UMass Extension Landscape Message September 6, 2013
Late Summer/Early Fall Planting
Although reduced rainfall (relative to earlier in the growing season) was noticeable in August, wetter conditions over the Labor Day weekend provided some relief. Temperatures have moderated, days have become perceptibly shorter and we are now in the heart of what is considered the 'primary establishment period' for cool-season grasses in the Northeast. This period, which runs approximately from the third week of August to the third week of September in Massachusetts during the average year, is the ideal time frame for planting.
Whether a project involves new planting, repairs, or overseeding, one of the most common perennial questions is: when is the best time to seed? The answer is right now. In late summer, air and soil temperatures fall into the optimum range for growth, rainfall typically increases, and competition from germinating annual weeds becomes a non-issue in comparison to the spring. In the case of established turf, late summer/early fall overseeding and repair projects are timely for healing damage and restoring density that may have declined as a result of summer use and stress. Furthermore, spring overseeding may not be possible in programs that include a preemergence herbicide application for annual grassy weeds, leaving late summer/early fall as the only available option."
There's a lot more information on grass seeding in the Landscape Message.
Mosquito-borne illnesses: All individuals spending time outdoors for work or recreation, especially between dusk and dawn, are urged to take all appropriate precautions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the associated risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). For a current Massachusetts Risk Map, see http://westnile.ashtonweb.com/index.asp