Lawn work can be in high gear. Reseeding or overseeding should
be done this week. Use about 2 pounds of seed per 1,000 square
feet of lawn for overseeding and twice that for worked-up areas.
A blend with Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and red or
chewings fescue is most common. The idea is to get the grass
established before freezing weather, and remember that bluegrass
can take up to a month to germinate. The intrusive operations,
such as dethatching and core aeration, are also best done at
The last half of September is an ideal time to
apply broadleaf weed control for perennial weeds. This will
affect young grass, so don't apply any chemicals at this time if
you put down new seed. The rule of thumb is that you need to mow
new grass at least two times before applying broadleaf products.
Combinations of 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba bought as a pre-mix are
most common and provide broad spectrum control. Remember that
you can get vapor drift with dicamba if temperatures are over 85
degrees or so. It is best to wait until later in the month with
dicamba, to preserve the neighbor's tomatoes.
We are rapidly approaching the time to plant tulips,
daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs. They should be fall
planted before a killing frost. That date is usually about the
second week in October in our area. Plant larger bulbs 6 to 8
inches deep and smaller ones 3 to 4 inches deep. Mix into the
soil 5 tablespoons of 10-10-10 fertilizer and 2 cups of bone
meal per 10 square feet of bed area.
It is also time to dig summer-flowering bulbs such as canna
and dahlia as their foliage turns yellow. Store them on layers
of sawdust or peat moss in a cool, dry place.
The nuisance pest population is really building up. There are
the intrusive pests such as crickets, millipedes and Asian
ladybugs, and the outdoor pests such as syrphid flies, hornets
and mosquitoes. For the ones invading the home, try foundation
sprays of bifenthrin or permethrin to help reduce the number in
the home. For the outdoor pests, use repellents containing DEET
for mosquitoes. Proper sanitation will help with hornets and
syrphids. The syrphid flies, which many call sweat bees, are
actually beneficial insects eating scale crawlers and aphids.
[to top of second column]
Harvest pumpkins before the stems turn brown. The heat has really
moved things along this year. Pruning shears are a great way to
harvest pumpkins or squash, and you should leave at least 2 inches
of stem attached to the pumpkin. Here are some additional tips for
pumpkins, even though we are in early September:
Choose a pumpkin
with a stem, but never carry it by the stem. Pumpkins without a
stem will not last long.
Select a pumpkin
with a flat bottom, so it will stand upright.
with holes, cuts or soft spots. These areas will rot.
pumpkins are easier to carve because the skin is not as hard as
darker, orange-colored ones, but they will not keep as well.
Wash the pumpkin
with warm water and let it dry before carving. Use of a small
amount of dishwashing soap in the warm water may help extend the
life of the pumpkin.
To make the
pumpkin last longer, keep it in a cool place until ready to
carve. After carving, coat the cuts with petroleum jelly.
wait until three days ahead of Halloween. After cutting, the
pumpkin will deteriorate rapidly.
The use of a candle in the pumpkin will
also make it deteriorate rapidly.
University of Illinois Extension, Logan County]