Feed your trees and the lawn

Feed your trees and the lawn!

Right now, tree roots are collecting and storing away nutrients for next year – which makes mid to late fall one of the best times for feeding your trees.  And if you’d like to do it yourself, here are a couple ways to get ‘er done!

1.) For newly planted trees, planted anytime this year or this fall, use a water soluble fertilizer – root stimulants like Bonide’s Plant Starter work great.  Mix with water and pour around the base of the tree.  If using a tree bag to water, pour your diluted solution directly into the bag for a slow drip feeding.

2.) For trees planted for 1-2 years, you can still use a water soluble fertilizer like Plant Starter, or something stronger, like Miracle Gro.  Again, mix with water and pour around the base of the tree.  Ross Root Feeders are also great ways to feed newer and older trees with a water soluble fertilizer.

3.) For trees planted longer than 2-3 years or are mature trees, you have several options for feeding:

-Fertilizer spikes will work. Calculate how many are needed, then distribution around the tree’s root system – for trees only needed 3-4 spikes, break them in half and distribute for a more even feeding – place the spikes 6-8 inches deep, to feed the tree more than feeding the grass.  And yes, your trees also benefit from your fall lawn fall feedings.

-Ross Root feeder does an excellent job feeding mature trees with water soluble fertilizer.

-And there’s Vertical mulching – drilling holes in the ground around the tree with an auger, and putting granular fertilizer (TreeTone / PlantTone / Milorganite / Winterizer, etc) into the holes, followed by a good watering.  Feeds the trees, and improves the flow of air and water into the soil, but is time and labor intense -and may be one method to consider having the professionals take care of for you!  Whichever method you use, mid to late fall is an excellent time to feed your trees.  And if for some reason you don’t get to feed them this fall, guess what?  You can do these same feedings in the spring.

Time to feed the lawn!  As a general rule, when you mow for the last time, that’s usually the time to apply the last lawn feeding.  In most cases, it’s around mid to late November.  And use a lawn food high in nitrogen.  No, it doesn’t stimulate new growth – the grass actually stores the nitrogen in its roots and blades, and helps it get off to a better start next spring.  Which brings up another popular lawn question in November -”how long do I keep mowing?”  How long to keep mowing in the fall is simple – if the lawn is growing, you keep mowing.  And yes, there have been a few falls where we have mowed lawns one last time after Thanksgiving.  But if it is still growing, you keep mowing.  Once you’ve stopped mowing, if leaves are still falling on the lawn, be sure to collect those late leaves – do not allow them to stay on the lawn over the winter.

THANKSGIVING FORECAST – Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190 degrees.  The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.   During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates.  Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other.  Please pass the gravy.   A weight watch and indigestion warning will have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway.  During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 degrees in the refrigerator.  Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established.  Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day.  We expect a warming trend where soup develops.  By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

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Ron Wilson

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