Winterizing your lawn

Winterizing Your LawnThe harsh winter months in our climate are the hardest on your grass, and the Autumn is when your lawn begins to prepare itself for winter, and next summer. Fall maintenance practices are important in building up tolerance to damaging temperature fluctuations, and disease. Here are four critical steps you can take to help prepare your lawn for the upcoming months.

1. Fertilization – Autumn is the most crucial time to fertilize your lawn. It is during the cool days of fall that the grass plant slows its top growth and begins storing nutrients and sugars for the harsh months ahead.

2. Aeration – The benefits of fall aeration to the grass plant cannot be stressed enough. This service reduces soil compaction, excessive thatch, and provides a top dressing for the lawn

3. Mowing – Just as mowing below the recommended height in the heat of summer will damage your lawn, so too will mowing too short in the cold weather of fall. When the cool weather of Autumn arrives, raise your mowing height to one half inch above the recommended height for the summer months. This will help stimulate stunted roots. For the final mowing of the year, lower your mowing height to one half inch below the standard summer mowing height. This will help the foliage prepare for winter and avoid damage from disease. As well, the clippings from the final mowing should be left on the lawn as mulch only if a mulching mower can be used.

4. Raking – It is important to remove all large piles of debris that cannot be mulched back into the lawn with your lawn mower. Lawn mower attachments are available that chop grass and leaves into tiny bits that provide a light top dressing which will supply nutrients to the soil as they breakdown. Large quantities of debris will not breakdown quickly, and so will damage the lawn by suffocating it, and by giving a moist home to damaging diseases.

Get out, enjoy a last of the warm weather and finish up your yard work.  Happy Raking!

Top 5 Fall Lawn Care Tips

Healthy LawnTaking advantage of the change in seasons is smart. Thinking of your lawn in terms of a person who needs food and nutrients to survive is a good tip. For lawns, fall is all about rejuvenating before winter. Here are few tips to help you make that happen.

1.Aerate for lawn health.

2.Fertilize your way through fall.

3.Hate raking? Mulch instead.

4.Reseed to fix patches before the cold.

5.Evict unwanted residents.

You should always continue the basics, like mowing and edging. Depending on how much rain our area gets, you may want to continue watering, too. Considering these tips above can help your lawn stay healthy and strong through the winter season.

The Benefits of Fall Fertilization

Fall Lawn CareLawn winterization is an important part of lawn care, especially for cool season grasses.  Cool season grasses grow differently than their warm season cousins. The majority of their annual nutrients are taken in during the fall months making lawn winterization very important.  In the fall, cool season grasses are taking on large amounts of nutrients to over come summer stress and to get them through the winter. In addition, these grasses are programmed to use stored nutrients to break winter dormancy in spring. Most people are not aware that as much as seventy-five percent of the total annual nitrogen requirement is obtained in the fall. Therefore, fall lawn winterization is the best way to deliver the needed nutrients to your grass. This is best accomplished with two fall applications. The first in early fall and the second near the last cutting of the year in late fall. 

Cool weather grasses will continue to take in and store nutrients far after the last cutting and well into the winter. In late season, even when the grass has stopped growing new leaf tissue, it is still very active. In fact, uptake of nutrients will continue until the soil temperatures dip into the mid-thirties.

Don’t know when to apply fall fertilizer?

A calendar cannot tell you if it is time to fertilize. The key to knowing if your lawn is ready, is the overall condition. Here are a few ways to tell if your lawn is ready:

Healthy Lawn

•your grass looks pale green
•has traces of yellowing
•is growing slowly, or not at all
•it has been more than 8 weeks since the last application

Proper selection and application of lawn fertilizers has a huge impact on the condition and appearence of your lawn, not to mention it can make your neighbors green with envy.

Why apply fall fertilizer?

Late fall fertilizing is a crucial last step in lawn care programs north of the transition zone. Although the exact timing can vary due to weather conditions, the final fertilizer application should be made sometime in November – when the grass stops growing or slows down to the pint of not needing to be mowed, but before the ground freezes.

Proper timing is essential. If fertilizer is applied too early, while grass is actively growing, it can invite winter injury and snow mold. Do not apply fertilizer to frozen soil or over snow or ice.

A late fall fertilization will also provide better winter color, enhanced spring green up, and increased rooting.

