A stitch in time saves nine.

Hello, again!

We've all heard the saying, "you can pay me now or pay me later" when it comes to our cars, but this actually applies to our landscape as well. In the fall, we check the antifreeze in our cars, put in cold weather windshield cleaner and make sure the engine oil is a lower viscosity for cold start ups. I guess it’s all multi-weight oil these days, but you get the point.

Not doing a few preventative maintenance things in the landscape won’t be as catastrophic as it could be with our autos, but if we do a few simple projects this time of the year, we’ll save ourselves some time and effort next spring. I would start by winterizing both the turf areas and our landscape plants. You know the benefits of ferti-lome Winterizer on turf; it creates thicker turf to compete with weeds, and a faster green-up in the spring.

For my landscape plants, trees, shrubs, and perennials, I’ll broadcast ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Food at the base of the plants. Containing a wetting agent, Tree & Shrub Food requires no digging to get the fertilizer and valuable trace elements to the root zone and taken up during the fall season. You’ll notice a big difference in the plants as they come out of dormancy in the spring.

When I neglect to control fall germinated weeds like henbit and chickweed, I always regret it in the spring. The small weeds are easy to control now with Hi-Yield KillzAll Quick which will kill the actively growing weeds in hours. As a non-selective herbicide, be sure to keep it off desirable plants. Once the weeds are gone, apply Hi-Yield Turf and Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper to prevent weeds from germinating the remainder of the fall and early spring.

I call them weed trees, but they are just trees that naturalize in our landscapes. If they're left unattended, trees such as mulberry, ailanthus, cottonwood, or any tree that is growing where it’s not desired, can grow several feet or more in a single season. The unwanted seedling trees are easy to control anytime of the year, but I seem to notice them most during the autumn as the landscape plants go dormant. If they've gotten too large, I will cut the tree off as low as I can then use ferti-lome Brush and Stump Killer on the newly cut area. Now that this product is available with a brush attached to the lid, it’s easy to apply.

Yesterday I was able to plant tulips and pansies in an area that was blooming profusely with lantana. Knowing the annuals would be finished soon, I figured it was time for a color change. I planted mixed Darwin hybrid tulips in the freshly rototilled soil. Over the top of the tulips, I put in Colossus pansies for color over the next several months.

With the recent cool down, it’s a perfect time for planting spring color in the landscape. We have a great selection of both bulbs and pansies, and the pansies are now on sale at $16.99 per flat (for 32 plants)!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center