Tag Archive | "Winterizing"

December Maintenance

December Lawn Maintenance – Partial Content by www.southernliving.com

Lime―If the soil is acidic, your landscape probably could benefit from an application of lime. Broadcast using a fertilizer spreader, or apply by hand. Always wear gloves and distribute evenly. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, Do It Right Lawn is fully qualified to do the application for you. Because lime takes a long time to react with the soil, winter applications help the spring garden. Apply at the rate of 15 to 20 pounds per 100 square feet. If you are unsure of how much lime your soil needs, have a soil test performed. We can help with that as well.

Irrigation―If your automatic watering system stays on all year, it’s time to adjust the amount of watering during each cycle. Many dormant plants require lower amounts of water in colder months. A good rule of thumb is to reduce irrigation time by half when night temperatures remain in the 40s or below. Turn the system off in rainy periods to reduce costs and prevent over watering.

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

Fall is a great time to give your lawn that extra boost it needs to make it through the winter months. Cool-season grasses especially need a fall feeding to get ready for next spring. Here are a few tips on how to winterize your lawn. Fall Lawn Fertilizing

  • Fertilize cool-season grasses, such as ryegrass, fescue and bluegrass in September, October or November.
  • Fertilize warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, Bahia, centipede, St. Augustine and Zoysia in July, August or September. Don’t overfertilize centipede.
  • Specially formulated winterizing fertilizers are higher in potassium than regular lawn food. Potassium is the nutrient that makes grasses more winter hardy. Apply winterizers as the last fertilizer application of the growing season.

Controlling Lawn Disease, Weeds and Insects

  • To help prevent lawn diseases during the fall and winter, remove leaves from your yard. Leaves left on the lawn encourage disease by preventing sunlight and air from reaching the grass. Use a rake or blower to collect the leaves and add them to a compost pile. If you’d rather, you can go over them with a mulching mower, chopping them into a fine compost for your grass.
  • For weed control during the winter months, apply a pre-emergent weed killer. Some products feature a combination fertilizer and weed killer called “weed and feed.”

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Winterizing your lawn – Part 2

Aerating in the Fall The summer is both a time of growth and harm for turf.  With people outside, enjoying their yards, playing sports and gardening, grass takes a beating.  Compaction is one of the worst problems inflicted on lawns with lots of foot traffic.  Compaction compresses the spaces in the soil where oxygen can be available to the roots.  Without oxygen, the plants cannot complete their metabolic processes  (breaking down the sugars they have stored from photosynthesis) and will die. Aerating helps overcome compaction.  A punch-core aerator is best.  That is the type of aerator used at golf courses, and leaves the little soil cores all over the soil.  That opens up spaces within the soil that can be top-dressed with compost or sand (depending upon your soil type), which will improve soil fertility, and aeration.

Overseeding and Topdressing the Lawn The early fall is a good time to overseed a lawn that might need renovation.  Warm season weeds will be dying off, opening up space for grass and reducing competition.  Grass that can establish itself in the fall will come back in the spring, more vigorous.  Before overseeding, aerate and top-dress with compost or sand.  This is an easy way to ensure a more lush lawn in the spring.

De-thatching for the Winter A thin layer of thatch is actually beneficial to lawns.  A layer beyond ½ inch thick is not beneficial, and can promote disease and fungal problems by limiting airflow between the soil and the top of grass.  Thatch is not composed of grass clippings, as many people suggest, but is rather dead stems that build up between the soil and the growing grass leaves.  Aerating is the best way to control thatch issues in a lawn. Each of these tasks will help you winterize your lawn for healthy growth in the spring.

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Winterizing your lawn – Part 1

The key to a lush, healthy spring lawn is proper preparation for the winter.  When the weather turns warmer, turf grass needs to be primed and ready to go.  Because grass goes dormant during the winter, any preparation for a healthy spring must be made in the fall.  For the most part, lawn winterizing is needed for cool season grasses that grow in the northern United States.  Warm season grasses in the south go dormant in the winter.  It is beneficial to ensure that the grass has a good, healthy root system going into the fall and winter.

Fertilizer for Lawn Winterizing The purpose of fertilizing a lawn to prepare it for winter is to fertilize at the right time for the lawn to build its root system up for the winter.  For that reason, a winter lawn fertilizer with a high potassium ratio is best, because that will stimulate root and rhizome growth, not growth of leaves and flowers. Depending upon where you live, you will most likely not want to fertilize past September or October.  Fertilizer too late in the season will cause the grass to keep growing, and could leave it susceptible to frost damage.

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