Garden Solutions - September 2011

Local Blogs - Hillermann Nursery & Florist
Friday, 09 September 2011

             The kids are back in school and off to college, and it is time to get back to work in the yard and garden since you may have put off your outdoor living projects this summer because of bonding, vacations and sports programs ...or hot, dry weather.

Lawn with house in background            Our yards definitely DID suffer this summer. Thank goodness, the hottest month of the year is now behind us. Well, there is no better time to renovate and reseed than this month of September. In fact, the perfect window of opportunity for yard growth is August 15th- October 15th. Even though it may be hot and dry, it is the perfect time of year to aerate and over seed established yards. The process should be done as follows: Cut the lawn a little shorter than normal, 2-3 inches. Then run over the yard with a core aerator (this machine pulls plugs out of the ground about the size of your little finger). This whole process works best after a good rain or a deep watering. The core aeration process helps with the soil aeration, lessens soil compaction and makes for better, stronger grass root systems. Now, run a renovator over the area. This machine slices the ground with many little teeth and will break down the dirt clods from the core aeration process and bring up any dead thatch in the area. Now you are ready to sow your grass seed (use a 50% spread rate for a 50% stand of grass) and add fertilizer (a starter type fertilizer that is high in phosphorus is best). For a 50% stand of grass or less you will not need additional cover such as straw. If you are over seeding bare areas or new lawn areas, you will need to straw these areas to hold moisture for seed protection. For the specific grass seed type, shop for seed specific to your area of need: shade, sun, part-shade and sun, etc. There are special grass seed mixes made up for our Mid-Missouri region that perform beautifully here so, make sure you check that out for guaranteed success.

            You can then re-fertilize and add a Winterizer fertilizer to the entire area in late October or November. This whole process will "promise" you a beautiful strong lawn for spring of next year. Water is, of course, essential for this growth if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. New lawn installations are also best at this time of year as well.

            You need to continue thinking about watering during this month ... and remember that there are ways to make it economical and easy, just ask the experts. The wildlife in your yard, as well as all new and established plantings, needs our help this year as we have experienced several exceptionally dry summers. 

            Now turn your focus to Fall Decorations ... and change the Curb Appeal of your yard by giving it a face lift for fall. Change out those summer containers and flower beds with fall bedding plants that work long into the fall season, which in our case here in MO can be thru mid Nov. You should be able to find such plants as pansies, ornamental cabbage, kale, cool season annuals, ornamental grasses, hardy garden mums and MUCH more. Don't forget to add in straw, corn stalks, pumpkins and gourds to give your displays a complete look. Extend the look of your outdoor room and enjoy the fall season outdoors.

            Fall bulbs are available now and should be considered for spring color in your garden! So start to think ahead to next year's blooms, and get in on the action now.

            *For additional information about fall garden tips, check out this website:

Time to go..........See you in the Garden..............

Sandi Hillermann McDonald

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