Fertilizer + Pesticides = $$$$

Fertilizer, pesticides, and other lawn chemicals are expensive. Save your money by following these tips:

  • Spot treat your weeds: instead of treating the whole yard, dig up or spray the root of individual plants.
  • Clean up with a broom: sweep any dry chemicals off your sidewalk, driveway, or street and back into your yard or collect it for next time. Fertilizing your pavement won’t make it grow and these chemicals will just wash away with the next rain.
  • Set your mower height at or above 3″: a taller lawn keeps the weeds from getting enough sunlight AND helps the grass develop a better root system, requiring less water.
  • Follow package instructions: if you have to apply chemicals, please read and understand package instructions before you apply. These chemicals really only work in specific seasons, on specific plants, or at controlled concentrations. You may do more harm than good by applying before a rain, during a dormant season, or overapplying.

Trickle Down Thursday: Landscape Solutions

Rain water can be a real bear. Consider upgrading your landscaping to reduce some of your headaches.

  • Plant trees to soak up water
  • Collect the water from your downspouts into rain barrels for use when it is dry
  • Add a drain to the low spot in your paved driveway
  • Replace impervious surfaces with pavers or rock

Learn more about permeable pavers and watch a video here: https://water.unl.edu/article/lawns-gardens-landscapes/permeable-pavers

Waterwise Wednesday: Fall Water Tips

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

1. Change the Timer. Cooler weather means lawns require less water.

2. Do a thorough sprinkler system check and make necessary repairs. A line puncture 1/32nd of an inch in diameter wastes up to 6,300 gallons of water per month, which is higher than both Scottsbluff and Gering’s monthly minimum water use rate. (Rates increase for water use above 5,000 gallons per month in both cities.)

3. Plan(t) Ahead. Fall is a great time to introduce native perennials and grasses to your landscaping. They establish root systems during the fall and, once mature, will use less water and chemicals than traditional landscape plants.

Waterwise Wednesday: Lawn Watering

Photo © Dreamstime.com

Warmer weather brings on lawn watering. Follow these tips for efficient and effective watering.

1. Water early in the morning, before 10 AM to avoid wind and evaporation from higher temperatures.

2. In ground sprinkler systems are most effective. Pulsating or tractor sprinklers are recommended for manual watering – the heavier drops drift less.

3. Soak 6 inches of soil or do the screwdriver test to determine soil moisture. Push a long-blade screwdriver straight down into the lawn. There’s adequate moisture if the blade penetrates the soil easily depth of 6 inches. If it doesn’t water a bit more.

4. Water twice a week max so the grass develops a deep healthy root system.

5. Or let it go dormant. Grass goes dormant in hot weather, just like it does in the cold of winter. Periodic watering will keep the soil moist and protect roots without killing grass, just like a spring shower or winter snow.