October is your last chance to get your lawn in good condition for the rigors of next summer. If you haven’t already fertilized your lawn this fall, do it now, using any complete commercial fertilizer. This may be 4-12-8, 6-10-4, 4-12-4, 5-10-5, 5-10-10, or something similar.
Although it can be put on without a spreader, you get a much more uniform job using one. Never forget that fertilizer does not go sideways, but straight down, so that the pinch you put on here will do that spot an inch away no good.
In case you are worrying about commercial fertilizers being dangerous, forget it. If you follow the instructions on the package, using no more than three or four pounds to 100 square feet, you need not worry about any burning.
Unless there are bare spots the size of your head don’t bother to reseed. With the cool weather and, we hope, fall rains the desirable grasses will grow out and fill in the bare spots.
Fall is the ideal time for the good grasses to fill in the gaps so that there is that much less chance for crabgrass to get started next spring. Any of the many brands of weed killers will get rid of broadleaf lawn weeds such as plantain, buckhorn, dandelion, ground ivy and other kinds of ivy, and many others.
If you are spraying it is necessary to do a thorough job of wetting the foliage to get adequate control.
Check your flower beds and shrub plantings for all the volunteer tree and shrub seedlings, and tag them for digging later on this fall when you have more time.
Guest writer, Marshall Clewis