by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Time to Lime With the cooler fall temperatures and the shorter days, we are reminded that the season is changing and we need to work on various parts of our landscape. Lawn care tops the “to do” list, as late summer and early fall is the best time to renovate or reestablish lawns on the ‘Shore. The lawn-seeding window is August 15 to October 15, with September being the optimal time. One of the first questions you need to ask is, should I over-seed or just eliminate what is there and start over. My standard recommendation is that if your present turf area is over 50% weeds and undesirable grasses, your best bet would be to “Round-Up” the existing turf and start over. In the long run, the amount of time and money spent on trying to rescue a bad turf area will be more than if you started over. If starting over is too big a job, you might consider getting bids from some of the lawn care com-
panies in the area, and let them do the job. If you are going to do it yourself, I suggest downloading this excellent guide to lawns and lawn care from the University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center. It is called HG 102 - Lawn Establishment, Renovation, and Overseeding (https://extension.umd. edu/hgic/plants/lawns). Whether you decide to “rescue” or “round-Up,” a fundamental practice is soil testing. Soil testing your lawn is like getting a blood test during a medical exam. It establishes a baseline of pH and nutrient levels in your soil. With all the emphasis on reducing chemical inputs into the lawn 83
Tidewater Times September 2017