BY GEORGE EDGAR
I try to find
the easiest way to do something. Taking care of leaves in the fall is no
exception. I use my mower (not a mulching mower) and mulch them into my
lawn or I put the bag on and pick them up for the compost pile. My
self-propelled mower is much easier than a rake. My wife and I do rake
the leaves from the lilac hedge and other shrubs, and my wife rakes the
leaves from her flower garden. These we gather up for the compost pile.
grass in the summer or leaves in the fall does not increase thatch.
Remember, thatch in you lawn is caused by over fertilization, over
watering, and mowing your grass too short. The best way to prevent
thatch and have a healthy lawn is to core aerate at least once per year,
do not over fertilize, irrigate only when necessary, and mow your grass
2 1/2” to 3 1/2” year around.
Chopping up the
leaves with your mower and putting them back into your lawn is
beneficial, according to a study done by
After the trees
have dropped all of their leaves and you have mowed for the last time
this fall, it is important to put on a good, slow release winter
fertilizer. The nitrogen in the fertilizer helps to break down the
chopped leaves and grass. If you are only going to fertilize twice a
year, both should be in the fall. Remember, heavy fertilization in the
spring puts stress on the grass that has been dormant all winter. Over
fertilization in the spring causes disease and insect problems later in
the year. Also, the more you fertilize in the spring, the more you have
to water, and the more you have to mow.
fall fertilizer should have been put on around Labor Day, and then put
on your winter fertilizer between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Winter
fertilizer should be higher in potash (the last number) than regular
fertilizer and contain at least 40% of slow release nitrogen. Two years
ago I didn’t get mine on until about Thanksgiving since we had a very
long fall. The day after you put your mower to bed, put on your winter
If you don’t
want to mulch your lawn, you can put the catcher on and bag the chopped
leaves. These can be tilled into your garden or added to your compost
pile, or used as mulch over your roses and other plants.
Chopped leaves break down faster in the compost pile and do not
mat when used around your rose bushes or other perennials. From the
mower bag directly to the compost pile or garden also saves on plastic
bags or paper bags. PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT!!!
If you don’t
want to use your mower at all, the next alternative is to (1) rake your
leaves, spread them out over the vegetable garden, and till them in, or
(2) put them in the compost pile. Do not put un-chopped leaves on your
roses or use as mulch on other plants as they usually will mat down and
therefore are not as beneficial.
As a last
resort put the leaves in a paper bag and send them to your city compost
recycling. These leaves and grass clippings end up as good compost after
two years. In the spring and summer this good compost is usually
available free of charge or for a small price. RECYCLE THOSE LEAVES!!!
information on how to make a compost pile that is clean and healthy go
to “lancaster.unl.edu” and look for compost information. Or go to
the search box type “compost” and numerous publications will be
available for downloading and printing.
NOT FILL UP OUR LANDFILLS WITH YOUR LEAVES
DID YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH
Did you have
trouble with Crabgrass this summer? Did you have trouble with Yellow
Nutsedge this summer? Bonide now has a product called “Prozone
Weedbeater Complete” that prevents the germination of Crabgrass seed
in the spring and suppresses the germination of the Yellow Nutsedge
nutlets. A pre-emergence application put on at the right time will also
control or suppress the germination of Chickweed, Foxtail, Knotweed,
numerous Sedges, Pigweed, Purslane, Speedwell, Prostrate Spurge, and
Goosegrass. For some of these weeds, especially Goosegrass, Foxtail, and
Spurge that germinates later, control and suppression will be enhanced
by a second application 6 to 8 weeks after the first. Pre-emergence
products are usually applied to the lawn around the 15th of April in
Eastern and South Central Nebraska, and the second application about the
last week of May or the first week of
This product in
addition to pre-emergence also has some post-emergence control or
suppression of the growth of Black medic, chickweed, clover, dandelion,
curly dock, ground ivy, henbit, golden rod, mallow, pigweed, puncture
weed, purslane, wild garlic, spurge, wild onion, and wild garlic when
applied as directed.
ingredients in “Prozone Weedbeater Complete” are prodiamine (found
in Barricade), and sulfentrazone (found in Dismiss). Barricade is a very
good pre-emergence product and has the longest residual (about 90 days)
of any turfgrass pre-emergence. Sulfentrazone is also a pre-emergence
and has some post-emergence qualities that has been used in agriculture
and now is being used on turfgrass.
this product with and without fertilizer. Next Spring check with your
favorite full service garden center and see if they have this product.
Sulfentrazone is the only product I know that will suppress the
germination of the Yellow Nutsedge. All the other products, including
Sedge Hammer are post-emergence products and will control the growth of
the nutsedge if applied at the right time. Get on top of your Crabgrass,
nutsedge, and other turf weeds early next year and buy a quality product
that has season long control.
A big thank you