Mendham Garden Center
Mendham
Route 24, Mendham, NJ
973.543.4178
winter garden tips, protect your outdoor
Gardening Tips

Protect Your Outdoor Oasis in Winter

Winter is almost here! Is your backyard ready to face it? All through spring, summer, and fall your outdoor oasis serves as your nature resort, away from the hectic pace of the outside world. Come winter and it becomes the most neglected space. Of course, the cold does make it a tough time to go out for yard maintenance. But a little push to your will can give you a head start for when spring arrives. This year prep for spring while you protect your outdoor lawn and garden through the winter months.

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Lawn

Soil First – Part 3: Soil Testing for Nutrient Availability

By, The Old Guy with the Ponytail Soil testing is the first step in determining nutrient availability. A soil analysis provides the levels of all the major (macro) nutrients necessary for turf establishment and development. The pH of the soil is also provided. Soil pH the level of acidity or alkalinity. A slightly acid pH of 6.5 to 6.8 provides for the highest level of nutrient availability. Recommendations are made, if necessary, to achieve both the acceptable pH level and major nutrient levels. More complete testing can be accomplished to determine minor (micro) nutrients. This level of testing is not normally required since micro nutrients are typically adequately available in native soils. Soil compaction in typical heavy textured clay soil

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Lawn

Soil First – Part 2: Managing Soil Compaction

By, The Old Guy with the Ponytail Soil compaction affects every aspect of turf quality. Addressing compaction is an important part of effective lawn management. It should be understood that there is no one product or procedure that can transform a poor quality lawn. It is rather the cumulative total of doing more right than wrong. Compaction relief is one step on the road to a healthy lawn. Core aeration is one of the most effective means of relieving soil compaction in a lawn. Cigar shaped cores are pulled from the soil and deposited on the surface. The holes remaining allow the surrounding soil to migrate into them, decreasing soil density, relieving compaction and improving drainage characteristics. Modifying or “topdressing”

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Fall

Improve Your Lawn This Fall

By, the Old Guy with the Ponytail Fall is the time to repair and improve your lawn. Throughout the summer, dry weather and heat coupled with the potential for disease, insect and weed competition take a toll on turf quality. Cooling fall weather trends along with the potential for rain make early fall the best time of year for lawn repair or renovation. Changing fall weather trends stimulate lateral growth and root development for both established and newly seeded turf areas. Optimum soil conditions such as adequate oxygen, moisture and nutrient availability are critical for the support fall turf development. The following is a list of beneficial fall lawn practices to insure turf development: Remove existing weed populations if populations

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Fall

Benefits of Fall Lawn Fertilization

By, the Old Guy with the Ponytail In the fall, more than any other time of year, your lawn manufactures carbohydrates. It manufactures these carbohydrates in the green leaves. It uses these carbohydrates for energy to recover from summer stress and develop thru the fall. Surplus carbohydrates are stored in the roots and utilized the following spring to support top growth. Fertilizer applied in the fall supports and stimulates carbohydrate production. Two thirds of the yearly nitrogen fertilizer applied to your lawn should be applied in the fall. One third should be applied in the early fall around Labor Day. Fertilizer at this time helps the lawn to reestablish a deep root system compromised by summer stress. It also promotes

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Lawn

Soil First – Part 1: Soil Physical Evaluation

By, the Old Guy with the Ponytail Someone once said “you can grow grass on a rock, just give it what it needs,” but the quality of your lawn starts with the soil. Turf is sustained by the water and nutrients it pulls from the soil. The qualities of the soil, both physical and chemical, contribute to moisture and nutrient availability. Physical analysis determines the sand, silt and clay content of a soil. The difference in the top layer (top soil) and the soil below (sub soil) is the organic matter contained in the top layer. The organic content of the soil is the living, breathing portion of the soil that is continually breaking down. It is dead and decaying

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Lawn

Want a Beautiful Lawn? Address These Limiting Factors

By, the Old Guy with the Ponytail When you look out at your lawn, what do you see? Is it a green expanse, filled with lush, thick grass and free of weeds? If so, you can probably stop reading. If not, we’d like to help sort through the seemingly endless barrage of products, procedures, and practices that are supposed to give you the lawn you want. So let’s look out at your lawn again. What do you see? What’s the most obvious problem? Crabgrass? Weeds? Bare spots? Or is your grass just thin, lacking the rich emerald color we’ve all come to expect from a vibrant lawn? If you’ve said “Yes” to anything on that list, it’s likely due to

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Fall

Effects of Proper Mowing on Lawn Quality

By, the Old Guy with the Ponytail We all know that not mowing in a timely manner severely impacts visual turf quality but what else is going on with the overall health and durability of your turf when you don’t mow properly? There are proper mowing techniques that have a direct impact on turf quality. Sharp blades are important. A dull mower blade not only causes poor visual lawn quality but also increases transpiration (moisture consumption and loss). It also increases the potential for leaf fungus. Proper timing is critical. Mowing should be scheduled so that no more than 1/3 the green leaf is removed at any one time. Removing more than 1/3 the green leaf interferes with the ability

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Fall

Preparing Your Garden for Spring

By, the Old Guy with the Ponytail How do you prepare your garden for spring? At the end of the growing season, it’s time to plan for next spring. All the dead vegetation can be removed from your garden and put in the compost pile or it can be left to rototill in for the following season. Every few years, it’s good to have a soil analysis completed to determine nutrient availability for future crops. Once nutrient availability is known, soil can be modified accordingly in the fall, in preparation for spring. There are a few options available to prepare your garden for spring. The following options assume the existing garden soil has good drainage and adequate organic matter to

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Fall

The Best Way to Dispose of Fallen Leaves: Rake or Leave Them? 

Fallen leaves are a nuisance, especially during fall and winter, when they clog gutters and storm drains. But they are nature’s way of recycling itself. They decompose into soil and nutrients that plants can absorb.  If left alone, they also add color and texture to your yard. However, fallen leaves can pose a problem for homeowners because they blow around or pile up, creating an unsightly mess. Here’s how to dispose of fallen leaves from your yard or garden. 

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