Above normal rainfall this year meant one thing the lawn mowers have never stopped running! Our fescue lawns did not go dormant this year and the crabgrass hasnt slowed down either. You might be surprised at how much of your lawn is actually crabgrass and not fescue. If you are thinking about renovating your lawn, September is the time to do it. Renovating doesnt have to be done by plowing under the current turf and starting from scratch. Instead, lawns can be thickened up by overseeding.
To start the overseeding process, mow the grass short (1-1.5 inches) and remove the clippings. This will make it easier to get good seed-soil contact and increase the amount of light that will reach the young seedlings. The success of overseeding is dependant on good seed-soil contact. Thatch can prevent the seed from reaching the soil and germinating. If the thatch layer is ¾ inch or more, use a sod cutter to remove it. A power rake can also be used to reduce a thatch layer.
Next, the soil should be prepared for the seed. Holes must be made into the soil for the seeds to fall into. A verticut machine can be used. It has solid vertical blades that can be set to cut furrows into the soil. Another option is to use a core aerator. This machine will punch holes into the soil and deposit the cores on the surface of the ground. Each hole will produce an excellent environment for seed germination and growth. Machines to do such work can often be rented, so check around.