BCLS Landscape Services of Central Virginia
Well, if you are not tired of all the rain, I can guarantee you that most, if not all, landscapers are. In general, we started the year off in Central Virginia with a lot of rain. Then as it usually does in these parts, we go from warm to hot. Excessive heat in July and August, wet weather, excess weed growth, and turf that had never stopped growing have made what is hard, sometimes even harder.
On this rainy Monday, we say…rain, rain; enough already! Weeds, weeds, enough already! For many, our rainy weather has consumed much of our time mowing grass, weeding plant beds, and dealing with disease problems associated with recent weather conditions on many plants. In addition, wet conditions have accelerated disease problems on turf and many landscape shrubs. Many fall crops are also being delayed in being planted as the ground is just supersaturated.
SHUT YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEMS OFF AND MANAGE YOUR WATERING!
Be aware that Low lying turf areas show signs of potential disease, with yellowing areas appearing under saturated conditions. What’s amazing is I continually see irrigation systems (set on automatic daily schedules) pouring more water onto already wet turf and landscape beds. Many who do this fear that their grass might dry out and die if not watered three to four times each week (even when it is raining). If the grass is over-watered constantly, it can suffer if left un-watered for a week in hot weather. This excessive irrigation leads to turf that doesn’t root deeply and depends on constant irrigation to maintain growth, vigor, and green color. It can also lead to many diseases on various plants and turf.
Let’s explore a few activities that will be taking place now through mid-October…
Aeration, Overseeding & Starter Fertilizer…Overseeding of cool-season lawns with blue-tagged fescue seed began in late September. Unfortunately, our fall aeration and overseeding efforts have been hampered by the wet weather. If your property has not been completed yet, no worries, it will be done by October 15th, weather permitting, of course.
Fall flowers…Pansies and violas, which can last the entire winter, will be planting during the mid-month of October. If you do not have flowers in your contract, you may contact your landscape manager, and they will gladly discuss winter flower options with you.
Fall Clean-Up…Remember, fall clean-up is a continuous process between now and mid-December and sometimes beyond. Your account Field Operations Manager will find a balance of keeping your properties ‘curb-appeal’ looking good while balancing fall mowing and leaf clean-up. Rest assured, by late fall/early winter, your property will be mostly clean of fall leaves and debris.
The fall season is a great time to plants trees, shrubs, sod, and many perennials and ground covers. Contact your Field Operations Manager!
6 Reasons Why Fall is the Best Time to Garden…
- Work is Easier on Plants… And You
The cooler air temperatures are easier on both plants and gardeners. Neither of you needs to suffer through the intense summer heat. Yet, in fall, the soil is still warm enough for roots to thrive. They will grow and get established until the ground freezes.
- There is More Time in Fall
There are more good days for planting in the fall than in spring when bad weather can make being outside impossible. Plus, you have more free time as a gardener than during the spring rush. Note: The window for fall planting in Central Virginia often extends well into the winter with our varying temperatures and
- Mother Nature Does the Watering for You
In many regions of the country, including Central Virginia, fall showers and winter rain happen often. As a result, you might not ever have to water new plantings, which means less maintenance for you. However, it’s a cinch to water plants if it doesn’t rain at least 1” per week due to the cooler temperatures.
- Easier Weed Control
In the fall, weed seeds are dormant, i.e., they don’t grow. So, any weeds that grow up in your flowers are easily removed when they first appear as sprouts in spring.
- Bye-Bye Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases are less prevalent in the fall. This is because most of the bugs are either dead or preparing to hibernate in the fall. Plus, the humidity that promotes many diseases fades away.
- Fall Planting Results in Earlier Blooms
Like fall-seeded lawns, fall-planted wildflower seed has a chance to “settle” into your site during the winter and is ready to burst into growth in early spring. This is why fall-planted wildflower seed is up and in bloom about two weeks earlier than spring-planted seed.