* You can still plant warm season grasses in very early August, but this is not ideal. Generally, late spring/early summer is best, since they need time to get established before fall dormancy. Be sure to water thoroughly for several weeks if the drought persists.
* Continue to mow at the correct height. If your Bermuda appears yellowish after cutting, raise your mower height by one half to one notch at the wheels.
* Lawns should get approximately one inch of water per week if there is no rainfall. It is best to water once or twice a week to let the water soak deep into the soil to encourage better root systems; do not water after early morning as the water will evaporate too quickly and be wasted.
* You can fertilize Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine in early to mid-August, but if it is excessively hot and dry you may want to forgo this application as you do not want to encourage growth during very stressful periods. Do not fertilize any more this season.
* Warm season lawns can still be aerated in August but not in September. It helps water to get into the soil during those really hot, dry spells.
* Apply winter pre-emergent weed control during the last two weeks of September in north Georgia. This will need to be watered in to activate the chemicals. You can still apply post-emergent weed sprays on established weeds. Be sure to read and follow the labels.
* Webworms and cutworms feed on grass blades at night. Spidery webs on the surface of the lawn in early morning are a sign of webworms. Patches of cut grass blades are a sign of cutworms. Control both with a soil insecticide approved for your type of grass.
Armyworms feed in masses during the day and can do severe damage. Listen for reports from neighbors and agencies. Chinch bugs can be a big problem on St. Augustine and Centipede.
Look for patches of yellow or wilted grass in sunny areas. Treat with an approved soil insecticide. Fungal diseases can arrive in late August and anytime during September as the nights start getting cooler. Keep a watch for them and apply an approved fungicide as needed.
Cool Season Grasses
(Tall Fescue, Bluegrass)
* Do not aerate cool season lawns during the summer. Wait until October.
* If thatch is more than .5 inches, you can dethatch before reseeding. Dethatching is generally not necessary on Fescue if mowed frequently and at the proper height.
* Water your lawn deeply, one inch per week, if no rainfall.
* Fertilize at the end of September. This will be all that is needed for the rest of the calendar year.
* The last week of September or the first week of October should be the best time for seeding or laying sod.
* Mow at the recommended height. Try not to cut more than one third of the height at a time.
* Wait until the end of September to apply fall and winter weed pre-emergent. Do not apply if you plan to seed, reseed, or sod.
Existing weeds can be sprayed with a post-emergent spray. As always, read the labels and use the correct product approved for use on your grass type.
* Webworms and cutworms and armyworms.
* September begins the active growing season for cool season grasses so sharpen or replace your mower blade in early September. A dull blade can pull new grass seedlings out of the soil and damage existing grass.
Information about Extension Solutions for Homes and Gardens can be found on the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension website at www.caes.uga.edu/extension/cherokee or by contacting the Cherokee County Extension Office at 100 North St., Suite G21 in Canton at (770) 479-0418. The Georgia Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program offered through county offices of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.