You might think of August as a time when lawn care responsibilities are winding down. After all, the summer is drawing to a close, so the lawn seems like less of a priority. It might be surprising to learn, but August is actually one of the most important months for lawn care. It is a time when you are maintaining the look of the lawn (it’s still summer, after all) and beginning to prepare the grass for dormancy in the fall. If you want a beautiful lawn next May, your work begins in August:
A little fertilization at the end of summer or the start of fall goes a long way for the next growing season. During this time of year, the grass is low on nitrogen – an important nutrient it needs to survive. Lawns that lack nitrogen may also be missing other two vital nutrients, phosphorus and potassium. Fertilizing your lawn supplies these essential elements, and if you do it with organic materials, a secondary set of nutrients for the grass. Because cool season grasses will grow at a faster rate during the upcoming months, fertilizing within the next few weeks is essential. Your lawn will go dormant with or without fertilization this year – but by feeding it, you can ensure a lush, vibrant yard come springtime.
Aerate Your Lawn
No offense to your lawn, but it just lets you walk all over it. All those steps lead to a big problem – compaction. When the soil is too compact grass roots have no room to grow, which is harmful to the microbial life that is essential to the health of your turf. Due to the harshness of the upper Midwestern climate, a healthy lawn needs aeration to thrive. We’ve mentioned before that spiked aeration shoes may do more harm than good, so stick with a dedicated machine. This type of equipment pulls out soil cores and redistributes them onto the lawn. The soil cores will decompose and combat thatch. Speaking of…
Stop Thatch Problems
Thatch is a thin fiber-like substance that can be found between growing grass and the soil underneath. It is light brown in color, and contrary to popular belief, not always a problem. Thatch might look inactive at first glance, but it is actually full of microorganisms that are beneficial for healthy plant growth. These organisms make their home in the decaying parts of the grass and create the interwoven mat you can see when you look closely. If the thatch is less than half an inch thick, you have nothing to worry about. If the layer is any thicker than that, however, you will want to use a de-thatching mower to remove excessive materials that smother the grass.
Your lawn may have formed patches of dead grass over the summer, but there’s still hope for a perfect lawn next season. If you need to sow new grass, the middle of August to the middle of September is the best time to do it in our region. It’s important to remember that when you’re overseeding, you should lightly work the seed into the soil. After applying the seed (read the packaging instructions carefully to determine the amount), loosely rake in the area and top-dress with mulch or compost. Overseeding works best when your lawn isn’t too compact, so it might be necessary to aerate the lawn before you get started. Be sure to keep the sprouting seeds damp – they need a small amount of water at all times.
August is not a time to slack when it comes to your lawn. Brave the muggy weather and get out there before it’s too late to prepare the grass for fall. Keep in mind that you won’t have to worry about your lawn all winter, so the hard work is worth it in the end! Of course, you’re never alone when it comes to lawn care. We are happy to provide total lawn care services, so you can get the results you’re looking for without all the hassle. Contact us today to check every lawn care box this month.