Why Seed & Feed in the Fall?
Fall isn’t just for pumpkin spice and picking apples. It’s also the best time to seed and feed your lawn. Fall comes with a mix of warm soil and cool air, perfect for planting grass seed and allowing time for new grass roots to develop before winter sets in. It is also a good time to feed and build stronger, deeper roots for winter, resulting in a thicker, greener lawn next spring.
Depending on your lawn’s condition, here are a few simple ways to take advantage of ideal fall conditions for seeding and feeding.
Repairing Bare Spots
Summer brings a lot of activity to your lawn, so by the time fall rolls around, it’s safe to say that it probably has a few bare patches from pets, heavy traffic, and kids playing. So, it’s time to give your green space a little TLC by patching up those bare spots.
Using a hand rake or other tool, loosen the top layer of soil to give the new seed a better chance to nestle in and begin to build strong roots. Next, apply Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch and Repair over the entire bare spot, following label directions. This combination of high-performance seed, absorbent growing material (to help keep seeds from drying out), and continuous-release fertilizer guarantees grass to grow anywhere*. Just be sure to choose the right seed for your grass type.
Finally, give the newly seeded patch a deep and thorough watering (stop if you see the water start to puddle). In order to keep the seeds hydrated so they can grow to their full potential, the patch will mostly likely need to be watered daily, or whenever EZ Seed begins to turn light brown. Try to keep kids, pets, and lawn mowers off of the newly planted seedlings until they are at least 3 inches high.
Overseeding a Thin Lawn
If your lawn seems thin, fall is a great time to thicken it through overseeding before winter arrives. First, pick up Scotts Lawn Soil® to help add nutrients to your existing soil and to create the best environment for the new seedlings. Then, choose the right Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed for your grass type and make sure you have a spreader on hand. These premium quality seeds have been specifically developed for different regions and grass types, and are covered with a WaterSmart Plus® coating to provide nutrition and protection, and to keep the seedlings moist.
Now that you’ve chosen your seed and spreader, mow the lawn at the lowest setting and bag or compost the clippings. Rake the lawn to remove debris and loosen up the soil so it will be easier for seeds to take root. Fill and adjust the spreader according to the instructions on the seed bag, then apply the seed to your lawn as directed.
Before watering, give the new seedlings the extra nutrients they need for fast growth by applying Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Lawns over the entire lawn (again, follow label directions). Water thoroughly. Be sure to water each day until the seeds are established and the new grass has grown high enough to be mowed (about 2 inches). If you can, avoid walking on the new grass until it’s time to mow.
Feeding Your Lawn
The difference between a “so-so” lawn and a truly beautiful lawn both now and next spring is the one-two punch of a pair of fall feedings. Fertilize your lawn (regardless of grass type) in early September and again 6-8 weeks later with Scotts® Turf Builder® WinterGuard® Fall Lawn Food, Not only will it help build strong, deep grass roots for a thicker, better lawn come spring, but it also provides nutrients to help repair damage from summer heat, drought, and activity. Use a spreader and apply the food to your lawn on a calm day with very little wind. Be sure to follow label directions. (To learn more about feeding, check out our How to Fertilize a Lawn guide.)
For more tips on keeping your lawn looking great year round, download the MyLawn app (iTunes or Google Play) or create an online Lawn Care Plan.
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*Subject to proper care.