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Listen in to Garden Radio Shows Sept 20 & 21

This Saturday morning around 8:00 am EDT I will be on The Magic Garden radio show with my good friend Mort White.   Click here to open the show website where you will be able to listen in.

Mort White and I have been friends for many years.  I always look forward to being a guest on his Magic Garden Radio Show.

Mort White and I have been friends for many years. I always look forward to being a guest on his Magic Garden Radio Show.

Also this weekend I will be on the Real Estate Today Radio Show with Gil Gross. Click here to find out how you can listen in as times vary by city.

Thanks to Gil Gross for inviting me to be a return guest on his radio show.

Thanks to Gil Gross for inviting me to be a return guest on his radio show.

Fall Grass Seeding Tips

These are my six tips for planting grass seed this fall:

  1. Cheap seed will give you problems down the road.  Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed blends are sold for different lawn situations using the best available grass varieties.  Old seed that has been stored in a garage causing it to experience big temperature changes will germinate poorly. It is best to buy fresh seed and use it all that season.
  2. Rough up the top inch or so of your soil.  The idea is to make sure the seed is in good contact with soil and that it is no deeper than the top 1/8 inch. If you are seeding into an existing lawn, a slit-seeder can be rented to help the seed come in contact with the soil without damaging your grass.  If you do not use a slit-seeder, you can expect some of the grass seed to find its way to the soil and live after germination, however a good bit of the seed will sprout without finding soil for the roots to spread before drying out.
  3. After you spread the seed, feed with Scotts Starter Lawn Food, and then make one pass across the newly seeded area with an upside down leaf rake (tines pointed up). Note: this is a leaf rake, not a garden rake. . It is ok to still see some seed on the surface.
  4. Keep your new seed moist until your new grass is established. Fall seeding germinates faster than spring planted grass because the soil is warmer. With colder spring soil you can sometimes count on 2 weeks or more before you see new grass spouts. In fall this time can be cut down to 7 to 14 days. Also understand that no matter when you seed, you will generally see some of the grass seed come up a week or so before the rest of your seed germinates because of the different varieties in the seed blend and their different germination times. This is why it is important to keep up your watering a week or so after you begin to seed new seedlings.  If you suspect you will have a difficult time keeping the soil moist, a thin layer of straw can be spread over the seed.
  5. Anytime you use a weed killer and plan to seed, check the label to see what the waiting period is before you can plant grass seed or how long you need to wait to kill weeds after seeding.
  6. A feeding of Scotts Turf Builder one month after seeding will also help your new grass fill-in thin areas.

Our Deck Planters: 200 Peppers and Counting

After the last of our spring harvest from our deck planters (kale, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard) we planted 9 pepper plants on April 30.  These three planters have 3 – Gypsy Hybrid and 6 – Carmen Hybrid peppers.  These self-watering planters hold about 4 gallons of water.  The soil is Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix.  We have found it is best to start with fresh soil each year and clean the roots out of the water reservoir.  We fed the plants with Osmocote when we planted them.

Here are the photos so you can check out the progress.

We planted 3 pepper plants in each planter on April 30 (click photo to enlarge)

We planted 3 pepper plants in each planter on April 30 (click photo to enlarge)

We use small cages to help keep the plants stable with the extra weight of the peppers (click photo to enlarge)

We use small cages to help keep the plants stable with the extra weight of the peppers.  This photo was taken June 25.  (click photo to enlarge)

Each planter has a Gypsy pepper plant is in the center and Carmen peppers are on the ends. There are still tons of green peppers on the plants that we will wait to pick after they turn orange and red to get maximum sweetness. (Click photo to enlarge)

Each planter has a Gypsy pepper plant is in the center and Carmen peppers are on the ends. There are still tons of green peppers on the plants that we will wait to pick after they turn orange and red to get maximum sweetness. (Click photo to enlarge)

Listen in to Garden Radio Sept 13

I will be with my good friend “The Georgia Gardener” Walter Reeves as a guest on his Radio Show Saturday, September 13 from 8:00 am until 9:00 am EDT.  Click here to open the WSB website where you will be able to listen in.

Click here to check out Walter’s “Georgia Gardener” website.

Former Extension Agents Walter Reeves and Ashton Ritchie hanging out at Walter’s WSB radio show studio in Atlanta

Former Extension Agents Walter Reeves and Ashton Ritchie hanging out at Walter’s WSB radio show studio in Atlanta

 

 

 

Fall Lawn Checklist

All lawns need feeding.  Southern lawns like (Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia) should be fed once or twice this fall for a total of about four feedings a year.  Centipede only likes two or three feedings a year from late spring to early fall.  Northern lawns (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass) should be fed two or three times this fall for a total of four feedings a year (or an extra fifth feeding if you really want your lawn to stand out).  Scotts GreenMAX Lawn Food, Scotts Turf Builder or Scotts Natural Lawn Food are good choices for your first fall feeding.  Your last feeding of the year can be Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard.

