September Lawn Care Tips

With cooling temperatures, September is a great time of year to plant a new lawn. When seeding, try planting before the 15th to give your lawn sufficient time to reach maturity before winter sets in. To learn more, including a step by step guide on planting your new lawn, check out our new eBook "The Lazy Man's Guide to Lawn Care" Extended version here.

Watering

September is similar to April in the sense that it "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Heat dominates the first half, while the temperature cools significantly by the end of the month. As a result, you can cut your watering down a little (in frequency not depth), from 2 - 3 times a week to 1 -2 times a week.

It is important to water deeply and only as needed to force a deep root system, strengthen your lawn, and help prevent new weeds! If you haven't been able to do this over the heat of the summer, now is a great time to recover your lawn (due to the ideal growing temperatures for your grass).

If properly trained, a good deep, even watering (about 10 inches of moist soil), between one and two times a week will be sufficient for your lawn. However, it may be necessary (if your soil is dry) to water more frequently during an especially dry and/or hot spell.

How do I know if my soil is dry?

First, look for a smoky green that doesn't spring back quickly when stepped upon. You can confirm dryness by probing the soil with a screwdriver. If it is relatively hard to push in and moist soil doesn't stick to the probe, it's too dry. Another option is to probe with a shovel, and pry forward a little to expose the roots. This allows you to see the soil as well and easily check for moistness.

Read more about drought

Mowing

With cooler weather, it may be necessary to mow more frequently. It is still helpful to mow at the second to the highest setting (2 1/2 to 3 inches long). To insure that you don't remove too much green, mow off only 1/3 of the blade at a time, since most of the green in your lawn is located in the top portion of the blade.

This will help to:

  • conserve water
  • strengthen the root system
  • help crowd out potential weeds

Weeds

With the peak of the summer annual weed season behind us, crabgrass, spurge, and other summer annual weeds should begin to thin out. Cooler temperatures slow weed growth.

If crabgrass or spurge presented a major problem for you, be sure to apply a post-emergence, crabgrass or spurge specific, herbicide to kill the existing weeds as soon as possible. If crabgrass goes to seed, you have a much better chance of having a problem in future years.

Any existing (perennial) grassy weeds such as orchardgrass would need to be sprayed with a non-selective herbicide such as Roundup and the lawn replanted in that area.

Contact us and we'll spray your lawn to help you control your crabgrass with no hassle!

  • Clover

  • Crabgrass

  • Dandelions

  • Mallow

  • Morning Glory

  • Orchardgrass

  • Thistle

  • Violets

  • Yarrow

Insects

September has some significant insect activity. These insects are probably White Grub, but may be Billbug or Cranberry Girdler. Recognizing them early on will be very helpful in keeping the problem under control and save your lawn before it gets out of hand.

How do I know if I have an insect problem?

If you see an area of your lawn turning brown, check for insects. Pull on these areas with your whole hand. If insects are at fault, it will pull up like rug and you will see little white larvae on the soil. Let us know if you see a brown spot. We will take of it right away, or let you know what the problem is if it isn't grubs.

How do I solve my insect problem?

To control the problem, apply insecticide directly to the affected areas and check back weekly for improvement. Repeat this until all signs of insect activity are gone. This means that the brown spots have stopped spreading, there is evidence of new growth, and the larvae are lethargic or dead.

If you see signs of insect damage, give us a call and we'll be out right away to treat the problem on a weekly basis till the insects are dead.

  • Billbugs

  • Sod Webworm

Diseases

This is a peak season for rust and powdery mildew. Most other diseases tend to fall out at this time of year. As with all disease, prevention is the best method. Water deeply and as needed, to cut down on blade humidity as much as possible, and aerate on a regular basis. This will help cultivate an environment that is unfriendly to disease.

If you do see signs of rust or powdery mildew, give Turf Plus a call and we'll come out and take care of it for you!