How Fertilization Can Help Your Lawn This Fall

Red tree with green lawn

September is upon us and that means it’s time to start thinking about what to do with your lawn and garden this fall. One of our most important tips on how to make grass green and healthy is to make sure you fertilize your lawn in the fall. Here’s some key points on how fall fertilization can benefit your lawn:

Fall fertilization: Why it’s too important to pass over

With the start of September comes one of the most popular seasons of all: fall.

“From a horticultural standpoint, it’s the best time to feed your lawn and make sure the nutrient levels are at their optimum growing conditions,” says Chuck Whealton, region manager with Ruppert Landscape’s landscape management division. “It’s also the best time to do lawn renovation. So, if you’re doing some overseeding of those areas, the best time to get germination of new grass is in the fall as well.”

Whealton explains that with cool-season grasses, fall is an especially important time to fertilize for the following reasons:

• Soil temperatures are relatively warm

• Air temperatures are beginning to cool down

• Typically, precipitation is better and more common in the fall

• It gives grass the opportunity to use the nutrients it’s stored to grow root systems better

• Increases cold hardiness

• Helps grass store energy reserves in the way of carbohydrates

Why fall fertilization is important

Fall fertilization is one of the most important aspects of good lawn health, but many people may be tempted to opt out of it to save a little bit of cash.

According to Whealton, this could end up costing them more than it would have to do the initial fertilizing.

“A good offense is better and usually less expensive than defense,” Whealton says. “Something is going to grow there, and we’d rather it be what we want, the desirable turf, than weeds. Once you have weeds, then you have to kill the weeds. We would rather play offense and create a healthy, good standing turf than to have to constantly be battling with herbicides and weed control.”

Whealton also recommends encouraging good cultural approaches to lawn care, such as establishing good mowing heights and frequencies, introducing new varieties of seed or turf, aerating, monitoring pH levels, optimizing nutrient levels and adding in organic materials from time to time.

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Green Lawns and Urban Landscapes Are Well Worth the Cost

Here at Revive, we’re all about saving water with our organic liquid fertilizer while making lawns green across the U.S. A study conducted by the Colorado State University research team recently analyzed the impact of urban and residential landscaping on the environment. Weighing the costs and benefits, this study concluded that even though landscaping costs Colorado a bit of money and valuable water, our green spaces are well worth what it takes to maintain them. Here’s some more information on their ground-breaking study:Water droplets on grass

CSU research quantifies the value of urban landscapes

This study, for the first time, has quantified the return on investment (ROI) of the water used for landscapes given the significant environmental, economic and social benefits our green spaces provide. It reports that Colorado landscapes use only 3% of available water consumed in Colorado.

The team found landscape benefits which fall into three major categories:

• Environmental: carbon sequestration, reduce air pollution, create oxygen, reduce heat island effect, improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat.

• Societal: increase property values and reduce crime.

• Public health: stress relief, fitness and child development.

The study demonstrates that urban landscapes should not be the sole target of water utilities during drought or regarded as easily replacement or disposable. Eliminating landscape water by turning off the spigot or offering “cash for grass” rebates is a short-term fix that creates complex, long-term problems.

A key takeaway from the study is that while any effort at drought management requires plans that save water, those plans should not threaten the viability of landscaped areas. Maintaining healthy landscapes does come at some cost, but the unintended consequences and costs of sacrificing landscapes during drought outweigh the benefits.

The CSU researchers concluded that when considering the ecological, economic and sociological benefits provided by landscaped areas, the use of a mere 3% of Colorado’s total water to maintain them is a legitimate allocation of water resources.

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How a Green Lawn Can Help Keep You Cool

Feet in grass

Having a healthy lawn is about way more than curb appeal and impressing your neighbors. During the summer, a luscious lawn can be a refuge for hot feet and paws. With Colorado getting the most sunlight out of all the states, it’s crucial to keep your lawn healthy all year by using only the best lawn fertilizer. Here’s some statistics and facts about the many important ways green turf helps cool down our climate:

Temperature Modification

We’ve all had the pleasant experience of walking barefoot in the yard and feeling how cool the grass is underfoot. That’s not an illusion. Turfgrass plays an important part in controlling our climate.

