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Continued: What you can do for brown lawns?

  • Article by: DIGGING IN DEB BROWN
  • Last update: August 16, 2009 - 11:04 AM

Fall is the best time to go after perennial weeds, but if you plant grass seed, you won't be able to use weedkillers in those areas. (Even herbicides that don't damage established lawns will take a toll on young grass seedlings.)

That leaves two options: pulling weeds (which is easiest when the soil is moist) or carefully spot-treating individual weeds by touching their leaves with a cloth saturated with a nonselective herbicide such as Round Up.

 

FERTILIZING

If temperatures have moderated and the drought has broken by the end of August, you can apply a standard lawn fertilizer, then water it into the soil.

If it's still hot and dry, fertilize only if you can water regularly or wait until conditions improve, and fertilize then. (Your lawn will benefit from a second application of fertilizer at the end of October.)

If you fertilize when the air temperatures are cool, nutrients in the fertilizer will be used to strengthen and develop roots and runners rather than more leafy top growth, which will make for a healthier, better-looking lawn next year.

Deb Brown is a garden writer and former extension horticulturist with the University of Minnesota. To ask her a gardening question, call 612-673-9073 and leave a message. She will answer questions in this column only.

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