Fall Lawn Care Schedule
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Simple Rules to Follow for Fall Lawn Care
Only put down a COMPLETE and balanced fertilizer in the fall. Your job is to get your lawn HEALTHY leading into the cooler weather. See ratios and mixes below. This is assuming you did not have a soil test done.
Stop all fertilizing 30 days prior to COLD weather moving in. Your lawn needs to rest and store nutrients. PUSHING IT… with strong fertilizers causes late stress and burns reserves needed for winter.
Watch for fall bugs and any disease. Grubs and armyworms are the main issues.
Fall Lawn Fertilizer
I feel like a “broken record” but I’ll repeat it over and over… the best fall fertilizer to use on lawns is one that is COMPLETE, balanced, and offers both quick and slow release nitrogen. It will also include micro nutrients, iron for greening, and soil improving components. The research is everywhere… in absence of a soil test, the best ratio is a 16-4-8 (4-1-2) lawn fertilizer. Example #1 —- Example #2
Without a doubt… PGF Complete is the best fall fertilizer to use on most lawns, both warm and cool season. Because it is MILD… we can STACK the application.
What is STACKING?
Stacking is the multiple applications of a product, in lower dosages, over a treatment window. Example: Instead of putting out one pound of a NUTRIENT to cover 8 weeks, we put down two treatments of 1/2 pounds every 3-4 weeks. This split method or stacking method, protects against surges and runoffs due to weather events such as long, multi day, rain periods. Also if a product contains multiple nutrients, some of which are short lived such as iron, this ensures the replacement of those nutrients.
Once temps drop into the 80’s… apply PGF Complete. Then in another 3-4 weeks do another, your last application. This will also allow for the TAIL OFF period when your lawn is preparing to rest for the winter. Apply Super Juice every 2-3 weeks up until cooler temps start to move in.
I DO NOT recommend winterizer fertilizers... PERIOD. Only exception is after a soil test showing deficient nutrients. If you are lacking phosphorus or potassium in your COOL SEASON lawn, then apply. Winterizers can actually do more harm than good and are often misused by consumers. Most lawns, being treated with PGF Complete, have sufficient phosphorus and potassium for the winter months.
Fall Lawn Pest Control
Aug – Sept is a great time to kill grubs. Fall Armyworms are very active Aug – Oct and need to be treated if found. You really should have a some inventory of the DUOCIDE on hand and be prepared. It’s also a good idea to permethrin spray on hand as well.
Only put down fall pre-emergent if you start to see a lot of weeds. I would rather you hold off if you can until your lawn starts to go dormant.
Fall Soil Improvement
If you have not put down a FULL treatment of Humic DG this year, it’s not a bad idea to do this anytime in August. YES… it can be put down the same day as any other product. It contains NO nutrients.
Fall Lawn Aeration
Fall is a great time to aerate your cool season lawn. If you have a warm season turf, i.e. Bermuda, make sure you do it EARLY. If you aerate warm season turf you want to do it while temps will be at least in the 80’s for the next 30 days. Don’t aerate late fall. Aeration should only be done during periods of strong growth.
Fall Product List
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PGF Complete Fertilizer
Super Juice Supplement Spray
Double Kill – Duocide for bugs, grubs, armyworms
Humic DG for soil improvement
More Fall Lawn Care Information
Fescue Fall Lawn Info
Contrary to popular opinion, fall is the best time of the year for lawn care. Fertilization, weed and thatch control, establishment of new lawns, and renovation of poor quality lawns should be done over the next few weeks.
Top quality fall lawn fertilizers contain slow-release or controlled-release nitrogen. Look on the label for slow-release forms such as ureaform, sulfur-coated urea, milorganite, and IBDU. These forms stimulate uniform growth over a period of time and are less likely to burn the grass. However, do not expect the quick green up caused by fast-release forms. Slow-release formulations are more costly but worth the price for the improved health of your lawn.
In early fall use a regular lawn fertilizer with N-P-K ratios of 3:1:2 or 4:1:2. For example, a bag may list 21-7-14 or 32-8-16. Amounts don’t need to be exact but should be similar to the suggested ratios. Hold off on applying “winterizer” fertilizers.
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