In the Garden

Take a look at your lawn and think about next spring. If you want a healthy, beautiful green lawn next spring, you need to start planning for it soon. The next several weeks are the time to take a soil test, develop a liming and fertilizer plan, and learn more about seeding and weed control.

By September it’s time to begin renovating existing cool-season turfgrass lawns or establishing new ones.

Cool-season turf grass such as tall fescue is the most commonly used grass in the Richmond area. It looks good in the spring, early summer, and fall but can go dormant in the heat of summer unless irrigated.

The Henrico Extension office has two programs coming up soon that can help. “Establishing a New Lawn, Renovating an Old One” will be the topic of an evening seminar offered Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Henrico Extension Office at 8600 Dixon Powers Drive. And on Saturday, Aug. 11, a SMART Lawn Care Field Day will be held at the Extension office from 8:30 a.m. to noon with vendors demonstrating lawn-care rental equipment and products followed by a comprehensive seminar on year-round lawn care. Registration for both free programs is requested at 501-5160.

“Cool season grasses grow best when temperatures are cooler and rainfall is more reliable,” explains Henrico Extension Agent Karen Carter. “That makes the period between mid-September and the end of October an excellent window of opportunity for the successful establishment of new grass.”

“You can go outside the window,” she adds “but you’re taking the chance that conditions are not going to be as good.”

Plus seeding by the first part of October helps ensure that new grass is well-enough established to tolerate weed control products that get applied in late October and November.

Start with a soil test. “You need the information provided by a soil test to match fertilizer and lime to the needs of your grass,” says Carter.

Aerating your lawn is also a good idea in the fall. A core-aerating machine pulls plugs of soil out of the ground and deposits them on top of the lawn. The process relieves soil compaction and improves water infiltration and air exchange for the roots.

“Aerating is a good idea every year, even if you aren’t putting down new seed,” says Carter, “and it’s a must if you’re going to overseed.”

Follow the SON rule when it comes to fertilizing your lawn and add one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in September, October, and November. Your soil test will tell you if phosphate and potash are also needed.

For more help, consider registering for the SMART Lawns program, available until the beginning of September. Under the program, specially trained Henrico Master Gardeners perform a soil test on your lawn and provide you with a Nutrient Management Plan. They’ll also measure your lawn to aid you in applying the right amount of fertilizer and other lawn care products that have application rates specified as “per thousand square feet.”

The registration form for the SMART Lawns program is online, and the cost is $20.
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Kaine, McEachin to host Service Academy Day


Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) will co-host their Service Academy Day to educate high school students about the service academy nominations process, an honor awarded by members of Congress for students interested in attending a service academy after high school.

The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Matoaca High School, 17700 Longhouse Lane, Chesterfield 23838. It will provide an opportunity for high school students and parents to learn about the nation’s military academies, a career in military service and the nominations process. > Read more.

Red Cross, Sport Clips offer free haircuts to blood donors


The American Red Cross and Sport Clips are partnering to provide free haircuts to anyone who donates blood or platelets to the Red Cross during September.

Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O negative and O positive, are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply following a critical summer blood shortage. > Read more.

Back to work


Above, Mills Godwin football player John Dudley cools down with a splash of water during a break from practice earlier this month. High school football teams throughout the county and region are continuing their summer practices in anticipation of the start of their seasons later this month. > Read more.

McEachin to host Henrico town hall meeting


U.S. Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-4th District) will host a town hall meeting Aug. 29 at the Eastern Government Center, 3820 Nine Mile Road in Henrico. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public. McEachin will address issues raised by attendees and provide details about services available through his office. > Read more.

Nonprofit awards $38k in book scholarships


The KLM Scholarship Foundation awarded more than $38,000 in book scholarships to 36 students during its 2017 Book Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Linwood Holton Elementary School in Richmond Aug. 5. The students will attend 14 Virginia colleges in the fall. Each has excelled academically, maintaining a 3.0 GPA or better, while demonstrating strong community leadership qualities.

WWBT/NBC12 Raycom Media Vice President and General Manager Kym Grinnage was the guest speaker. > Read more.

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August 2017
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The Henricus Historical Park’s Discovery Day Program Series concludes with “Children of the Colony: Lean about the lives of the youngest English colonists.” The program, designed for children ages 3-10, is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities will include a story, short tour and activities in the historic site, and a make-and-take craft. Stay as little or as long as you like. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $10 per child and $7 per adult. Registration is required by calling 318-8797. Full text

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