Achievement of a healthy lawn for next year begins in the fall of the previous year. Proper aeration and over-seeding helps relieve compaction in the soil from the hot summer months to allow for better retention of moisture, nutrient retention in the soil, and seed to soil contact for over-seeding. Unlike warm season grasses, cool season grasses such as fescue, rye and bluegrass do not spread. Over-seeding provides new seed to help repair stress damaged areas from the hot summer season and will provide a lush thick lawn for the following year.
Late season Nitrogen Fertilization or simply late fall fertilization is one of the more overlooked treatments of turf. Late fall fertilization has many benefits as with any fertilizer or application. A high nitrogen fertilizer applied once the grass has stopped growing ensures color retention throughout the winter months and into the early spring. When incorporated into a complete turf care program, late fall fertilization also helps to ensure that newly established seed from earlier fall over-seeding has established root systems and reduces the chance of snow mold and winter burn.
Topdressing your turf with an organic based compost is not only a cost effective method to restoring stressed turf due to heat, long periods of drought, or compaction, it helps replenish valuable nutrients that are essential to a healthy lawn. Topdressing is usually performed in the fall months or early spring on areas of turf that have been damaged or stressed due to compaction, loss of nutrients, and poor soil pH. While most landscape recommendations include working organic matter into the soil before planting or digging, topdressing can be performed once turf is established without killing or damaging the existing turf.
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