Q: “I live in upstate New York (Albany) and was wondering the proper steps for fall lawn care. Specifically, I’ve read the benefits of dethatching, aerating, over-seeding and fertilizing, but I don’t know the proper order in which to do these things. Also, I’ll need to mow one more time, so where do I put that in the mix.”
Kevin, or “juiceman”, recently posted this question to our Garden Club Forums, a great place to pose questions for expert advice on gardening, lawn care and outdoor living.
A: Associate Grow2girl provided us with the proper order: 1) mow, 2) dethatch, 3) aerate, 4) over-seed and 5) fertilize. Looks like juiceman had it right! Here are a couple tips to keep in mind:
1) Dethatching: If you have ½ inch of thatch, there’s no need to dethatch and remove the built-up layer of stems, leaves and roots. “If your lawn is in good condition, it is only necessary to dethatch every three years,” Grow2girl advises.
2) Aerating: Loosening compact soil with a rented aerator can also be done every two to three years.
3) Over-seeding: Make sure to use a spreader and purchase a perennial seed that will return year after year.
4) Fertilizing: After seeding, you’ll want to use a starter fertilizer. Then eight to ten weeks later, you can apply a winterguard fertilizer. “This will help your lawn bounce back in the spring.”
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