Fall is an exciting time for us. The dreaded heat is walking out the door and beautiful fall weather is within reach. At this point, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be cold.
With the changing of the season comes new tasks we need to take on. As the soil temperature drops, winter weeds start to germinate. Arguably the most important part of a successful weed control program is a properly TIMED application of a pre-emergent herbicide. After that, you can consider application rate and technique but, timing is the most critical. It needs to be on the ground early enough to prevent the weeds from germinating but, not too early that the herbicide loses its effectiveness.
You see, a seed has an embryo in it that is woken up when both the moisture and temperature are correct for that particular seed. Some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for as many as 7-10 years! When the moisture level and temperature are right for that seed it will go through the process of germination. A pre-emergent herbicide, when applied correctly, forms a chemical barrier on the surface of the soil that prevents the weed seeds first shoot from breaking the surface of the soil.
Beginning in September…
….our first pre-emergent herbicide is applied. But, it doesn’t stop there. We make a split application in September and then reapply again in November. The reason we do that is because of the crazy temperature swings that we can get in this part of Texas. We can have cool fall mornings in September followed by a week of hot summer days in October and then a cold snap in November. This changes the soil temperature and creates another opportunity for another set of weed seeds to germinate. Also, the pre-emergent loses its effectiveness after 8-12 weeks depending on the amount of rainfall we get.
While preparing for our lawn care program, we’re still working our landscaping jobs. We are excited about a project coming up soon for a local custom cabinet maker out of Caddo Mills. He and his family just had a pool installed at their beautiful country home in the woods off Hwy 36 South. They’ve been working hard to build their business and their home for the last 40 years and are ready to relax and enjoy all their hard work. We have the pleasure and honor of coming in and installing the flower beds and lawn around their pool as well as their parent’s and son’s house that they built on their property. They have great taste in the materials and colors of the houses as well as great taste in the landscaping that they want to install around these houses. It’s also the same type of style that we install so it’s a perfect fit for the best of us.
They are choosing a rustic, Texan, xeriscape look. The majority of their beds will be cedar mulch lined with moss boulders. Did you know that not only does cedar have a great look and smell, it also is the only mulch available that repels insects?! We will also be using one of my favorite stones, cinnamon gravel for the beds near the pool. We will also place flagstone in the gravel to create a walking and seating area. I like using stone around pools instead of mulch to help keep the pool clean. Thankfully, we just purchased a new-to-us 16’ tandem axle trailer to help us haul these bulky and heavy materials. Some of the plants in the beds are and will be vitex, soft leaf yucca, spineless prickly pear cactus, gulf muhly, turks cap, and new gold lantana leaving plenty of space between plants to keep that rustic, wild Texan feel.
YOUR FLOWER BEDS
WHAT TO DO THIS MONTH
There wasn’t much to do in your flower beds for September. Most spring/summer perennial flowers were full-grown, done or finishing blooming, and kind of just sitting there trying to make it through the heat. If you haven’t done so already, a general clean up of weeding, deadheading, and pulling any plants that didn’t make it through the heat would be a good idea. Most hedges and trees do not need to be pruned at this time.
Now that we’re well into October, we’ll be pulling summer annuals, prepping beds, and installing winter annuals. It’s also a great time to cut back perennial flowers and mulch the beds. All this work, done just in time for Halloween trick-or-treaters this weekend and the holiday festivities to come.
Hope you enjoyed this information as much as I enjoy writing it. If you have questions or would like to contact us about a free estimate for your yard, give us a call, shoot us a message on our website, or complete our contact form here.
Thanks for reading and happy fall!