With the start of September comes one of the most popular seasons of all: Fall.Let’s take a look at a mandatory practice that will not only benefit your yard today, but also give it lasting benefits throughout the season: fertilizing. While fertilization can be done year-round, experts say that the best time to start is in the fall.
Why the fall? “From a horticultural standpoint, it’s the best time to feed your lawn and make sure the nutrient levels are at their optimum growing conditions,” says Chuck Whealton, region manager with Ruppert Landscape’s landscape management division. “It’s also the best time to do lawn renovation. So, if you’re doing some overseeding of those areas, the best time to get germination of new grass is in the fall as well.”
Whealton explains that with cool-season grasses, fall is an especially important time to fertilize for the following reasons:
According to Whealton, this could end up costing customers more than it would have to do the initial fertilizing.
“A good offense is better and usually less expensive than defense,” "Something is going to grow there, and we’d rather it be what we want, the desirable turf, than weeds. Once you have weeds, then you have to kill the weeds. We would rather play offense and create a healthy, good standing turf than to have to constantly be battling with herbicides and weed control.”
Even though many think they can easily save money by skipping fertilizing this fall, please know that in the end it could cost you more to repair damage done by weeds than it would to start the season off strong.
24 AUGUST 2017
Being proactive is always preferred over responding after a problem appears, and this is why applying pre-emergent herbicides is such an important feature of any lawn-care provider’s business.
No one wants weeds in their yard, and the best way to go about eliminating them is to prevent them from growing in the first place. This is where pre-emergent herbicides come into play.
“Basically what they do is inhibit root growth, so the roots cannot expand once they come in contact with the herbicide,” said Dan Loughner, a field scientist for Dow AgroSciences Turf and Ornamental. “It stops the roots from growing essentially.”
Because pre-emergent herbicides aren’t killing the weeds but simply shutting down cell division so they can no longer grow, there is a LIMITED WINDOW of time to apply these chemicals so they can take effect before the weed germinates.
The general rule of thumb about when to spray or spread a pre-emergent is to apply the chemical two or three weeks prior to the emergence of the targeted weed. Crabgrass is the most common weed targeted and it tends to germinate when the soil temperature has been above 50 degrees for several days.
So, now that you know when, how do you decide what product to use and in what form to apply it?
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