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KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LOTS OF RAIN EARLY IN THE YEAR NOW IT’S DRY
This year in the Midwest we have had great variations in our weather. Spring was cool and wet. Nice weather in my opinion. Most of the summer has been on the cool side with ample rains. Now we are approaching mid September and have July weather.

This is the time of year we are gearing up to get our yard and garden ready to get through the winter. It is important now for our trees and shrubs to get the necessary water before the ground freezes. I know frozen ground seems a long way off when it's 95° out but we need to prepare now. Fall usually brings ample rains but not this year. We are going to start watering the trees and shrubs. The best way to do this is trickle the hose near the tree or shrub. It doesn't have to be as far out as the drip line, probably halfway between the trunk and the drip line. Let the water run for at least 3 hours, slowly trickling, so the water doesn't run off. Many trees are still stressed out from the drought last year and need us to help them get through healthy and growing.

Now is also a good time to grow grass, if temps are moderate that is. Cool nights and sunny days are great for grass germination. Make sure you till the soil well to give an easy base for the new grass roots. Add fresh topsoil. Keep the seed moist! This is the most important step. This will ensure quick germination. It might be necessary to water twice a day. You should see grass popping up in 7-14 days. When it's around 3 inches add more topsoil and smooth it in with the back of a grass rake. The first mowing should not take more than a third of the length off. The roots are quite shallow so be careful mowing and step on it only when necessary. It will be hardy enough before the freeze and really take off when spring comes.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:18 PM by Dean's Team

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