Sept. 1 2017 03:00 AM

Now, in the dog days of summer, may be the best time to start contacting your clients to prepare their landscapes for fall and winter, according to Calvin Finch, retired horticulturalist with Texas A&M. “Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide if you want to prevent germination of the winter weeds in a lawn,” he said. “Annual bluegrass, thistles, dandelions, rescue grass bedstraw, beggar’s lice and many other weeds will sprout as soon as the temperatures cool down in September.”

Irrigation systems need adjusting, too, as landscapes need less water to survive the cooler weather of the coming season. Particularly if the coming months bring wetter weather, it’s easy for property owners to over-irrigate.

Fall lawn fertilizations need to be scheduled, because property owners aren’t likely to think of it on their own. Fertilizing now will give grasses an extra boost against cold damage, and top up their nutrient reserve, which will fuel new growth next spring. Contacting your clients now to schedule a fertilization spreads out the crunch that can occur in late fall.

Thinking ahead to spring is not out of the question, either. “Now is an excellent time to plant iris and daylilies for blooms next spring and early summer,” Finch said. If your scheduling has been tight so far this year, a little forethought now will prevent an overbooked calendar later.