OUTDOOR OUTLOOK: Eight tips for preparing your lawn

Donald Sherbeyn
Ah, the dog days of summer,

Having just celebrated America’s 241st birthday. Planning holidays with kids. Enjoying family reunions, cookouts, swimming, fishing, boating and hanging out with friends on the patios and decks in the evening thank goodness our landscape does not need a whole lot right now.

Short of watering your plantings as they need it and keeping those pesky summer bugs and fungus at bay there is not a lot of other help we can give the flowers beds and lawn this time of year so I thought it would be a good time to look forward to Late August Early September and start filling in our garden planners.

I know September seems like a long ways off but it’s never to early to plan ahead and September will be here before you know it.

Here are eight things to considered adding to your to do list or contacting a pro and get on their schedule for the last week of august and into the first few weeks of September.

First : Aeration: aerating is to alleviate soil compaction, it involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil strengthening root growth and producing a stronger more vigorous lawn.

Second: Seeding Most of the lawns in our area are Fescue and or bluegrass. Fescue does not re seed itself so over seeding on an annual basses will help to ensure new grass is taking the place of old with each new season.

Third: Fertilizing: Fertilize your lawn properly, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy, dense strand of turf that maintains a deep green color and gives weeds a run for their money. The most effective way to ensure proper fertilization is to get a soil test. Yes I know you have all heard me say this at least 10 times and you will probably hear me say it another 10. A firefighter will not show up to a house fire with a garden hose and think he’s going to make a difference so be sure you’re bringing the right tool for the job. A day or two before you apply fertilizer water your lawn thoroughly, after the grass dries apply fertilizer.  Follow up your fertilization with watering your lawn again this will wash the fertilizer off the grass blades and into the soil, this will also help to maximize the effect of the fertilizer you just spent your hard earned money on.

Fourth: Inspect your lawn and Landscape for insects or areas where debris has piled up during the year that insects or insect eggs may be able to use as refuge to over winter. Remove the insects and debris piles. Spray with Insecticide if needed.

Fifth: Remove Weeds: Many annual weeds are getting ready to drop seed this time of year. digging them out or treating them with Herbicide to kill them is important if you don’t want to be battling their offspring all next year.
Sixth: Check your mulch, make sure you have at least 3″ of good mulch covering your plantings if you find your beds are short and you need more mulch to protect your plantings from the cold winter months wait until the last leaves fall from the maples and then install that new mulch this will help to keep it clean longer and maples loosing their leaf’s fairly early are a great time marker for landscapers. Fresh mulch is an important aspect to maintaining healthy plants.  It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and make the garden bed look more attractive.
Seventh :  Irrigation Winterization remove water from the pipes, valves and sprinkler heads, this is important before freezing occurs.  By winterizing your are protecting your irrigation investment and potentially serious damage to the wallet.

Eighth: Trimming/Pruning:  Check your landscape and prune according to the plantings and their needs in your garden. Think about snow loads and damaged branching this time of year.

As always best of luck in your landscape and we are here if you need us.

Donald Sherbeyn

Sherbeyn’s Landscape