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Tips Month by Month

May

  • Don’t forget to cut back and split your perennials/ornamentals. Fill in those bare spots in your landscape beds to block out weeds.
  • Continue planting any new trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  • Safe to plant annual flowers this month!
  • Monitor your irrigation; over-watering will result in high water requirements during the hot summer months
  • Watering should generally be done in the early morning so the turf can dry during the day, which in turn reduces the chance of fungus.
  • Don’t stress your lawn or landscape! Mow no more than 1/3 of the total grass blade at a time. Fertilize, water accordingly and keep your blades sharp. You will be less susceptible to disease and more drought resistant.
  • Change your mow lines often to reduce the chance of ruts or rough areas in your yard.
  • Always use sharp mower blades to make a clean cut on leaf blades.  Dull mower blades will leave leaf blades rough and leave the leaf tip brown and dead.

June

  • Every yard in the Midwest has a little fungus and treatments are definitely suggested. Granular and liquid treatments are effective but they should always be applied to prevent, rather than control after the problem arises. Fungus is among us when it is hot and humid so watch for brown patches or brown/black lesions on the blades. Be careful not to miss diagnose a dry spot.
  • Don’t put undue stress on your lawn! Dryness/heat, humidity, insects, weed controls, mowing practices and dull blades will all stress the plant. Start thinking about raising your mower height (highest-second highest setting). Taller grass will insulate the soil, keeping it cooler and moister. Weekly mowing is necessary to maintain a lawn height of 3-4”.
  • Bagworms are typically found in evergreens, hang in small bags off branches, and are somewhat difficult to see. It is very important to catch bagworms while they are young and small or control is much more difficult. Tent Caterpillars are much easier to see and live in web encased branches. Most of the time, cutting the branch off is the best method for eradication but we can also spray them with an insecticide.
  • Insects are all over these days! We attack insects in many ways. For your turf we are gearing up to apply your round 3 application which can include a Grub Control if you have requested. Round 4 begins in July and can include a surface insecticide application to control turf surface insects like ticks and chiggers, etc. We also spray insecticides on trees and shrubs this time of year which can help with mosquitoes and other flying insects.  Please call if you see any damage on leaves or you’re getting eaten alive! If you’re planning on throwing an outdoor party, a good tree & shrub spray or surface insecticide can help tremendously.

July

  • Depending on summer heat and drought, planting trees or shrubs after July 4th is not advised. Instead, wait until fall and use the extra time to properly plan your planting projects.
  • By removing any grass near the base of young trees, you’ll prevent potential lawn mower and trimmer damage.
  • Perennials that have stopped flowering can be deadheaded at this time.
  • Do not apply fertilizers to trees or shrubs after July 4th as this can encourage new growth that will be vulnerable to summer kill.
  • Hardscape projects such as patios, walls and walkways are ideal for summer installation. These can be completed just in time for fall plantings which are better installed when temperatures are more moderate.
  • Continue with any necessary fungicidal sprays on infected roses.
  • Fertilize container plants to promote continued blooms.
  • Be mindful of your lawn’s increasing water requirements. Morning irrigation will allow turf to dry before nightfall and consequently, reduce the chance of disease.
  • Fertilize grass with a nitrogen based product to maintain healthy growth and color.
  • Spray broadleaf weeds (dandelions, chickweed, henbit, etc.) only as needed. Preventing weeds from putting out seeds this time of year will mean fewer weeds to combat next year.
  • In late July, monitor your lawn for newly hatched white grubs. Catch before damage is severe which can happen over a weekend!
  • Weekly mowing is necessary this time of year to maintain a lawn height of 3”-4.5”. With each mowing you should be cutting no more than approximately 1/3 of your grass height.
  • SHARPEN BLADES!

