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September Gardening Tips

Cool-Season Lawns

Fall is the best time to feed cool-season lawns (fescue, bluegrass, rye) with ferti•lome Winterizer. This September fertilizing will help grass thicken up and grow after summer’s stress. Give your soil a boost by applying Natural Guard Top Dressing in conjunction with this first application of Winterizer.

If “dry” areas of turf pull up easily—grubs may be the cause. There is still time to control grubs with Bayer 24-Hour Grub Killer Plus. Water this product in well.

September through mid October is the time to reseed or overseed cool-season grasses. Good seed-to-soil contact is essential for successful overseeding. To achieve this, you will need to use a cultivator or a vertislicer. At Johnson’s, we rent Bluebird combers and aerators for $25 an hour (2 hour minimum). Get everything else you need to seed in our Fall Grass Seed Package. It includes Gard’n-Wise Premium Fescue Blend grass seed, ferti•lome New Lawn Starter, ferti•lome Winterizer and Natural Guard Top Dressing.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Start planting spring flowering bulbs like crocus, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips now. You can plant for the next few months but shop now for the best selection.

When planting bulbs make sure your soil is fertile and drains well. Add Cotton Burr Compost to loosen the soil. Use Bulb Food in the bottom of the planting hole or mixed into the bed area. Plant the bulbs according to directions—planting depth var ies from bulb to bulb. A good rule of thumb, however, is approximately 2½ times the width of the bulb. After planting, water in your bulbs thoroughly with ferti•lome Root Stimulator for fast root development.

Fall Color

For a show of fall color, we have an excellent selection of chrysanthemums and pansies. After planting, water them in with ferti•lome Root Stimulator.

Our winter-hardy pansies come back in the spring to bloom with your bulbs. To help pansies flower now and to build them up for the winter, use ferti•lome Premium Bedding Plant Food or a slow release food like ferti•lome Garden Cote 6 when planting; then water with ferti•lome Root Stimulator. Mulch well once temperatures cool down this fall and water occasionally through the winter if the weather is dry. Fertilize mums regularly with ferti•lome 20-20-20 Water Soluble Plant Food. This fertilizer can be used for the last fall feeding on all perennials as they are preparing to go dormant.

Trees & Shrubs

Nursery stock that is planted in the fall has two cool seasons (fall and spring) to get established before having to deal with the heat and drought of Kansas summers. When planting, use ferti•lome Start-N-Grow and MYKE Tree and Shrub in the planting hole. MYKE is a beneficial fungus which attaches to the roots making them more vigorous and promotes the long range health of the plants. Then water with ferti•lome Root Stimulator. Mulch newly planted trees and shrubs to help retain soil moisture and to keep soil temperature even through winter. Stake new trees to protect them from strong Kansas winds.

Fall is the best time to feed established trees and shrubs. This feeding will do more good than anything to help plants come out healthier next spring. Be sure and water through fall and winter if weather is dry. Apply ferti•lome Tree & Shrub Food to the soil surface around your plants and water in thoroughly. Fine tree roots extend far beyond the drip line, so apply Tree & Shrub Food well beyond that point.

For plants with an existing insect problem use ferti•lome Tree & Shrub Food in conjunction with ferti•lome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench for up to twelve months of protection.

House Plant Care

If your house plants have been summering outside, start a pest control program to keep unwanted insects from hitching a ride into your house and infesting other plants. Spray plants a couple of times with ferti•lome Triple Action or ferti•lome Indoor/Outdoor Insect Spray to make sure plants are free of pests. Spray the soil as well as the plant itself. If you have a lot of plants, use Hi-Yield Indoor/Outdoor Insecticide concentrate. Dilute it to water through the soil to take care of any ants or other pests. On pest prone plants, like hibiscus, also put Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Granules in the soil to protect for 2 months. Water monthly with ferti•lome 20-20-20 Water Soluble Plant Food to maintain good color.

Nuisance Pest Control

As fall approaches, crickets, spiders and other insects start looking for winter homes. To keep these pests from selecting your home, spray with Hi-Yield Indoor/Outdoor Broad Use Insecticide or ferti•lome Broad Spectrum Insecticide, in a ready to spray hose end applicator, in a band around your foundation as well as around windows and doors. Hi-Yield Turf Ranger granules can be used around the foundation and into the yard to control nuisance insects. For pest control indoors use Spider Traps and ferti•lome Ant & Roach Killer. For larger pests, use Mouse Magic to naturally repel and keep mice on the outside.

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