Early fall cool season grass care

Early Fall Cool Season Grass Care

Valley Green’s most popular grass seed mix is currently our cool-season grass seed mixes. The mixes include Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescues, and Perennial Ryegrass. Cool season grasses thrive in cooler weather so we have seen an uptick in customers coming in to order the mixes for fall overseeding. We have also answered several questions on early fall cool season grass care. Check out our article this week on early fall cool season grass care.

Early Fall Cool Season Grass Care

When should I mow cool season grasses in fall?

Cool season grass grows the best in the cooler weather of late summer and early fall so when late summer hits, it is time to lower your mower blade. Mow cool season grass at 2 to 2.5 inches during the late summer and fall. Mow enough so no more than 1/3 of the total leaf surface is cut away. Continue mowing the lawn until it stops growing and goes dormant in late fall. You’ll want to watch the weather to see if there are any frost warnings as grassroots can be damaged by severely cold temperatures.

When should I fertilize cool season grasses in the fall?

September is a great time to fertilize your lawn. Use a well-balanced fertilizer to apply 1 to 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. An interesting fact about cool season grasses is that they put more energy into the root development in the fall. This fact makes late summer and early fall an optimal time to fertilize. If you have successful growth in the fall, the turf will be growing in a thicker density in the spring. Time your late summer/early fall fertilization applications 4 to 6 weeks apart. When late fall rolls around, the grass will start to store the nutrients in the stems and rhizomes. This helps keep the grass healthier in the winter.

When should I aerate my cool season grass planted lawn?

As August ends, the nights will get cooler, but the soil will still be warm. Late August is a great time to start aerating the lawn and overseed it. Aeration will be especially important this year because of all the rain we had. Aeration helps move moisture down to the roots and eliminates compacted soil from the summer. Compacted soil can make it difficult for new grass to grow. Dethatching can also help new grass to grow. Using a rake to dethatch dead leaves, grass and other debris can allow air and nutrients to better reach the soil.

Why should I perform a fall soil test for my cool season grasses?

When you perform an early fall soil test, it can give you information on how to take care of your lawn before winter hits. Even the professors at UConn recommend testing the soil in fall to help with keeping the grass healthy in winter and into spring. Testing the soil in early fall allows the homeowner/landscaper to add the correct amendments to get the soil healthy before winter hits. After adding the correct amendments, grass will germinate quicker and have to strength to survive winter and grow well in the spring.

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