You'll find Harry Privette at the Help Center or in the garden products section at Homestead's Davidsonville location, and this time of year he's probably helping customers improve their lawns. He has regular customers who consult with him throughout season, year after year - because they're so happy with the results. Their lawns are much improved, without breaking the bank or their backs.
So I asked Harry what he's recommending this month, and here's what he had to say:
If you're overseeding
Really, most lawns really need overseeding at least every other year - to keep them thick and relatively weed-free (the best defense against weeds bing thick turfgrass.) And you can indeed apply grass seed at the same time as fertilizer, as long as the fertilizer is low in Nitrogen (or it can burn the new blades). Any organic fertilizer is fine, or a synthetic product labeled "low-Nitrogen" or "starter".
Here's how: It's best to aerate your lawn first, especially if the soil is clayey, and put down some gypsum after aerating. The next day (at least) add lime if it's needed*, then water. The next day, apply seed, and water. Finally, (again after waiting at least a day), apply the fertilizer and water. Water every day until the seed germinates, then twice a week, then once a week thereafter. Don't mow until the new grass is 4" tall, and only with a sharp blade.
If you're not overseeding
Feeding lawns in the late fall works best and can be done right up until the ground freezes - through November is usually safe in our area. And Greenview Fall Lawn Food is Harry's favorite. It's slow-release, and it contains NO phosphate, so it's Bay-friendly! Harry's had great results with it.
*Free In-Store Soil pH Tests!
Before applying lime, be sure to test your soil to confirm that it actually needs it. And why not - the test is free and takes just 5 minutes, while you wait. To prepare the sample you bring to the store, just dig 2" down and scoop a teaspoon or so into a plastic bag.
More about Harry
After chatting with Harry and noticing that he looked dashing in every single photo I took, I Googled him and learned that he's Captain Privette, and also that he looks fabulous in a naval uniform. So while horticulture and gardening are life-long passions for him, sailing comes first.
And click here what Harry calls his "15 minutes of fame". The "captain straight from central casting" indeed!