OLATHE, Kan — So far, summer has not been too brutal on our lawns. But there’s no telling what August will bring. Now is the time to prepare for fall lawn renovation. According to Dennis Patton, horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, September is Lawn Renovation Month. “The most important time to fertilize a cool season turf is in early September,” Patton says. “The turf has depleted its food reserves and a boost now will help renew them.”
Patton added, “September is also the ideal time to overseed a cool season lawn. The soil temperatures are warm for rapid germination and establishment before winter arrives.”
The first key to renovation success is knowing soil fertility. Johnson County residents are encouraged to take advantage of a free routine soil analysis which tests the pH, phosphorus and potassium levels of the soil, offered by Johnson County K- State Research and Extension through a grant with Johnson County Stormwater Management. The basic fertility test, sufficient for most homeowner lawns and gardens, normally costs $12.
“A soil test can save you money on lawn or garden chemicals, and decrease runoff that pollutes our waterways,” Patton stressed.
Even if you got a free test last year you’re eligible for another. Johnson County homeowners are eligible to receive one free test per household per year. Johnson County agriculture producers, which includes pastures, row crops and commercial horticulture, are eligible to receive up to 10 free agriculture soil tests.
It takes two to three weeks to get the results back from K-State labs so don’t delay. Samples need to be brought or mailed to the Johnson County Extension office at 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061.
To learn the specific procedures for collecting a proper sample, or to learn of additional tests that are available for a nominal fee, visit www.johnson.ksu.edu or call (913)715-7000.