24September 28, 2011

As we near the end of September, you should be aware that you are running out of time to seed your lawn. Whether it be patching a few bare spots or actually putting in a lawn, you should have the work done by roughly the end of the month. The reason is that it takes time for the seed to sprout and then the roots of the newly seeded area need time to get established before the ground freezes. Most grass seed mixtures need about 10 to 21 days to sprout and then the new grass needs a month or so to get their roots out into the soil. If you look at the calendar, that puts you into November. It is not unusual for the soil to freeze in November. If you want to get your lawn patched up or if you want to put in a new lawn, its’ time to get busy getting the grass seed put down.

Over the years, people have come into the store in the spring asking for tulip or daffodil bulbs. These people have seen the tulips and daffodils in bloom in other people’s yards and they would like to have these flowers blooming in their yard. This isn’t possible because tulip and daffodil bulbs along with many of the other spring flowering bulbs must be planted in the fall if they are to bloom in the spring. In the weeks to come, I will give you more information on planting spring flowering bulbs. You still have time to plant these bulbs, but I figured a heads up would allow you to allocate some time for this easy fall project.

Back a few weeks ago, I received a note from Priscilla concerning day lilies and how to care for them at this time of the year. Daylilies are a fairly easy plant to grow. At this time of the year, any spent flower stalks should be removed and any diseased foliage should be removed and discarded. The plants would benefit from an application of superphosphate. This fertilizer helps to increase the size of the plants root system. It is also a fertilizer that will help in the production of new flowers come the spring. Priscilla was also concerned because her day lilies did not seem to bloom as long this year as they did in past years. Many times this can be caused by a combination of weather related events. July was very dry which makes it hard for plants to get food and water out of the soil. All of these factors can shorten bloom time. I think the real culprit was the very cold weather we had late in August. In some areas there was concern about an early frost. When plants are exposed to these cold temperatures, they begin to shut down their growth in preparation for winter. Even though the weather has warmed up since then, once plants get into that mode, the process continues. All in all, these factors can lead to a shorter blooming period. I don’t see it as a problem. The plants should get back to normal next year. It seems that each year something different happens in the gardens. It is what makes gardening a challenge at times and very rewarding most of the time.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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