Let Your Lawn Breathe: 3 Signs it’s Time to Aerate

Aerating a lawn allows essential nutrients such as Oxygen, Phosphorus and Potassium to better penetrate the roots of grass.  Theprocess involves mechanically poking thousands of holes in the ground, using an aerator machine.

Here are three signs that it could be time to aerate your yard:

1.Your lawn is thinning. If your yard seems to be thinning and you can’t trace any other obvious cause, such as a new source of shade or watering changes, the reason may be soil compaction.

2.Lawn fertilizer doesn’t do much good anymore. When soil is highly compacted, the lawn fertilizer nutrients are unable to reach the roots of grass. If you fertilize but don’t see much in the way of results, you may have overly compacted soil.

3.You have a lot of runoff. Overly compacted soil doesn’t absorb water as well as soil with space between particles. If you’re starting to see more runoff than normal, and more rain or irrigation isn’t the cause, you may need to aerate.

The best time to aerate lawns is approximately two weeks before applying the year’s final fertilizer, or five to six weeks before the first frost.

It’s not to early to think about fall

It’s so true, and so often ignored by homeowners. Autumn is when lawns do their big preparation for the next 12 months – developing root systems that will help them be drought- and stress-tolerant in the coming year. It’s also when they can withstand stressful, but helpful procedures covered in these pages, since the grass is actively growing but is not strained by heat.

So get outside and spend some quality time with your lawn this fall, performing these three basic procedures that benefit every lawn. You will be glad you did come spring, when your grass is greener and lusher than ever.

1: Rake it (dethatch)
When thatch becomes more than 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick, it’s time to take action. Luckily, the remedy is simple: dethatching. Do it in the fall while grass is still growing and can recover, yet is not stressed by summer heat and drought.

2: Feed it (Fertilize)
Fall feeding is critical to the ongoing health of your lawn. That’s when grass is focusing on root growth rather than leaf growth, creating stronger plants for the winter and the following year.

3: Punch it (Aerate)
As with dethatching, aerating is important so the air, water and nutrients can penetrate to the grass roots. Aerating punches through thatch and loosens compacted soil – a common problem in higher traffic areas. Compaction can occur because of children’s play, foot traffic, mowing, parked cars, heavy rains and construction equipment.

Sick of Ants?

‘Tis the season for ants and here are a few things you can do to keep these pests at bay.

  • Always covering food – we do not know where the ant has been before it crawls across your food!
  • Clear away food and liquid spillage’s immediately
  • Clean food debris from under kitchen appliances
  • Make sure all garbage cans have tightly sealed lids
  • Keep compost enclosed aand covered
  • Clear away your Pet’s food immediately it has finished eating

As ants get creative finding ways to get into the house, you may have to keep checking for cracks and holes, and trying a few different solutions to keep all of them out.  Good luck!

 

 

5 ways to fix dead spots in your lawn

Dead spots in your lawn can be an unsightly occurrence. When a lawn is beautiful, lush and green it enhances the visual appeal of your home. Repairing the dead spots will allow your lawn to return to its lush magnificence and have your home looking beautiful once again. Here are a five ways you can renovate the dead spots in your lawn.

  • Reseeding.
  • Regular Maintenance such as correct watering and avoiding  gas, herbicide or fertilizer spills.
  • Use an aerator to help break up compacted soil.
  • Get Rid of Weeds.
  • Dethatching.

Fixing dead spots in your lawn can help save your grass and restore it to its lush beginnings. A lawn enhances the beauty of your home. It should be lush and vibrant at all times. Make sure you water your lawn on a regular basis. Furthermore, your maintenance routine should include mowing and fertilizing your lawn to keep pests away. Once the bare spots are restored, follow through with the lawn upkeep. Failure to do so will result in a reappearance of dead patches.

Keep your annuals looking great all summer long

Do your annuals seem to always look great for the first few weeks after you planted them but then look ragged for the rest of the summer?  Here are a few tips to keep your annuals looking great all season long without breaking your back.

 

  1. When planting your annuals give them some elbow room to grow.
  2. Deep, infrequent watering rather than short daily sprinkling.
  3. Keep leaves dry longer by watering in the late evening or early morning.
  4. Keep the weeds out.
  5. Dead head when possible.

Remember when you’re out taking care of your plants makes sure you are keeping yourself hydrated.  Good luck!