Grassed surfaces reduce temperature extremes by absorbing the sun’s heat during the day and releasing it slowly in the evening, thus moderating temperature.

Grass plants absorb some solar radiation to fuel the photosynthesis process.

The irregular surface of lawn areas also scatters light and radiation, greatly reducing glare.

Turf cools itself and its surroundings by the evapotranspiration process. Each grass blade acts as an evaporative cooler.

An acre of turf on a summer day will lose about 2,400 gallons of water through evaporation and transpiration to the atmosphere. Roughly 50% of the sun’s heat striking the turf may be eliminated through this transpirational cooling process.

The cooling properties of turf are so effective that temperatures over turfed surfaces on a sunny summer day will be 10 – 14 degrees cooler than over concrete or asphalt. Or to put it another way, consider the fact that on a block of eight average homes, the front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning!

Research studies revealed overall temperature of urban areas may be as much as 9 to 12°F (5 to 7 °C) warmer than that of nearby rural areas.

Through the cooling process of transpiration, turfgrasses dissipate high levels of radiant heat in urban areas.

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How To Help Your Flooded Lawn and Garden

All across the U.S., rainfall has been increasing. While some areas are actually flooding, other areas are experiencing more water than typically expected during the summer. A little extra water in addition to organic lawn care are usually good solutions in maintaining a green lawn, but too much water can be harmful to your plants. Here are some tips to follow if your garden is being flooded this summer:

What to Do for Waterlogged or Flooded Gardens

We have less control over our plants during prolonged periods of rain or flooding, than during drought. Unless they are in moveable containers, there is little we can do except wait for the weather to change. Then it is time to take stock of how your garden held up.

If your soil is waterlogged, chances are good your plants are showing signs of stress – or soon will be. The waterlogged and flooded soil has insufficient amounts of oxygen in it, for the plant roots to take up and release water or release excess carbon dioxide.

Plants may paradoxically look like they are wilting, but it is not because of too little water, it is because they can no longer access the available water. This leads to root rot and death. While we may not be able to prevent flooding, we should at least be on the alert for signs our plants are struggling. Start by watching for these signals.

Symptoms of Water Damaged Plants

Symptoms of water damage can look just like many other plant problems. Symptoms are generally first apparent on the leaves, although trees and shrubs may not exhibit symptoms for a year or more. Signs you plants have been damaged by waterlogged soil include:

• Stunting

• Yellowing leaves

• Twisting leaves

• Dropping leaves

• Soft, spongy areas at the base of the leaf

• Wilting despite plenty of water

• Roots turning dark, often with a rotting odor.

• Lack of flowers or fruits

• Shoot dieback

Several factors determine how much damage is done to plants by flooding, including how long the soil is waterlogged, whether it is fresh or salt water, the time of year and the type and age of the plant.

Flooding during warm weather is more damaging to plants because they are actively respiring and need more oxygen than during cold weather.

A short-term period of soggy soil probably won’t cause much damage. It is prolonged periods of flooded soil that cause problems. Although some plants, like willows, bald cypress, flag iris and other bog plants, can adapt to long periods of flood waters, most plants cannot; some can handle as little as a few days.

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Your Green Lawn Maintenance Checklist for August

We’ve had tons of rain here in Colorado this August, and we welcome the cool down though typically , August is the month when temperatures really soar across the U.S.. A change of month usually means that your lawn and garden check list may need a little adjusting to keep your outside space in beautiful condition. These lawn maintenance tips and tricks can help you answer the age-old question of “how to make grass green?”

August Lawn & Garden To-Do List

August begins right in the middle of the “dog days of summer,” the hottest and most sultry time of the year. Ancient cultures believed that the excessive heat was caused by the alignment of Sirius, the Dog Star, with the sun during the summer. These are the days when everything seems languid and still – except mosquitoes, of course – and the sun threatens to bake lawns, gardens, and gardeners alike.

