The information provided here is from The Scotts Company web site.
Every neighborhood has that one lawn that all the neighbors envy. You know
the type: the grass is thick, green and not a weed is in sight.
That neighbor most likely knows that the easiest way to a thick, beautiful
weed-free lawn is with regular feedings using a controlled-release fertilizer.
Lawns are like any other plant—it needs food to reach its full potential. The
right nutrients will not only help the lawn become thick and green, but they
will help the grass to become better adapted to drought situations and
recovering from turf diseases.
Confusion about What to Do
Often, homeowners say fertilizing the lawn is confusing. Actually, it is easier
than feeding flowers or vegetables. All plants need nutrients, and when
those nutrients can’t be found in the soil they have to come from somewhere
else. This is where plant foods become important.
The soils around the new houses of today do not have adequate nutrients to
maintain a nice lawn. Consider when a new house is built: the contractors
simply use the backfill to cover the lawn and then plant seed or sod. It is
likely that the soil will be lacking in the proper nutrients.
For the most part, you can ignore the “expert” advice that says to then add
nutrients based on the soil test. Granted, it isn’t bad advice, but it isn’t a
necessary first step and soil tests can just add to the confusion. Soil testing
is primarily for professional turf needs.
So how do you get started? First, know your grass type.
Visit with your local nursery or gardening professional to find out what type of
grass is in your lawn. If you are located in a state north of Tennessee and east
of Denver, most likely your lawn is a combination of bluegrass, ryegrass and
fine fescues. In the South, there are many different grass types, but the most
common are St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass.
After you know what kind of grasses you have in your lawn,, visit your local
garden store or Lawn Pro dealer and purchase the lawn program that is right
for your lawn. Each bag of fertilizer will indicate how many square feet it
covers (for example, it might say “5,000 square feet”), and it will tell you the
recommended time to apply it to the lawn.
The first lawn feeding of the year should occur about the same time that the
lawn comes out of dormancy after the winter. For practicality purposes, this is
approximately the same time as the first mowing of the year.
After the spring feeding, simply follow-up every six to eight weeks with the
appropriate application for that time of year. For example, if you apply a
feeding in early April, then the next feeding should be done around the end
of May or early June.
At the minimum, a lawn should be fed in the spring and fall. But for best
results, should be followed that contains 4 to 6 feedings.
As stated previously, a lawn that is fed regularly will develop a thick, green
turf that is weed-free, better suited to drought-like conditions and less likely
to suffer from turf diseases.
With regular feedings, the root system will fill in bare spots naturally, and
weed seeds won’t have a place to germinate because the thick turf will cover
all of those bare areas.
There are also fertilizers that are made specially for summer and late fall.
Others combine the fertilizer and an ingredient to fight insects or prevent
crabgrass from germinating—such things that can ruin a nice lawn.
Start an annual lawn care program at any time of the year, just remember to
follow up with regular feedings for that thick, green, healthy lawn that your
neighbors will envy.
And they’ll think you spent hours to get it that way.
More to come soon on Plant care. and its here!
How to take care of our plants “Published by unknown on yahoo”
There are some information here to take good care of plants:-
The success of your landscape depends on the care your plants receive. The main elements for your plants success are water, fertilizer, insect and fungus control, maintenance and winter protection.
Watering: Watering is the most important element for a plant after it is planted. There are really no plants that do not need additional water than what they receive from nature. 90% of the problems with plants are water related. Either not enough or too much water can cause undue stress on a plant. Every plant has different water requirements, likewise, different soils retain moisture discretely. Sandy soils drain easy whereas clay soils retain water, so one cannot say water once a week or twice a week and be assured that the plant is getting the correct amount of water. It is very important to pay attention to what your plants are doing. (For deciduous plants) If the leaves are wilting, it is most likely not getting enough water and is drying out. If the leaves are yellowing, it could be getting too much water or even not enough water. A simple soil test is necessary to determine these problems. (For evergreen plants) If needles are turning yellow on the inside near the trunk and towards the bottom, it could be casting, an insect, or chemical damage. Casting is a natural shedding that evergreens undergo in late summer. A mite could be infesting the evergreen which will also leave a “dusting” on the needles. Finally, this yellowing could be caused if a chemical is not used correctly by it’s label, or the chemical is not suggested for use on the evergreen. If the evergreen is browning and yellowing on the outer branches it could not be getting enough water, either lack of moisture in the soil, or desiccation through the needles from excessive dry wind especially during the winter. This damage usually shows up in the spring.
Soil Test: The best way to find out if the plant is receiving sufficient water is to do a simple soil test. This is done by digging down six to eight inches beside the rootball and take a handful of soil and make a fist. When you release your hand, the soil should hold together and feel moist. If the soil falls apart, it is too dry, if it is sour smelling or dripping water, it is too wet. Adjust your watering accordingly. When you do this simple soil test, try to take some soil from the rootball without disturbing it. A sample from the rootball and the surrounding soil will identify if there is an interface problem. Interface problems are situations where the rootball consists of a light soil mix but the backfill is of a heavy soil that holds a lot of water. This could cause the plant to be bone dry, therefore not receiving ample water. The situation could also be reversed where the rootball is of heavy soil and surrounding backfill is very light. This could lead to the plant drowning because it is not drying out enough between scheduled watering. Another tool that can be used to check moisture is a moisture meter. A moisture meter has a probe that goes into the soil and shows how moist the soil is wherever the probe is inserted. The probes on the meters range in size but the most common is a twelve inch probe.
Fertilization: Fertilizer is another important element in the success of your landscape. Initially when you plant, we recommend using Agriform Planter Tablets. These tablets release fertilizer for a period of eighteen to twenty-four months. Harding Nursery provides free fertilizer tablets for almost every plant or tree it sells. For established plants, we recommend a granular fertilizer called Harding Nursery Special which is specially formulated for our region. This is a quick release fertilizer and works over a thirty to forty-five day period. It should be applied in spring, around the first of May, then every thirty to forty-five days until the end of August. Harding Nursery carries fertilizer products for all of your landscaping needs.
Insect and Fungus Control: Protecting your landscape from insects and fungus is an important aspect of plant care. Harding Nursery recommends using a broad spectrum of insecticide starting in the middle of May, spraying every six to eight weeks. Your last spraying should be done in the middle of October. Fungus attacks trees and shrubs and these plants should be sprayed with a fungicide.
Winter Protection: General maintenance of your plants before winter is very important. Pruning dead and diseased branches makes the plant stronger so it will have a better chance to grow larger in the spring. Raking damaged leaves (by insects or fungus) helps prevent the problem from reoccurring the next growing season. Finally, wrapping juvenile deciduous trees with tree wrap aids in protecting the tree in Colorado’s harsh winters. Apply tree wrap at the end of September and remove in the spring, usually mid-May.
Following these care of plants tips every season significantly reduces the chances of problems you may have