THE OLD SIGN PHILOSOPHER, THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!

OUR MUMS AREN'T PANSIES

SOLAR NIGHT FLOWERS.....ENERGY EFFICIENT

SOLAR NIGHT FLOWERS.....NON-POLLUTING


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FALL LAWN RENOVATION

This past summer has caused severe turf damage due to drought and extreme heat. Many lawns have also experienced significant fungus and disease problems. If this isn't enough, the moles have been destroying the lawns also. The only problem we haven't experienced is white grub damage.

Now is the perfect time to repair the summer damage with these
proven steps to renovating your lawn.

Weeds can be removed manually or killed using an herbicide. It is especially important to eliminate perennial weeds before seeding. If weeds are primarily broad-leaved, the area can be treated with a broad-leaf herbicide. It is then best to wait 2 weeks before seeding. If large patches of grassy weeds such as quackgrass are present, a nonselective herbicide such as (Roundup, or Kleen-up) can be used. This will eliminate most green vegetation it contacts, so be careful to apply only to those areas and plants you want controlled. Be sure to follow label directions on how long to wait before seeding.

Avoid using weed killers that persist in the soil, such as soil sterilants. Select herbicides approved for use on lawns, and then follow the label directions explicitly. Once weeds have been destroyed and have begun to dry (usually about 5 to 14 days following application of a nonselective herbicide), renovation can proceed.

Early fall is the best time of year to renovate your lawn. The recent summer rains has produced sufficient moisture in the soil to produce good renovation results. Prior to seeding, a thorough soaking (to a depth of 6-8 inches) will make soil preparation easier. It will also help ensure that young grass seedlings have sufficient water.

If needed, thatch can be removed manually with a garden rake or with a power rake. If the thatch is excessive, removal with a sod cutter is recommended.

A vertical mower can be used over the entire lawn whether or not there is some grass remaining, and can also be used for preparing the seedbed. The tines should be set to nick the soil surface to a depth of approximately 1/8 -½ inch. Rake any large clumps of debris from the site.

Alternatives to vertical mowing for soil preparation include vigorous hand raking (usually only practical on small sites) or extensive aerating. Aerators are available at rental stores or contracted to a landscaper. Aerate the lawn thoroughly by going over it 3-5 times. Aeration cores can be allowed to partially dry and then be broken up using a rake or vertical mower before seeding.

While more expensive, aeration followed by vertical mowing is recommended to prepare the seedbed. The important principle in seedbed preparation is to achieve good soil to seed contact. This will improve seed germination and establishment.

Just prior to seeding, apply “starter fertilizer” to the seed bed per label recommendation. It may be lightly raked into the surface where the soil is bare and loose. Fertilization will encourage establishment and growth. If extra phosphorus and potassium are needed (as determined by a soil test), they are best applied following aerification and should be watered in prior to final seedbed preparation.

BASIC STEPS FOR FALL LAWN RENOVATION

1. WEED CONTROL

Apply broadleaf Herbicide. If weeds are primarily nongrasses. OR
Apply a nonselective herbicide like Roundup to eliminate most green vegetation; requires 10 days for effective control.

2. SOIL MOISTURE REPLENISHMENT

Soak soil to a depth of 6-8 inches; allow the surface to dry.

3. THATCH REMOVAL

Use a power rake to remove thatch and prepare the seed bed. Can be rented or contracted. A sod cutter is recommended for extreme thatch problem; can be rented or contracted.

4. SOIL PREPARATION

Aerate the lawn 3-5 times with a commercial aerator; especially recommended if soil is compacted.

5. FERTILIZING

Apply "starter fertilizer" or as recommended by a soil test.

6. SEEDING

Apply fescue seed recommended at a rate of 6-12# per thousand square feet. Blends of fescue are highly recommended.

7. WATERING

Lightly to provide good seed to soil contact; water lightly twice daily to rewet soil surface

8. MOWING

When 3 inches tall, mow to 2½ inches with sharp mower; continue regular mowing as needed.

P.S. Labor Day weekend is a great time to establish or renovate your lawn. SUPERIOR RESULTS are attained with early fall seeding. Greenscape Gardens is stocked with grass seed and fertilizer and we're always happy to give you additional advise about any of your landscape and gardening needs.