Lawn Fertilization Time!

This is the best time of year to thicken your lawn and root it down. Reduce frequency of watering
as the weather cools off, but water deeply. It is important to fertilize your lawn this Fall if you
haven’t recently and Mid-September is the time to apply the first application of Fall fertilizer
before the ground freezes. The direct benefits of Fall fertilization are; it enhances storage of
carbohydrate energy reserves, strengthens the root system, increases shoot density, increases stress tolerance, better fall/winter color, and earlier green-up in the Spring.
Use a balanced turf food with iron (since most soils in Colorado lawns are predominantly alkaline and lack available iron) that is formulated for our region, a nutrient breakdown of 20-10-5 is ideal. National and out-of-state brands contain little or no iron, so read the package label carefully.  A final fertilizer application can be done in mid-to late October. Aerate the lawn prior to applying the fertilizer to allow the nutrients to filter down to the root zone and reduce soil compaction.
Don’t “buzz-cut” the lawn in autumn it’s important to continue mowing the lawn this time of year; grasses are still growing, but at a much slower rate. Don’t cut the lawn too short or severe damage will result. Maintain the lawn at a height of 2-1/2-3″ to prevent excess moisture loss. The leaf growth will store energy for winter survival and help insulate the crowns against extreme temperature fluctuations.
Fall, also, is an excellent season to sod and re-seed due to warm soils, yet cooler air temperatures .  Proper watering methods still need to be applied to new sod and seeded areas. Planting when soil temperature is below 40 degrees F increases the risk of plant mortality so, begin this process as soon as possible!
With these tips and techniques, your Spring lawn will reward you with a healthy, beautiful, barefoot ready carpet of green.