Leaves havent turned yet, but one activity signals that it is indeed fall. It is time to take hold of your fescue lawn and bring it back to a beautiful state.
Late September is prime time for this because the warm days and cool nights present optimum conditions for germination and growth of fescue grass, the dominant type grown in the Piedmont, says Scott Ewers, horticulturist with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service.
I would say (these lawns) are probably in better condition than last year at this time. Its an average year, but you still have to go forward with soil preparation, aeration or de-thatching prior to overseeding.
Fescue grass tends to go into a semi-dormant state during the hot months, but its health and condition can be affected in varying degrees by extreme heat, as we had in July, and the timing of rainfall. Rainfall, while usually welcome, Ewers says, can encourage fungal diseases, especially when it falls in late afternoon. Grass that stays wet overnight can result in patches of brown and dead grass that will have to be repaired by reseeding now.
Excellent preparation of the ground is essential before any seeding is done, he says. This can mean core-aeration over the entire lawn done by a professional in the lawn-care industry or as a DIY project with the rental of an aeration machine shared among friends and neighbors.
Roughing up the soil by aeration or digging of bare spots pays off handsomely, he says, because it allows the seed to make firm contact with the soil and let the tiny roots get well attached as they emerge.