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Lawn care season is coming!

Late August is when people get tired of thinking about and taking care of their turf. Youve spent the summer trying to keep your lawn looking its best and by now youre ready for a break. However, we are just entering into the most important six weeks of the year for lawn care. If you live in the North Country and have a lawn thats been there for decades with little disturbance chances are it looks good enough. A lawn like this needs no extra attention other than being kept at 3-4 inches high and mowed with sharp blades. If you havent sharpened your mower blades this year, now is a good time to do it. Leave the clippings and theyll probably provide enough nutrients to sustain your lawn. But if youre not satisfied with how your lawn looks, then now is the time to take some action. After checking your mowing height, the next important step is to fertilize during this window of time. Look for products with numbers like 20-0-20 or 33-3-3 or 10-1-1. The exact numbers arent as important as the relative ratio of those numbers. Measure your lawn and apply at the rate recommended on the label. Dont over do it. Try to time this before a rainfall, but if a downpour is expected, wait to apply fertilizer so it doesnt wash away. September is an ideal time to overseed or to start a whole new lawn. Most of the weed seeds have sprouted for the year so there will be much less competition. Get the seed down in the first half of September so the young plants have enough time to get established before winter. By ensuring a dense turf this fall, next spring crabgrass and other weed seeds will have a harder timing getting established. Amy Ivy is executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County. CCE offices may be reached in Clinton County at 561-7450 and Essex County at 962-4810. More information may be found on-line at ecgardening.cce.cornell.edu or by sending an e-mail to a Master Gardener volunteer at askMG@cornell.edu.

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