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Now or Never: Late Summer Must-Dos for Your Lawn

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

With most of the summer mowing, watering, and weeding behind you, there are a few more things to think about before fall arrives. For a few key issues, it's now or never, in order to provide the best chance for your lawn to stay healthy through the colder seasons.

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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Brace against bugs.

Late summer is high season for grubs and other grass-killing insects. Make sure these pests haven't settled into your lawn by rolling back a piece of sod and looking for them a few inches below the surface. If you see a number of little white pests, here's what you can do:

  • There are a number of different grub types out there; try to determine which you have.
  • Pesticides and milky spore bacteria are the most common defenses against grubs, and both are available at your local hardware or gardening store.

Brown patches: now or never.

Before the temperatures cool and the growth of your grass slow down before winter, address those annoying brown lawn patches. Determine the cause (i.e. drought, insects), design a remedy (seeding, herbicide), and get to work before fall.

  • If you are fertilizing before fall, don't over-fertilize brown patches (which is sometimes a lawn care instinct). This can work against you.
  • Don't over-water either; excessive moisture can also slow grass growth. Water lightly and often, during cool times of day or overnight.

Save shaded spaces.

Tree shade is marvelous, but not always for lawns. If you have an area of lawn that is struggling due to tree shade, don't despair: trim and feed for regrowth during the fall.

  • Thin the tree branches out by trimming every other branch above the shaded lawn to allow more light.
  • Seed the struggling area before summer ends; fall conditions are perfect for allowing grass to return to growth, with warm days and cool nights to speed the process.

Pretty soon, your lawn care duties will start to wane, so take a few simple steps now to preserve the life of your lawn as temperatures start to fall.






About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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