Even though we are still having hot days, fall is looming on the horizon. Prepare for the coming Santa Ana winds by thinning any overly heavy tree canopies, and checking the integrity of tree stakes on young or newly planted trees. Now is a great time to check your yard drains and clear them out before the coming fall and winter rains.
We can fertilize our lawn again after Labor Day. Use a fertilizer labeled for fall. It will have less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorus to help strengthen the root system and food storage capacity of your lawn. This will help it thrive over winter. Generally we can resume planting now. You can plant shrubs and trees so they have time to get established before the freeze of winter. We can also plant our fall annual plants like snap dragons and pansies.
If crabgrass had taken over areas of your lawn, dig it out now and loosen the soil in any thin spots as well. We can over seed yards to rejuvenate them now. If you have a typical tall fescue lawn (Marathon type), it is best to over seed with a mix of 70% tall fescue and 30% perennial rye grass seed.
If you have a Bermuda or other winter dormant lawn, you should over seed with 100% perennial rye grass. Never use the cheaper “annual” rye grass. It becomes a weed in our warm climate. You will need to keep the seeds moist by watering 2-3 minutes, 3 times a day, for two or three weeks. If you are not over seeding, reduce your irrigation as the weather cools down to 4 days a week, and still 7 minutes each day
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