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The summer is marching on.  We have exceeded heat wave records, hot and humid conditions continue, with some recent, heavy rain, and sadly the days are getting shorter!  Soon the feel of early fall will be with us, and with that, our lawns and plants will be happier.  Early to mid fall is the best time to get your lawn and landscape back in shape.

The hot summer has certainly been challenging to us, as well as our lawns.  Weeds and crabgrass love the heat, and unfortunately our lawns consist of "cool season" varieties grass, and prefer cooler temperatures.  Our lawn technicians have had to delay treating weeds and crabgrass due to the heat.  With the change in season, and cooler temperatures, they will be able to treat most of the weed outbreaks.  The continued balanced application of fertilizer will promote healing and new grass development, a thicker turf, and deeper roots.  Diseases also prosper during the humid months, which have also been quite challenging to control this season.  Disease controls should be applied if the infestation is severe enough. 


GRUBS... Be on the look out for grub activity during late summer and early fall.  The grub is the off spring of the beetle.  The young grubs will feed


on the roots of your lawn, ultimately causing severe damage or loss of the lawn.  They will be most likely evident in sunny, hot exposures.  Signs of grub activity are: loose turf; high populations of birds on the lawn; damaged lawn due to digging by skunks or raccoons.  A few grubs are usually not a problem.  High populations, however, can destroy your lawn quickly! 


SEEDING...      Fall is the best time for our turf's recovery, as well as the best time to seed.  If any seeding or renovations need to be done, now would be the time to prepare to get any seeding or lawn installations completed during September and early October!  A simple overseeding, combined with core aeration will upgrade the quality and density of your lawn.  In addition, all of our lawn installations are guaranteed



  Fall is the time to aerate your lawn.  Aeration will enhance root development, as well  as allow water, air and nutrients down into the soil and root zone.  Routine aeration will also control thatch and promote healthy turf!  Schedule this important service now!




WATERING...  Be sure to continue watering.  The rain we recently received does not necessarily mean that we can stop watering.  The soil is still very dry down in the root zone of the turf.  Continue to water deeply on a regular basis.


MOWING...  Keep mower blade(s) sharp, mow regularly, keep mowing height at 3" until  early fall, gradually lower to 2 3/4" or so later in September. Do not allow your lawn to grow too long between mowing.  It is advised to mow more regularly so as not to remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade and any one time.   Be sure NOT to lower mowing height dramatically.  It is recommended that you mow, then adjust the height, and mow again within a day or so.  This method will avoid shocking the turf.  Also be sure to clean or replace your mower's air filter regularly.  Spring pollen and summer dust can dramatically affect your mower's engine air flow, causing inefficient operation and potential damage.  Be sure to grease mower and fittings regularly.  If you have any thin or bare lawn areas in your lawn, consider overseeding this fall.  Overseeding is a very simple and cost effective way to install seed through and into your existing lawn.  It will not only thicken your lawn, but will add more disease resistant blend of grass into your existing blend.  Whatever you do, stay away from "cheap" seed.  It is usually a low cost, non turf type rye or tall fescue, which will not blend with the common mixes of Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and Fescue turf blends. 



Continue watering your lawn throughout the fall. Deep watering now will promote deep root development and healthier turf. Routine inspection of your system is highly recommended.  This will assure that you are not wasting water due to heads out of adjustment, faulty zone valve operation, or broken heads, which will result in inefficient system.

As the weather changes, and cools off, it will be time to make seasonal adjustments to your sprinkler run schedule. It is recommended to continue watering deeply, but you should change the frequency of run times. Every other day, is acceptable for the remainder of August into September. However, if the heat persists, daily may still be needed.

SPRINKLER WINTERIZATION REMINDER!!!  Now is the time to schedule your sprinkler winterization service! If you are not already scheduled with us, simply send in your "2012 SERVICE RENEWAL", or call our office to avoid additional fees.  If you are interested in this service, call our office for more information or email Bill ([email protected]).




