Chances are the hot days of summer have taken a toll on your lawn as drought, insects and weeds have turned it from lush green to thin, patchy and brown.
To help it return it to its healthy state next spring and protect it from further damage over the winter months, there are a few things you can do from mid-August to mid-September. First, fertilize with a nitrogen/potash mixture. If the damage is extensive, aerate first by plunging a pitchfork about three inches down into the ground and wiggling it back and forth. Do this in rows about four inches apart. The holes allows grass to breathe better and absorb nutrients and water.
The next thing to do is overseed. Try perennial ryegrass, an all-purpose seed. You will need two to four kilograms of seed per 100 square metres of lawn to do the job well. Fine fescue seed works best in shady areas. You’ll need one to three kg of fine fescue seed to adequately cover 100 square metres. Tall fescue is an excellent, drought-tolerant seed. Disperse two to three kg of this seed over 100 square metres for best results.
Be sure to water well afterward to ensure germination.
Where there are weeds, use a weeding tool to dig down deep enough to uproot the pesky invaders. Do not compost weeds.
Rake fallen leaves and dead grass and then bag it all. When leaves are left to rot on the lawn, they prevent light from shining on the grass blades.
Raise the blades on your mower in the fall so that the grass on the lawn isn’t cut as short. This allows roots to grow deeper to make them stronger through winter. That’s not to say you should let your grass grow too long because it may encourage destructive mould growth.
In mid-to-late October, apply a second nitrogen/potash mix fertilizer application to ensure better winter survival and greener grass in early spring.