Fall Lawn Care

Fall Lawn Care – September

In September we recommend that lawns be core aerated, an application of TurfMaize and a final application of nematodes for grubs and/or cinch bugs.

Core aeration improves the oxygen flow around the root zone of the grass, stimulates microbial activity, improves soil structure, improves water flow, brings nutrients to the surface and decreases compaction. Aeration is best done when the ground is moist with fall rains. Core aeration removes “plugs” of soil approx. 3 inches (7.5cms.) in length and deposits onto the lawn which will breakdown in about a week’s time.

An application of Turf-Maize 100% corn gluten is a natural herbicide weed-seed inhibitor. Weed seeds are always present in the soil and lawn waiting for the opportunity to grow. Weeds are opportunistic. We recommend an application of Turf-Maize in September when core aeration of lawns are done to ensure that opportunistic weed seeds cannot germinate in the core holes or in the natural top dressing provided by breaking down of core plugs on the lawn surface. Corn gluten is also a natural fertilizer adding some nitrogen to lawn.

A final application of nematodes for grub prevention or control is vital in September before frost. White grubs which are the larvae of European chafer, Japanese beetles and June beetles are actively feeding early August thru to October. Nematodes which specifically treat grubs are live parasitic organisms that are susceptible to frost, need moisture and are most beneficial and effective in soil temperatures between 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. Therefore in Ottawa nematodes should be applied before fall frost and thus in September.

An application of nematodes specifically for cinch bugs should be applied in September when adults are feeding and then seeking hibernation in lawns.

Fall Lawn Care – October

In October lawns should be top dressed, over-seeded and fertilized.

Top dressing adds organic matter to your lawn’s soil, builds up soil flora, helps change soil structure, reduces lawn diseases, reduces traffic stress, relieves compaction problems, helps with water retentions, reduces thatch, will release and make usable the phosphorous in your lawn and thus restores balance to your lawn with building good soil.

Whether top dressing with screened composted top dressing pellets or with good quality soil this process is recommended in the fall with over-seeding to give a final feeding to your lawn. It is most beneficial and a vital part of natural lawn care. We recommend top dressing in October when grass top growth has stopped and there are less weed seeds that are airborne looking for an opportune place to grow. Most weeds and weed seeds would have been killed off by frost by the time top dressing is done.

Top dressed lawns should be over-seeded. All lawns, whether top dressed or not, should be over-seeded spring and fall. Over-seeding in October when temperatures are cooler, there are morning dews and fall rains to provide the ideal growing temperatures and moisture for grass seed to germinate.

Over-seeding is the sowing of grass seed on an established lawn which ensures your lawn stays dense and thick from one season to the next. Thick grass crowds out weeds. Over-seeding is done with a blend of grasses to ensure a healthier more naturally resistant lawn.

Fall fertilization of lawns should be done in October when the top growth has stopped but the grass roots are still collecting nutrients to store for winter. A fall formulation promotes root growth. This is the most vital feeding for your lawn.

Contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping Inc. “creating harmonized spaces” for your fall lawn care services. Contact us for an individualized lawn assessment leading to your specific lawn care program based on your lawn’s needs.