Today we turn the Way Back machine to 1982. English punk rock band, The Clash, pose the ultimate interrogatory for removal of questionable ‘grey area’ in a relationship, “Should I Stay, or Should I Go?” It is with that same definitive fervor each of us seeks the answer to an autumnal annoyance, “ Should I Spray, or Should I Sow?” You are not required to sport a spiked hair-do, black leather vest and wristbands with copious body ink to pose this question. If you are, that’s cool though…
Debating whether to apply weed killers/preventers or to aerate and overseed your lawn is no less a decisive dilemma. You must choose. It is not possible to successfully do both. Time will not allow, as the fall season for either objective is relatively short. The best results for most are obtained by choosing overseeding. That conclusion comes from seeing the results of effective herbicide application. Occasionally, it can be too effective. Failure to read, comprehend, and fully follow the directions on any chemical product often produces results that are much more extreme than desired. That can ultimately create more opportunity for future weed intrusion.
Conversely, fall overseeding, when combined with aeration, adds much to the overall look of your lawn, and because you are filling empty spaces with desirable vegetation, weeds are naturally suppressed. Fall fertilization for new lawns is very desirable, at least from the lawn’s perspective.
Lawns are not alone in their love for fall feedings. Whether you are planting new trees or simply have established shrubs and perennials, sending your garden into the dormancy of winter well fed goes a long way towards fending off future problems that might arise otherwise. Plants in an excellent state of fertility are naturally more resistant and resilient to pests and disease than plants less well cared for.
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The trees have arrived! Fall is in the air!