Gerry's Blog



A Bit Of Fall Lawn Care Advice To Help You Keep Your Lawn Protected Throughout The Winter

As summer turns to fall the days will start to become shorter and the temperatures will begin to fall and this is that time of the year when you will do well to start your fall lawn care preparations. For most of us, the right kind of fall lawn care advice will ensure that we learn how to keep our lawns in proper condition, despite the onset of the cool weather. In fact, only with the help of proper fall lawn care advice can you ensure making your lawn last through the fall season; and in addition it allows you to prepare for the oncoming cold winter months.

Fertilizing Is Important.

The fall season is the beginning of the time when your lawn is going to be dormant for the coming months and for this you need to ask the experts for proper fall lawn care advice. Fertilizing is an important aspect of fall lawn care as the addition of appropriate fall fertilizers will ensure that the roots in your lawn continue growing beneath the surface of the earth, even in spite of the fact that the ground will be covered up with snow.

Another aspect of fall lawn care for which proper fall lawn care advice is learning to know the correct way to go about doing power seeding, which helps to increase density of the turf and which also ensures that your lawn remains in good overall health. One piece of solid fall lawn care advice that you will do well to heed is to use a power seeder that goes by the name of Turf Tamer, a seeder that provides the turf with the right quantity of seeds ensuring that your lawn can easily recover from the ravages of the previous summer.

Another aspect to getting fall lawn care advice is how to aerate the lawn, something that you need to pay special attention to. Aeration helps to keep the lawn from suffering from the grass compacting. Compacting will surely occur when there is heavy lawn traffic. In addition, aerating the lawn helps ensure that the required nutrients and oxygen reach the roots, thus ensuring the safety of the lawn and its plants and grass.

Applying fall fertilizer is essential to maintaining the health of your lawn. It is therefore a good idea to seek a lawn doctor from whom you can get pertinent fall lawn care advice regarding fall lawn care fertilizer. You need to know the right time to apply the fertilizer and also the right quantities. Remember that timing of the fertilizer application is crucial to the health of your lawn. Only with the help of fall lawn care advice can you learn not to apply the fertilizer too early, which could easily lead to winter injuries as well as to snow mold damage.


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5 Tips to Remedy Lawn Care ShortComings

July 15, 2009

With record low mortgage rates, expanded FHA loans and tax credit incentives, many Americans have plunged into first-time home ownership. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that first-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of existing home sales in the last month. But while taking advantage of the current incentives, many first-time buyers don't think of everything that comes along with home ownership - including how to take care of their yard, essential if they want their castle to remain something they are proud of.

Briggs & Stratton Corp., a leading manufacturer of lawn mower engines, offers these lawn care tips for even the most challenged green thumb.

Choose the right mower.
Purchase a mower with a quality engine. Elements to consider are torque, emissions and ease in starting. Briggs & Stratton engines are found in eight of the 10 top-selling lawn mower brands. To understand more about why engines make a difference, visit

Never cut more than one-third of the grass blade during any one mowing.
By following this rule, the remaining two-thirds of the plant will develop deep roots and spread out, eventually creating a dense, healthy turf. Using this technique, of course, means shorter intervals between mowings during high growth times, but a healthy lawn is the best medicine for preventing weeds and disease.

Alternate your mowing pattern.
Try not to follow the same path each time you mow. Think of a clock. Start at the 12 o'clock position and mow to the 6 o'clock position. The next time you mow, begin at the 9 o'clock position and mow to the to 3 o'clock position. The third time, mow from 1 o'clock to 7 o'clock, etc. Changing the mowing pattern every time you mow will keep the turf and soil from compacting and prevent wheel patterns in your lawn.

Water early in the day.
Watering between 4 and 9 a.m. helps ensure that the sun won't rob moisture from your lawn. It also gives your lawn the best chance to dry in the morning. Wet grass at night can lead to disease. Most lawns need about 1-2 inches of water a week to stay healthy.

Avoid a fertilizer overdose.
Even good medicine causes harm when used improperly, so avoid doubling the recommended rates of fertilizer, as well as of seed, herbicide, insecticide, etc. One pound of water-soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is the maximum amount that established lawns should receive at any one time.

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Borax (sodium tetraborate, a white, crystalline mineral salt) has been found to be an effective herbicide for Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea, also known as ground ivy, creeping jenny and gill-over-the-ground). Creeping Charlie is an invasive perennial weed that vines throughout lawns and chokes out grass. Since the 1920s, borax detergent has been used as an herbicide to eradicate weeds, but it has only recently been tested scientifically for effectiveness on Creeping Charlie.

Borax contains boron which is an essential micronutrient that assists in sugar transportation in plants. However, even in minute excess amounts, boron has a toxic effect on creeping charlie.

Borax must be applied with great caution because boron remains immobile in the soil and can accumulate to form a "hot spot" in the lawn. Boron toxicity results in yellow and brown spots around edges of leaves. Stems wilt and eventually the weed dies. Established grass appears to withstand the minute excess of boron needed to kill creeping charlie, though it may show brown discoloration temporarily. If the borax solution is applied in too high a concentration, or repeatedly, it will then be toxic to grass and many other plants.

This treatment can be applied only once each year for two years. If you still have creeping charlie problems, then switch to a standard herbicide.

Before applying borax as a herbicide be sure to test your spraying technique and the rate at which liquid sprays from the nozzle. Fill the sprayer with water and walk at a constant pace, passing back and forth over an area the same size as the one to be sprayed with borax. Your goal is to walk fast enough to empty the sprayer tank, spreading its contents evenly over the entire area.

Borax Solution for Creeping Charlie Control:

Dissolve 10 oz. Twenty Mule Team Borax in 4 oz. (? cup) warm water.
Dilute in 2.5 gallons of water.
This will cover 1,000 square feet. If you have a smaller area to treat, cut the "recipe" accordingly.

Apply borax when Creeping Charlie is actively growing in the spring, when no rain is expected for 48 hours. The borax treatment appears to be most effective during warm summers when soil moisture is ample.

Remember: The borax recipe has been tested only on Creeping Charlie and is not to be used on other broadleaf weeds. Be sure to use the borax spray only on the lawn because research shows that established grass is tolerant of the spray. It should not be used in gardens.

If creeping charlie is growing in a very shady location, think about what you can replace it with before spraying this borax treatment. Unless you can establish other plants you'll find the creeping charlie sprouting again in the same location.

A healthy lawn is the strongest defense against weeds. Maintaining a regime of proper mowing practices, watering and fertilization, will enable any gardener to combat weeds in a lawn. Contact your local County Extension Office or call The Yard and Garden Line for information on lawn maintenance and fertilization.
Creeping Charlie


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