Labor Day is here. Let’s get out there and put a little bit of labor into our lawns. The summer heatwave has kept us sadly looking at our stressed-out lawns from the inside out. I know, it has been too darn hot to think about doing much in the yard, except for sitting under the shade of a tree with a cool drink in your hand. I myself have felt much less productive but I promise the cooler weather is on its way. Don’t delay.

September is the ideal month to care for and improve your lawn. You think you struggled in the heat and humidity!? Your poor lawn has taken a beating. It has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. There is so much you can do to help your lawn right now. Take a break from the AC and get out there.

Of course, I am always going to push you to throw a little grass seed at your lawn. There is nothing better than filling in thin or bare spots or starting fresh with new grass seed. A thick lawn is the best defense against weeds and crabgrass. If you are just not up to seeding this fall, at least put down some fertilizer. Give your lawn a good organic fertilizer like Espoma’s Summer Revitalizer or Milorganite. I also love Greenview’s Lawn Food. Apply either of these in the Month of September. You will see a big improvement. Note: You are not off the hook after this application. A Fall application should follow sometime in October/November.

Back to seeding. September is a beyond-perfect month to seed. The nights are getting cooler but the soil temperatures are so warm for quick germination. You do not need to water as often and weed competition is not as big of a deal. You could start small and do some simple patch seeding or take it to the next level and over-seed your entire lawn. Whatever your fancy, I encourage you to do a little seeding.

If seeding is going to be your focus, let’s get going. Get your supplies: Van Wilgen’s Grass Seed, Starter Fertilizer, Chopped Straw, and do not put away those sprinklers. If you want to rent a core aerator and aerate your lawn before seeding, I will go to sleep with a big smile on my face. You should core aerate your lawn every two years. It is the best at relieving compaction, letting water and oxygen flow through, and giving you a healthy lawn. If used right before over-seeding, your results will be so much better.

Time to do a little labor on your lawn. Your lawn is calling you outside.

Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!


*Espoma’s Organic Summer Revitalizer (the yellow bag)


If you are like I am I love noticing the landscapes of houses and neighborhoods as I’m driving around town. I like to see what people have done but not only give thought to the potential that many homes have for fresh landscape projects. This spring I see many neighbors are going to have landscape projects in common. Living Fences! Since the beginning of March, I have spoken to many people. By far the most asked question has been “what I can do with my privacy screen that isn’t so private anymore”. Many rows of evergreens were severely damaged during our string of late winter storms. In some cases, these wonderful old hedges can be rehabbed but in many more, the only option is to start fresh. In the past weeks, we received many shipments of some of the nicest Emerald Green and Green Giant arborvitaes I have seen in some time. They are bombers, fat and full, with many sizes to choose from. It is so nice to see fresh stock rolling in.

I hope most of you have great neighbors like I do. However, for those of you that don’t, a lush living fence will prevent a Hatfield and McCoy feud from breaking out. None of us want that!

When most of us hear the term privacy we think of passwords and electronics, and handheld devices. Being a plantsman, the first things I think of are living fences and privacy screens. Emerald Green and Green Giant arborvitaes make the perfect living fence. Emeralds have a tall, narrow growth habit maturing to 12-15’ tall and 4’ wide. Their natural shape makes them the perfect choice for planting along property lines. We recommend planting on three-foot centers, this will ensure a dense screen for years to come. Watch out for deer they love Emeralds as well.

If you are in need of a larger screen Green Giant is the way to go. They grow up to 3 feet a year truly living up to their name. They will mature to 25-30’ tall and about 10’ wide. They are very easy to shear if you would like to keep them a bit smaller. We offer them in many sizes from small 3’ tall all the way to 12’ for an instant living fence. Oh, did I mention they are deer resistant!

I invite you to visit us at the garden center and we will be happy to help you get started with your project. We offer delivery and planting services anywhere in the state or we can coach you through the planting process for all do-it-yourself projects as well.

Jason Scire

Nursery Manager