Hi there. We just moved into a nice place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The grass is in pretty bad shape. There are several sections of bald spots (mostly under tree cover), weeds interspersed (mostly along the flower beds), and just a general lack of robustness. An old woman was living in the house by herself before us, so we are guessing that she hadn’t done much over the years. We have trimmed the trees back and pulled a ton of weeds in the flower beds already. We want a healthy lawn but we’d prefer to go pesticide free if reasonable. We are wondering if there’s any suggestions you have for effective steps we should take this fall so that next summer, our grass looks good. We are thinking that its possible we shouldn’t do anything and just wait until Spring time and address everything then. Any specific or general advice would be much appreciated. We are new to this!
Don’t wait! Fall is the best time to tend to your lawn as the grass is actively growing roots, there is more natural moisture from omother nature and soil is already nice and warm from the summer, at the same time, cooler air temperatures cause less plant stress.
If there was only 3 things I could do, I would make sure to:
- Fertilize well- You need a robust and well-nourished plant to out-compete weeds. Give your lawn a fighting chance!
- Aerate and Over-seed with the proper seed for each areas conditions– Now is a great time. (this will thicken the lawn) Morning dew from cooler nights help increase seed germination.
- Mow frequently at 2 ¾” – 3”. (this is the ideal height for grass in your climate, while being the less ideal height for weeds- frequent mowing doesn’t allow weeds to get established)
These are the most effective ways to combat weeds (whether you choose organics or pesticides.) If you have a lot of weeds, spraying them with a proper organic weed control will knock them back quite well in the fall.
All of this will give you an excellent head start on next spring’s growing season.