September is definitely a turning point for Minnesota weather. The first week is a guaranteed scorcher (it has to be the for the State Fair!), and the rest of the month sees temperature fluctuations of +/- 40 °F, overnight frosts, and rained out weekends. Whether tomorrow calls for rain or sunshine, there are a few lawn care tasks you should definitely check off during the month of September.
☐ Keep up with fall leaves. If leaves are falling slowly, take advantage of it and mow your lawn instead of raking it. Crushed leaves are great for compost, which you will need plenty of to feed your lawn before winter comes. However, if your lawn becomes more of a leaf “resting place” than an emerald dream, raking is the better option. Remember – rake smarter, not harder!
☐ Spot spray dandelions and perennial weeds. Striking against these weeds now will be much more beneficial than trying to knock them out in a few weeks. As the weather cools, plants send nutrients from the leaves to their roots, which will give the weeds a better chance of lasting through the winter. By taking care of weeds now, you won’t have to worry about their uninvited resurgence in a few months.
☐ Stay off the lawn when it’s wet. While leaf surfing across your lawn is fun, it doesn’t do much to help your lawn’s health. Walking across “too wet” grass will compact the soil and hinder root growth. Also, raking your lawn when it’s wet does prevent leaves from blowing around, but raking a wet lawn will also uproot more grass.
☐ Burn garden debris that’s been infested with bugs. We appreciate that you are creating a natural compost, but trust us, that compost will not help anything – or anyone – if it is infested with bugs.
☐ Chop firewood. Since we are talking about burning debris, this seems to be a good time to bring up chopping firewood. Chopping firewood now will not only help you clean up part of your yard, but it will also give the wood an adequate amount of time to cure. Don’t get caught on a cold day with wet firewood.
☐ Aerate and overseed your lawn. Prepare the soil and grass for the months ahead. Aerating and overseeding your lawn will help to strengthen your lawn’s root systems throughout the winter. No September lawn care plan is complete without aeration and seeding!