Be on the look out for insects and insect damage on your valuable shrubs and trees. Hot, dry weather encourages summer insects.  Common summer insects are mites, lacebug, aphids, etc.  Other insects that can damage valuable landscape plantings, specifically Hemlocks, is the Woolly Adelgid.  This white, cotton looking insect is dormant in the summer, but can cause ultimate death to your trees.  These insects can be effectively treated with applications of the appropriate materials.  Common signs of summer insect damage is discoloration of the foliage or needles.  Broadleaf foliage will usually appear yellow, while the needles of spruce and similar evergreens will appear brown, as if they were burning.  Failure to treat these insects in a timely manner can lead to total failure and loss of the plant.  Our full service Shrub and Tree Care Program is designed to offer seasonal control of insects and diseases, as well as a balanced feeding in the fall, and protection from winter kill in the late fall.
Watch out for hornets and yellow jackets when working outdoors.  Colonies are getting larger by this time of year.  Common yellow jackets can build underground nests around the yard.  They feed on insects, but will scavenge at picnics when their prey becomes scarce.  Also, be careful when working around rock piles, old tree stumps and stone walls.  Bald faced hornets generally build large, papery nests in trees or bushes, and can sting multiple times.


Continue trimming and pinching back annuals, especially petunias and other cascading varieties.  Be on the look out for insects, and treat with a recommended product for flowers.  Continue a routine fertilizer application, weekly if using a water soluble product.  Your annuals should last into the fall, with some slight reduction in flower production.


Summer is the time to trim and prune your ornamental shrubs and trees.  The recommended rule of thumb is to prune for a neat and tidy appearance.  Always trim and prune with a sharp blade!  This will avoid stress by tearing the plant.  It is OK to "hard prune" out of control plants such as Rhododendron and other broadleaf shrubs.  They will regenerate new growth within the next several months.


Fall is the perfect time to upgrade or replace your current shrub/landscape plantings.  You could simply improve the overall look of your landscape by adding a brick edging and decorative stone, along with some simple pruning and shaping.  Installing hardy mums is also recommended in the next couple of weeks.  Be cautious not to buy mums now if they are already blooming.  The flowers will most likely have a short season this year.  Mums should have swollen buds now, which will bloom as soon as the season changes, typically in September.  They will last into the hard frost of October-November, depending on the season.  Mums are a perennial, therefore, they can be cut back at the end of the season, flush with the ground.  They will regrow next spring.  It is recommended to cut them back slightly before July 4th, to avoid tall, lanky growth.


Keeping your hardscape looking like new is easy.  We recommend routine cleaning and sealing!  This valuable service will not only keep your hardscape investment looking like new, but it will prevent unsightly staining and discoloration throughout the season.  The service involves: thorough cleaning and washing of the hardscape areas (including retaining walls and edging); re-sanding the paver joints with "Polymeric" jointing sand; applying a low luster sealer (semi-gloss is available upon request).  This service is recommended 30 to 60 days after new installations, and routinely thereafter.  We begin cleaning and sealing in July and continue through September or so.  This is ideal timing due to the warm daytime temperatures.




2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter
1/3 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. orange juice or milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Several drops red fool coloring
1/3 c. miniature semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
Green colored sugar
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large mixer bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds.  Add 3/4 cup sugar; beat until fluffy.  Add egg, orange juice, vanilla and food coloring; beat well on medium speed. Add flour mixture, beating on low speed until combined.  Cover, chill 3 hours or until easy to handle.
On a floured surface, roll half the dough 1/4" thick.  Cut with a 3 inch round cookie cutter, dipping cutter into flour between cuts.  Cut cookies in half; place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Press a few chocolate pieces into each.  Bake in a 375 degree oven 8-10 minutes.  Do not brown.  Remove; cool on a rack.
In a small shallow bowl, stir together egg white and water; brush the edge of each cookie.  Sprinkle sugar on edges. Dry on racks. Makes about 60 cookies! 
I hope everyone has had a safe and enjoyable summer.  Hopefully  this newsletter is helpful to you in some way.  If you have any suggestions or would like to add or share information in the newsletter, please let me know.  I would be glad to include your article or helpful information you might have to share.

Gary Courchesne
G & H Landscaping, Inc.
Copyright 2012. G & H Landscaping, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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