Every month, we will highlight a few timely, key tips for Maryland homeowners’ lawns and gardens.
- If needed, this is the ideal time to begin a total lawn renovation project. Total renovation is best if your lawn is always failing due to poor soil, has over 50% weeds or is mostly dead. For the best results, work in ample amounts of organic matter. Use leaf gro, thoroughly composted horse or cow manure or peat moss. See our lawn renovation publication, (PDF) HG 102 Lawn Establishment, Renovation, and Overseeding. In addition, take a look at our recent blog post on the subject.
- The dormancy (browning) of cool season grasses is a natural response that helps turfgrass survive drought and heat. Grasses that go dormant will usually green-up and grow vigorously again in the fall. If you have areas in your lawn that haven’t greened up yet you should consider reseeding them now.
Insects and Pests:
- Over the summer, indian meal moth (pictured) may have been breeding in pantry products such as flour, cake mixes, cereals, bird seeds, dried pet food, etc. Remove the source of the infestation and clean all jars and containers that are affected. Do not use insecticides to control these pests.
- Ticks will continue to be active throughout the fall and winter. Deer tick populations are especially high around the Chesapeake Bay. Be sure to check yourself and loved ones after working in the yard or hiking in natural areas.
- Plant cool season vegetable crops now that will mature into the later fall months. These include Chinese cabbage, turnips, kale, mustard, spinach, arugula, and lettuce. When planting fall vegetables, be aware that more time will be required to bring the crop to maturity because of reduced light and air temperature. Add at least 2 weeks to the “days to maturity” number on your seed packets.
- Plant garlic now through the end of October for a July 4 harvest next year. Plant the cloves root end down; space them 4-6 inches apart and cover with 1-2 inches of soil. Mulch the garlic bed with fallen tree leaves after the green leaves emerge. Do not use garlic from grocery stores for planting because of the significant risk of introducing diseases such as white rot.
Take a look at more monthly tips on the HGIC website.