil it is time to aerate them. There are many tools for doing this, so choose the one that seems the easiest to work into your lifestyle. This is also a good time to work on dethatching any areas of your lawn that need it.
The fall season is a season of active growth for cool weather grasses. If your lawn has been dormant over the summer, the cool days of early fall over the still warm soil make it an ideal time for new germination. If you have thinning areas of your lawn, overseed those areas. Overseeding should be done about 45 days before the first frost (yes, we’re potentially in that window this month). If you are looking to newly seed an area (rather than laying sod), this is the time to do that as well. Any areas that you seed or overseed need to be kept consistently moist – this can be hard in August, but it is important.
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