Mowing Season Coming to an End!

It might not feel like winter today with temps in the 70’s, but with a possible 1-2 inches of snow later this week, you won’t be mowing too much longer! So it’s time to start thinking about preparing your lawn for the colder temps and putting away your equipment.

Here’s a checklist of items to do before mid-December:

  • MOW: Keep your grass cut low (mulch leaves frequently)
  • WEEDS: Spray Weed-B-Gone on “winter weeds” in beds (those weeds will reappear in the cold weather if not treated)
  • FERTILIZE: Fertilize your lawn with Scotts Turf Builder ‘Winterguard’ or Southern States Premium Fall Lawn Food
  • MOWER STORAGE: Prepare your mower for winter storage
  • WINTERIZE IRRIGATION SYSTEM: Turn off your irrigation system and ‘winterize’ – if you haven’t secured a company to ‘blow out’ your irrigation pipes and get your system ready for the cold weather, book them soon.

Leaves Be Gone!  Leaves are falling…on your lawn. As we mentioned previously, it’s time to remove them and other debris so that your new grass (or old grass) can get the much-needed sunshine to thicken up. Leaves will harm your lawn if they stay. So, either rake them up or mulch them. Mulched leaves, like grass blades, are a valuable source of nutrients and organic matter. If there are a lot of leaves on your lawn, you may consider removing some and leaving some to mulch, so as not to smother the grass. Remove those leaves on your lawn before you fertilize.

Winterizer, the Last Application   If you didn’t get that bag of Scotts Turf Builder Winterguard or Southern States Premium Fall Lawn Food last weekend, this is the time to do it before they run out. The final application needs to go down sometime before the end of November. Before you apply it, cut your grass (2-3 inches high) and make sure you overlap your path. Go around the border first, then zigzag back and forth, overlapping each time.

So there’s your to-do list for the next several weeks! The sooner you get to it, the sooner you can sit back and enjoy the holiday season!  If you need additional information, check out pages 56-59 in our Lawn Club eBook. Here’s the link if you don’t have a copy- lawn-club-ebook.pdf

That’s it for our posts this year. I hope we have helped you improve your lawn and curb appeal. See you in the spring!

– The Sadler Green HOA

 

 

Get ‘Um Before It’s Cold

We are getting to the end of the mowing season. But before you think of putting your mower to rest for the winter, there are some tasks that still need to be done.

Mow, Mow, Mow… If you have been following the schedule, you should be mowing about every 4 days. Make sure you adjust the mower height to cut to about 2-2.5 inches. Also, you will want to vary the direction of your cutting. If you cut in stripes one way last time, cut 90 degrees to that this time. Or, cut on a left-sloped diagonal this time, and a right-sloped diagonal next time. This makes for a better cut and your lawn doesn’t grow in only one direction. (And don’t forget to trim along the curb!)

Weed Alert!  Yes, those weeds are still here and need to be dealt with. Pull out your favorite weed killer (Weed-B-Gone, etc.) and spray the weeds where ever they have popped up. Getting them now will only help in the spring. Remember… you will still be dealing with winter weed growth come March. You may also want to want to put down a layer of fertilizer plus pre-emergent (“Turf Builder Plu Halts”) to stop crabgrass before the seeds start to germinate. I know this is usually done in the spring, but the pre-emergent will also put a stop to other weeds from germinating over the winter. Caution! Do not apply a pre-emergent if you’re planning on seeding your lawn soon. It will stop grass seed from growing for two to six months. Wait until next season to apply a pre-emergent.

If you have followed the schedule, you already applied regular fertilizer to your lawn in September. Now you should wait until November to put down the last fertilizer application to give your lawn that boost it needs in the spring. But now is a great time to go out and purchase that bag so you are ready next month.

Dead leaves will harm your lawn!

Dead leaves will harm your lawn!

