Well, it’s official. Summer is over. No more pool visits, boat rides or beach trips. For my family anyway. The temperatures are quite chilly in the morning but the sun warms the air quickly. This is the season that cool season grass like fescue enjoys. If you care about your lawn, now is the time to get hopping on your cool season turf maintenance program. Here’s an abbreviated program for the Richmond, VA area.
- Aerate – don’t aerate with the spiky type of aerators; they compact the soil. You need a core type aerator that removes plugs of soil.
- Overseed – Labor Day is essentially the target date for sowing fescue but you can still get away with it now if you hurry.
- Fertilize – if your soil is like the majority of the country’s, it’s depleted. Organic matter is essential to the health of your plants so topdress with 1/4″ of compost. Your soil will still need fertilizer if you want that perfect lawn. Follow the S-O-N program. Fertlize in September, October and November applying no more than 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet.
Don’t know how to figure out how much actual nitrogen a 50# bag of nitrogen contains? Just divide the first number in the X-X-X ratio in half. For example, 24-6-12 contains 12 pounds of nitrogen per 50# bag. That 50# bag will cover 12000 square feet. Pretty simple huh?
Let me know if you have questions about cool season turf maintenance or any other gardening info for that matter. Shoot me an e-mail or ask in the comments section below. Happy gardening!