Hopefully we’ll be receiving some much needed moisture soon. I’ve seen and had questions about leaves already falling on mature trees. My sweetgum in the backyard is starting to drop a few leaves, not like it will in a couple of months, but more like it’s tired and shedding a few leaves to conserve what moisture it has available. That’s what makes fall so good for our plants. For them, it’s the perfect time to recover. Later this fall, I’ll fertilize with ferti-lome Tree & Shrub Food so there will be ample food to get my trees and shrubs off to a good start next spring.
Our cool season lawns also recover in the fall from a summer of hot and dry weather. Cool season grass such as turf type fescue will continue to recover and grow well into November. My guess is that it doesn't really go completely dormant until about the first of the year. K-State recommends if you are going to feed only one season on fescue, fall is the time to do it. Even without overseeding, the new turf type fescues will fill in some because of LST - Lateral Spread Technology, which helps create a thicker, denser turf.
Some things I recommend for fall lawn care would be to first seed in the voids of the lawn with Kansas Premium Fescue blend. If there is a void in your lawn, something will grow there, and crabgrass or bermuda grass are very opportunistic plants.
Feeding cool season turf with 3-4 lbs. of nitrogen in the fall does a great job of helping the turf recover. Also, the green up in the spring is so much better with the final feeding in November not giving growth. It's just a food reserve for spring. I feed with ferti-lome Winterizer once a month starting in September through November. Milorganite is also a great fertilizer loaded with beneficial organisms to feed lawns and landscapes.
Many broadleaf weeds germinate in the fall. A great product, when applied in the fall, is ferti-lome Weed Free Zone. It does a great job of killing the weeds when they are young and vigorous before they get established in the spring.
We now have decorative pumpkins, squash, fall garden mums in stock. I visited with Piet Stuifbergen and he thought our spring flowering bulbs should be in the stores around Labor Day.
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center
September: the Christmas Eve of Fall.