During the heat of August, few people consider feeding their lawn anything but water. Actually, this is an optimal time to seed for the fall. Whether repairing bare areas, thickening thin lawns or simply feeding a healthy lawn, consider seeding between August 15-September 15. 

Treating your lawn begins with selecting the best blend for your needs. Examine the areas of concern. Pay attention to whether the area is sunny or shady; receives excessive moisture or is water starved; and finally, proximity to walkways and trees. There are specific blends to help all of these conditions.

Prepare the soil surface between spreading seed. Good soil contact is necessary for seed to take root. Loosening soil with a handrake will help bare patches and loosen thatch in healthier lawns. If your lawn is extremely thin, you might consider renting a vertical mower (also known as a mechanical rake). These machines remove thatch, loosen the soil surface and ensure the seed makes solid contact with the soil. While vertical mowers work well, they are expensive, heavy and create a lot of cleanup. Homeowners should always either rent this type of machine or employ a professional lawn care company to apply the seed.

By seeding earlier in the fall, you should avoid impacting your water bill. The combination of warm evenings, short days and rainfall typically keep the ground moist. Provide a healthy start to this new grass growth by monitoring daily rainfall and changes in temperature. If temperatures surge and rainfall dips, you should water will sprinklers.

Spreading seed early and monitoring its growth will allow for aeration in the late fall. Aerating a lawn with established grass growth offers many benefits heading into dormancy. So even though it doesn't feel like fall, take a few hours this weekend to feed your grass.