– By Paul Arbogast
Our lawns and trees have given us love all summer. It’s now time to give some of that lovin’ back, and prepare both for a safe winter and a great spring.

So, while you enjoy Summer 2017’s last warm days, do some planning. Up to 45 percent of your property’s value lies in its outdoor green areas, and mature trees and a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a home by up to 20 percent. They need your help in the fall.

TLC for Lawns …
The ideal time to fertilize your well-established lawn is in early fall. Deep fall fertilizing will allow your grass to draw on the nutrients it needs all winter lawn … and make you the envy of your neighbors come spring. Tip: “TLC” is also the brand name of a fertilizer produced by the Town of Leesburg as a by-product of sewage treatment. I highly recommend it. Slow release. Won’t burn. Really good.

Between now and late September is also the perfect time to establish new lawns and fix bare patches. Tip: In the fall, germinating seeds grow fast with the continued warm weather, and have less competition from weeds trying to do the same thing.

Aerating your lawn – now, while you seed and fertilize – is a time-tested way to help grass recover from hot weather stresses. This lets oxygen, seed and fertilizer penetrate deep into your lawn, fostering a root system best-equipped to protect it from heat stress and cold. Tip: Never fertilize and lime at same time, as lime takes nitrogen out of your soil.

TLC for trees …
Watering. Trees and shrubs need a regular spring, summer, and fall watering regimen that reaches deep into their roots. Tip: Young tree and shrubs, in particular, desperately need regular watering, even now.

And, More Watering. Dry spells really tax trees, so you may notice that your deciduous trees – maples, birches, dogwoods, etc. – will lose their leaves early this fall. In preparation for winter, trees stop photosynthesis and conserve water, turning from green to yellow, orange and red and shedding their greenery. Water now to prevent late summer tree damage, but, ease off when your maples, birches, dogwoods, etc. are in full leave-shedding mode. Tip: Evergreens, which must support their greenery all year long, need really thorough fall watering – right up until the ground freezes.

Planting. Late summer and early fall is a great time to plant balled, burlapped and container-grown trees, as soil temperatures are perfect for root growth. Tip: Think now about the evergreens you might want to bring in, and plant them by early October. Deciduous trees can be planted up until mid-November.

Winter Friends. Now it’s time to bring in a winter tree’s three best friends: pruning, cabling and bracing. Pruning frees your tree of broken/rotting branches so it can better protect itself from the weather to come. Cabling and bracing reduces the stress that can result from high winds, ice and snow. Tip: Check your trees now for stubs and other signs of old damage to prevent rot from reaching into the trunk of the tree.

Ok. That’s it! Go back to your summer lounging now, and contact me if I can be of any assistance – Paul.

Paul Arbogast of Arbogast Lawn and Tree, Inc. started his business in 1994. He does tree trimming, stump grinding, tree removal and tree planting. Three generations of the Arbogast family work together, and pride themselves as being the “good, honest, local and professional source” for all of your lawn and tree needs. To schedule an appointment and get your late summer/early fall lawn and tree TLC going, call 540-338-5714 or e-mail arbogast6@aol.com.

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