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Kelsey Deckert: Caring for your lawn in the fall
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Kelsey Deckert: Caring for your lawn in the fall

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This cooler weather and shorter days are a reminder every day that fall is upon us. September is a great month for lawn care.

Soil testing is a great starting place for fall lawn care. Typically, labs are not as busy and results will indicate nutrient levels, pH, salinity of the soil, and more. Soil testing kits are available at your local Extension office.

With the cooler temperatures in September it’s the best time to fertilize lawns. Homeowners can purchase a winterized fertilizer for their lawn or something more specific per recommendations of a soil test.

September is the best time to control perennial weeds. Weeds in the fall start to go dormant drawing nutrients down into their root systems. Spraying mid-late September, herbicides will also be drawn down into the root systems giving homeowners a more effective kill on weeds.

Compacted lawns will benefit from aeration, which can be done now as well. Aeration promotes the growth of new roots. Make sure to avoid spiked shoes and solid tine aerators as they cause more compaction. If there is excessive thatch in the lawn, it is recommended to dethatch lawns.

Over-seeding can be done after aerating a lawn or to fill in any bare spots in the lawn. The ground is warm, seeds will germinate quickly, and there is less of a threat from weeds.

Upcoming NDSU Extension events

Call 701-667-3342 for help gaining access to virtual events or visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/mortoncountyextension for more information.

Wednesday – Morton County 4-H Council meeting, 7 p.m., Mandan.

Thursday – Ag Marketing Outlook webinar, 1 p.m.

Sept. 21 – Morton County Fair Board, 7 p.m., New Salem.

Sept. 30 – Navigating Drought on your Ranch webinar, 1 p.m.

Kelsey Deckert is the Morton County Extension agent for horticulture.

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