Water, Mulch, Plant for Fall, Weed and Feed Fertilizer Time

Fall may be approaching on the calendar but most of the last two weeks has felt more like summer. We have actually dealt with more triple digit temperatures the last two weeks than the rest of this summer combined. Hopefully you have been and will be watching for thirsty and stressed plants. We have made it through much of the summer on natural rainfall and have not had to hand water or use sprinklers near as much as the last three exceptionally hot and dry summers. Hopefully you have provided the water your flowers, veggies, shrubs and trees have needed in this hot spell to bridge them over into the cooler and usually wetter fall season when many of our plants produce another round of new growth, vegetables or flowers. The fall season can be one of the prettiest and best times in your yard and garden but we have to keep our trees and plants healthy. Our plants must survive the last of the summer heat to get to the wonders of fall in your garden.

Besides watering and mulching existing plantings there are still a few root crops and semi hardy cool loving veggies we can plant to complete our fall vegetable gardens. We are entering the prime season for planting tall fescue seed if you want a green lawn this winter. The Oklahoma State University turf program is involved in breeding and evaluating turf or grass varieties for use in Oklahoma. They are famous for some of their varieties of grass used at the Olympics in China, on NFL football fields, at the Bombing Memorial in Oklahoma City and even on the athletic fields at Oklahoma University and many other athletic fields around the country. Tall fescue is planted in the fall in sunny areas if you want green turf though the winter months. It takes eight to twelve days for the seed to germinate after it comes in contact with the soil and is watered in to start the germination process. It is best to sow your winter lawn between August 15th and October 15th. Make sure to water the young grass regularly until it is well established. Some of the most popular varieties recommended by Oklahoma State University include Crossfire III, Rembrandt, Hound Dog or blends that include several varieties and insure that at least one variety is likely to be adapted to your soil and fertility conditions.

It is always good to have a soil test so you really know your existing PH and fertility conditions before fertilizing. If you know your soil test results you can feed just what your soil and the plants are missing. If you don’t know your soil test results, you may want to feed with a lawn starter to help get the fescue off to a good start. If you don’t plant to overseed tall fescue but just want to take good care of your Bermuda or other warm season lawn heading into the winter this is the time to make the last application of nitrogen or a well balanced fertilizer so that the resulting new growth happens well before our first freeze in early November. If you want to apply a pre-emergent weed killer to prevent winter weeds you can apply a herbicides or weed seed killer with your last round of fertilizer over the next two to three weeks. These combination products are often sold as “Weed and Feed” fertilizers.


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