It’s been a gorgeous summer in Northern Virginia. Balmy and beautiful with stunning sunsets and sultry afternoons. Now, there’s a hint of fall in the air. The leaves are just starting to change color and the mornings are starting a little cooler. But summer can be rough on your lawn, with dry weather and high activity in many yards. As fall moves in, it’s a perfect time to reseed your lawn, repair damage and get ready for winter. Let’s get started now!
Why Are There Dead Patches on My Lawn?
With dry weather and lots of activity, summer can take a toll on your lawn. You may notice dry brown spots amid your green grass. The first step in treating these brown spots is identifying the problem. Then you can work with your lawn care company to find the best solution. Some of the main causes of dead patches are:
- Heavy foot traffic
- Pet or other animal urine
- Soil pH: if soil is too acidic (low pH), brown spots in the grass can be a symptom.
- Fungus: the so-called brown patch disease is caused by a fungus and often crops up during the heat and humidity of late summer. Heavy use of nitrogen fertilizers and over-irrigation can also be contributing factors.
How Can I Treat Dead Patches in My Lawn?
In the case of acidic soil, we may recommend a lime treatment to help raise your soil pH and return your lawn to better health. However, even in the case of a fungal infection, aerating and reseeding your lawn is usually the best approach. The best time to reseed tends to be the wonderful window when the weather starts to cool down but before the first frost. So September and early October are the perfect time to fix dead patches here in Virginia. We’ll mow, rake and (if needed) aerate the area and get it ready for new growth before reseeding. Homeowners have several solid options for reseeding:
- Basic reseeding with a handheld spreader is inexpensive and ideal for smaller areas.
- A seed blanket is a biodegradable “blanket” with grass seeds tucked in it. This helps hold the seeds in place so they sprout evenly, keeps the soil warm to promote growth and also protects new grass from birds and other animals.
- Seed spray, also known as hydroseeding: your lawn care team sprays a mix of grass seed, water, mulch and fertilizer along with bonding agents to bare or dead patches. This approach is ideal for larger areas and steeper slopes where erosion can be a problem. It’s usually the most cost-effective for larger lawns with multiple bare areas.
Can I Replace Dead Grass with New Sod?
If you have multiple dead patches or a large area of dead grass, new sod may be the best option. We can replace or patch your lawn with a lush green sod roll. If well cared for, the new sod will soon blend right in with your existing turf. Sodding gives you immediate results but tends to be more expensive than reseeding. However, it may be the way to go if you have more extensive summer lawn damage
Overwintering for a Beautiful Spring Lawn
Our main goal during the winter is to keep your lawn from drying out. Early fall is the perfect time to take action to make sure your winter lawn gets a healthy rest and comes back green and gorgeous in spring. Aeration and topdressing are two of the best techniques for keeping lawns healthy all winter long.
Core aeration involves putting small holes in the lawn to let water and nutrients get to the roots. We use a special machine to make the process fast and efficient.
Topdressing is a nutrient-rich sand or soil mix that we spread in a thin layer on your lawn. It has several benefits as we head into winter: it encourages decomposition and reduces thatch buildup and prevents the lawn from drying out. If we opt for core aeration, adding a topdressing treatment helps with recovery by filtering nutrients into the holes.
Should I Call a Pro for My Fall Lawn Care Needs?
When we think about lawn care, we often think about mowing. As the crazy high growth pattern of summer comes to an end, we may not think about hiring a professional to help us transition into fall. But the benefits of hiring a pro team to get your lawn winter-ready are even greater than the perks of a summer mowing crew. A professional lawn care team understands what your lawn needs during the important fall months. We have the knowledge and equipment to handle reseeding, aeration, pH issues, fertilizing and more. And most of all, we’re able to achieve the results you want. So often, clients come to us after unsuccessfully trying DIY solutions for reseeding and other challenging tasks. It makes so much sense to come to the pros at Epling first. As you think about that final mow, it’s a great time to think about fall services. You’ll thank yourself next spring.