Leaf Alert! Soon the leaves will fall and your lawn will begin to look like this. That’s when it’s time to remove the leaves and other debris so that any newly seeded grass (or old grass) can get the much-needed sunshine to thicken up. If leaves are covering up your new grass, it can’t get the sunshine it requires to grow, and will just give up. So all of your hard work will be lost. Take some time to remove the leaves from your newly seeded areas. Either rake them up regularly or mulch fallen leaves throughout the fall (can you say ‘mulching mower’ ?). Because, like the grass blades, leaves are a valuable source of nutrients and organic matter. If there are a lot of leaves, you may consider removing some and leaving some to mulch so as not to smother the grass.

That’s it for now! If you don’t have our Lawn Club eBook yet, click HERE to download your copy.

 

The Battle Never Ends!

It’s almost fall, the weather is cooling off, it’s time to fertilize, but I’m still having lawn ‘issues’!  It’s a lawn fungus. And based on some neighborhood observations, I’m not alone.

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lawn fungus

To be sure it’s not grubs, try pulling up a brown patch. If you can’t, it’s fungus. Your next step is to buy a bag of fungus control at your local hardware store. Apply it at the suggested rate and let it go to work! It takes a week or 2 to get things back to normal. In the meantime, you can go back to cleaning up the weeds and getting the fall bag of fertilizer ready. You should wait 2 weeks after you put down the fungus control to fertilize.

 

If you don’t have problems like fungus in your lawn, it’s time to start in on the fall lawn ‘to-dos’ like fertilizing, aerating, and dethatching. Please refer to Page 47 in the Lawn Club eBook for information on what to do for the fall.   Lawn Club eBook

 

This is great weather to get out there and get your fall lawn maintenance started!

Scotts Lawn Fungus Control

Scotts Lawn Fungus Control

Time to Prep for Fall!

Fall is the time of year that lawns really love! Temps in the 60’s and 70’s, plentiful sunshine, and adequate rainfall. We won’t get these conditions for another 2-3 weeks, but it’s time to get our lawns ready to thrive. It’s been a long, hot summer that has taken a toll on many of our neighborhood lawns. But the fall offers cooler, wet conditions that are ideal for lawn growth. Your main objectives for this fall should be to:

  1. Get rid of the weeds
  2. Seed the bare spots
  3. Fertilize for growth

Before we can seed and fertilize, we must get rid of the weeds and see what challenges that creates. We will look at the most common weed issues and what is required to correct them.

Crabgrass

Crabgrass Makes its Appearance in August

Crabgrass Gone!

Crabgrass Gone!

1) CRABGRASS

This is probably the most prevalent weed in our neighborhood lawns, mostly due to lack of, or incomplete coverage of the crabgrass preventative in the spring. Sometimes you can’t get the Scotts “Halts” on every area of your lawn. Those areas you miss mean openings for the crabgrass!

Solution: Ortho Weed-B-Gone, SpeedZone (@Southern States)

Be careful how and when you spray. Don’t spray while the temps are above 85 degrees or you may end up killing the lawn also. And make sure you have 6-12 hours of rain-free weather to allow it to work (no watering).

Depending on the severity/amount of crabgrass in your lawn, you may be left with bare spots. That is where the re-seeding comes in. If the crabgrass is minimal, proper fertilizing will encourage the lawn to grow into the vacant areas. If you have a lot of dead crabgrass, you will need to dig/pull it up and back-fill with seed and topsoil. The key is to get started early so that you have excellent growing conditions to get the new patches established before the cold weather arrives.

 

 

Nutsedge in the Lawn

Nutsedge in the Lawn

 

 

2) NUTSEDGE

This is the second most prevalent lawn problem I’ve seen. Nutsedge is difficult to totally eliminate from your lawn. I’m on my 4th application of “Dismiss” and am still getting a few stragglers coming up through my lawn. The solution for Nutsedge is Dismiss. “Dismiss” is available at Southern States (maybe Home Depot & Lowe’s). You can get it in 6 oz. and 16 oz. size concentrates, depending on how big of a problem you have. Dismiss also controls or suppresses more than 50 broad leaf weeds including wild violets, clover, dandelions, chickweed and spurge. Mix the concentrate in a sprayer with water and spray the affected area. Since it needs to soak into the leaf, you should spray it after it rains or after you have watered the lawn. Results can usually be seen after 24-48 hours.

