Hopefully our snow season is over and with the groundhog predicting an early spring, we'll be getting some warm days to get outside. Now is a great time to start preparing for spring.Here is a checklist of some of the best chores to perform:
Pick up and dispose of leaves and winter debris
Finish dormant pruning of trees, such as Crepe Myrtles
Apply pre-emergent herbicide to the lawn to help prevent crab grass and broadleaf weeds
Access winter damage to plants and prune or replace as necessary
Check your seasonal equipment now before the repair shops get overwhelmed
Sharpen the blade on lawn mower and other pruning equipment
First, trees and shrubs are pretty hardy. Usually if less than 50% of the plant is damaged, it will have a good chance to recover; albeit it may not look as pretty for a while. Here are a few tips for dealing with ice damaged trees and shrubs:
DO remove any limbs/branches that are broken. Clean cuts are much better for the plant than jagged ones. DO make any of these cuts now while the plant is dormant. DO add mulch around the base of the plant to help keep it moist.
Don't use tar or paint as a "band-aid" for branches or limbs that you cut. Don't wait until it warms up to make the cuts, as the plant will be stressed when it is trying to put on leaves.
It looks like the hot, dry summer weather has finally broken! June, July and the first part of August were unusually hot and dry this year. As a result, everyone’s lawns are going into the fall much more stressed and weak than normal. However, a little preparation now, can likely mean your best lawn ever come next spring and summer.
The first step is aerating the soil. An aerator pulls plugs out of your soil. This helps loosen compacted soil and allows air and water to reach the roots. This helps your roots grow more deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn for next spring. In turn, that better prepares the grass for the heat and stress of the summer months. Aerating is also the best way to dethatch your lawn since it puts less stress on it. By aerating in the late summer, you give your lawn a fall growing season and a spring growing season to deepen roots a prepare for next summer.
When aeration is combined with a late summer or early fall reseeding, you double your benefit. Not only does the aeration help your existing grass, but disturbing the top soil also gives your new seeds a great way to make contact with the earth to ensure better germination rates and a thicker more healthy lawn. By giving these seedlings a typically cooler fall and moister growing season, they will be well prepared for winter and a great spring to come.
The final step is giving your existing grass and new seedlings enough food to hibernate for the winter. Although our cool season grasses that stay green all year technically don’t hibernate, they do nearly stop their growth process. Think of fall fertilization as the way you prepare your lawn with proper nutrients to build it up for a long winter’s nap. Once the warm rays of spring hit it, your lawn will be in a much better position and get jump start on the spring growing season.
There you have it! Our three-step process for the fall, to have your best lawn yet next summer. We are booking quickly, so don’t wait too long to call so that your lawn has as much opportunity as possible to prepare for winter.
It's time to schedule your core aeration and over seeding again. Core aeration opens up your soil to allow air, water and nutrients to make it to the roots. It reduces compaction and allows for good soil-to-seed contact after over seeding. Aeration and over seeding leads to a thick and healthy stand of turf for the Fall. Call or email Tom for a free estimate. *Now scheduling for late August /early Sept.