Hello, again!

There is something magical about gardening in the fall. This is the time that our turf recovers from the hot, stressful summer, plus this year we had an invasion of armyworms that our turf has to recover from as well. Our landscape plants, trees, shrubs and perennials, benefit from fall feeding just like our turf does. Mild temperatures and rainfall are typical this time of year, and great for plant recovery. Kansas State University recommends fall feeding of a lawn fertilizer containing what ferti-lome has formulated in Winterizer.

With an analysis of 25-0-6, 25% of the 20 pound Winterizer bag is nitrogen. This is right in line with Kansas State’s recommendation of 3 applications of 5 pounds of nitrogen to cover 5,000 square feet of cool season lawn in the autumn. With a blend of ammoniacal and urea nitrogen types, Winterizer feeds the turf constantly for a month. For a balanced feeding, it contains trace elements as well. Winterizer can also be used in landscape areas at label rates.

Touring the Flint Hills recently, I was reminded how nature works in harmony with our native plants. Most of our native pasture plants, like grasses and native wildflowers, are currently in recovery mode as well. Many of their reproductive plant parts are completing their life cycle now and are dispersing seeds to germinate. Little bluestem, coneflowers, milkweed, oaks and other woody plants are planting the next generation of plants every fall.

Similar to the Flint Hills, our plants at home are completing their life cycle. Some good plants, and some that are not so welcome. Fall is the time when unwanted plants, such as broadleaf weeds, spread their seeds. The perfect fall conditions for our plants benefit all plants; weeds are included. Next spring, we’ll see the yellow dandelions, purple henbit and white chickweed in full bloom from plants that grew this fall. Weeds are easily and safely controlled in the fall once they have germinated with a selective weedkiller like ferti-lome Weed Out or Weed Free Zone.

I recommend replacing one of the Winterizer applications with ferti-lome Weed Out with Lawn Fertilizer to not only help the turf recover, but to control broadleaf weeds as well. In landscape areas, I use Hi-Yield Killzall Quick Weed & Grass Killer Spray. It works great around around lawns, driveways, parking areas, between stepping stones and bricks, flower beds, trees and shrubs. With Killzall, special care should be taken to avoid spraying desired vegetation.

I guess it rains on the good and bad; we just need to be able to use the moisture and the tools we have to our advantage. With the rain earlier this week, now is a perfect time to plant spring flowering bulbs, as well as mums and pansies. Trees, shrubs and perennial plants establish quickly in the fall and with sales going on at the stores for houseplants, as well as trees, shrubs and perennials, it’s a good time for a visit to the garden center.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center