August

  • The fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury), is most often discovered when the unsightly, light gray, silken webs on the trees in late summer and early fall are observed. Webworms enclose leaves and small branches in their nests, unlike the tent caterpillars which make a smaller nest in the crotch of branches. Little real damage is done to most trees. However, the nests can look very unsightly and multiple generations in long summers can lead to significant defoliation. We recommend an early insecticide application or cutting branch off if late.
  • Plants need to finish their normal summer growth cycle, so no heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning at this time.
  • Because they lose moisture through their leaves, trees will start dropping leaves as a defense mechanism.  If your trees are losing leaves (especially later this summer) and it is not fungus related, it may be due to drought/heat stress.  Birches, pin oaks, maples, and sycamores are the varieties most affected. To help your trees cope during these hot, dry times, water around the drip lines.  DO NOT place a hose next to the trunk.  We always highly recommend watering your trees, even if you have a sprinkler system.
  • Start planning for your fall tree & shrub deep root feeding. Deep root feeding injects water, fertilizers, insecticides and other soil enhancers directly into a tree’s root zone, which is where most nutrients are absorbed. Where our soils are typically clay and compacted, this process breaks up the soil, creating an easier path for air, water and nutrients to get to the root zone. Keep in mind a tree’s root zone is typically no deeper than 12 inches
  • Give thought to your fall landscape by selecting accent plants that provide autumn colors. Trees that have red fall color are flowering dogwood, red maple, sugar maple, Norway maple, red oak and scarlet oak. Shrubs with red fall foliage include sumac, viburnum, winged euonymus and barberry. If you plan to have a service provide this for you, get on their schedule soon!
  • Continue watering regularly! In the mornings, up to 1”, 1-2x per week. This gives it time to dry gradually before night.  Watering in the heat, late or overnight can lead to fungus and insect issues. Hanging plants require daily water since sun and wind dry them out more quickly than others.
  • Your turf program actually begins now! What you do in the fall dictates what your lawn will look like in 2013. We recommend contacting your local service provider for free advice on timing, proper application and so much more.
    • Weeds need to be under control at least two weeks prior to seeding
    • Seed/fertilizer has to be applied at the correct rate
    • Timing is everything!
    • Follow up watering needs to be frequent but applied correctly or you can waste your efforts
    • Core aerations are completely ineffective if the ground is dry
    • Select top rated seed mixtures. 5-10% Perennial Rye will germinate fast and hold the rest in place. Bluegrass doesn’t work well by itself but can be beneficial in a mix. Fescue!
    • Don’t hesitate to perform a total vegetation kill prior to seeding. Scary to most, but actually very easy and extremely effective if performed correctly. Ask how this works better and how it can save you lots of $$$!
  • Apply Summer Tree and Shrub Insecticide to handle mites, aphids, and bagworms.
  • Apply Turf Insecticide to handle webworm, chinch bugs, ticks, spiders, and ants.
  • Keep mower decks to maximum height (3-4.5”) until it cools so taller grass can shade roots and be more draught tolerant.

Miscellaneous Outdoor Information

  • Interested in helping with the butterfly counts this year?  Contact The North American Butterfly Association for details at www.naba.org
  • Want to attract birdsong to your garden area?  Birds sing to establish territory and attract a mate, so remember their habitat key elements when planning: food, water, shelter and space.  The number one attraction for birds is a water feature.  Providing a variety of natural foods and designing dense, layered vegetation from ground to treetop is also very important.
  • Want hummingbirds in your garden?  They like shades of pink, coral and red.
  • Looking for planting pots that aren’t plastic?  Look for CowPots (made of composted cow manure), Fertil Pots (80% spruce, 20% peat moss), Coir Pots (coconut-husk fibers), Eco-Gardener Planters (bamboo and rice hulls), or Pulp Pots (recycled newspapers).  See Heritage Landscape web page for links. Don’t forget to repot as needed and fertilize indoor plants every year before you move them outside (once night time temperatures are greater than 60 degrees).
  • Use a color wheel when planning your designs (look for complementary colors on the opposite sides of the wheel), and make sure you are buying plants for the proper zones: the Kansas City area ranges from Zone 6b to 6a, and Liberty and St. Joseph range from 6a to 5b.  The Kansas side stays pretty much in 6a, with only the northern part of Donphin County falling into 5b

colorchart

Water Feature Tips

Prepare for Spring! Inspect for damage, fallen rock, torn liners and such. Start cleaning away accumulated debris, and schedule clean-ups/start-ups.

Pond Goals:

  • Add waterfalls, streams or header ponds for that wonderful aesthetic element – they also increase pond oxygen levels and help water quality.
  • Add skimmers and Biofalls to increase pond filtration for better water quality and fish health.
  • Add some plants! They provide shelter for fish, add oxygen to water, and remove unneeded nutrients to help control algae issues.
  • Schedule that spring walk-through for ideas and/or options for increased enjoyment.

 

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