The Weather Channel has added a page and map to help you track the fall foliage. This year has been very dry so the color season may start earlier and not last as long. Check out the weather channel map to see what colors you can expect.
Homeowners often overlook problems associated with soil compaction. Insects, diseases, nematodes, improper watering and a lack of fertilizer are often blamed for a lawns decline when the real culprit is compaction. The problem starts when the top 4 inches of the soil become compressed, impeding the movement of air, water and nutrients to the grass roots. This stresses the grass plants, making them less able to compete with weeds and slow to recuperate from injury. In time a compacted lawn needs renovation.
Compacted soil contributes to the accumulation of thatch because restricted oxygen levels in highly compacted soils impair the activity of earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms. Left unmanaged, thatch can lead to serious maintenance and pest problems. Thatch accumulates faster on compacted soils and heavy clay soils than on well-aerified soils. Therefore, some lawns may require frequent aerification to aid in thatch control.
If soil is compacted, the solution is straightforward: aerify. The practice of physically removing cores of soil and leaving holes or cavities in the lawn is defined as core aeration or aerification.
The type of grass will determine whether to aerify in the fall or in the summer. Lawns composed of cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue are best aerified in the fall, when there is less heat stress and danger of invasion by weedy annuals. Allow at least four weeks of good growing weather to help the plants recover. Warm-season grasses such as zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, carpetgrass, St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass, on the other hand, are best aerified in late spring and summer, when they are actively growing. With either type of grass, choose a day when temperatures are mild and soil is moderately moist, which makes the soil easier to penetrate. Avoid aerifying a wet soil, as it is messy and leads to further compaction of the soil as well. If the soil sticks to your shoes or if the core sample you take sticks to your probe, you should wait until it dries out some before starting the job.
Aerification of home lawns corrects soil problems but generally is not a routine practice. The best answer to the question, “How often should I aerify?” is, “As often as needed.” One way to determine if aeration is needed is by scouting the lawn. Take a screwdriver and probe the soil. If the screwdriver penetrates the soil with little resistance, then you probably don’t need to aerify. If it is difficult to penetrate the soil with the screwdriver, then you may need to aerify. Make sure the soil is moist when testing the areas since dry soil can also be more difficult to penetrate.
Turfgrass in high traffic areas may need aerification more often than the rest of the lawn. Turfgrasses with low traffic tolerance such as centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass may need aerifying more often than turfgrasses with good traffic tolerance, such as bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. These high traffic areas can usually be done by “hand” as described in the next section.
Remove Dead Limbs
Remove dead limbs from any trees adjacent to, or overhanging your home.
Landscape plantings should be non-resinous and well watered (no laurel, rhododendron or flammable evergreens). Remove leaf litter and dead plant debris promptly.
A green lawn that is well watered and mowed is also a good fuel break. However, grass should not be allowed to grow tall or dry out because in that condition it is one of the fastest burning fuels.
1. Areas around barbeques should be cleared to mineral soil for a radius of 10 feet in all directions.
2. Have firefighting equipment on hand (100 feet of garden hose with nozzle, shovel, rake, bucket, and extension ladder).
3. Children should be trained in how to report a forest fire of any other emergency, and what they should do in an emergency situation.
4. Post phone numbers for local police, fire company, and firewarden in a conspicuous place.
The development of defensible space is vital to the survival of a home when threatened by wildfire. A minimum fuel break of not less that 30 feet should be established and maintained around all structures by the selective removal or thinning of trees, brush, ground cover and dead plant material. The amount of additional clearance and distance required to ensure adequate fire protection depends on the fuel hazard classification. The following guidelines should be used to make your home defendable for firefighters if it becomes threatened:
Contact Plant Solutions to make a plan to protect your house. or call 888-742-TREE
The weather in all of New Jersey has been hot and dry. There is some rain in the forecast but not enough is expected to get us out of this danger. Be careful with any grills or campfires. Every year some fires are started by inexperienced homeowners running chainsaws, gas powered trimmers and blowers. Call 908-548-0716 for help before you start a fire.
FIRE RESTRICTION—In Central and Southern New Jersey, all fires in wooded areas will be prohibited unless in an elevated prepared fireplace, elevated charcoal grill or stove using electricity or a liquid or gas fuel. An elevated prepared fireplace must be constructed of steel, stone, brick or concrete with its fire box elevated at least one foot above the ground surface and surrounded by at least a ten feet radius clearance to mineral soil. For updates visit our website: http://www.state.nj.us/
No surprise here: Most of New Jersey now ‘abnormally dry'(yellow).
North East NJ now in a moderate drought(brown).
Still little to no rain in sight.
As the summer ends and before the soil freezes, is the best time to prepare your lawn to be dormant for months and come back greener than ever in the spring. Plant Solutions has lawn experts and customized equipment ready for your lawn.
Controlling grubs: Attack grubs and keep them from destroying your lovely lawn with a grub-control product that continues to work throughout the season. Apply your grub control in early June.
Mowing: Watch how your lawn grows. During hot, dry periods, it may only need mowing once every two or three weeks (when the grass grows about 3 inches tall). During cooler, moister periods, it may need mowing twice a week.
Watering: It’s fine to let your grass go dormant during drought. It’ll turn brown, but it’ll stay alive and then will go green and start growing when the rains come again. If you don’t want a brown summer lawn, select drought-tolerant types such as buffalo grass or plan on giving your lawn about 1 inch of water a week.
Fertilizing: If you only fertilize your lawn once a year, fall’s the time to do it. In fact, your lawn could take a light application of fertilizer in early fall and again in late fall.
Mowing: As temperatures cool, your lawn will start growing faster: You’ll likely need to mow regularly through the end of the season.
Cleaning up: For a healthy lawn, it’s a good idea to clean up fallen leaves. If you don’t want to rake up leaves, do several passes over your lawn with a mulching mower. You’ll chop up the leaves into fine pieces so they decompose and add to your soil’s structure. It’s easier and also better for the health of your lawn!
Overseeding: Most grasses in this region grow and take best in cool temperatures, making autumn the ideal time to overseed. Give your new grass about a month before your first average frost date so it can get established.