“Is Dinner Ready Yet?”

You Can’t Blame your Lawn, Trees and Shrubs for Asking!

It’s hard to overstate how important it is to fertilize your lawn, trees and shrubs, especially during the fall. Most of the plants in your landscape will soon be shifting into dormancy, with top growth slowing down or stopping altogether. Underground, however, they’ll still be very active.

In order to prepare for new growth in the spring, your lawn, trees and shrubs must build new roots and fatten them up with nutrients. You can improve this process by making sure they get a heavy dose of fertilizer in the fall. The stronger and healthier the roots become as a result of proper fall fertilization, the better growth you can expect next year.

Some of the benefits you can expect from fall lawn fertilization include:

  • Grass blades that stay greener and roots that grow later into the season.
  • Better recovery from the stresses of summer heat and drought.
  • Increased ability to hold water, which helps grass plants withstand the drying and browning effects of winter winds.
  • Improves resistance to some cool-weather fungus diseases due to better overall plant health.
  • Thicker green-up in the spring.

By having your trees and shrubs fertilized this fall, you can expect:

  • Improved flowering.
  • Stronger resistance to insects and disease.
  • Better winter color in evergreens.
  • Healthier, denser foliage.
  • An increase in root mass and root branching.

Remember, fall fertilization of your lawn, trees and shrubs will have a direct effect on the performance of your plants throughout next year’s growing season. It’s an essential part of protecting and improving your valuable landscape investment.

June Update

What a spring so far…we started off with 70+ degree-days in March and it was cool and wet for most of May. Mother nature certainly is challenging us this year.

LAWN UPDATE

There may be a Fungus Among-us….

Not sure if you are seeing it, but I am. There is Red thread and Dollar spot fungus all over the lawns this year. If you see a browned out area on your green grass, it certainly could be an indication that a fungus is brewing. Look a little closer now.

Dollar Spots- circular, sunken patches measuring several inches. The patches turn from a brown shade to straw in color, they may also have small lesions on the grass blades.

Red Thread- patches that are reddish-brown in color from 1” to 2’ in diameter. When areas of grass experience more than 10 hours a day of foliar wetness (for several consecutive days) this fungus could occur.

What do you do to eradicate a fungus? Well…keep the lawn well fed. You can rake out any of the infected turf areas and throw away the debris. And heck, if you don’t want to do that…. give us a call. We can apply a liquid fungicide to your grass to help stop the infection in its’ tracks.

Fertilizers

For all of you “do it yourself-ers”…. it is time! That is, time to fertilize your lawn again.  Remember the goal is 4-5 pounds of Nitrogen per one thousand square feet, per growing season, or about 1 pound per feeding (5 times per year). So, when you see a bag of fertilizer with 3 numbers such as 20-5-20…the first number represents Nitrogen and indicates that 20% of the product is Nitrogen. If you took 100 and divided it by the first number (100/20) the result if 5, meaning you need 5 pounds of the product per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. Therefore, if your lawn measured out 12,000 sq.ft, you would need 60 pounds of fertilizer (5 pounds x 12 = 60 pounds)

It is extremely important that you calibrate your spreader prior to the application, this way, you know how much fertilizer you are applying…and remember more is NOT BETTER!

Weed Control

Spray the heck out of any broad leaf weeds that exist in your lawn. What are they you ask? Well they could be: Clover, Dandelion, Chickweed, plantain, etc…. you have about 4 weeks of cool enough weather to treat the weeds…. spray away!

IRRIGATION

If you have an irrigation system, please be mindful of the amount of water your lawn is getting from the rain. On Monday June 4th, we had temps of 59 degrees during the day and a lot of rain. What does that mean? POWER OFF YOUR SPRINKLERS if it’s raining like it is. You do not and you should not be watering everyday if it is raining daily.

So how much water is enough? At my house, I have watered once per week for the last 3 weeks, because we have had that much water. In fact, I shut off my drip irrigation in my lawn beds because all of my plant material has been adequately watered. Now, if the temperature during the day goes back to 90 degrees for 3 days in a row…I’ll be watering (and you should too)

Come July that irrigation system will be running daily…and it should be.

If you are manually watering, make sure your hoses and sprinkler heads are all ready for the upcoming summer months. You’ll need to start watering daily in a few more weeks.

