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Lawn Care Update for Fall & Winter 2022

Updated: Jul 22

Properly caring for your lawn in Fall and Winter makes all the difference as to how it will look in the spring. Keep your lawn looking great with our organic turf care program. Dirt Doctor-Certified Tom Stuart outlines the essential steps you should take to ensure a healthier, more beautiful lawn and prevent ugly weeds, pests, and diseases.

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Introduction by Joyce:

Do you want to have a more beautiful lush lawn? Then you're in the right place because today we're talking about lawn care for fall and winter.

And our guest today -- our guest speaker is Tom Stuart. He is a Dirt-Doctor-certified lawn care specialist and a former employee of Marshall Grain. We're glad to have him back again today.

And he's going to answer all your questions. So stand by and we'll get started.

Tom: Thanks Joyce. Okay, good morning everybody.

Question one is why are we talking about lawns in the fall?

Because what we're trying to do now is you're trying to get your soil ready for the winter.

Your grass is going to be dormant but the roots and everything that's in the soil itself is still going to be alive and still need beneficial microbes. So in other words, the best way of having a good lawn is you need to have good soil. You have to start there first.

The best thing to do is start from scratch.

Now if you have a new lawn that you're going to be putting in or you're moving and you're having a new lawn put in it having it put in, I would start with trying to get lava sand and green sand and get those mixed in.

There's been some talk about using Expanded Shale. Expanded Shale is man made. So your best -- your better bet is to get some decomposed granite or something that you can use to keep the soil loosened up. If you can, get molasses also mixed in there at the same time.

What you're trying -- like I said -- what you're trying to do is, you're trying to build the soil. Once you have the soil established, then you come in with your grass.

Now if you already have grass established and you're having issue with weeds, we've had a lot of issues with the weather. Everybody knows we have been 105, 109. And the -- the grass is just suffering.

My grass suffered a little bit but considering I have been organic for several years now, and with the help of Howard, I've gotten my grass to where it is now it's it's really nice green and lush. Even this summer it was nice. It was that way.


I use fertilizer four times a year, which is is the 4-2-2 right down here. That's what I've been using.

As far as organic fertilizer, it's a lot better than the ones you get in the stores. The reason is -- I won't name them but it starts with an "S." They have -- there's a lot of salts in the fertilizer and you're putting that in your yard. And if you're putting that in your yard then it's hurting everything that you have in there.

If you're trying to build microbes in the yard, you need to make sure that you continually give it what it needs.

The fertilizers that they have at the big box stores, if you read all the -- what's in the -- the ingredients in the fertilizer, it tells you it's salts.

Read exactly what is in there and if you have to, just Google everything that's in there and find out what is in -- actually in there.

The 4-2-2 that I'm using right here -- that I use is -- it's chicken -- it's a chicken manure. My wife cannot stand it because of the smell. But she will say it does work really well.


If we've had weeds this year, 30% Vinegar works really well. Now if you're going to use the 30% on the weeds, then what I would do is also get maybe one or two ounces of Dawn or Palmolive or something like that. What that does is, it makes it sticky and it sticks to the roots. No it -- it sticks to the foliage of the weed.That way it will kill it.

I love this stuff. This is another one.

But one thing about the 30% I forgot to say is it will kill whatever you put on there. So if you have St Augustine, Bermuda or Zoysia, it will kill it. So you have to make sure that you isolate this.

A good thing that I learned was if the toilet rolls that you have, if you will save those and if you have a situation where you have just one weed you want you want to kill, you put the toilet roll on that, you get a sprayer -- like this Weed Crush, and you spray down there and it keeps it from having any over-spray. So it will not kill anything other than what you're actually directing it to.

Another one is AgraLawn. AgraLawn is really good. If anybody's had any issues with Dollar Weed, this is the one out product that will actually get rid of it. And I've used this exclusively. And everything I tell you is a stuff I have used.

One thing -- I'm gonna go back --


If you're building your soil . . . Azomite.

Okay everybody knows why we take vitamins, right?

You know why we take vitamins? Because there's no minerals or vitamins in the soil. Azomite will actually put those back into the soil. We use this when we do any kind of fertilizing. I will put this down -- if I can get it away from my wife -- because she uses this for her potted plants. I put down once a year.

It's kind of like a putting down the nematodes. It's just a one-time shot. You can put this down anytime.

If you're fixing to fertilize and you 

have not put this down, I would put this down pretty much after you have put down your fertilizer.

