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Seasonal Tips

Spring 

  • Spread granular, slow-acting fertilizer.
  • Aerate the lawn to treat compacted soil and create an enviroment for over seeding, only if the lawn is thin.
  • Mulch with organic matter, if necessary.
  • Sharpen your mower blades at the start of the season and as much as necessary during the season to maintain sharp blades. Dull blades open the door for turf diseases.
  • Dethatch lawn to remove thatch build up. Excess thatch is a major contributing factor for turf pest problems. Removing/reducing the thatch layer allows the lawn to thicken to a lush green stand of turf.
  • Do not do any over-seeding or top seeding until after mid-May. Most varieties of turf grass require consistent temperatures of 60 degrees and up to germinate.
  • Once you've applied your crabgrass pre-emergent control and intend to seed, you must top dress the area lightly with topsoil; 1/2" to 1" or so.Use Lawn & Garden Blended Topsoil (brown), not black top soil.

Summer

  • Learn the signs of bug infestation, and head them off before they get settled in.
  • Water your lawn weekly if rain is scarce or your soil is poor. Otherwise, water only when rainfall is delayed more than 10 days.
  • Treat weeds and bare spots as soon as you see them.
  • Sharpen your mower blade again halfway through the season.
  • Water trees and shrubs if it's hot and dry. Trees need water. Most people think the trees are okay to go without water. This may be true depending upon a number of variables; such as the type of soil the tree is growing in; sand, clay, gravel, or good topsoil. More cases than not, the tree is in poor soil conditions. The type of tree dictates how sensitive it is to lack of moisture. Birch trees are especially sensitive to lack of water. Any tree with an added stress (you may not be aware of) can also be sensitive and cause further problems, even death. Trees take much longer to show signs of drought damage by the time the damage is noticeable, it is too late to reverse the effect.
  • Mulching around trees: All to often we see trees with mulch up around the trunk, 2", 3", or even more in some cases. Mulch in the root zone around a tree helps:
    • Retain moisture
    • Keep the roots cooler in hot weather and reduces stress
    • Promotes faster growth
    • Prevents mower and string trimming damage
    • Displays a clean, neat, and well-maintained appearance.
  • Mulch should taper down when it's near the trunk. It should not be in contact with the tree trunk. This will ADD STRESS and promote crown rot and untimely death over time.

Autumn

  • Water trees and shrubs thoroughly mulched before the first frost
  • But don’t over water! Plants and shrubs should be expected to look a little brown in September and October
  • Mulch with organic material, or mow a layer of fallen leaves into the lawn
  • Be sure your lawn is fertilized.
  • Final lawn cutting should be short, 2" to 2.5". This helps reduce winter kill and snow mold, mole damage, and helps the lawn green up faster in the spring.

Winter

  • Put burlap windscreens around less hardy plants, especially evergreens along roadways where salt mist can cause damage. Arborvitaes are very sensitive; they are also prone to deer damage if not protected.
  • Be aware of drainage issues that may contribute to salt damage of trees and shrubs. Areas where run-off occurs are susceptible to damage.
  • Use a broom to brush snow away from evergreen trees gently, to keep the weight from breaking the limbs.
  • If ice or snow does break tree limbs, have the limbs removed as soon as weather permits – damaged trees are prone to disease.
  • Putting markers at the edge of your lawn will help you avoid damaging it during snow plow operations.
  • Avoid walking on frosted or snow-covered lawns.
  • Use only non-salt de-icing products; such as pot ash & calcium chloride for sidewalks and driveways, so the runoff doesn’t harm plants.
  • Salt will damage grass, perennials, and shrubs, and will keep the plants from absorbing much-needed water.
  • Check any perennial plants during periods of thawing soil to see if the roots have popped out of the ground. If they have, gently push them back into place, and add mulch.