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]).
LANDSCAPES AND HARDSCAPES...
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.
A WORD OF CAUTION...
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.
TRIMMING AND PRUNING...
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.
PATIOS - WALKS - HARDSCAPES...
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.
SUMMERTIME RECIPE - WATERMELON COOKIES!
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 tbsp. orange juice or milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Several drops red fool coloring
1/3 c. miniature semi-sweet chocolate pieces
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!