There is plenty to do in the garden in August, although it is best done in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are more comfortable. Whether you’re in cooler climates making early preparations for autumn, or warmer ones enjoying the height of the garden’s bounty, here are some suggestions for tasks around your yard and garden in August.

Lawn Maintenance and Preparation

• Prepare for fall grass seed planting by leveling low spots, removing weeds, and choosing your seed if it needs to be ordered in advance.

• Aerate your lawn.

• If there is plenty of rainfall, fertilize your lawn.

• To help your grass beat the heat and reduce lawn maintenance, keep your lawn mower blade on the highest setting. Don’t worry if parts of your yard turn brown this time of year – it happens.

Annuals and Perennials

• Spring and summer-flowering perennials can be divided and transplanted after blooming. In zones 5 and warmer: divide overgrown plants and discard the extra, or transplant during the coolest part of the day and preferably in the shade.

• Trim and fertilize your containers – they still have time for another show.

• Deal with late-season pests – such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites – with a spray of water from the hose.

• Treat diseased plants, and remove diseased foliage before leaves drop.

• Prune back vigorous climbers such as wisteria, and train them around trellises while the growth is soft.

• Propagate plants by collecting seeds, taking cuttings, or layering.

• Continue deadheading! For prolific bloomers like coreopsis and catmint, shear them lightly to encourage more blooms.

• Label your plants with garden stakes, particularly perennials that die down to the ground in the fall.

• In colder zones 1-3, begin moving your houseplants indoors to acclimate them.


• Water, water, water! Early morning is the best time to water – target plants directly, and water deeply. Avoid getting leaves wet in the hot sun, and avoid soaking containers during the hottest part of the day – both of these can burn plants.

• Keep close watch on your birdbath, water features, and hummingbird feeder – take steps to correct or avoid mold, stagnation, and mosquito larvae.

• Continue weeding, to reduce competition for water and nutrients.

• Beware of powdery mildew, which is caused by moisture and humidity. Help prevent mildew by watering in the cool of the morning, when roots can absorb water but excess will evaporate as the day warms. Also avoid overhead sprinkling in mildew-prone areas. Do not compost leaves that are mildewed.

• When the temperature is over 85 degrees, avoid chemical applications such as fertilizer, fungicide, or insecticide.

• Add compost and mulch to keep your garden cool and to prepare for fall planting.

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Common Causes for Brown Spots in Grass and How to Cure Them

Is your green lawn suffering from brown spots no matter how hard you try to keep it healthy? A very common problem for homeowners is reoccurring brown spots in grass. Revive is proven to help restore your lush, green lawn by getting rid of those pesky brown spots in no time, but here’s some common reasons why those spots keep showing up:

Brown Lawn Care: Reasons for Dying Grass and How to Treat

If you’re wondering about reasons for dying grass and how to revive a dead lawn, there are numerous possible causes and no easy answers. The first step to brown lawn care is figuring out why it happens in most cases.

Reasons for Dying Grass

So can a brown lawn be saved? Depending on your particular circumstances, generally, yes. That being said, you should try and pinpoint what is causing the browning in the first place.

Drought: This a big problem across much of the country these days, and drought is one of the primary reasons for dying grass. Many people opt not to water their lawns during the summer, but this may be a mistake when there isn’t enough rain to keep the roots alive. Grass naturally goes dormant after two to three weeks without water, and most lawns can tolerate drought for four to six weeks, although it will turn brown. However, extended periods of hot, dry weather may kill the lawn. How to revive a dead lawn? Bad news: If the grass is totally dead due to drought, there’s no way to bring it back. However, reviving brown lawns that are simply dormant usually occurs within three to four weeks of regular irrigation.

Thatch: If your lawn turns brown in spots when summer rolls around, you may have a problem with thatch – a thick layer of decomposed plant matter, roots and partially decomposed stems that builds up under the roots. Thatch usually isn’t caused by clippings, which decompose quickly and add healthy nutrients to your lawn. To determine if you have too much thatch, dig a 2-inch deep chunk of grass. A healthy lawn will have about ¾-inch of brown, spongy thatch between the green grass and the surface of the soil

Improper Mowing: Mowing the lawn too short can stress the grass and cause it to turn dry and brown. As a general rule of thumb, remove no more than one-third the height at each mowing. Although a length of 2 ½ inches is okay, 3 inches is healthier during summer heat. Mow regularly and don’t allow the grass to become too long.

