Fall is the prime time to do lawn maintenance: fertilizing, weed control, aerating, reseeding even. But what does your lawn really need this fall: Water!
The lack of precipitation in August has caused many of our Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or fine fescue lawns to turn brown and cease growing. In order for your lawn to recover, you will need to begin irrigating regularly.
This means not just watering it once or twice, but watering your lawn regularly enough to get the roots wet and the grass growing again. If your grass has already gone dormant and you do not want to water (or cannot because of city watering regulations), hold off on all the other fall maintenance chores you might do. Don’t fertilize or apply herbicides. If the grass (and weeds) aren’t growing, these do no good. Don’t aerate until the lawn has been restored. If you have thin spots, it is OK to seed and fertilize those areas as long as you can keep them watered.
Trees and gardens also need water, of course, and our MSHS board chair, Mary Maguire Lerman, wrote an interesting column on the need to water for her local newspaper recently.