 

 

Bermuda Grass Sprouting Seeds to Spread

Bermuda Grass Sprouting Seeds to Spread

 

3) BERMUDAGRASS

This is the grandaddy of all weeds (or grass look-a-likes). Unfortunately there are a number of lawns in the neighborhood that contain this weed-grass. And unfortunately, if they don’t take care of their problem, it will become their neighbor’s problem soon. This is a fast growing weed if left alone. It doesn’t even require a lot of water! Bermudagrass grows above, below, and through your lawn. You may only see the seeds that sprout above the lawn like tiny fingers (picture shown). But be assured, the ‘runners’ are growing in and below your lawn. These ‘ runners’ travel through the lawn, sending roots down every 3-4 inches. They are extremely difficult to pull up because of this. These runners can even travel under driveways to a neighboring lawn! That is why is so important to aggressively attack this weed now.

I’d love to say that there is an easy way to eliminate Bermudagrass from your lawn. Unfortunately since it is so hardy and aggressive, you may need multiple applications to totally wipe it out. It is important to attack the weed when it is growing well and before it goes dormant in the colder fall temps (Bermudagrass loves heat!). Timing is the key! You will need to apply one of several sprays over the next month and a half so it soaks deep into the roots while it is actively growing. Here are the sprays that I recommend:

  • Bayer Advanced Bermuda Grass Control
  • Ornamec
  • Turon Ester
  • Poast
Bermuda Grass 'Runners'

Bermuda Grass ‘Runners’

You may find them locally or you might have to order them online. If you don’t care whether you kill your surrounding fescue grass, you can use “Round-Up” several times to kill everything. I recommend trying one of the other sprays first. Mowing Warning! With all of these weeds, if they are allowed to go to seed (you will see little ‘fingers’ of seeds growing up from the main weed), then do NOT blow the grass clippings back onto your lawn! You will be spreading seeds all over your (and your neighbors’) lawn. Use your mower bagger to pick up the clippings and dispose of them properly.

Help out your neighborhood…

One last thing to do this week that will help improve the curb appeal of the neighborhood- kill those weeds growing in the street. They are hardy and may require several follow-up applications. But please help us all out by spraying them with Round Up or Round Up Quik Pro (Southern States). Your home will look better and you will help out the neighborhood!

Weeds in the Street

Weeds in the Street

Don’t delay! Start this weekend to get your lawn in shape for the fall!

I Need a Drink!

burnedGrass

Neglected Lawn

That’s what your lawn is saying to you as we go through these very hot summer days. We are seeing too many lawns that are going brown because their owners just don’t want to water in the summer (or don’t know how). Too many homeowners think that if they let their lawn go ‘dormant’ in the summer, it will spring back in the fall when there is more rain and cooler temps. Not necessarily true!  It may work, but you will be planting grass seed next spring to fill in all of those dead spots! Keeping a healthy lawn in the summer will deter weeds and insects.  Also, our covenants require you to water your lawn to keep it healthy. So, spend the money on water now, or spend it on seed, starter fertilizer, sod, etc. in the fall.

 

GoodGrass

Lawn with Regular Watering

When should you water?

Early morning is best (5-6 AM) when less will evaporate. By all means, do not water in the heat of the day! It will fry your lawn in the hot sun!

How much should I water?

Make sure that you are watering your lawn on a regular basis so that it gets at least an inch of water every 4 days.

How do I set my sprinkler system to get the best watering schedule?

We don’t have enough space here to answer that. Please refer to pages 12-20 in our manual: Lawn Club eBook

How high should I cut my lawn in the summer?

You should be mowing your lawn at the highest setting on your mower. This will encourage deeper root growth, better water retention, and fewer insects.

 

Don’t have a copy of our eBook? Click here to get one- Lawn Club eBook

It Will Drive You ‘Nuts’!

