Spring starts now, in Autumn

For a Nice Lawn in Spring, Start Now

CLSAdmin Tips

Published: September 22, 2010

New York Times

EARLY fall is the time to assess the health of your lawn and take steps to help it grow well next spring. This year that is especially true, because all but the most pampered lawns took a beating during the long summer heat.

William Carey, whose company, Master Lawns, comes highly recommended (see Angie’s List), has been handling more calls than usual from people unhappy about the state of their lawns. Mr. Carey has been servicing lawns for more than 30 years in the lower Hudson Valley. “This summer has been as stressful for grass as any in at least the last five years,” he said.

Every lawn needs routine seasonal attention, but before doing major work, homeowners must consider how pristine they want the result to look, and the cost (in dollars and labor) to accomplish it. “It’s fairly reasonable to expect to get a lawn to be 80 or 90 percent great,” Mr. Carey said, “but to get it to 100 percent, so that it’s as manicured as a professional golf course, it will cost as much again in time and effort.”

Most people don’t want perfect lawns, but they recognize the need for action when weeds are thriving and the grass is thin and wan.

Laying down seed in the fall, Mr. Carey said, lets you “use the natural growing cycles to your advantage.” The warm soil and morning dew help the seed to germinate and the roots to become established without competition from weeds, which are annuals and in decline.