Fall feedings are important in building a thick, sturdy lawn

Fall feedings are important in building a thick, sturdy lawn (Click to enlarge photo)

Some lawns need seeding.  Fall is a great time to seed Northern lawns (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass).  If you have more dead grass than bare soil, rent a Slit-Seeder to seed your lawn with Scotts best seed blend for your situation.   For our best grass seed, go with one of the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed blends rated for Sun, Sun/Shade, Dense Shade, High Traffic, or Heat-Tolerance.  Spread Scotts Starter Food for New Grass the same day you seed.  Water a couple of times a day for several weeks.  Mow your new lawn when it is tall enough to cut with the height set at around 2-1/2 inches.  About a month after seeding, feed your new lawn with Scotts Turf Builder.  If you only have a few bare spots, Scotts EZ Seed is a good choice because the special mulch holds moisture next to the seed while it is germinating.

Grass seed should come in contact with your soil.  If it lays on top of dead grass, it is less likely to grow.

Grass seed should come in contact with your soil. If it lays on top of dead grass, it is less likely to grow.  (Click to enlarge photo)

Some lawns need weeding.  Fall is a great time to kill weeds without hurting your good grass.  Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie), Clover, Chickweed, baby Dandelions from the seed that blew around last spring and lots of others tend to show up in your grass this time of year.  These weeds are in your lawn because the wetter, cooler fall weather is the ideal time for them to grow.  The good news is you can terminate them the same time you feed your lawn this fall with Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed & Feed, or if you only have a few, you can spot spray them with Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer after you have fed your lawn with one of the Scotts Lawn Foods mentioned above.  Put down Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed & Feed on moist foliage on a day when rain is not expected and do not water the day you put it down.  Spreading first thing in the morning when your grass is covered in dew works very well.  All you need is the mid-day temperatures to get between 50 and 85 degrees.  After the granules have been on your lawn for 24 hours it is ok to water your lawn.  If you have St. Augustinegrass, use Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed to control your weeds.  Give your lawn a good watering after spreading this product.  One last bit of advice:  If you put down grass seed this fall, you should not put down weed controls in those areas you seeded until after your new grass has been mowed 4 times.

Fall is a great time of year to kill Ground Ivy (also known as Creeping Charlie).

Fall is a great time of year to kill Ground Ivy (also known as Creeping Charlie).  Click to enlarge photo.

Listen-in To Garden Radio September 6 and 7

You have lots of opportunities to listen-in to garden radio this weekend as I will be a guest on five radio shows.

I will be on the air with Ron Wilson on his very popular “In the Garden” radio shows this Saturday.   At around 7:33 am EDT I will be a guest on his Cincinnati show that can be heard on many stations around the country (click this link to listen live).  And then around 10:15 am EDT I will be a guest on his Columbus, Ohio show (click this link to listen live).

I always learn tons of good solid gardening info every time Ron Wilson and I get together to swap stories.

I always learn tons of good solid gardening info every time Ron Wilson and I get together to swap stories.

Also on Saturday morning, from 8 to 9 am EDT, I will be on “The Plant Talk Ohio” show with ‘The Ohio Nurseryman” Fred Hower.  Click here to link to the show website where you can listen in.

Fred Hower and I have been friends for over 30 years.  I always enjoy our gardening chat on his radio show.

Fred Hower and I have been friends for over 30 years. I always enjoy our gardening chat on his radio show.

Also on Saturday morning a little after Noon EDT, I will be on the D&B Garden Show in Boise, Idaho with Master Gardener Debbie Cook.  Click this link to listen live.

Debbie and I have talked lawn and garden care for D&B Supply in Boise every spring and fall for over 10 years.

Debbie and I have talked lawn and garden care for D&B Supply in Boise every spring and fall for over 10 years.

Then on Sunday morning from 11 to Noon EDT, I will be on the air with “The Garden Rebel” Vince Sims on his national show.  Click this link to listen in.

"The Garden Rebel" Vince Sims first met on air over 15 years ago.  Several years ago we enjoyed our time together visiting Scotts Research Center in Ohio.

“The Garden Rebel” Vince Sims and I first met “on air” over 15 years ago. Several years ago we enjoyed our time together visiting Scotts Research Center in Ohio.

How to Prevent Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass)

Now is the time to put down a preventer to keep Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass) from germinating this fall.

This is an early spring picture of Poa Annua in a Bermudagrass lawn.  Notice the light colored seeds.

This is an early spring picture of Poa Annua in a Bermudagrass lawn. Notice the light colored seeds.

Lawn weeds like Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass), Common Chickweed, and Henbit are “Winter Annuals”.   This means they germinate in fall, thrive in spring and then die during summer, but not before scattering seed so the cycle can start all over again in fall.  (“Summer Annuals”, like Crabgrass, Foxtail and Barnyardgrass, have the opposite cycle of germinating in spring, thriving in summer and dying just prior to winter, but not before scattering seed so the cycle can start all over again in spring.)

If you vowed last spring that you wanted to stop these winter annual weeds from invading your lawn, you need to pick up a bag Scotts Halts or Scotts Turf Builder with Halts so you can treat your lawn now.  (One of the Halts products is the correct product to use even though it says to apply in spring to prevent crabgrass.)  Be sure to water after application.

Caution:  If you are planning to plant any grass seed this fall, you should not spread weed prevention in those areas as it will keep your good grass seed from germinating.

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