Rust Fungus

Grass Rust fungus is a common problem in the fall.  This occurs most often when there are dry periods of weather or the grass is low on nitrogen.  The spores of the Rust fungus are formed when the grass is not allowed to dry properly. This is caused by dew not drying on humid days.  It can also form when the thatch is too thick in the yard. Rust fungus makes grass more susceptible to pests and other diseases as it weakens the grass. There are some ways to treat and help prevent Rust fungus. Mow frequently at a medium height, and when mowing make sure you rinse off your lawn equipment to help prevent the fungus from spreading.  Make sure you remove any excess dead grass, or make an appointment to have your yard de-thatched.  Make sure you water early in the day so that your lawn can dry out before the strong heat at mid-day.  Finally, September is the best time to fertilize your lawn, check your lawn and see if you need to add nitrogen to the fertilizer.  Rust fungus is not harmful to humans and pets, but can be easily spread by them.


Planning Your Planting


Fall is the best time to work on your landscaping. That is because it is much easier on the plants for a variety of reasons.  In the fall, it is cooler, which does not put stress on the plants as much. Plants need time to grow an adequate root system to collect water, and planting in the spring or summer does not give plants enough time to grow before they go into shock from the heat and lower availability of water.  In the fall there is also usually plenty of water so the root system is able to grow at a natural pace.  Plants more easily go into a state of dormancy for the winter where they preserve their energy, and can continue to grow in the springtime before the hot summer months.  Early August is a great time to start planning your fall planting. 



Ground Cover

Ground cover is plants that fill in an area of your landscaping.  These can be good in certain areas where you would like low maintenance after the plants are established.  There are a variety of ground covers that can be planted in areas ranging from mostly shaded to mostly sunny.  Sweet Woodruff, Hellebore, Ivy, Lily of the Valley, Pachysandra, European Ginger, Ajuga, Vinca, Sedum, and Isotoma are some different groundcovers that can be used in the Midwest area.  Ground cover is useful for shaded areas under trees where you don’t want to have to do a lot of maintenance, or areas with a slight slope that would be difficult to mow, or to fill in beds around large shrubs.