“Nutsedge”, that is…

Nutsedge in the Lawn

Nutsedge in the Lawn

Nutsedge- leaf, root, tuber

Nutsedge- leaf, root, tuber

Lately I’ve noticed the return of this nasty weed in my yard and throughout the neighborhood. It looks like normal fescue grass but has a distinctive triangular or v-shaped stem, and grows 3 times as fast as regular grass. It is not easy to get rid of either. Usually once you have it in your lawn, it returns to some extent the following season, even if you kill it now!

Here’s an excerpt from the Lawn Club eBook about Nutsedge… (page 38)

Nutsedge in the Lawn

Nutsedge is not just any ordinary weed. It is a weed with a nearly indestructible will to live. You can’t just pull it up and dispose of it like a dandelion. Although if you pull it out when it is very small (only 3 leaves or less), and you get the tuber, you can weaken or possibly destroy it. However, this is very time-consuming and not guaranteed to work. It’s particularly difficult if it is spreading throughout your yard.

Even though it looks like grass, Nutsedge is not technically a member of the grass family. It is actually a “sedge” which is a family of marsh-loving grass-like plants, usually found in wet areas. It is very hardy and grows through a system of underground roots and underground tubers (little balls that grow below the roots in the soil). So if you just pull out the leaf, two thirds of the weed remains and continues to reproduce in a matter of days! And, if you let the leaf grow long enough to produce the yellow seed flowers at the top, they will end up multiplying all over your (and your neighbor’s) yard.

 

Nutsedge Stem

Nutsedge Stem

There are a number of products on the market that are eective in killing the leaves of the Nutsedge weed, but to really eliminate it, you must get to the roots (and tubers). This is called a “systemic” approach since it kills from within. The only product that seems to be eective is called “Dismiss”.

 

Dismiss, the Solution

It is available at Southern States (maybe Home Depot & Lowe’s). You can get it in 6 oz. and 16 oz. size concentrates, depending on how big of a problem you have. Dismiss also controls or suppresses more than 50 broad leaf weeds including wild violets, clover, dandelions, chickweed and spurge. To apply Nutsedge, mix it in a sprayer and spray the acted area. Since it needs to soak into the ground, you should spray it after it rains or you have watered the lawn, when the ground is soft and wet. You may also spray the leaves. Results can be seen after 48 hours.

 

Don’t wait! Pick up some ‘Dismiss’ now and get a handle on this weed!

 

Here’s a link to get a copy of our Lawn Club eBook:  Lawn Club eBook

Just “Seed Heads”, Not Weeds

images

Many lawns in the neighborhood are developing “seed heads” or “flowerstalks”. This is a typical occurrence in the springtime. All fescue and bluegrass blends produce “seed heads” this time of the year, depending on the grass type and weather conditions. Recent cool weather has prolonged the weedy looking seed heads. But once warmer weather returns, they will die off. Seed heads make your lawn look as if a strange weed has invaded your lawn. But they are really only a normal part of the tall fescue life cycle.

What to do? These seed heads are sometimes difficult to mow cleanly, and mowing at a lower setting is not the answer to eliminating them. In fact, that may add additional stress to your lawn. The best advice is to bag your clippings as you mow to pick up the seedings.  Then, just wait out the warmer weather! Your lawn will return to its normal thickness soon, as long as it is properly mowed, fertilized and irrigated.

It’s time to fertilize again! Actual weeds are also trying to grow. But you can take care of them and the fertilizing at the same time. How your lawn looks right now will determine which type of fertilizer you need to put down. You may want to just add fertilizer if you don’t have many weeds. Or, you can apply fertilizer plus weed control. Either way your last application of fertilizer should go down before Memorial Day. Then, we wait until fall. Your lawn needs to spend the entire summer fighting weeds, fungus, heat, and whatever else comes along. It’s not the time to grow thicker and stronger!

See Page 25 in our Handbook for more information. Don’t have a copy of the Handbook? Download it here:  Lawn Club eBook

 

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