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Prime Time Planting

October 5, 2012, 6:18 PM by Ben Cathey

Prime Time Planting

If you can bear the chill, now is still prime time to plant.

We're in a brief period when the ground is still warmer than the air.  Perennials and trees can establish roots before going dormant over winter. 

Bulbs are also popular in the fall. They actually need a freeze/thaw cycle to get activated for spring and so our big temperature ranges help them. 

Lawns remain a big concern even with drought. It's too late to spread regular grass seed but you can sprinkle 'fall dormant seed' which will get covered by snow. 

Once grass goes dormant for winter, your lawn will take on a yellowy-brown hue.  That doesn't mean the grass is dead.  Dead grass turns a slight shade of gray and a trained eye can spot the difference.

Even with freezing temperatures throughout the forecast, you should still be watering your garden.  Cracks are a warning sign, especially around the bases of trees. 

Expert gardeners say to only stop watering when the ground freezes solid. Though it might not be obvious, you should bring your hoses into the garage. Since water expands when frozen, the hoses will crack. 

The same goes for your sprinklers and irrigation systems, which need to be flushed and winterized.  

A thorough cleaning of lawn litter is also necessary. 

Last year's mild winter kept pests and plant diseases active. They could have an easier time gaining a foothold this year if given a chance. Gardeners say the key is keeping your yard tidy.

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