Fall Yard Maintenance

Fall lawn careYard landscaping for next year doesn’t begin next spring, rather, it begins this fall. Proper fall yard maintenance lowers the risk of plant diseases next spring. Raking the lawn ensures your grass won’t smother under a burden of fallen leaves. Of course, fall yard maintenance means winterizing: putting your plants to bed properly, sheltering them where possible from the rigors of winter.
Get Started this weekend before it gets too cold!!

“Mums” the word

Nothing says fall like beautiful red, yelllow and orange Mums.  Here are a few tips to keep these festive bloomers looking their best all season long.

Add mums for beautiful fall display1. Start with a healthy plant.  Look for a plant with moist soil and  with the least amount of open flowers.

2. Provide proper care. Apply liquid plant fertilizer to the soil immediately after planting and once per month thereafter. Deadhead (pinching off the expired blooms) regularly. 

3. Mums prefer temperatures above 60 degrees.  The nights and days where the temperature falls below 60 pull your potted Mum inside of the garage or if they are planted, cover your plants with plastic.

Now that you know how to keep garden mums blooming longer, you will have beautiful plants instead of green foliage with no flowers. Your beautiful blooming Mums will be the centerpiece of your fall landscaping.

2 Benefits to Overseeding in Fall

Overseeding provides a lusher lawnOverseeding is one of the most important lawn care tasks, yet few homeowners ever do it. So, you ask, if I fertilize my lawn properly, why do I need to add new seed, especially if my grass looks pretty good right now? The answer is grass is not immortal. After five or six years, grass plants will slow down their reproduction rates; they get tired just like we do as we age. Thin grass invites weeds.

Overseeding compensates for that natural slow down of the turf’s reproduction. There are two major benefits to overseeding every five or six  years. First, you insure your lawn stays thick and dense, or if it has thinned, you will make it thick again. Thick grass has few if any weeds if it is mowed over 2 inches tall.

The second benefit is disease resistance. The new varieties of seed you sow this year will have better disease resistance than those varieties already in your lawn.

Raking your Lawn

A few things to remember when raking up your fall leaves. 

A few hints when raking your lawn this fall.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 disease organisms. Please contact the office of you local Weed Man for more information.

Enjoy your weekend!!

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.

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.