Another thing that's fixing to come up right now is -- weeds are going to be coming up so now is the time to put your pre-emergent down. You can either use the Granular or the Meal.

Let me tell you the difference between the Granular and the Meal. The Granular is like a fertilizer. It will go down. The meal, if you put it down on a windy day, you will look like you have been fixed for a catfish fry. Because it will go everywhere.

The difference is, it's already ready to go down and it's going to go to work immediately; whereas the Granular is going to take a couple of days for it to break apart.

One difference between what we have here and the other products from the big box stores is they will tell you to water within 24 hours. Okay, you have to do that because they're made of salt.

If you have had a lawn service come out and they have dropped some of their fertilizer down, you know it will kill that area. So that's the reason why on the Organics you can put it down and you don't have to water it in right then.

It's not going to start working until you water it in. But it will still work.

Any questions yet?

Guest: Yeah the Pulverize -- Can you put that on the grass? Will it kill the grass? Or will it just kill the weeds?

You can spray this on the on the lawn too. Okay. Because it's just gonna hit the weeds.

Now one thing I do want to say on the pre-emergents: They're not going to hit all the weeds. Because for this to work, those have to have seeds.So anytime you put a pre-emergent down you don't want to put anything that's going to have any kind of seeds. So if you're going to put down rye grass or rye seed you can't put this down and put that down the same time because it won't germinate.


Okay, you can actually go in dig up an 

area and if you have 10 grubs within a certain area, then you have a grub issue. The best thing to do was earlier this year or  --

Joyce, what do you think? Nematodes? Do you think it would still --

Joyce: Nematodes will help with grub worms. But you may not have grub worms.

Tom: Yeah. It could be -- it could be grubs. Well, there are several things it could be. Grubs -- What kind of grass do you have?

Guest: St. Augustine.

Tom: I don't want to say that word. There's St Augustine Decline. There is Chinch Bugs and there's Brown Patch. If you have Chinch Bugs, the reason you have Chinch Bugs is Chinch Bugs like dry drought conditions. They don't like anything that's wet. If you put water down there, they're gonna leave. So the thing I have -- the best way I found about Chinch Bugs is to get a white sheet of paper and an area where they have not hit, go to that area. Get a white piece of paper and just take your finger and go like this, and look.

Chinch Bugs are gonna be red or they're gonna be black and they're gonna have wings.

Now if you have Chinch Bugs, we have a white powder that would work on it. Yeah, Perma-Guard.

Joyce: For Chinch Bugs what we recommend is -- usually with chinch bugs you see patches. And they usually come from the outer edges of where they've already been. The patches that are already brown -- they've already been there and gone. So where they are is going to be around the green edges of those brown patches. Because they move as a group. And so that's the area that you need to treat.


Joyce: Yes, you would want to plant plugs or sod to re-sod that area.

Tom: Yeah, because compost is a fertilizer too. So anything that's organic like that is going to work on your lawn.

If you haven't -- there's a lot of people who have not watered their lawn because they're worried about their water bill. But if you have the issue where you don't water, then you're just inviting pests and issues.

I water twice a week. No more. You don't have to water.

Actually, you can create Brown Patch with more water. And another thing, if you have sprinklers, make sure they're actually working.

I water at two o'clock in the morning so that way everything is in there before the sun comes up. Because you've gotta remember also if you water later, I know they talk about evaporation, but what they're also don't remember is when you're putting water on grass when it's hot, water is a mirror, which 

means you can actually burn your grass.

Guest: Somebody said if you do it too early in the morning then you can get black spot.

Tom: It's actually more in the evening. Like from six o'clock. If you water at six o'clock in the afternoon up to about 10 o'clock at night, yeah, you can. That's another way of getting it.

Organics you can put down anytime. Organic you do not have to water in the day you put it down. It doesn't start working until 

you water it in but --

Guest: Foliar spray. Any recommendations on foliar spray?

Tom: They're good. They are good because plants take it in in two ways: root system and foliage. And that's goes back to what I was talking about on the grass and the watering. Be careful because if you do a foliar spray, you got to make sure that the sun's not going to be coming up pretty soon because you're going to burn that plant because it's it acts as a mirror.

Guest: So any products you recommend on that -- on the foliar side?

Tom: Fish and seaweed. Fish and seaweed -- it's already mixed and it works.

Anything else? We good?

Joyce: I think we're good.

Tom: All right, Joyce


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