Watering and  Landscaping  Tips - Archives
(Sep. 2014)

Sep 06, 2014

Garden and Lawn Renewal

What are you waiting for? September is garden and lawn renewal month-take full advantage of it. Get your lawn aerated and over seed with a quality seed matched to your current turf. Have your soil tested and get recommendations to correct any deficiencies (especially soil pH) by using your local Rutgers University field extension office at "www.njaes.rutgers.edu/soiltestinglab/howto.asp". Apply the necessary soil amendments to make your turf and plantings thrive. There are many products to apply after lawn aeration to improve the soil under your lawn such as HUMIC DG for sandy soils and BLACK GYPSUM DG for clay soils-go to "www.andersonhumates.com/products/" to learn more. Another amendment to apply after aeration is EASY FLO pelletized compost to improvement soil water holding and help microbial activity-go to "www.easy-flo.ca/" to see for yourself its many benefits.

These products can also be used in your gardens and are available from select distributors (you won't find them at Lowes or the Home Depot!). Check the websites and/or call the manufacturers for local sources. The beauty of their application is their ability to dissolve and go to work quickly as well as their unique formulas. Except no substitutes or other chemical soil additives-these products really do the job.

Sept 5, 2014 - DRY DRY DRY!!!

Welcome to a yearly phenomenon common to my location (North Jersey) and the Northeast in general-extended periods of little to no rain. 2014 started out as a very wet year right thru July and since the beginning of August turned tail and ran. Around here 5 to 7 weeks of dry conditions is a common recurring event you can take to the bank. When this occurs the lack of any significant backup rainfall places tremendous stress on lawns and gardens to the point that even every day watering (often not an option with watering restrictions) is necessary just to keep sufficient water in the root zones (especially turf grasses). Look at the two attached pictures. What you see are the trees pulling scarce water away from the lawn coupled with the sun and roadway doing their parts to rob moisture from your turf. In spite of an irrigation system watering with a climate controlled program it is impossible to keep enough water in the turf root zone. The grass is competing with the tree for moisture-care to guess who wins and who loses?
There are three approaches to this problem:

1. Do nothing. The rains and cooler temps will most likely return in the near future. The problem solves itself. Healthy turf will bounce back quickly. This saves water.

2. Change your irrigation schedule-water everyday-twice a day if necessary-until the green returns. This wastes water as areas that are satisfied with the current program (areas not competing with trees, heavy sun and roadway heat) are overwatered. You could hope that your system was designed with a zone along the roadway and the turf areas shared with the trees so that you could add additional watering to that area (zone) only. Again you may still be wasting water on areas not stressed.

3. The BMP (Best Management Practice)? If a green lawn is your main concern then do it the old fashioned way-bring the hose out and water the area manually and deeply until you get the results you want. This will direct the water to the exact area it is needed most without waste. I know-you're busy with the house, the kids, the dog, your spouse and you just can't put that cell phone down and take the time to water with a hose. You know what? You owe it to yourself to take a break. Watering a garden or lawn with a hose can be a zen like period in your otherwise hectic day where you unwind and relax-I'm not kidding here! Zen is a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of mind and body-let the flowing water flow through you and relax you. Think of it as YOUR time-let nothing else intrude. How much you have to water will determine your watering/meditation duration-enjoy yourself and lose your thoughts to the moment. Your lawn will thank you and you will be better positioned to smile at the rest of your day! Enjoy.

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