Your October Lawn Care Checklist

Great Time to Feed the Lawn

Fall is the BEST TIME to feed lawns – not spring when the TV pitchmen tell us to do it- and it can be done right up until the ground freezes.  That usually means through November in our area.  A great lawn fertilizer for our region are the slow-release, phosphate-free lawn fertilizers like Greenview Fall Lawn Food.  This fertilizer protects the Bay and customers report great results with it.

Last Chance to Plant Seed

The University of Maryland calls mid-October the “official recommended cut-off for seeding a lawn” but does allow that if the weather’s still mild (like it is this week), you can still sow tall fescues up to the end of this month and they’ll survive most winters.

Fine time to Apply Lime, Too

If your lawn needs lime (as indicated by a soil test), spread it after all fertilizer has been applied and before the ground freezes.  Any good soil test will tell you the amount of lime needed.

Final Weeding of the Season

As the temperatures drop, broadleaf weeds are growing like crazy, so this is a good time to yank them out of the ground, or kill them with spot applications of a weedkiller.  Just make sure you don’t use weedkillers anywhere you’re re-seeding, though – it will harm the seeds.

Leaves Falling on Lawn

Leaves are starting to fall and while they’re fine in our beds, it’s important to not let them accumulate on the lawn because over time, they’ll smother the blades of grass.   So you can, of course, rake or blow and remove the leaves, but there’s an easier option – one that actually helps your lawn.  Simply mow over them and leaving the chopped-up leaf parts on the lawn to decompose naturally.  (Depending on your mower, you may need to mow over the leaves twice in order to achieve the small size bits that will decompose without smothering the lawn.)  So not only do you not have to haul away the leaves, but as they decompose on your lawn they release nutrients and add organic matter to the soil.

Photo credits:  Raking, Mowing at Kew Gardens.

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