Louisa Master Gardeners

Lawns FAQs


  1. When is the best time to establish a new lawn?

  2. Should I collect grass clippings when I cut the grass?

  3. When should I fertilize my lawn?

  4. What are some good web sites that have information about maintaining a lawn?





1. When is the best time to establish a new lawn?

There are certain periods each year when temperature, moisture, and day length are most favorable for establishing turf grass. Late summer seedings are preferred for cool-season species such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue. Early spring seedings may also bring good results if moisture is adequate. In Northern Virginia and the areas of Western Virginia at lower elevations, the best seeding dates are mid-to-late March for spring seeding, and the last week of August to mid-September for fall seeding.

Back To Top





2. Should I collect grass clippings when I cut the grass?

TCollecting clippings on home lawns is not advised. There is no significant benefit to the lawn from collecting clippings if the lawn is being mowed with proper frequency. Clippings are not major contributors to thatch buildup and they provide significant amounts of nutrition to the lawn as they decompose. Three years of returning clippings to a lawn has been shown to increase the growth rate 38% over lawns where clippings were collected. In addition, earthworm populations increase where clippings are returned, improving aeration and water filtration.

Back To Top






3. When should I fertilize my lawn?

The time-table for fertilizing cool-season grasses is completely different from that of warm-season grasses. Warm-season grasses (Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia) go dormant during the time when the cool-season grasses (Tall fescue) make the most effective use of fertilizer for root growth and development.

Late-fall fertilization is essential in the maintenance of quality cool-season grasses and to promote increased density, increased root growth, decreased spring mowing, improved fall-to-spring color, decreased weed problems, increased drought tolerance, and decreased summer disease activity.

Back To Top




4. What are some good web sites that have information about maintaining a lawn?

There are quite a few web sites available that contain a wealth of information about lawns. They are listed below.

Back To Top