🍁 Rake or blow fall leaves off your Tall Fescue lawn so they don't smother it - at the rate they're coming down, you may need to be out there every few days. Use those leaves as mulch in your beds or to make compost.
🔪 Lower your mower! It's time to lower your mowing cut height to 2.5-3" for the duration of the cool months ahead.
🎓 Learn why "winterizer fertilizers" are not the best solution for lawns (and how they might actually damage them) in our latest blog, "Does Your Lawn Need Winterizer Weed & Feed, or Not?"
🌱 November is still a good month to plant Tall Fescue seed. To promote the ritual fall overseeding, we have several overseeding package deals for different sized lawns.
Dig into why we recommend Soil³ for Tall Fescue sod and seed by reading these short articles:
Threat Downgraded Due to Frosts
The majority of the Southeast will be getting a few nights of frosts this week, so Fall Armyworms are likely no longer an issue. If you're in a warmer, frost-free area continue to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms. If you flush them out with a soap test, scoot on over to get preventive and curative insecticide from us.
- As mentioned in the intro, winterizer fertilizers are not the best solution for lawns. Learn how they might actually damage them in our latest blog, "Does Your Lawn Need Winterizer Weed & Feed, or Not?"
- It's safe to fertilize Tall Fescue with more nitrogen, such as our 16-4-8 or 18-24-12. The fertilizer formulation we sell in our overseeding packages is the 18-24-12 blend.
- Review the fertilizing schedule in our Tall Fescue Maintenance Guide.
- Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll automatically mail you all the right fertilizers when you need them.
- Apply fast-acting lime if you need to neutralize the pH of your soil. Always take a soil test to confirm if you need to apply lime or fertilizer. Balanced soil pH is critical for your grass to be able to use the nutrients supplied by your fertilizer.
💦 Watering Tips
- It looks like a rainy cycle might be starting up again, but if that doesn't hold, remember that new seeds and sod need extra water. Keep your sprinkler handy and turn it on to keep new seeds moist until they germinate and new sod moist until roots form.
- After your new sod or newly overseeded lawn is rooted in, you'll be able to back off watering to 1" per week during the cool months.
A word about sprinklers and frosts: Depending on your type of sprinkler and the degree of frost, you may need to drain and unhook it so it doesn't burst. A hard frost that lasts for hours under 28 degrees can damage hose-end sprinklers. Pop-up heads should be fine because they are insulated by the ground, but you may need to drain the system. I'm no sprinkler head or plumbing expert, and there are hundreds of different makes and models, so please follow manufacturer or installer instructions on how to "winterize" your irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler. I play it safe by draining my irrigation lines and bringing my hose-end sprinklers into the garage for winter and temporarily bringing them out if there's a dry spell.
I also bring in my cheap irrigation timers that I have attached to spigots, especially ones with batteries so I get more life out of them. The entire timer seems to last longer when brought in for the winter.
- Right now the best method to combat weeds is to mow them before they go to seed. Mowing is an effective way to suppress weeds because it cuts off flower/seed heads and that stops weeds from making more weeds, thus breaking the life cycle. If you have bad weeds, mow on a weekly routine and don't let the weeds get ahead of you.
- The window for applying pre-emergent herbicide is closed for the autumn. The next window will open in February when the Forsythia bushes flower - we'll send out an email alert at that time. Now is the time for post-emergent herbicides for weeds you can see now on all established lawns.
👍 Rule of Thumb: Don't plant seed or new sod if you applied a pre-emergent this fall. How come? The pre-emergent will also inhibit your Tall Fescue seeds from germinating.
- For weeds you see now in established lawns, apply post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max. Read the label and follow instructions.
👍 Rule of Thumb: It's okay to apply a post-emergent liquid herbicide after you've mowed your new lawn 3 to 4 times.
- Pulling by Hand: If some weeds have escaped your pre-emergent routine and regular mowing, we recommend hand pulling to build up arm strength for cooking that big Thanksgiving meal.
- Mulch suppresses weed seeds in flower beds. Spread your favorite mulch 2-4" thick and keep it 1-2" away from touching the trunks or stems of your plants.
- Have you ever planted a Tall Fescue lawn from seed and stumbled upon an uninvited guest that looks like Tall Fescue, but somehow seems out of place? If so, you might be looking at Poa trivialis weeds, aka rough bluegrass. Learn how to prevent this weed by reading October Weed of the Month: Rough Bluegrass.
Roughstalk bluegrass grows faster than the surrounding Tall Fescue lawn, so it stands out not only because of the lighter green color but also its taller height.
- We mentioned it earlier, but in case you missed it, it's time to lower the blade when mowing your established Tall Fescue lawn. Continue to mow throughout the cool months at a 2.5-3" cut height. Next summer we'll remind you to raise it up again.
Mowing Frequency: We recommend mowing every 5 to 7 days when Tall Fescue is actively growing during the cool months.
- Mowing New Lawns from Sod & Seed: Did you lay new Tall Fescue sod or plant seed? Our saying is to "mow as soon as there is something to mow." In fact, mowing will promote growth! So don't be timid. Mow it! Read: How Soon Should I Cut My Grass?
Come back next month for December's Lawn Tips for Tall Fescue lawns!
Got questions? Leave a comment below.
For tips on what to do for Warm Season lawns such as Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, take a gander at this page: November Warm Season Lawn Tips.
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