As summer comes to an end, it’s time to take care of your cool-season lawn. A little feeding and overseeding now makes for lush, green grass in spring.
Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial rye grass and tall or fine fescue thrive in areas with freezing winters and hot summers.
Cool-season lawns need a high-nitrogen fertilizer in fall and spring. Overseeding in fall prevents bald patches in early spring.
8 Easy Steps for a Healthy Cool-Season Lawn:
- Test soil every three to four years. Choose a slow- or timed-release fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio. N = nitrogen; helps stems and leaves to grow. P = phosphorus; good for better root and flower development. K = potassium; good for overall plant health. You can purchase a soil test kit or contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for a soil test.
- Find out how much seed and fertilizer you need by measuring your lawn. Multiply the length by the width to figure out square footage. Follow bag instructions for coverage area.
- Check the weather. Don’t seed or feed if a strong thunderstorm is headed your way.
- Select a broadcast spreader for large areas or a drop spreader for small spaces. Drop spreaders are more accurate and should be used around flower beds and sidewalks and other hard surfaces to avoid wasting seed and fertilizer.
- Start with a dry lawn and overseed by making passes back and forth in a single direction. Make a second round of passes perpendicular to the first for uniform coverage.
- Spread fertilizer the same day, following the application directions above.
- Water the lawn generously to work the seed and feed into the soil and off the grass blades.
- Watch out for falling leaves. Don’t let them pile up on grass because they can suffocate the seeds. Mulch leaves with a mulching lawn mower or leaf blower with a mulching feature. If you can collect the chopped leaves, they make great mulch for your flowerbeds.