PRUNING

If your landscape is anything like mine (and I think it is…) I bet your shrubs have been growing like weeds. The hemlocks and taxus (yews) have displayed a great flush of growth already this year. But they are still growing.

If you can tolerate the appearance of the new growth on the shrubs…let it grow! I believe that the plant material will continue to grow for the next couple of weeks…. and then you’ll be ready to prune them (in July).

In addition to “growing shrubs” are the growing weeds…the abundance of wet weather has led to a copious amount of weeds. Don’t let them get out of control…. keep up with their removal. And when in doubt…MULCH! Mulch is your friend. A bed with a good layer of mulch is a happy bed!

SEASONAL COLOR

You are safe…safe to plant the ole’ annuals in the ground. And take some chances by trying new plants. Have you seen Zinnia’s bloom? How about Heliotrope? Or Lantana?  The industry has done a great job creating new hybrids that are resistant to the many problems of the past. And do “super-charge” them…. incorporate a slow release fertilizer in the planting bed, as well as an organic fertilizer. You’ll be very happy with the results.

Not only is it OK to plant annuals, but you are good to go with the veggies…try some container plantings to supplement your raised gardens. Herbs grow well in planters, as do patio tomatoes. Take a bag of potting soil, make a slit or two, and plant a couple of cucumbers in the bag. It’s fun!

 

 

 

 

There’s Still Time to Fertilize

BUT THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY WILL BE CLOSING SOON

Even when visible top growth slows (or stops) for the season, your turf, trees and shrubs are still in need of nutrients. They might seem inactive, but your plants are actually building up nutrient reserve, setting down new roots and strengthening their old ones.

Plants use nutrients over the fall and winter months for two things: to repair any damage they may have suffered during the growing season, and to prepare for new growth in the spring. An application of fertilizer will help this natural process along.

Some of the direct benefits you’ll see from a heavy fall feeding include: 

  •  Improved winter hardiness. Plants suffer less from drying winds and severe weather because of better water-holding ability.
  •  Earlier and darker green-up of established lawns in the spring. Thin turf areas will become denser with improved color thanks to increased root expansion and larger nutrient reserves.
  •  Improved blooming in flowering trees and shrubs.
  •  Stronger growth in new trees, shrubs and fall-seeded lawns. Faster and more complete establishment through the winter will promote better top growth in the spring.
  • An increase in natural resistance to insect, pests and diseases.

To get maximum benefits from fall feeding, your lawn, trees and shrubs should be fertilized as soon as possible (if they haven’t been already). It’s one of the best ways to improve the looks, health and value of your landscape!

There’s No Better Time for Fertilization

Your Lawn, Trees and Shrubs will all benefit!

Fertilizer for lawns, trees and shrubs does its best work in the fall.

It’s a common misconception that plants stop growing in the fall, when really all that changes is the way the plants grow. As cooler weather sets in, top growth slows down, with plants shifting their energy from foliage production to root expansion. In preparation for winter, your lawn, trees and shrubs strive to fill their expanded root system with as many nutrients as possible. A heavy dose of fertilizer will give them the nutrients they need.

Lawns prefer a Fall feast over a Spring smorgasbord

Your lawn needs regular fertilization throughout the growth season, with the heaviest feeding taking place in the fall rather than the spring. Too much spring fertilizer can cause an unhealthy flush of growth that leaves turf more susceptible to insect and disease problems. It’s likely to make extra mowing necessary as well.

A heavy fall fertilization, on the other hand, promotes a thicker, stronger root system rather than excessive top growth. This will lead to a greener, more vigorous lawn when spring returns.

Your trees and shrubs are out of their element

In their natural woodland habitats, trees and shrubs receive a constant supply of nutrients from soil that is rich in humus (organic matter). This organic matter constantly replenished by decomposing leaves and other plant parts. In our home landscapes, however, we remove leaves and other organic debris on a regular basis. This takes away our plants’ natural nutrients supply. And since ornamental trees and shrubs are often subjected to unfavorable soil and environmental conditions, the need for fertilizer in home landscapes becomes even greater.

With a heavy application of fertilizer in the fall, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are delivered to tree and shrub roots for improved color, growth, vigor and overall health. Even more importantly, fall fertilization improves your landscape plants’ ability to stand up to pests, disease and the effects of drought, dry winter winds and other severe weather.

Remember, your lawn, trees and shrubs can’t get carryout. For optimum winter health and better-looking plants in the spring, fall fertilization really delivers.