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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Ward

The Potomac Flower Newsletter, Fall 2022

Check out what we've got going on this Fall season!

Transitioning to Fall Flowers

We finished working through the last of our Summer flower inventory in July, so we were able to spend the month of August preparing for Fall installations. We've begun placing orders, and deliveries should arrive as early as next week. Weather permitting, your Fall containers shouldn't be far behind! Our Fall season typically starts somewhere in early September and is finished by the end of October,

but it's already beginning to look like we will

have to start a bit later this year so that temperatures aren't too high for our Fall annuals to thrive. For this reason, schedules will be finalized as we get closer to starting installs. If you haven't already let us know that you're interested in Fall this year, it's not too late to get on the schedule!

Leaf Cleanup

You may have seen that your trees are already beginning to drop leaves, which couldn't be a more sure sign of Fall's impending arrival. Beginning with London Planes that start dropping leaves in mid-August, your Cherries and Maples will begin following soon. Eventually, all of your non-evergreen varieties will be dropping leaves for the next few months until they are bare for the winter. Crews are already dispatched for leaf cleanup and will continue to be out with blowers until the last leaves have fallen.

Fall Turf Services

Turf operations are year-round; however, each year, different services may be performed during different seasons. Fall is one season when we perform seeding and aeration for lawns under our turf care program. Seeding, or the act of laying down grass seed, is pretty straightforward and is generally recommended for filling in patches and bare spots. Without grass seed, new grass cannot growso if you are looking to remedy dead or bare patches on your lawn, seed is obviously critical. Just as critical, however, is aeration. We've recently switched to primarily using liquid aeration. The liquid agent has soil amendments that condition as well as macro-and micro-nutrients for feeding your lawn. Any shallow rooting soil depth would benefit from additional nutrients as the root system of the lawn may not be deep enough to access sufficient nutrients. The soil amendments add organic matter-containing components that benefit soil microbial activity. Surfactants are added to carry amendments deeper into the soil by reducing the surface tension of the liquid agent. With repeated applications, the goal is to increase the rooting zone depth and improve the pore space of the soil without using equipment that can cause additional compaction or disturb the soil profile.

Regarding the causes of patchy lawns and bare spots, there are a few typical suspects: pets, pests, extreme weather conditions, and diseases such as fungus. We mentioned above that our operations are being impacted by the heat this year, but we're also battling the incredible rain we received this summer. One thing that has become quite prevalent due to the excess moisture is the presence of fungal diseases on lawns.

If caught early enough, fungal diseases can be treated with turf fungicides. This is a good time because if the fungus leaves behind any dead patches, Fall seeding and aeration can be performed to root some fresh grass into your lawn by spring. Unfortunately, a fungal infection that is too far advanced may leave nothing on your lawn! When this happens, we can remove the diseased grass material and start fresh with seeding and aeration. It may be a good idea, then, to add regular fungicide treatments to your lawn care program. We have clients that swear by these treatments, even if they've never had a fungus outbreak! As it turns out, our turf fungicides tend to cause lawns to be extra lush and green by simply eliminating one potential threat to their livelihood.

If you've noticed any suspicious-looking patches on your lawn, call us! Chances are, we are already working on a plan of action.

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