Warm-season lawns like Bermuda can be sodded now through December and do fine; seeds are best sown in the May-June timeframe.
Here's a brief schedule of what to do with a cool-season fescue lawn:
First, kill off any weeds, using a product like Roundup. If your lawn is 50 percent or more weeds, redo the entire area.
AERATE AND SEED
Early September, aerate your lawn, especially if you have pets and children that use it a lot, causing compacted soil.
Put down an extension-recommended seed some time between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, but no later than the end of October. For recommended fescue seeds, see dailypress.com/turfseeds
Apply a 10-10-10, called a balanced fertilizer, or something similar in three applications, timed 30 days apart, before December.
Got a problem? Working under the guidance of Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and a contingent of master gardeners in your area can answer your gardening questions. Among the aids they can provide are free gardening literature, workshops and soil-test kits ($7). Just send your sample off to Virginia Tech for analysis and recommendations.
Here's how to contact your extension/master gardener office:
Gloucester. Extension agent Megan Schneider (also serves Mathews, Middlesex, King and Queen, King William and Essex counties), 7400 Carriage Court; 804-693-2602; master gardeners hot line 804-693-1267. www.gloucesterva.info/ext/mastergardener/home.htm
Hampton. Extension agent Scott Ewers, 101 N. Armistead Ave., Suite 200; 727-1401; master gardeners hot line 727-1397.
James City County. Extension agent Leanne DuBois, 3127 Forge Road; 566-1367; jccwmg.org Isle of Wight. Extension agent Glenn Rountree, 17100 Monument Circle, Suite B; 365-6262. Mathews. 484 Main St.; 804-725-7196.
Middlesex. 44 Oaks Landing Road (courthouse); 804-758-4120 or 804-758-4355.
Newport News. Horticulture programs coordinator Peggy Fox, 739 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Suite 1009; 591-4838; www.nnmastergardeners.org
Suffolk. Extension agent Rex Cotten, 440 Market St.; 923- 2050/51; master gardeners hot line, 923-2055.