What’s there to do in late September in the lawn? Plenty. First, keep mowing. There’s a natural human tendency to slack off or give up being a tender of the landscape in mid fall; fight it. Continuing to mow will encourage expansion of turf grass plants, fill in voids and chew up falling tree leaves. As well, mowing in this way provides a light fertilization for the plants, meeting part of their nutritional needs.
Speaking of keeping on, keep on controlling broadleaf and grassy weeds. There’s not much you can do about certain ones such as yellow nutsedge (other than noting where it is so that you can work on it in late spring), but this is prime time for spot spraying for dandelions, plantain, wild violets, white clover, field bindweed and ground ivy. At this point, grassy weeds should be pulled by hand.
Keeping on is pertinent for pest inspection as well, particularly for diseases. Stem rust and powdery mildew are high on the list, but we’ve also seen a resurgence of leaf spot/melting out this year. These diseases should be scouted for every time you mow.
One additional task is shopping. Take some time in October to shop for lawn fertilizer in advance of the November 1st last application of the year. More to come in future blogs about this.