Some September Lawn Tips

September Lawn TipsFall is almost here. I like to get a little bit of a head start by working on the lawn during the pre-fall maintenance period, (Late-August to Mid-September).

I have found that if I invest a little time and effort during this time period, I will see a return on my efforts this fall, (Late September) and next spring.

Some lawn observations from this past summer. 

  • In the midwest we had a lot of days above 90 but we received timely rains about every 7-10 days. I have not watered as much as I have in past years.
  • The grubs were really bad. I had applied a preventive in May and I found myself adding more at the end of July. I’m still battling a couple of spots that the grubs took over. It’s not too late to apply a grub preventer. Most of the products on the market work within 36-48 hours.
  • For the second straight year, I found a little window where highs were in the mid-70’s and I was able to put down a fertilizer application in the summer. Just adding a little nitrogen in the summer can really make for a thicker, greener lawn.
  • Weeds were also an issue in late July. I think the combination of warm temperatures and regular moisture helped promote the growth of weeds. I used to use a weed killer fertilizer but I had a bad experience with the product and I ended up burning a number of parts of my lawn. I prefer the hand-held weed spray and walking around and spraying the weeds individually.

Some Fall Lawn Tips

  • I plan on adding more grass seed in the first couple of weeks of September. September is a great time to overseed and grow more grass seedlings.
  • Aerating is an option in the fall. Many people like to do this, but I am now on my fifth year of not aerating and I plan to continue to overseed.
  • (Midwest/Snow Areas) Water at least once a week. It is important to keep watering into the fall. Before you know it, the temperatures will fall and then it will be time to winterize the sprinkler system or take in the hoses for the winter.   Other areas where it does not get as cold, I see people cut back on mowing, but they still water on occasion.
  • It is also a good time to put down some fertilizer in September or a winterizer in October. I lean more toward the end of September to help enable growth of the new seed that was applied in early September.
  • Rake those leaves or mow them. Pretty obvious task

A Word about Landscape Care

It is always a good idea to trim up the bushes, but do not go too short in case of a hard freeze or colder than normal winter. In addition, think about buying some additional potting soil and adding it around the stem of the bush, especially rose bushes. This process will help insulate the rose bushes from the harsh winter temperatures.

Dealing with Lawn Issues in the Fall

If you have some areas of your lawn that simply been dead spots all year long, consider getting a lawn and garden test to see the makeup of the soil and receive recommendations on proper amendments to bring the soil back to life for proper grass growth. You can order a lawn and garden test online and the supplies will be sent to you to collect your sample along with a return shipping label. Once the sample is received, you can expect results in 3 business days.

Hoping your fall lawn season is a successful one.




Crops look great

Corn 2016


This past weekend I had the chance to drive through Nebraska and Kansas and crops overall look very good for this time of year. The combination of corn growing degree days and regular moisture has contributed to favorable conditions this summer.

It will be interesting to see how these conditions apply with respect to the stalk nitrate test. Many growers are ordering supplies to see what type of numbers are received before harvest.

Corn prices have gone down quite a bit in 2016. As a result, growers will continue to watch their costs closely and look for ways to keep expenses down.

As growers continue to watch their crops as we get closer to harvest, we encourage you to work with our client service staff to make sure you have your fall sampling supplies in place and you have selected testing packages that will provide you with the right soil fertility information at a price you can afford.

We are only weeks away from fall harvest.



Grubs are Back – Take Action Now!

Brown spots in lawn

Picture Source: Pine Hurst Floral & Green House

Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly noticed some brown spots appearing in lawns adjacent to my property. I am typically proactive when it comes to maintaining my lawn and I like to make sure weeds are in check and if there is a cooler period in the summer, I will take the opportunity to apply more nitrogen, (fertilizer) to insure a nice, thick green lawn. I kept thinking to myself, I am sure glad I do not have grubs in my lawn.

Well, all of that changed in the last couple of weeks.

I began noticing a few,  small brown spots. I wrote it off as the lawn needing more water so I watered a little more the past couple of weeks. Last night as I mowed over these areas, I could see that not only were these areas brown, but they had spread and instead of a few, there were several brown spots. Meanwhile my neighbor’s lawns had particularly brown, dead grass and even more brown spots in their yard. If you dig up these areas, you will see those disgusting white wormy creatures.

The point here is that it does not take much for grubs to appear and spread. The ideal conditions of heat and humidity bring help accelerate the process. Normally, I see grub damage like this in the middle of August. With the higher temperatures and humidity in the midwest, we are about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. Normally in May I add some grub killer to areas where grubs have appeared in past years. I did apply grub killer to these areas and have not seen any grubs. Unfortunately, my back yard, where I had never had grubs before was the area that had the most grubs.

The good news is that grub killer is available at your local hardware store or Home Depot. Don’t mess around with an insecticide as some articles suggest. Go for the grub killer and address the bugs directly before more damage occurs. So if you are seeing some dry areas in your yard, make sure you get to the root cause. Most of the time it’s not about watering more, it’s about dealing with grub activity. If your neighboors have grubs, there is a good chance your lawn will be a prime canddidate for grubs.


Lead in Water – Additional Testing

Lead Testing in WaterLead in water continues to make the news in communities across the country. Many school officials, business managers and homeowners are taking steps to discover more about the quality of their water supply.  A few months ago, I posted this article, Does Your Water Contain Lead? and we received a number of inquiries about this story. Lead Testing in Water is available and supplies/analysis can be ordered online.

Here are some good stories to help inform you of why this is such a big issue in 2016

How to test for lead water lines in your home.

2 Investigators: Does Chicago Tap Water Have A Lead Problem?


Fire Warning – Linseed Oil

fire liquid

Have you thought about restoring the word work on your deck? If you are thinking about this process, you need to watch the following news story. It really highlights the danger of hot temperatures and flammability. In addition, the video really shows that cloths coated in oils can easily catch on fire because of hot temperatures.

This news story is worth watching and should serve as a reminder to be careful with flammable materials this summer.


IFT Annual Conference 2016

IFT Conference 2016The IFT 2016 Conference brings together a wide array of food partners, from ingredients and products to production support and laboratory testing.

I have been impressed with the number of visitors and current clients who have stopped by and shared their current experiences.

There is a tremendous amount of sharing of new ideas and learning where the current market is headed.

Today is the second day of the conference and there will be a number of  topics being discussed in presentations and on the the trade show floor.

If you are attending this show, we would like to learn more about your business and hopefully assist your company with the day to day managerial decisions.

We are located in Booth 4722!