Fall maintenance

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by jonw9, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    OK, so summer is almost over and I want to get my yard ready for next year. The things I would like to to are aerate, lime, and over-seed. I will probably roll in the spring.

    I know rolling is counter-productive to aerating, but is there any other way to smooth out my yard? Should I aerate and roll in the fall, then aerate again in the spring?

    I am currently mowing at 3", is there a time when I should begin mowing shorter? I would assume toward the end of August when it starts to cool off a bit. Is this the time I should aerate too?

    What I was considering was moving at about 1.5-2" and using a core aerator. Is that short enough, too short? Then come back and apply lime and over-seed. If I do this how long should I wait in between aerating and seeding, seeding and liming?

    Also, if I am aerating, I probably should not need to de-thatch the lawn. I am trying to get the lawn to fill in and green up. I am sorry for all the questions in one thread, but I thought it would be better than starting 5 different ones. Oh yeah, my grass is a mixture of tall/fine fescue and probably some rye/blue grass. I will probably over-seed with a full sun seed, probably fine fescue and/or KY bluegrass. Sorry I don't know more.
  2. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    1. Don't aerate until sometime in October. Then you can lower the deck and mow before aeration.

    2. Have you done a soil test? Are you sure you need lime?

    3. Overseed immediately after aeration.

    4. I will sometimes use a de-thatcher if the summer was very hot/dry and a lot of grass died.

    5. Make sure you keep the soil moist after seeding.
  3. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    1) October seems late, Do you believe there will be enough time for the grass to grow before snow flies? Doesn't the temp. have to be somewhat warm for germination?

    2) I didn't soil test, but I spread lime this Spring where the dog went bathroom last year. This summer the grass is growing a dark green and seems to be growing better and thicker then the rest of my yard, so I made the assumption it would help the whole yard.

    3) See #1

    4) It wasn't too hot this summer, so dead grass isn't reall a problem per say, I just wasn't sure if dethatching would help germination.

    5) Check, thank you.
  4. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    1. You may be right about October being late. I was thinking of my area. You could call around to see how late you can seed. You can also consider a dormant seeding. Spread the seed in November and it will germinate next spring. I have had good luck with this method.

    2. Since you have already spread lime, you should get the soil tested just to be sure.

    3. If your lawn has never been de-thatched, it wouldn't hurt to do so.
  5. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    1. I will call a couple of places and see when thay suggest overseeding.

    2. I only spread lime around the deck, where the dog used to always go to the bathroom, now I am planning on doing the rest of the yard. I am thinking about waiting to do this in the spring after overseeding this fall.

    3. I am not sure still about dethatching. Would it be "bad" to aerate this fall and next spring?

    Thank you for you help Lombardi..
  6. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    No. Aeration in the fall and spring won't hurt your turf. Be sure to use a core aerator and not a spike one. Spikes just compact the dirt down more into the soil, which is what you do not want.
  7. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thank you again. I found a lot of interesting stuff on the Michigan State website: www.turf.msu.edu and I also contacted the local extension office about a soil test. Thank you again..:)

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