Garden Talk: Time To Repair Your Lawn

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
close up of turf grass

Turfgrass management in late summer and early fall is extremely important. We talk with a specialist about what you can do now to keep your lawn health.

Featured in this Show

  • Want A Healthy Lawn? Invest Your Time Now

    Want to grow a nice healthy, green lawn? Now is the time to make that happen, says turf expert Doug Soldat.

    Tuesday, Aug. 15 to Friday, Sept. 15 is the ideal time to improve the lawn because temperatures are just right, plants aren’t stressed, roots are ready to grow and few weed seeds are germinating, said the University of Wisconsin–Madison soil scientist.

    “Any soil disturbance you do, (you’re) likely to have the grass that you plant come up rather than a bunch of weeds,” Soldat said.

    If your lawn is already in great shape, adding a little fertilizer around Labor Day will help keep it that way, he added. Soldat suggests using 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet.

    “That’s pretty technical, and you need to do some math to get there. But if you buy fertilizer bags intended for lawns and follow the instructions on the bag, that is about how much you get,” Soldat advised.

    Pick a fertilizer with slow release nitrogen so it will feed the lawn into the fall.

    Other important elements for a healthy lawn include sharp blades on the lawn mower and aerating the turf. Aerating involves perforating the soil with small holes, allowing air, water and nutrients to get to the roots.

    Most people think about doing it in the spring but, the best time to do it is late summer into early fall, Soldat said.

    “If you have a lawn that is compacted and has been heavily used and you can see signs of wear, now is the time to aerate it,” he explained.

    Doing it in the spring, when weeds seeds are more likely to germinate, will lead to a weedier lawn.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Jill Nadeau Producer
  • Doug Soldat Guest

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