With the end of summer and fall looming, it’s a critical time for some lawn maintenance. Late September and October are months that you need to get some planting done, and get the right feeding and weed maintenance done to ensure a beautiful bloom in the spring.
There is some question on planting season. Some people believe that spring is best and some believe fall is best.
Spring or Fall Grass Planting – What’s the Right Answer?
It shouldn’t be too complicated, but there are some important considerations. This information is for anyone who lives in the JK Enterprise service area – pretty much all of northern Virginia and extending west into Warrenton and Culpeper. Here we have very mild fall and spring, with really hot summers. In August and early September, grass can go dormant, as the oppressive heat turns off growing. If you’re not watering regularly during this time, your lawn is probably going brown.
After the heat leaves us, around mid-September, it’s time to start considering your fall planting and feed schedule. After all, weeding your front beds and keeping leaves off the lawn in the fall is not the end of your yard work – the biggest part of your job involves the grass!
Grass grows best in certain conditions, so make sure you take a look at your yard and know the intricacies of how it grows and the conditions…Here are some considerations before your start.
- Pick the right grass seed for the weather and location in northern Virgina.
- How much sun and shade does your yard receive?
- If there is full sun, make note of it.
- Moist soil is needed for the germinating seeds, so get your sprinklers set.
- Weeds and foreign grasses should be removed, so make sure you line up your fertilizing schedule.
- All pest and disease problems should be taken care of. If you think there is some fungus or pest problems, you may need to have a professional inspect.
- Soil should be cultivated and soil additives or amendments applied.
- Limit foot traffic over the reseeded areas for 4-6 weeks after planting.
Overall, fall is a great time to plant. With grass growing in the fall, and then again in the Spring, there is some extra time before the new grass is exposed to the drying heat of summer, and it will be that much stronger the following year. Additionally, spring can often over-saturate the ground, and drown the germinating seeds before they have a chance to take root. Spring temperatures are also often too cool and delay germination.
Other Reasons to Plant Grass in the Fall
By this time of year, pest and disease problems are at a minimum because of changing weather. Weeds are also less likely to grow like they do in early summer and spring. Since weeds are less of an issue, they don’t pull soil nutrients from your growing grass. Activities that are high stress to your grass, such as mowing, heat, traffic, weed competition, and inadequate watering are all less likely to occur during the fall-to-spring months, allowing a more relaxed and conducive growth environment.
This doesn’t mean you have to wait to regrow your yard. The summer months are particularly taxing, but if you are prepared to carefully monitor your yard, planting grass can occur at any time. Just be sure to keep the conditions optimal for germination, keep foot traffic-free from the area, and water, water, water. The best time to plant is the most prepared time.