Improper Watering: Water your lawn deeply about once a week, or when the grass looks slightly wilted, providing about an inch of water each time. Avoid frequent, shallow irrigation which results in weak roots that can’t tolerate summer heat. Don’t water if the lawn doesn’t need it.

Insects: If your lawn is brown, pull up a small area of turf. Pest-infested grass pulls up easily because the roots are damaged. Pests tend to invade overly watered, excessively fertilized lawns or neglected lawns. Keep your lawn healthy, but don’t pamper it. Grubs are the most prevalent lawn pest.

Pet spots: If your brown grass is limited to small areas, a dog may be going potty on your lawn. Water the grass thoroughly to bring it back to health and teach your puppy to relieve himself in a better spot.

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The Restorative Powers of Green Lawns and Sensory Gardens

Spending time in the fresh air surrounded by nature has numerous health benefits, including decreased stress levels. Organic liquid fertilizer can help transform your lawn from brown to green and, in turn, create a better atmosphere outside for you and your family to enjoy. Because of their powers of relaxation and the tranquil environment they create, sensory and healing gardens are becoming more popular outside of homes across the U.S. Check out the following article to learn more:

The Healing Power of Gardens

Nature can have a soothing, restorative effect, and some gardens are designed to heighten this feeling. Sensory and healing gardens, traditionally part of children’s or botanical gardens as well as health care facilities, are now becoming more widespread. They are even becoming popular in private residences.

“These gardens have been in use for thousands of years,” says Sharon Coates, landscape designer and vice president at Zaretsky and Associates, Macedon, New York, a landscape firm focused on residential and health care design and installation. “Both Asia and Europe have pioneered the use of gardens as healing devices long before we had any empirical evidence of their impact. In the U.S. today, the Chicago area and Portland, Oregon, in particular, have a proliferation of beautiful sensory gardens, partly because of forward-thinking people spearheading the concept.”

Arcadia Studio in Santa Barbara, California, has been increasingly involved in designing sensory and healing gardens for its Southwestern U.S. clients. Bob Cunningham, a principal landscape architect at Arcadia Studio, explains the difference between a healing garden and a sensory garden. “A healing garden is any garden designed to promote healing through use of calming elements and exposure to peace, quiet, privacy and relaxation,” he explains. “A sensory garden addresses the senses, including touch, sound, smell and visual stimuli. A sensory garden can be a healing garden, but it must be designed with the user in mind. For example, a healing garden for cancer patients should not include plants or other elements that might be harmful to patients with compromised immunity. It should include only plants that are very low pollen generators or plants whose pollen is not harmful or irritating.”

Sensory gardens can be enjoyed by the wheelchair-confined, paralysis and stroke victims, Alzheimer’s patients and even the blind, says Bruce Zaretsky, president of Zaretsky and Associates, who is certified by the Chicago Botanic Garden in health care garden design. “Since they are designed to be interacted with, you can, for example, touch the leaves, smell the flowers and listen to the wind chimes without using your sight. While we strive to design our healing gardens for physical interaction, this does not in itself make a sensory garden. In our view, all gardens are healing gardens if they make the user slow down, remain calm, spend more time outdoors and ‘stop to smell the roses.’”

Zaretsky has designed sensory gardens not only for hospitals and clinics, but also for equine therapy facilities and animal shelters. He has even created private outdoor residential spaces for families of children receiving outpatient care.

“It has been scientifically documented that garden views and the gardens themselves shorten the length of hospital stays, reduce the amount of pain medication needed and improve the mental well-being of patients,” Zaretsky says. “Natural habitats act as therapeutic, healing tools, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. But these environments are not just beneficial for patients, they are also there to allow staff and patients’ families to decompress. Nature heals all it’s just that simple.”

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