For another 4-5 weeks, plants in the landscape (trees, shrubs and perennials) are still in their active growth season. Therefore, none of these can be fed yet or disturbed by digging or transplanting. A rule-of-thumb for when the growing season is finished, when plants have set their next year’s buds, and when roots are dormant, we use the beginning of the leaves turning on deciduous trees. Typically, this will take place in late September into mid-October, about 6 weeks from now. Until then, do not feed trees or shrubs and do not dig or transplant perennials, trees or shrubs.
However, if you’re looking for jobs to do in the landscaped areas of your property, there are things to do now that will help later when the growing season is over. All mulched areas need to be scarified and weeded; prepared for any fall mulching and/or planting you may be contemplating. Mulch tends to get crusty over the summer; this crust must be broken up so that moisture and fertilizer will penetrate to root zones. Annuals planted in beds, may have become leggy and less productive than they were in the early summer. Rip them out now, and include these areas in the mulching and/or planting to be done later. It’s a great time for planting fall mums and perennials from our nursery yard. Both are in containers and roots therefore will not be bothered by planting now. Patios, walkways, driveways may have become weedy over the summer. Spot treat these areas now; it’ll be the last time this year you’ll have to do it. Be on guard when it comes to deer, rabbits, voles, squirrels and other pesky critters that may cause damage to your beautiful landscapes. With water becoming harder and harder to find, they will eat anything that they can derive moisture from. Keep up your deer and other critter repellent applications.
As the weather begins to cool down, as the kids’ summer vacations come to an end, as football season begins in earnest, we encourage you all to keep up your enthusiasm for lawn and gardening work. This is the most significant part of the growing season for all lawns. Take advantage of it by doing all that you can to make lawns and landscapes even more beautiful and healthier. You’ll be thrilled with what you can accomplish over the next 3 ½ – 4 months. And please remember to come in or call to ask for help if there’s anything you’re having trouble with. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we really enjoy helping all of you. See you soon!