There’s not a lot of glory caring for lawns in this hot summer. A lot of the cool season grass is brown, looking sullen and dejected. The too light green crab grass is wearing a smirk that says, “I can grow on cement if I want.” The crabgrass won’t look so hot once the first frost rolls around and the dark green grass takes over again. There’s not much we can do to change things right now but look forward to cooler weather in the fall. Normally, we start getting the cool nights about Labor Day. In 2007 the weather was hot and dry through September, but eventually things turned around. I was in a deep funk until we finally got that first cool night.
“You guys are going to have a lot of slice seeding to do this year,” one customer commented. She’s right. And we’re getting ready. We usually start slice seeding and core aerating on August 15. I hope the lawns have started to recuperate by then. We bought another slice seeder, ordered seed and have extra help ready.
The slice seeder we just bought is called a ‘lawn revitalizer’ but others are called ‘renovators’ and that is what they do. They tear up the thatch and weeds, put slices in the ground and deposit seed for that all important seed to soil contact. The process stimulates growth and thickens the lawn. As the crabgrass dies at the first frost, the new seed is coming up. The hardest part is raking behind the machine and getting rid of all that material. Core aeration helps relieve compaction and also reduces thatch. We fertilize at the same time in preparation for that fall growth spurt. Everything should be beautiful by October.
I got a nice note from another customer who likes to put a positive spin on things, “The lawn still has a lot of crab grass and clover, but seems to be healthy. We enjoy watching a very cute rabbit who appears each evening to eat her fill. She actually prefers the weeds, clover and crab grass!”
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