By Carol Stocker
Boston Globe Garden Writer
Most homeowners think spring is the season for lawn care but fall is actually better. Apply fertilizer between now and November rather than in spring. You can also reduce compaction by renting a core aerator to cut plugs from the turf now.
September and early October is the time to overseed. Buy seed dated this year that contains at least 50 percent combined fine fescues and bluegrasses, the best grass types for southern New England. Use a shade mix if your lawn gets three to six hours of sun a day. Any lawn getting less sun than that needs to be overseeded every fall just to look decent.
Whether you are patching, overseeding or starting a new lawn, the basic procedures are the same. A spreader will help seeds achieve even distribution. For seeding large areas, rent a slice-seeder to plant your seeds at the proper depth. After planting, keep the seeds moist until they sprout. Fall rains should help with this.