I recently helped Channel 13 reporter Patricia Lopez with a story or two on some of the biggest mistakes people make in landscaping, but what really got her attention when were just chit-chatting, and what she still may yet do a story on, was my theory that "winter-hardy lawns don't happen by accident!"
However, since she may wait another month to do the story, I thought it was worth reporting to the GardenLine Faithful (otherwise known as those already subscribed to my weekly e-mail tips) a bit earlier. And this weekend's radio show sort of pushed me over the edge to follow through with this tactic as well, when there was a series of questions about the "timing and/or order" of the winterization treatments.
Some of you may already be thinking, "Really? Even thought it's still sort of warm we need to be thinking about all that Fall Feeding Schedule Stuff?" Yes, it's not too early, but please don't put it off too much longer so you don't have to be asking, "is it too late?"
What are the steps to make your lawn winter-hardy in the first place?
We do (1) A Fall Feeding, (2) A Fall Pre-Emergent Herbicide, and (3) A Fall Brownpatch Control (or two). By the way, you could earn a free bag of pre-emergent herbicide at the GardenLine appearance this Saturday. You will have to read the rest of the tip sheet, though, to learn how. And you should read my fertilization schedule online.
But the main question as of this weekend, and in recent e-mails is/are/was "what order do they go down?" The lazy answer is, "It just doesn't matter!" (Can't you just see Bill Murray in Meatballs, chanting that right now?) Just make sure you get them down before the first cold spell. Theoretically, if you didn't have time to do all three, yes — they could all be applied on the same day. Okay, if that were the only real answer that would make this an exceptionally short e-mail blast, so let me expand on the theme.
The order actually does matter in 2009 mainly because we are already seeing signs of the dreaded brownpatch disease. Check our permanent tip sheet on brownpatch at ktrh.com if you don't know the names of all the products available for brownpatch control. So, with that said, obviously, the brownpatch controls need to go down first.
Then, I would suggest the fall feeding anytime a week after the brownpatch treatment. I would further suggest that the pre-emergent herbicide could wait until at least mid-October. However, if you don't have brownpatch, and all you want to do is feed and block weeds, then I go back to the original theory: "IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!!" The main thing to remember is that they need to be down before Nov. 1 in most cases — or at the very least, before the first serious cold snap.
Here's yet another caveat: What if you don't do anything until way after Nov. 1? As long as we haven't that serious cold spell, everything is still fair game. And you should always keep in mind a Randy Lemmon Maxim - It's never too late to do the right thing - when it comes to following the schedule. But it can get too cold to apply stuff from the schedule, and with cooler soil temperatures you don't get the right feeding of the fall fertilizers to the roots. Also, you won't be able to block a certain percentage of weed seeds that may already be germinating.
Last side note: The headline to this week's tip sheet may cause many people to forward me the long-time e-mail chain about God and St. Francis having a discussion about lawns, lamenting at first about winterizing lawns. We've received it so many times, we made it a permanent tip sheet at ktrh.com. Needless to say, I don't need another copy of it. Here it is for those of you who have never seen it.
10720 Kuykendahl at Woodlands Pkwy.
Sat. Oct. 3 — 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Speaking of winter-hardy lawns and the schedule, many of you may well be aware that Nitro Phos has a Texas Three-Step program themselves for lawns. Nitro Phos Total Brownpatch Control, Nitro Phos Pre-emergence Herbicide with Barricade, and Nitro Phos Fall Special (A winterizer, if you will!)
And 11 a.m.-1 p.m. this Saturday at The Woodlands ACE Hardware, 10720 Kuykendahl, if you purchase the Brownpatch Control and the Fall Special, Nitro Phos will give you the Pre-emergence with Barricade for FREE! This will be for the first 40 customers who show us a receipt (during the time of the GardenLine appearance) for the Browpatch Control and Fall Special purchased.
Yes, we will have plenty of other goodies to give away, and if you'll print out this tip sheet and bring it to The Woodlands ACE Hardware, we will certainly give you some free goodies as well.
But if the free bag of pre-emergence herbicide is enticing to you, then I would be one of the first people in line with proof of purchase of the other two Nitro Phos products.
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