September Check List
September is one of those funny months that can be warm and fabulous during the day and
then cold and nasty at night. Usually this doesn’t start to happen until the middle to the end of
the month, but there is always the exception. This is when you should be watching any of your
tender annuals because frost will damage them. In the event of frost, you have the option to
cover your annuals with a sheet of some sort, change your annuals to a fall theme that can
handle cooler temperatures or pull them out until next years’ new show.
If you missed getting your lawn aerated in the spring then you are in luck because this is
another perfect time to do so. Better late than never. If you did have your lawn aerated in the
spring, then bonus!, you get to do it again because more is always best when talking about
aerating. Aerating at this time will help plants to take up more water before going dormant
and aid in lawn repair. Topdressing and seeding is the perfect companion for aerating
especially with falls’ cooler temperatures.
Fantastic Fall Fertilizer Facts
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is a great way to send your lawn off into dormancy with the
most protection. Fall lawn fertilizer is like charging up a battery; it also contains more potash
than earlier applications to help roots survive colder temperatures. Fertilizing in the fall allows
the plant to take up extra nutrients and store them for spring in its insulated-like dormant state.
Water is an essential key that people seem to forget when the temperatures get cool because
the lawn appears to be turning green again. Lawns are pretty stressed at this point from
periods of drought through the summer; continuing to water, especially after a fertilizer
application, will allow the nutrients from the fertilizer to be taken up by the roots and stored in
the crowns of the plants allowing both leaves and roots to benefit in the spring. Sending plants
into dormancy with their charged batteries will allow them to race forward in the spring and fend
off disease and pests.
A Cool Time to Seed Your Lawn
Cool temperatures are when you want to do seeding of any kind and actually have it succeed. This is because grass seed for this region will only germinate in temperatures no higher than around 20 degrees Celsius. Blends usually consist of Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Rye and Annual Rye seeds, which are cool weather seeds. Moisture is kept present in the soil easier as temperatures cool rather than constantly watering soil dried out from evaporation. The days are growing shorter and that helps keep the soil moist as well. If looking to have germination in spring than I suggest that you do not seed until November.
A Time for Change
September is the perfect time to divide and transplant perennials before it gets too cold. Doing so now will give your plants time to set out a strong root system and store nutrients before dormancy. This will encourage vigorous growth in the spring. The evidence of dividing and moving is diminished almost entirely when done in the fall because plants emerge in the spring as if nothing ever happened and your gardening can start without any transplanting hitches.
More to learn with our Division and Propagating newsletter.
Last Moon to Prune
September 24th is the very last chance you have to complete any pruning. After this you will have to wait many moons until the opportunity will arise again. Pruning promotes new growth which will not harden off in time if pruned too late. Their hardening off process is disrupted and winter damage can be significantly greater.
For all lawn care maintenance call Rockcliffe Landscaping for all landscaping services.