THE OLD SIGN PHILOSOPHER, THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!
OFFICIAL MUM COUNTDOWN! DRUM ROLL PLEASE......2458
Check out the garden center this week. With great autumn temperatures predicted for the weekend, now would be a great time to check out our mum selection (before they're gone). We also have thousands of pumpkins, ghourds, clay pumpkin statues and straw for setting up your seasonal display.
If that isn't enough........come to Greenscape Gardens this weekend with an empty stomach because the greatest BBQ in the world is being cooked up by STARR BBQ. Yes, Dave Starr from the Kirkwood Farmers Market is creating the best BBQ for your culinary needs. Great BBQ at a great price.
If these offers aren't enough to tempt you......how about the annual 50% off perennial sale. Sorry mums and groundcovers are not included.
The calendar has now officially confirmed that it is autumn, and the recent round of rains that swept across the state have provided some relief from the dry conditions that persisted in many areas. With the added soil moisture it should be much easier to core aerate to alleviate compaction, and improve turfgrass rooting. So gentleman....start your aerifier engines!
If you did not apply fertilizer around Labor Day, do it now to help improve your turf for next year. If you apply fertilizer now you probably should apply the late fall application in mid November.
What about late fall fertilization?
An effective late fall fertilization will benefit the turf by producing carbohydrate, encouraging early spring root growth, providing good fall and spring color and improving turf density so the turf will better compete with weeds next spring. The late fall fertilization is always a challenge for timing because it’s really tough to figure out when fall stops and winter begins. The rule of thumb is to keep a close eye on when the turf stops growing. When top-growth stops, that’s the time to put down that late fall fertilizer. Always make sure to apply the late fall application in advance of when the soil freezes, you never want to apply fertilizer to a frozen soil. Also, use fertilizers that have a high percentage of fast release/water soluble nitrogen because we want to have the nitrogen taken up by the plant quickly so it can start storing carbohydrates before winter sets in.
Still time to seed?
This is always a tough one because as with many things, it depends. You can certainly still put seed down and you’ll get germination and emergence, the challenge is that as we move closer to November the amount of time those young seedlings have to mature before winter arrives becomes shorter and shorter. Young seedlings are more susceptible to winterkill. If you intend to still seed, do it this weekend.
Broadleaf weed control
October and early November are the ideal time to control broadleaf weeds because the weeds are storing carbohydrates in their root system and are more susceptible to herbicide applications. So if your turf is being overtaken by a wide array of broadleaf bandits, applying an herbicide now could make the difference for next year. Apply the herbicides on a sunny day when rain is not in the forecast for 24 hours. We want the herbicides to dry on the leaf surfaces and not be immediately washed off. Also, make sure the turf is actively growing, cool weather and timely rains in the last week should ensure active growth in most areas. The reason we want to see actively growing turf and weeds is that if they are sitting dormant those herbicide applications won’t be very effective. There are many different herbicides that could be used including the most common three-way broadleaf weed control mixtures. Always follow all label recommendations. The greatest shortcoming of killing broadleaf weeds at this time of year is that you really don’t get to watch them die. In many cases you may not see the obliteration of these weeds this fall but next year they won’t be there or will at least be reduced in numbers.
The leaves are changing and soon they’ll be a falling, which means it’s time to start mulching. If you’re still of the belief that you need to rake leaves, come on over to the mowing side. Here’s what you need to know to successfully mow leaves into the turf. First of all make sure your mower has a sharp blade. After a long season of mowing, the blades may be dull at this time of year and trying to chop up leaves will be more challenging with a dull blade. Second, raise the mower as high as it will go and mow at your normal speed, don’t “rev” the throttle to the high jackrabbit setting and blaze around the yard. Try to mow the leaves when they are moist from the morning dew but don’t mow them when they’re really wet. This will prevent the leaves from blowing all over the place and will help with your allergies. Finally, don’t let the leaves pile up too high before you mow. Too high would probably be greater than 3 to 4 inches of leaf depth on the turf. Mulching leaves helps the turf by returning nutrients and organic matter. After a nice rain shower you usually can’t even tell that you mulched the leaves into the turf.