27August 31, 2011

August comes to a close and we are headed for Labor Day weekend. Perhaps you are going away for a last minute vacation. If not, there are things you should be doing around the yard. Here is your list of things to do this weekend or as soon as you get back from your weekend away.

Late summer / early fall is a time to fertilize your lawn. The heat of the summer and the dry weather of early summer can take a toll on your lawn. Applying fertilizer now gets the lawn growing again. This is necessary if you are going to get your lawn to survive the coming winter.

Fall is also a good time to apply lime to your lawn. If you have not applied lime this year, now would be a good time to do so. Grass does not grow well in acidic soil. Weeds can grow very well in an acidic soil. Lime changes soil from acidic to a more neutral Ph. At the proper Ph, grass can actually grow faster than the weeds and the grass will eventually force out most weeds.

Your lawn isn’t the only thing you need to fertilize. If you have a vegetable garden or if you are growing a few tomato plants in containers, now is a critical time to make sure that your vegetable plants are getting enough fertilizer. Most plants have grown substantially over the summer. Remember those tiny tomato plants you set out in May? They are not so tiny anymore. Their larger size means that they need lots of fertilizer to continue to grow and lots of fertilizer to ripen those tomatoes. This goes for all of your vegetable plants. You should keep up with fertilizing your plants until the frost kills off the plants.

If you have pulled out some plants from your vegetable garden, there are many vegetables you can plant from seed that will give you a late fall crop. Don’t waste that garden space. Plant a few more vegetables and keep that harvest rolling in.

Annual flowers will also respond well to a continual application of fertilizer. You may find that you have a lot of green leaves on your annuals but not a lot of flowers. If you apply some fertilizer to your annual flowers, it won’t be long before they begin to flower again.

If your annual flowers really don’t look that good, you can take the plants out of the containers and replace them with some of the fall flowering plants. Along with Hardy Mums and ornamental Cabbage and Kale, there are many types of plants that you can use for fall color. I know that we will be getting many new varieties of fall flowering plants in each week over the next few weeks. Early fall is a good time to spruce up those planters with new flowers.

Well, that’s all for this week. Lots more to talk about in the weeks ahead. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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