Tag Archives: do it yourself

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Topdressing and Overseeding Your Lawn

Topdressing, Overseeding & Fertilizing your Lawn in the Fall

It is ideal to topdress (spread soil) your lawn once a year. If you topdressed in the spring, than just overseed and fertilize at this time of year (the fall).

Even if your lawn is looking healthy and green, still topdress, seed and fertilize – don’t wait until it stops looking great before you follow the steps below.  By keeping up on your lawn every year, you’ll have less weeds, disease and insects invade – and less stress! If it all seems like too much, just overseed – overseed, overseed, overseed! I know some people that overseed every month and their lawn is nice and thick and healthy.

Below we have listed the easy steps to topdress, seed and fertilize your lawn.

  1. Rake lawn with either hard rake or fan rake and discard dead grass to compost – if lawn is long – cut grass to 1” high (this makes topdressing easier)
  2. Topdress lawn with soil, spreading it out no more than ¼” deep over existing lawn area
  3. Spread seed evenly over lawn (be sure to keep it out of the gardens)
  4. Fertilize lawn with an organic fertilizer (use a spreader, do not spread by hand)
  5. Water entire area in each section for 20 minutes. Keep area moist but not soaking until seed has germinated (likely 6-10 days depending on the weather and your watering practices)
  6. You might have to seed some areas you missed after germination has occurred
  7. When cutting your lawn – wait until the grass has grown 6″ and set the mower to its highest setting and keep it there all season long to encourage deep rooting of your lawn.

Watch our quick video below for a how-to on topdressing and overseeding – sorry about the vehicle noise and the agitated Mike – this is why we keep him out of the greenhouse and off the cash registers!!

Fruit Tree Pruning and Spraying

Fruit Tree Pruning & Spraying

It’s Time to Spring Into Action

Here we are, the snow is finally gone and with it the wool socks, the time has come to sharpen your trowels and come up with a game plan for spring garden season. While we are still some time away from sowing seeds and planting outside, there are a few things you can do to get a leg up on the coming season. Lets get out there and get started on what will be another great season.

 

Pruning Fruit Trees

This is a perfect time to get out there and start shaping your trees and shrubs. Beyond the esthetics there are many practical reasons to get pruning especially with your fruit trees.

  1. Proper pruning helps to increase the size and quality of your blooms, foliage and fruit by allocating plant resources.
  2. Increase the plants health by removing damaged, dead or diseased limbs.
  3. Control and direct the plants growth and get rid of any criss-crossing branches.
  4. Compensate for root loss after transplanting.
  5. Improve air circulation and light penetration. It is important to thin out dense growth periodically to increase overall health and shape.
  6. Leader management. Manage the direction and shape of growth by pruning the leading branch of the tree or shrub.
  7. Creating a focal point or landscape feature.
  8. Create more space by pruning back, or thinning out plants.
  9. Expose colorful, textured or shapely stems and bark.

These pruning basics apply to all the common fruit trees we can grow in our zone (zone 5) – apples, pears, plums and cherries.

Lime Sulphur & Horticultural Oil

After pruning apply Lime Sulphur & Horticultural Oil in combination to protect your fruit trees.

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Early spring is the perfect time to apply the combination spray to your fruit trees, before the buds break (open). Both the sulphur and oil protect your trees from a variety of insects and diseases that can damage the tree and inhibit proper fruit growth. Applying the lime sulphur & horticultural oil is easy; simply spray it on the tree’s stem and branches putting a fine layer on all surfaces. Note the oil stains so be cautious around concrete, decks, houses and clothing.

For more on Lime Sulphur & Horticultural Oil read the directions on their containers.  You can continue to use the sulphur throughout the growing season (as long as the tree isn’t in bloom – you don’t want to interfere with the bees and insects pollinating) if you see any insects or disease on your trees. However, we suggest to only use the oil in the spring before the buds open as oil on the foliage could burn when leafed out.

Proper maintenance of fruit trees will leave you with bigger and higher quality produce so a little elbow grease now will pay dividends by harvest time. Remember, gardening is fun so lets get out there and enjoy ourselves!