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Timing Renovation Practices

Timing can be a key to get the best results from your renovation practices.

A good time to test soil is in the fall so that lime can be applied in the fall and have time to react with the soil prior to the start of the growing season the following spring. Fertilizer should be added when plants are actively growing, but preferably not during very cool and wet times of the year.

Fall is also a good time to control perennial weed species. At this time of the year, perennials are moving energy stores into their root systems for growth the following spring. A timely herbicide application can be very effective since the product is moved from the leaves of the plant where it is sprayed to the root system. Thus, the entire plant is more likely to be killed. For annual and biennial weeds, the best time for control is after the seed heads begin to form, but before the seeds are mature.

Reseeding practices can take place in the fall or spring of the year. For the spring, plant as soon as the soil is dry enough to plant without causing problems with compaction. Seeding can also take place in mid to late summer, typically in early to mid August, if enough moisture is present for proper germination. Keep in mind that any new seedings should have at least eight weeks of growth before the first expected frost in your area. Grasses tend to have the best success rate with later summer seedings.

For frost seeding legumes, wait until late winter when temperatures are still below freezing over night, but warm above freezing during the daytime.