Fall lawn care means healthy grass in 2019

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - Mark & Ben Cullen Mark Cullen is an ex­pert gar­dener, au­thor, broad­caster, tree ad­vo­cate and holds the Or­der of Canada. His son Ben is a fourth­gen­er­a­tion ur­ban gar­dener and grad­u­ate of Univer­sity of Guelph and Dal­housie Univer­sity in Hal­i­fax. Fol­low them a

Fall is the best time to start a new lawn from seed or to lay sod. It is the best time to over-seed es­tab­lished lawns to fill in bare patches and thicken your grass.

In most parts of Canada, the best ‘grass seed sow­ing’ oc­curs from mid-Au­gust through late Septem­ber. The evening tem­per­a­tures are lower and the morn­ing dew is heav­ier. As night time tem­per­a­tures mod­er­ate, they are op­ti­mum for seed ger­mi­na­tion.

Prepa­ra­tion is the key to suc­cess. Rake the area lightly to re­move de­bris. Add a one cen­time­tre to two cen­time­tre layer of Mark’s Choice lawn soil to level out low patches in the lawn and choose the best qual­ity seed for the best re­sult. The grass seed you use is the fu­ture pedi­gree of your lawn.

Rake the seed to smooth it and in­te­grate it into the layer of triple mix. Step on the area with flat­soled shoes to get the seed and soil in firm con­tact or, for large ar­eas, roll with a lawn roller that is onethird full of wa­ter. Fer­til­ize with lawn starter to en­cour­age rapid root growth. This will help new grass get es­tab­lished more quickly. Wa­ter the seeded ar­eas and keep the soil damp un­til the grass is at least three cen­time­tres high.

A thick healthy lawn is your best de­fense against weeds. Feed the lawn with CIL Iron Plus for a deep green colour and healthy growth.

You can cut a lot of cor­ners by us­ing the new CIL Iron Plus 4 in 1. It con­tains a top qual­ity grass seed, pre­mium grade chelated iron, and a charge of ni­tro­gen and pel­letized com­post, to pro­vide a medium for the new grass seed to ger­mi­nate into.

This is the best time of year to ap­ply CIL Iron Plus.

We are fre­quently asked how to con­trol lawn weeds in the ab­sence of chem­i­cal weed killers. The an­swer is sim­ple — over seed your lawn to thicken it and com­pete weeds out of ex­is­tence. Amd be sure to raise your lawn mower up to 2.5 or three inches (seven to nine cen­time­tres).

Note that a new broadleaf weed killer was in­tro­duced last spring that is en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble. Look for Weed Out, ready to use in pump spray bot­tle for spot weed­ing or the new con­cen­trate by the same name.

The prin­ci­ple compound found in this prod­uct is de­rived from the broad bean and the com­mon pea plant. Try it on dan­de­lions and you will be im­pressed how it kills the root and all in a week or two.

Of­ten grubs be­come ac­tive near the sur­face of the soil in late sum­mer and early fall. Grubs feed on grass roots caus­ing the lawn to die. Patches of dead grass will lift up eas­ily if pulled by hand. Skunks, rac­coons and moles will also dig in the lawn to feed on grubs. The fall is the best time to con­trol grub pop­u­la­tions. Lar­vae hatch in the fall and can be killed quickly due to their small size.

We rec­om­mend us­ing ben­e­fi­cial Green Earth ne­ma­todes to con­trol the grub pop­u­la­tion. These are mi­cro­scopic lar­vae that in­fest the grey and white grubs in the soil. Be sure to wa­ter thor­oughly af­ter ap­pli­ca­tion. Ap­ply­ing ben­e­fi­cial ne­ma­todes in the fall is a proac­tive ap­proach to con­trol­ling lawn dam­age next spring.

A healthy lawn will of­ten hide the symp­toms of grub dam­age. A thick lawn which is wa­tered (once a week at most) and fed prop­erly will grow new roots quickly. This helps mask grub dam­age and keep brown patches to a min­i­mum.

Tak­ing the time to care for your lawn this time of year pays big div­i­dends come spring and beyond.

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Lay­ing new sod in the fall is ideal for ger­mi­na­tion.

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