October 20, 2016
I was surprised that I woke up to the sound of rainfall on Tuesday morning. I don’t know how much rain we received but any amount of rain we get is going to help with keeping our trees and shrubs alive.
Many of you will have seen your lawn come back to life with the rain we have received over the last month. If you are like me, some parts of the lawn may not have come back. Those areas will probably need to be re-seeded. The question of the last week has been “ Is it to late to put down grass seed? “ The answer is “ if you can tell me what the weather will be like in the next 6 weeks, I can give you an answer.” Grass seed need warm soil temperatures and moisture in order to grow. In a normal season of regular fall rain, fall is an ideal time to patch those dead spots in your lawn. The forecast for this week is 80-degree temperatures for part of the week, 60-degree temperatures for later in the week and potentially a lot of rain on Friday. I have seen years when you could re-seed in late November and have the seed catch. I have also seen years when the soil freezes the first week in November. There is a misconception that once we have a frost, it is too late to reseed a lawn. It is not a frost that stops you from being able to put down seed. The answer is that you need to have 10 to 21 days for the seed to sprout and then, give or take, a month for the grass to grow before the soil freezes. At this point, it is probably worth a try to put down some grass seed to try to repair those dead spots.
Your lawn also will respond to an application of fall fertilizer. An application of lime is probably in order if you haven’t applied lime to your lawn in a few years. Remember, too, that you need to cut your lawn if the grass continues to grow. In the fall, you need to make a final cut on your lawn once the grass stops growing. If you leave long blades of grass, they can fall over and mat down during the winter. This then becomes an ideal breeding ground for lawn diseases that can kill your lawn. You may not want to be cutting the grass in late November, but if that is when the grass stops growing, then you want to cut the grass one last time before the snow flies.
I had a reader ask a question about pruning back autumn clematis. This particular clematis is cut back in the spring. Other types of clematis are pruned based on the variety of clematis. In a nutshell, there are three different classification of pruning based on the variety of clematis. It is important to keep the plant tag that came with your clematis in order to know when you need to prune your plant. If you know the variety, you can look up the pruning time online. We also have a chart that gives us some of the common varieties and when they should be pruned back.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.