Fall is the time to Fertilize!

In Fact, This is the Best Time of Year for It

Since top growth slows down (or stops altogether) in the fall, your lawn, trees and shrubs no longer have to continue the constant flow of nutrients and water to their leaves and blades. Instead, they’re using this time to build up a storehouse of nutrients in preparation for new growth in the spring.

The storage process occurs in the plants’ root systems. A heavy fall feeding makes more nutrients available and helps to trigger the process. The fatter and more extensive roots become from fall fertilization, the better growth you’ll see next year. This is especially true for fall-seeded lawns and newly planted trees and shrubs.

Of course, improved growth isn’t the only benefit you can expect from fall feeding. With an extra dose of nutrients this fall, you can expect:

  • Stronger resistance to insects and diseases.
  • Enhanced winter color in turf and evergreens.
  • Better water-holding ability, which can decrease the drying, browning effects of cold winter winds.
  • Increased blooming in your flowering trees and shrubs.

Heavy fall fertilization is a vital part of any good lawn, tree and shrub care program. By meeting the nutritional needs of your plants this fall, you’ll be rewarded with a healthier, more beautiful landscape that you’ll love coming home to. Stay tune for more tips on how to take care of your lawn this fall!

How to Help Your Lawn Survive the Summer

SUMMER HEAT, DROUGHT AND DISEASE CAN BE DAMAGING

Many lawns are going through a stressful period right now. High temperatures are tough on turf. Combine the heat with long stretches of little or no rainfall, and lawns will start showing signs of heat and drought stress in no time.

If your grass is bluish-green in color, or if our footprints remain in the turf after you’ve walked on it, these are sure signs that your lawn can us some help. In severe case, turf can go into a dormant state causing the entire lawn to turn brown.

WATER PROPERLY TO AVOID STRESS

The best way to prevent heat and drought stress is to give your lawn plenty of water. As a general rule, your turf needs from 1” to 1 ½ “ of water per week from rainfall or sprinkling.

When sprinkling, it’s important to let water soak in to a depth of 6” so that enough moisture reaches the roots. Less frequent, deeper watering is more beneficial than frequent, shallow sprinklings. Also, it’s best to water during the cooler parts of the day when less water will evaporate in the sun’s heat.

WHAT IF YOUR LAWN STILL LOOKS STRESSED?

If you are watering properly and your lawn still looks unhealthy, a summer turf disease may be to blame. Symptoms of turf disease usually involve spots on grass blades that vary in size and color.

Unlike heat and drought stress, which can affect the whole lawn at once, diseases affect only small portions of turf at first. They then work themselves outwards as they spread, creating areas with major damage bordered by areas with minor damage. It’s important to tend to lawn diseases as soon as possible after they’re discovered in order to keep them in check and prevent further damage from occurring.

Summer can be intense, but your lawn doesn’t have to suffer. Proper watering and disease control (if necessary) can make the season much more tolerable for your tired turf!

Landscape Questions…

As spring is approaching there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to lawn care; here are a couple tips that can help you to ensure your landscape is ready for this season!

When is the best time to prune flowering shrubs?

Pruning is a regular, important part of keeping your flowering plants healthy, contained and looking their best. The right time depends on when the flowers appear.

Plants that bloom in early spring on old wood (or growth from the previous season) should be pruned a week or two after flowers drop. Those that bloom in late summer on stem growth from the current growing season shouldn’t be pruned until they’re dormant.

It’s good to keep after your shrubs, because pruning removes diseased and damaged plant parts, helps air circulate and sunlight get in, and stops structural problems in future plant growth. Flowering plants, in particular, pro- duce more flowers and fruit when pruned at the right time.

What should I do about lawn disease?

Fungus disease organisms travel by foot, water and air, and every lawn has them. They tend to thrive especially well in the cool, moist conditions of spring.

While fungicides are available for suppressing lawn diseases, they aren’t a permanent solution. The best way to ward off and reduce these diseases is to keep your lawn healthy and growing. Even if you have a variety of fungus diseases present in your lawn, those diseases will have a lot more trouble infecting your turf if it’s strong, well-fed and unstressed. Here are a few easy ways to keep many fungus varieties under control:

Control watering. Most fungus spores spread in water, so water less often and more deeply – during the warmer times of the day when your lawn can dry more quickly.

Fertilize regularly. Scheduled fertilizer applications throughout the season encourage steady growth, discouraging unhealthy growth spurts that can invite disease.

Mow with sharp blades. Dull mower blades shred grass blades, leaving open wounds through which fungus spores can enter.

Aerate. Aerating breaks up the thatch layer, a natural breeding ground for fungus spores.