Planning for Fall
A dive into fertility, seeding, and transplanting
Many people consider summer their favorite season, but turfgrass might not. Summer heat and traffic can take its toll on turf. August is typically the last month of extreme heat before turf professionals can start looking forward to cooler weather. While fall is on your doorstep, consider the following tasks as a part of your plan.
In the fall months in the northern states, your customers’ turf will begin to prepare for the winter. It will start storing nutrients and energy which is a part of a vital, natural process for turf to come back green and healthy in the spring. But you and your customers should think about your fertilization plan now to ensure a smooth transition. Before fertilizing, however, consider aeration. This not only helps loosen compacted soil but it also lets nutrients really get into the roots. Speaking of roots, we recommend using our ROOTS EndoROOTS 3-3-4 in conjunction with aerating. EndoROOTS is a natural granular fertilizer with organic sources of nitrogen for a slow-release that also improves soil health.
Depending on your region, typically, you will want to do the first application in September but conditions and weather patterns may allow a second application to be applied in late October or early November.
Late summer to early fall is often the best time to sow new seed. If seeding will be a part of your customer’s fall preparation, it is crucial to follow the provided recommendations and steps for care, as well as make sure you have picked a turf variety that is well suited for your climate. Picking the right type of turf will ensure that the seeds germinate quickly, grow, and make the turf better off for the next year. Water newly seeded areas lightly two to three times a day to keep the seeds moist. Once the seeds germinate and grass seedlings begin to grow, your customers can gradually transition to watering less frequently but more heavily. Taper off watering as the grass becomes taller and more mature.
Use a product like PennMulch Seed Accelerator, a pelleted seeding mulch uniquely formulated with starter fertilizer that supports seed establishment. PennMulch stores moisture critical for successful germination, and with the HydrobondTM tackifier, holds seed in place for consistent establishment. Unlike straw, PennMulch is weed free and breaks down over time requiring no raking.
If your customers want to transplant existing trees or shrubs, fall is an ideal time. Summer weather is too stressful on the plant, and the ground may be too hard in winter or spring. First, choose a location that meets the plant’s needs. Next, estimate the width and depth of the root ball, which is the combination of roots and soil.
Dig around the perimeter of the tree to transplant. It’s important to keep as much of the root ball intact as you can. We recommend adding ROOTS Tree Saver soil amendment, which contains beneficial rhizosphere bacteria, mycorrhizae, kelp meal and humic acids to improve soil and plant health.
Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the transplanted tree but keep it a few inches away from the base to promote air circulation and to discourage rodents from nibbling on the trunk. Water often; the first season of hot weather will be hard for the tree unless it receives plenty of water.
Making sure you have a plan in place for your customers’ turf and landscape before cool weather hits will ensure that it comes back healthy next spring.
To find out more, visit LebanonTurf.com.