“Help! I need design help for my garden?”
We do! We offer free landscape design sketches and free container plantings consultation / design! And you will be blown away by our wonderful selection of fall colors available! Garden mums, asters, Montauk Daisies, ornamental peppers, cold hardy annuals, millet, grasses, colorful perennials, pansies, ornamental cabbage, kale and mustard greens, and so much more.
“Am I supposed to stop feeding and deadheading my Knock Out roses?”
Yes, as a general rule of thumb, we’ll stop feeding roses as well as deadheading once we get into September. We want the roses to finish their blooming, stop growing, and begin to shut down for the winter. Leaving the spent flowers on the roses, rose hips will form suggesting that the plant stop growing. For roses like Knock Outs, they are somewhat self-deadheading and may continue to flower very late into the season on their own. I’ve seen them with color early December. But stop feeding and stop deadheading once we get into September.
“What spray do you recommend for getting get rid of spider webs in the landscape?”.
None! I know it’s hard to accept, but the spiders in the garden are our friends. They’re the good guys. They’re predators, and right now, they’re doing a fine job reducing the bug populations in our yards. So we do not recommend spraying for spiders in the garden. If the webs bother you, feel free to eliminate them with a broom or strong stream of water, but please don’t spray to kill them. Leave the outdoor spiders alone.
“Our black eyed Susan’s foliage looks awful. If we pull them up will they come back next year?”.
Don’t pull them up. Shear off all the nasty foliage and throw it away (in case of foliar diseases). They may re-grow a bit yet this fall. Same goes for daylilies that are looking pretty rough right now.
“What can I do to prevent my Autumn Joy Sedum from flopping over?”
1.) Place a grow ring or peony ring over them before they start to grow in the spring (for support), or 2.) Cut them in half in early June. This delays flowering by a couple weeks, but keeps them shorter, stockier, and less apt to flop over. This works quite nicely. Also look at some of the newer selections that have been developed to be shorter and less floppy.
“What’s the best way to harvest my potatoes? They still have some foliage.”
Potatoes underground will continue to develop as long as there is foliage on top. So if you want potatoes now, dig what you need, but leave the rest in the ground. They’ll continue to grow, and produce, and it’s actually a good place to store them! Once the foliage yellows, time for potato harvests.
“Our lawn looks pretty good after this summer. Can I get by without feeding it?”.
NO WAY, JOSE! Don’t let the lawn looking pretty good after the summer fool you into not doing anything to it for the fall. I would guess you have some thin areas that could use some over seeding. If you have any type of foot traffic or heavy clay soils, it’s a great time for core aerating the lawn. And no matter what, September is the month for the first fall feeding, which needs to be done no matter what your lawn looks like! DO NOT SKIP THE TWO FALL FEEDINGS! Now, I usually recommend that this is the perfect time to evaluate your lawn so you can get your plans in place:
-If the turf has gone dormant, look closely to see if the crowns are still green and viable. If so, they will fill back in this fall with the usual fall fertilization. -If there are voids in Bluegrass lawns, 4-6 inches in diameter, they should fill in on their own (bluegrass sends out rhizomes). But if those voids are in tall fescue lawns (without rhizoming tall fescues like TLC Blend) or perennial rye lawns (these are both bunching grasses – again, unless its TLC), spot seeding will be needed to fill the voids. -If you find perennial grassy weeds like zoysia, tall fescue clumps in bluegrass or rye lawns, or nimblewill growing in the turf, treat those now with Roundup, kill everything, then reseed or re-sod in early – mid September. If zoysia / Bermuda is being killed, make sure it gets killed! For added protection, removing the zoysia / Bermuda sod may help. -If your lawn is 50% or more weeds, then you should consider total renovation, which means everything is killed with Roundup (2 applications 10 days apart), and then reseed or re-sod the area in early-mid September. You can kill, mow it (dead grass and weeds) low, and slice seed right through the dead stuff! -If the lawn is 70% turf grass and 30% or less weeds, over-seeding (slice seeding) and fertilizing, then spraying the weeds in mid to late October works well. You’ll still do the last feeding in late November. Remember: late August and early-mid September is turf time, which means you need to have your plan in place. Core aerating, seeding, over seeding, sodding and the first fall feeding is right around the corner!
“Which fertilizer do you recommend for feeding the lawn?”.
Feeding your lawn twice this fall, will be the two most important feedings and will be the backbone to how well your turf can perform next year. Two feedings of a high Nitrogen fertilizer replenishes the Nitrogen lost during the summer, improves fall and winter turf colors, helps earlier spring green up, increases shoot density and fall root growth, and enhances storage of energy reserves within the turf plant. Fertilome’s Lawn Food with Iron, a 24-0-4 makes an excellent choice. Want to feed the lawn with a natural fertilizer? Try Milorganite. And if you’re seeding or over seeding the lawn in September, use a ‘starter fertilizer’- still has a nice shot of nitrogen but has higher phosphorus and potash levels, which are very important to new grass, and still feeds the existing grass as well.
“Do you have a particular grass seed that is best for our lawn?”
Try to use the same seed as the existing grass or one that is compatible. Most lawns in our area are either a mix of bluegrass, perennial rye and creeping red fescue, or they’re turf type tall fescues. Not sure what you have? Try scotts.com for a great web site to help identify your existing grass! Now, once you know what type of lawn you have, look for the seed to match – bluegrass / perennial rye/ fine fescue mix, or look for the tall fescue blends such as TLC. One last note on seed selection – If you have a bluegrass / rye mix lawn, do not over seed with the tall fescues and vice versa, unless the lawn is so thin you can barely tell grass is even growing. If you want to switch the type of lawn you have from one to another, it’s best to kill the existing lawn with Roundup, and then reseed with your new seed selection. And yes, those turf type tall fescues get great reviews for our area!
“Can I spray the crabgrass first, and then seed later this week?”.
Nope, unless you’re using Roundup or Kleenup (which kills everything you spray it on). Most weed killers have a waiting period of 4-6 weeks before you can seed. Bonide’s Weed Beater Ultra is 2 weeks. Nevertheless, in many cases, this time of the year, crabgrass just laughs at weed killers. You may be better off raking or pulling it out (shallow rooted), or just slice seeding right thru it. The blades usually cut a lot of it off at ground level. If not, the new grass will start to grow up thru the crabgrass clumps, and the crabgrass clumps will die after the first frost or two (while the grass keeps growing). Make sure you use a pre-emergent next spring. Thick lawns and pre- emergent herbicides – your best two defenses against crabgrass. Ps. Best time for weed control in the lawn will be mid to late October!
“Where do we rent core aerators and slice seeders?”
Check with your local tool rentals. In the Mason area, we use Econowise Tool Rental! As a matter of fact they’re easy to get to no matter where you live in the Cincy area. ( www.econowiserental.com ) If your neighborhood has several lawns in need of rejuvenation, think about renting a core aerator and slice seeder to be shared with your neighbors. You could have a lawn rejuvenation weekend party on your street, and share in the equipment costs (and maybe some of the labor as well!).
Have a gardening question, email email@example.com.