In the Garden
Making the most of your lawn
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.
Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.
As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.
The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.
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