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Learning to Grow: Late September is nice for gardening

Published: Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 10:14 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 10:18 a.m. CDT

Late September is a good time to work in the garden. The summer heat is but a memory as crisp temperatures transition us from summer to fall.

With the summer drought, many lawns in our area have suffered. Fall is the ideal time to reseed the lawn as weed competition is reduced and the cool temperatures are ideal for growth and development. Before you spread grass seed, be sure to rough-up the soil to assure good seed-to-soil contact. 

I like to cover the newly seeded areas with a light top-dressing of straw. It is important to keep the newly seeded areas watered. A little effort now will bring pleasing results next spring.

If your grass is now growing, keep mowing! It might be best to postpone mowing until later in the day as early morning dew, or frost, can make the grass too wet to mow.

 Cleaning up leaves, and mowing, until the end of the season, will not only make your yard attractive it will also keep your landscape healthy!

Water trees, evergreens, shrubs, ground covers, and fruit crops if they are not getting moisture from rainfall during the fall months. Water trees and shrubs at their drip lines. And don’t forget your parkway trees!

It is a good idea to survey your property from across the street. Take a good look at your yard; the site your neighbors must constantly view. Is it pleasing to the eye or do you need to make corrections? 

Perhaps you do need to spend a little time pulling weeds, picking up litter, trimming overgrown shrubs; inexpensive ways to greatly improve your home’s curb appeal. We can all improve our neighborhoods by taking care of our own gardens.  
• Catherine Harrington is a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener for Kane County. Call the extention office at 630-584-6166.

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