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Showing posts from November, 2013

Good Question: Do you really need to rake all those leaves?

View Video On WCCO

Here is some really good information for all of you homeowners looking to avoid the leaf raking process this weekend. The real answer to this question is NO, but it comes with one catch......he most important point with fall cleanup is that the tree leaves are not covering a significant portion of the turfgrass canopy. 10-20% coverage of your lawn might be okay, but I certainly would make sure the leaves aren't covering any more than that. Excessive leaf matter on your lawn going into winter is bad for several reasons. First, it will smother the grass and if not removed very soon in the spring it will inhibit growth. Second, it can promote the snow mold diseases. And finally, turf damage from critters (voles, mice) can be more extensive in the spring.

The homeowner basically has three options to make sure that leaves are not covering a significant portion of their lawn:

1) Rake them up or use a blower- compost the leaves or dispose of them

2) Use the bagging a…

Take a Survey and Win an iPad Mini

K. Zuzek, UMN Extension

University of Minnesota Extension is looking for feedback from gardeners, horticultural professionals, and other members of the public to help direct future tree and shrub educational programming. Don't delay. Tell your friends. By taking a short 10-15 minute survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad mini. Find the survey here.

Thanks you for your help in planning future Extension educational programs! If you have questions regarding this survey, please contact: Kathy Zuzek, Extension Educator - Woody Ornamentals, University of Minnesota Extension at (952) 237-0229.

Fall Color up Close

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

The fall leaf color spectacular is alive and well this year, due to a warm fall and clear sunny skies.

I was curious about the variation in colors coming from one tree. The tree in question is Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii) 'Jeffersred'. The variation in color is due to where the leaf was located on the tree and how exposed the leaf was to light. Bright light permits the leaf to produce significant amounts of sugars which are needed for anthocyanin (red pigment) production. Thus more light more red color. Another contributor to the color palate are carotenoid pigments providing orange and yellow. The various combinations give the leaves their variation in color.

Consider the following photos and see how many different colors exist in these fall leaves.

Karl Foord
Photo 1: Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred')

Karl Foord
Photo 2: Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred')

Karl Foord

There's Still Time to Dormant Seed Your Lawn

For over a month now I've been receiving questions that go something like this, "I know I missed the best time for seeding my lawn which is mid-August to mid-September. Can I still seed even though it's October and temperatures have been mild?" My response is always the same, "Just wait, dormant seeding in November will be your best option." It is very true that if temperatures are warm during the month of October, you could get some seed to establish prior to winter, but temperatures are unpredictable and could change drastically within a day.

Photo 1: Tired of your lawn looking like this every spring. Consider dormant seeding this fall to improve your spring lawn quality.Sam Bauer.
So, what do/did you risk by seeding in October? Well nothing really, except the cost of seed. Chances are that a good majority of this seed will germinate prior to winter, and complete loss of seedlings is possible over the cold winter months. Because of this, your time a…