This Saturday morning around 8:00 am EDT, I will be a guest on my friend Tom MacCubbin’s Florida “Better Lawns and Garden” Radio Show. (Click here to open his radio show website where you will be able to listen in.)
Ants, Spiders, Scorpions, Roaches, etc. etc. etc. are coming a knocking. The nights are getting cooler and all those home invaders are looking for somewhere warm… our house. Yesterday I protected our home from a long list of invaders by spraying a barrier around our foundation. It was easy, fast and saves lots of money compared to hiring someone to do this job I can do myself. I put down Ortho Home Defense MAX Outdoor Perimeter Insect Killer. I like this product not only because it works great, I also like that it does not stain and there is no bad odor. You can put down your protective barrier as dry granules or as a spray. I used the spray. Click here to learn how to treat outside your home like I did. Click here to learn how to treat inside your home.
Feed northern lawns (like Fescue, Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass) at least one more time. Turf experts recommend two to three feedings in fall at 6 week intervals with the last one in late November. Southern grass lawns (like St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia can be fed one last time this fall in the most southern areas. However, in the mid-south you should hold off feeding as these kinds of grasses approach winter dormancy. Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard is a good choice.
Kill lawn weeds. As long as your daily temps are reaching a high of 50 degrees or more the day you spray, you can kill pesky perennial weeds like Dandelion, Clover and Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie), as well as annual weeds like Chickweed and Henbit. Kill them this fall and they will not be in your lawn next spring. There are various Ortho Weed-B-Gon products depending on where you live. Click here to see your options. If you have lots of weeds throughout your lawn, you can use Turf Builder WinterGuard plus Plus 2 Weed Control rather than spot spraying.
Note: If you planted grass seed this fall, it is best to wait until the new seedlings have been mowed 4 times before you apply weed killers.
Don’t allow fallen tree leaves to smother your grass. You can skip raking your tree leaves by mowing them to dime size or smaller and feeding your grass after mowing. This two-step process will help encourage the micro-organisms in your soil to compost the leaves right on your lawn.
Mow your grass until is stops growing. Continue to mow at one of the taller settings rather than scalping your lawn with a very short cut. The grass height after mowing should be:
2-1/2 to 3 inches for Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Fine Fescue
3 inches for Tall Fescue and Buffalograss
3 to 4 inches for St. Augustinegrass
1-1/2 to 2 inches for Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass and Zoysia
I will be on the radio with the Home Improvement USA show this Saturday, October 11 at 8:20 am EDT. I have been a guest on this show with my old friends Dave and Steve several times a year for the past 19 years. Thanks guys for allowing me to spread some lawn and garden wisdom on your show! (Click this link to listen live).
We decided to go with different plants in our winter container gardens this year because last year’s winter was tougher than previous years. We chose violas rather than pansies as they are more winter hardy. Here are photos of our winter containers over the past three years:
One nice thing about winter container gardens is that they don’t need much care as long as you use a good soil like we did. Even though we were tempted to use the old soil in the pot from previous plantings, we know it is best to start off with fresh soil. We used Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix. This special mix helps keep you from over and under watering, and best of all it contains enough feeding to make it thru the first few months.
Just to show you how plant roots love this soil, check out this photo of the root mass that filled these containers this summer.
We love to see plants that appear ordinary looking during other seasons put on a show in fall. Our Purple (some folks call it Pink) Muhly Grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris and our Beautyberry shrub, Callicarpa dichotoma are getting lots of comments from our neighbors. If you are looking for landscape ideas, here are a few photos to motivate you to visit one of your local public gardens this time of year to see the plants that stand out during fall in your area.
This Saturday I will be on the air with my longtime friend Nick Federoff on his national Things Green Radio Show. Click here to go to his website to find a station and time near you or to listen in.