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What To Do In Your Lawn This Week, First Day of Fall

by Allyn Hane 24 Sep 2019

What’s up y’all, hope you are having a great week! In case you didn’t know, Monday, September 23 was the first official day of Fall 2019. Congratulations Lawn Care Nuts, you made it!

Kiss the summer goodbye and get ready for some mild weather and greener lawns. Unless you live in Nashville, TN or somewhere on a similar latitude, you guys have still be hot hot hot, and dry.



Being as you are in the heart of the transition zone there, many of you have fescue lawns that you wanted to aerate/overseed and have held off a bit. If that’s you, great job being patient with your strategy.

I’m getting questions from folks asking if it’s too late to seed in these areas and from what I can see, you may be running a little higher than normal in soil temps, but you’re really not too far off from where you should be.

In case you can’t see the graphic too well, it shows the current soil temps in Nashville to be 79.8F.

It also shows the average temp on this same date for the last 5 years to have been 75.8F. This does indicate that you are running hot for the year by 3 degrees.

The ideal time to throw down grass seed is when soil temperatures are falling to 70F. If I look at the historic time frame that you guys in Nashville reach this soil temperature it’s early October.

So you are still ok and have actually not missed anything. Let’s see if things level off in the next week or so and then you can throw down right on time.

Baltimore Heat Wave

Now I look over to Baltimore and I’m wondering what you guys are thinking of this heat wave you just had hit you? Soil temps are over 90F at the time I’m typing this.

Many of you probably already did aerate and overseed, rightly so, right on time, but now this heatwave hits and you are concerned about your seeding.

For sure, you will want to water deeper during these times of heat.

Watering deeply (leaving the sprinklers on longer) is going to encourage the roots of that new grass to run deep.

You water often and quick, in the beginning, to get the seed to germinate, but soon after you see it growing, you should look to switch over to longer/deeper watering cycles.

Go ahead and keep watering every day since it’s so hot right now, maybe even twice per day - but water deep when you do - get down ½” or more for sure.

And don’t be afraid to get out and poke your fingers down into the soil and note if you feel moisture. If the soil is completely dried out, this tells you to water longer when you do.

Definitely no mowing and no fert on the lawn during these hottest days. If you do have to mow, mow in the later evening.

You can mulch clippings as long as there is no clumping. If you see clumping from your mowing (which would indicate the lawn is thick so that’s good) then go ahead and bag em’. Check out this video on How to Mow Before & After Seeding Your Lawn.

If you want to seed some bare spots here in fall when temps do come down, we have seen good results from the TurfMend product. It’s a bare spot repair product with the Barenbrug RTF (rhizomatous tall fescue) as well as some improved bluegrass in the mix.

The seed has the yellow jacket coating which helps retain moisture during the grow. Click to get a 15lb bag of TurfMend Tall Fescue w/ Yellow Jacket.


If You Are Not Seeding

If you have a cool-season lawn and are not seeding, you then should be going on the defensive for sure. It’s not too late to pick up some pre-emergent to stop pesky weeds that will cause you a problem next season.

Check out this full blog post on Fall Pre-Emergent Lawn Care Strategies here and also, from now until the end of the month, use code SEPTEMBER for $5 off your order in our store.

Warm Season Lawns

Zoysia lawn friends - did you let yours get too tall this summer like I did? I have to admit two things.

  1. I let my Zoysia get up to 4” this summer and even overgrown recently almost to 8”
  2. I like it super long and fluffy on my bare feet. It feels like Kentucky Bluegrass, no kidding.

However, we can’t let it stay there. Zoysia will be susceptible to thatch buildup if you leave it long. So I started taking mine down from the 8” it was at, to the 2” height that it should be at.

So far, I’ve mowed it 3 times and gotten it to just above 3” and I am continuing to work with it.

Full video will be coming out here soon once I get everything under control, then I can show you the entire process from start to finish.

In the meantime, my video from this past weekend titled "Scalped Zoysia Spray | Liquid Lawn DeThatcher | Sea Kelp and Humic" shows you some of the scalping I encountered and that gave me an excuse to review some of the Ortho Hose End Sprayer math that we all love.

If you have been confused on hose to use the Ortho Hose End sprayer with the N-Ext products, watch this video and see if this helps clear things up for you.



Bermuda Lawn Friends

Time to start thinking about getting your height of cut down a little lower here for fall time too. No need to scalp it before winter, but don’t leave it too tall either. If you can get it to 2” over the next several weeks, you will be in good shape.

I’ve been getting a lot of good reports on the color response to Bermuda lawns from the 8-1-8 XGRN. Here is Paul, from Paul’s Prime Cuts who has worked with the 8-1-8 XGReeN on Bermuda the longest and he loves it.

Centipede Lawn Friends

You can keep mowing at around 2.5-3” or so all the way until your lawn slips into winter dormancy. If you want to give the lawn a nice, final slow-release does of N, micros, and potash, 8-1-8 XGReeN would be a great idea anytime in the next few weeks for you too.

St Augustine Grass Friends

Most of us live in areas where it is still pretty warm and will stay that way for a bit. Down here on the West Coast of Florida I am coming out of my summer blackout in 7 days. If you want to know what I’ll be throwing down on my St Aug, it’s CarbonX.

I’m going in with a dose at 3/4 lb/N/1,000 sq ft to give my turf a real nice push. I’ve already started packing the soil in preparation with 0-0-2 MicroGreene and Air-8 and one thing’s for sure, we have not had as much rain here in Florida this last 10 days or so - let’s all be sure to get out and re-test our irrigation.

Chances are you Florida friends have not used your system much at all since May and your heads could be buried in stolons or knocked off-kilter - be sure to get out this weekend and make sure your irrigation in line.

More information and step-by-step Hybrid Organic Lawn Programs for warm-season turf are here.

Click Here To Save $5 using code SEPTEMBER at checkout.

That's all for this week folks.

I'll see you in the lawn!


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