If you’re like most people, your lawn is brown and crunchy. This has been one hot summer!

Keep your lawn hydrated! Water the lawn often throughout the summer months. Very early in the morning, like around 5 a.m. allows the lawn to dry before nightfall, when fungus is most active. It’s also usually a non-peak time for most towns’ water supplies. Water early just a few times each week. Deep soaking encourages deep root growth, compared to light watering, which encourages the roots to stay close to the surface of the soil. Your lawn is then more susceptible to heat and drought.

So keep the sprinklers and water barrels armed and ready! Summer’s not quite over yet, and you want your lawn looking good as we start coming into fall!

It’s been a hot summer! With the exception of a few rainy—very rainy—days, Milwaukee hasn’t seen too many occasions where sprinklers and water cans weren’t necessary. Keep your plants, flowers and grass in healthy working order by watering on a set schedule.

If you see your leaves start to have a “burned” or “scorched” look, it’s from one of two reasons: improper watering or improper fertilization. Since both over watering and under watering can damage plant leaves, the best solution is to water deeply and infrequently. This allows oxygen in the soil, washes salts away and encourages deep rooting.

For most trees and shrubs older than three years, water deeply once every seven to 10 days (Run your drip system one to three hours to soak the root zone). Newer plants may need water twice as often until established. Add a layer of surface mulch 2- to 4-inches thick to conserve water between waterings and cool and enrich the soil.

Make sure you have the right fertilizer both for your specific plants and for the time of year. Some fertilizers release much faster in hot weather, increasing the potential for damage. Follow package directions exactly and err on the conservative side. Then, irrigate well to move nutrients to the soil.

Lawn & Garden Spring 2010

January 29, 2010

The blustery winds of winter are rattling the windows and blowing around the snow outside. But you’re warm and cozy inside – browsing through the 2010 seed catalogs that just arrived! Time to make your list of what to plant once the world starts to warm up again – purchase your flower, vegetable and herb seeds now and stock up on some small pots, flats, and potting soil if you plan to start any seedlings indoors. You can also plan what updates need to be made to the outside of your home and yard – painting the shutters and flowerboxes, fixing the broken bird bath, replanting some bushes, splitting the hostas, sprucing up your retaining walls, or adding fresh mulch to the flowerbeds. Think spring and stay warm!