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Smartplanters,  a simple to the point approach for quick reference on questions pertaining to your growing needs.  For the DIY Home owner or commercial contractor. Lawn Care, Landscape, Garden, irrigation and equipment.

Caution, Winter/spring over-seeding and pre-emergent don’t go together!

For some areas spring seems to be here early!  We’re already seeing temperatures in the 70°s and it’s February.  The caveat is mother nature has a way of balancing things out.

Crab grass starts to germinate when the soil temperature reaches around 57° at one inch depth. Hint, Look for Forsythia bushes.

Forsythia bush

Forsythia bush

Now’s a good time for your first application of pre-emergent herbicide if you haven’t already put some down?  Weeds will be an issue for many this year due to last season’s drought.   Here in the transition zone, south/east/Tennessee, we’ll be applying three rounds of pre-emergent.  I.e Stonewall 19-0-7, Dimension 13-0-5, than back to Stonewall with a lower nitrogen formula.   Avoid high nitrogen fertilizer as summer approaches!

Dimension 13-0-5 Pre-Emergent and fertilizer

Dimension 13-0-5 Pre-Emergent and fertilizer

It’s not too early to work on getting your you lawn and landscape in shape.  Pruning rosesCutting back ornamental grasses, along with Monkey grass.

Monkey Grass liriope

Monkey Grass liriope

Monkey grass can be cut back in many ways.  Hedge trimmer, sheers, even a mower on it’s highest setting if the the area is safe.   On steep hills a weed eater might be a good tool to use.

Caring for Houseplants during winter

Caring for Houseplants during winter

Caring for houseplants during the winter months with a few simple steps.

A few adjustments can ease the stress on your houseplants.  If possible, move your plants to gain the most sun exposure.  Avoid placing them too close to heating vents.  Don’t place them too close to the window either.  Cleaning your windows helps let more light in. Gently wiping any dust off the leafs is a good idea too. You can add artificial light if needed.  Fluorescent bulbs are cheaper than grow lights and are usually sufficient for short term.  Don’t place the lamp too close.  About a foot away is good.  Read more.

Tips for cutting back ornamental landscape grass.

A great way to learn more about plants is by attending and participating in a plant swap meet. Look for such venues in your area.   Some folks are happy to give away plants so they don’t have to take them back home and plant them.  Also check out your local college extensions for events.

Now that we’re in the winter months it’s vital to properly store your equipment.  Today’s gasoline is only good for about thirty days. So you’ll need to either run your small engines out of gas or add a fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas

For more efficient trimming I endorse the use of a square trimmer line.  It cuts faster and cleaner than the conventional round line.  There’s also  star shaped trimmer line.

Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass.  If I had to contend with one, I’d choice the Crabgrass.  Currently they aren’t any decent products on the market to control Dallisgrass.  Other than Roundup, which may harm your fescue.

Hydroponics Greenhouse

Hydroponics Greenhouse

Had the opportunity to visit Kings Hydrofarm just outside of Knoxville, TN. Have plans to start a page dedicated to hydroponics.  It’s a fascinating science!

“In the lawn care business: It’s not how many clients you can get. It’s about keeping the ones you already have.”

A healthy lawn requires work and knowing when to act.  Smartplanters Lawn & Landscape page  covers some of the  basics of maintaining a healthy lawn.  You’ll find lawn tips on aeration, watering, fertilizing, mowing, and much more.

Broadcast spreader bag of pre-emergent

Broadcast spreader bag of pre-emergent

Eventually your turf will require some additional attention.  On the  turf-products page you’ll find definitions for pesticides.  Also have several common products to help manage your lawn and landscape.