Things to Do in September
After Labor Day you can start sprucing up the lawn for the fall. Some of the things that you can do are:
Changing out the tired summer flowers for fall color using such annual plants as: Snapdragons, Dianthus, Petunias, Cabbage, Kale, Chrysanthemums and Swiss Chard.
However, we recommend using plant that will give you fall color year after year. Perennials can be as pretty as any annual flower, but give you more enjoyment and savings in the long run: Like Copper Canyon Daisy, Mexican Mint Marigold, Fall Asters, Salvia greggi, Eupatoriums, Caryopteris, sedums, goldenrod and Sweet autumn clematis.
There is nothing prettier then native grasses when the wind blows the seed pods gently bending them slightly this way and that. The benefits also include the attracted birds that feast on some of these seeds. Grasses that are very showy through the fall and into the winter are: Hamlin, Black Moudry, Karl Forester and Gulf Muhly with beautiful seed pods and fall foliage.
September is a good time to sow Bluebonnet and other wildflower seeds as well as Bermuda until mid October and Fescue for turf areas with heavy shade.
Corn Gluten Meal can be applied at a rate of 20 pounds per thousand square feet. Take advantage of our new low price. Corn Gluten meal is now only $19.00. Remember that CGM has 9% nitrogen and has been known to prevent seed germination.
A Lesson Learned (An Expensive Lesson)
For the last 5 years I have been bragging about how well my lawn and landscape was doing, with only one watering a week. I know for a fact, that I had some of the deepest roots of any plant in the metroplex.
After some of our heavy rainfalls during the month of June, I made an inspection of our back yard and swimming pool, and was mortified to see a very large crack in the concrete decking. I stepped off into the yard and looked back at the patio, and noticed that there was a very deep and large void where sand and dirt washed out.
I spoke to several foundation companies, but one of them, S&W Foundation sent out a young man who looked like he was only 18 to give me an estimate. Jason. was the only one who took time and asked me questions about my watering practices and when I first noticed cracks in the concrete. He walked around the swimming pool and out into an area that is 4 feet lower then the main lawn area.
My back yard has over 15,000 square feet of multi-terraced levels, the main level being where the swimming pool is and has a length of about 60 feet of retaining wall.
Jason noticed that there was some sand that had filtered through the retaining wall and onto the lower level.
How could this happen, I asked? I know my sprinkler system puts out more than one inch of water each time it goes on.
Jason told me that I did not have enough moisture at surface level, and that when the soil dried and shrank, it made room for the sand particles to start moving into the voids created by the cracks in the soil. As the sand filtered out from under the concrete, and flowed with the water to lower levels of the lawn, air pockets were created which filled up with water, allowing more water flow and sand movement. As cracks appeared in the concrete more water was able to flow through at a quicker rate causing the eventual voids under the patio.
After pumping a combination of mud and Portland concrete under the patio, saving me thousands of dollars by re-leveling almost 500 square feet of patio, Jason asked me to increase my watering, to ensure even moisture at surface level, so that the soil would not be able to dry up and crack.
Under his instructions, I have increased watering my back yard to twice a week, applying ¾ of an inch each time. The rest of the lawn is not terraced and still receives only one watering a week for a total of one inch.
Go ahead and laugh at me, but the main thing that I want you all to know is that each lawn is different, and that like me each one of you should adjust your watering needs to fit your landscape needs.
By the way Jason can be reached at S & W Foundation Contractors by calling 972-235-3267.