There's so much more to a great yard than just mowing the lawn.

Yard Care Tasks for September

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s a great time to take care of a few yard care tasks. Here are my recommendations for the month of September:

Core Aerate Your Lawn if Necessary

With three kids, my lawn withstands a ton of traffic over the summer. By late summer, the upper soil layer is pretty compacted.

Therefore, I core aerate my lawn in fall as well as in the spring so that air, water and nutrients can move more easily into the soil. It’s really helps it grow better.

You can core aerate before your fertilize, but it’s not necessary to do so. If your lawn doesn’t receive much traffic and is looking healthy, it’s probably not necessary.

Learn more about core aeration.

Fertilize Your Lawn

Labor Day weekend is the ideal time to fertilize a Kentucky bluegrass lawn in Colorado. Because the weather has cooled off somewhat, lawns will start growing actively for about 2 months before winter sets in. Adding nitrogen will help your lawn be green and healthy during the rest of the growing season.

As an added benefit, fall fertilization improves spring growth. The fertilizer enables your lawn to store nutrients in the crown over the winter, which allows it to green up rapidly next spring.

Here’s how to fertilize your lawn and here’s why it’s important to fertilize in September.

Water Consistently

With fall approaching, it’s tempting to begin tapering off the water. Don’t neglect your yard this way. It’s much better to water consistently through September and October until you turn your sprinkler system off.

Why is watering such a big deal? Because dehydration is the number one killer of landscape plants over the winter.

If you water regularly in the fall, your plants will go into dormancy well-hydrated and reduce the amount of winter kill. This is especially important because it’s very common to have warm, dry weather in the fall in Colorado, which causes plants to rapidly use up the moisture in the soil.

Take Care of Weeds

I know, I know. You’re sick and tired of weeding. Me too. But it’s a great thing to take care of weeds now before their seed disperses all over your yard. A little work now will go a long way towards reducing the amount of weeds you’ll have to pull next year. Learn about your late summer weed control options.

Take Time to Enjoy Your Yard

After all that hard work this summer, fall is a beautiful time to stop and smell the roses. I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors of this beautiful state in which we live. Winter will be here before you know it.


2 Responses to Yard Care Tasks for September

  1. Luke Vesely August 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Hi Catherine, you triggered a question ref. dormancy. When do plants typically go into dormancy, and when do they wake up? I was wondering when I should stop watering in the fall, and when to start back up again in the spring. I killed a few plants this spring because I watered too early when they were still dormant:(

    • Catherine August 29, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      Hi Luke, great question. It depends on what type of plant it is. If it’s a native or xeric plant, you can stop watering around mid-October and resume in mid-April (or even mid-May if they haven’t greened up in April). They tend to be well adapted to Colorado’s dry winters. On the other hand, if the plants are non-native “typical” landscape plants, I’d suggest watering regularly from early April to mid-October, then monthly from November through March. Non-native plants seem to be very sensitive to Colorado’s dry winters and often die from dehydration. You can always adjust these recommendations based on natural precipitation, exposure and drainage. I’ve killed some low water plants by watering them too much in the off season that were located in poorly-draining soils, especially during wet periods like we had this spring. Hope you have better luck this year.

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