Tag Archives: Fall

Aeration-could be the MOST beneficial thing you can do for your lawn!

IT’S TIME………… 




Core Aeration is one of the most beneficial services homeowners can have done for their properties each year, for a variety of reasons. It is our firm belief at Vetorino’s Fertilization that if you as a homeowner only chose to do one thing for your lawn each year, you make that service your annual Core Aeration.

What does Aeration do? Aeration does a variety of things for your lawn, and listed below are our Top best reasons why every homeowner should aerate each year.
• Relieves soil compaction
• Increases water infiltration
• Stimulates new root development
• Improves turf thickness, vigor, and overall health
• Provides better fertilizer penetration into the root zone
• Increases air penetration into soil which increases soil microbe activity
• Increased microbe activity breaks down thatch

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Bringing Your House plants Back In From Their Summer Vacation


Well, the time is approaching~

with daylight shortening and nights cooling, any houseplants you moved outside need to come back indoors. Not so for any pests that might be hiding on their leaves and stems. I don’t know about you, but when I get ready to bring them in, I have a bit of rearranging to do before they come in. My houseplants love their outdoor summer vacation. The bright light, fresh air, and quenching rains do wonders for their health. They grow more robust and get charged up for the rest of the year.
First things first, before you bring in those plants, look them over carefully. Thoroughly inspect each plant. I remove damaged leaves and spent flowers. If there’s signs of pests—mottled or sticky leaves, tiny webs—or tiny insects moving about, I take care of them before bringing the plants indoors. Far worse than the harmless hitchhikers are the ravenous plant pests. While they’re outdoors, spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, and aphids are kept in check by predators and environmental conditions. Indoors, these pests can rapidly get out of control. That’s why inspection and cleaning are crucial
Give leaf tops and undersides a good hosing with a strong, but not damaging stream of water. This dislodges larger caterpillars or spiders and often takes care of harder-to-see pests like aphids. Bugs love to hide in the plants leaves. If it is a small plant without a whole bunch of leaves, you can simply wash each leaf off. All you need is a bucket of warm water with some dish soap mixed in. Bugs hate soap, and it will either kill them or make them move off your plants. With a rag, wipe down the leaves with the warm soapy water. Recently I read about an interesting way you can do this if your plant has a lot of leaves – turn the plant upside down, stick the plant’s top into the warm soapy water and gently swish the plant around to wash the leaves off. If you do it this way, you will need to place your hands over the soil to keep the dirt from coming out of the pot.

You can also use an insecticide or insecticidal soap, and to get rid of scaly bugs and eggs or you can use rubbing alcohol. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you do it in the shade to prevent the sun from damaging your plants.
Next, check the soil for bugs. If you find bugs in the soil, you can take the plant and submerge the entire pot in water. Allow it to soak at least an hour. They should surface and you can skim them off of the top of the water.

Once you have your houseplants washed, and soaked, it is time to bring them closer to the house. It is always a shock to your plants to go from one environment to another and it’s not unusual for your houseplants to show signs of stress when you bring them indoors. If you had your plants right out in the open, you will want to get them accustomed to the inside. If you have a porch, bring them in there for a week or two to help them acclimate. Do this only if you have the time before it freezes though. If you bring them directly indoors, try to put them in a place with the same level of light they had outdoors. Also, mist them with water to keep humidity high.

If you have any questions, tips or ideas-please, we encourage you to share them!


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Fall Cleanups, so many benefits

clean lawn
Healthy cleaned up lawn free of leaf debris

There are many benefits to having a Fall clean up~It’s not just about the appearance of your property that should make you decide to have a Fall cleanup. There are several other factors you should think about as well.

By removing the leaves from the lawn, it helps to keep lawn fungus’ at bay,  lawn fungus’ such as Gray and Pink Snow Mold. Snow mold is caused when there is an extended period of snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen. Snow mold can also occur under leaves that have not been cleaned up or amongst long grass that should have been mowed once more before winter set in. Leaves can smother the lawn and kill it off, which becomes expensive in the Spring when you get the new grass to grow. Most lawns in the Northern U.S. are composed of one or more cool-season grasses. “Cool-season” lawn grasses are so called because they’re most active during those periods of the year when moderately cool weather predominates. Fall is one of those times. Blessed with sufficient sunlight, nutrients and water, and enjoying temperatures that are neither too cold nor too hot, cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass revitalize themselves in fall. This is when they must “make hay,” strengthening their root systems. A thick layer of fallen leaves can impede the growth of these grasses. Why? Because they can deprive the grass of a key element: sunlight. If not raked up in time, a thick and/or matted layer of fallen leaves casts excessive shade over the grass below.    Last but not least….wet matted leaves are harder to clean up in the spring, which takes more time and thus your cost increases.

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Fall bulb planting=beautiful Spring color

snowdropsNow is the time    to get those Spring flowering bulbs in the ground to have beautiful bursts of color after a long cold Winter.  It’s really quite simple to do and the payoff can be big big color!  As with any garden planting you do, proper soil conditions and amendments are key. I love seeing the big, bold, beautiful Daffodils- to me that’s a sure sign that the weather I love will be here soon!  So, here are the steps to take to have a beautiful re-awakening after a dreary Winter:

  1. Choose healthy bulbs. Avoid bulbs that are dry and withered, spongy or moldy. In general, the larger the bulb for its type, the more flowers.
  2. Choose an appropriate location. Most flowering bulbs prefer full sun, but that can be almost anywhere in the spring, before the trees leaf out. So don’t overlook a spot that seems perfect, just because it’s a bit shady in the fall. Woodland bulbs; Woodland Anemone, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Dog’s Tooth Violets, and Snowdrops prefer a bit of cool shade.
  3. A well-drained soil will prevent the bulbs from rotting in cool weather. (This is usually my biggest mistake)
  4. In areas such as ours, with cold winters, you can plant bulbs as long as the soil is soft enough to dig a hole, the sooner you plant, the longer they have to start growing their roots before the ground freezes.
  5. Plant with the pointed side up. The pointed end is the stem. You may even be able to see some shriveled roots on the flatter side. If you really can’t tell, don’t worry about it. The stem will find it’s own way, sooner or later.
  6. Plant bulbs to a depth of about 3 times their diameter. For Daffodils, that’s about 6 – 8 inches. Smaller bulbs can be planted to a depth of 3-4 inches and so on.
  7. Mix some bone meal into the soil at the bottom of the hole at planting time, to encourage strong root growth. You could mix in some water soluble fertilizer as well, but it’s not necessary if you’ve already amended your soil.
  8. If rodents tend to eat your bulbs, you can try sprinkling some red pepper in the planting hole. A more secure method is to plant your bulbs in a cage made of hardware cloth and cover with chicken wire if you have dogs that dig. The roots and stems grow through, but the rodents can’t get to the bulbs. Make it easy on yourself and make a cage large enough to plant at least a dozen bulbs. Or you can make it really easy on yourself and stick to daffodils, which rodents and most other animals avoid.
  9. Replace the soil on top of the bulbs. Water the bulbs after planting, to help them settle in and close any air pockets. Through the fall and winter, you only need to worry about watering your bulbs if you’re having a particularly dry season.        So, go forth, plant your bulbs and enjoy!    and as always….we welcome your questions and comments~
    King Alfred Daffodils
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Your Fall Garden-Part two

GrassesReady to head out into the garden?  A pair of sharp hedge shears will make your work go quickly. Keep pruners handy for the tougher stems.  Cut perennials back one to two inches above the ground, so you can still see where they are.  Pull out spent annuals. This is a great time to get the weeds out- doing this chore now can save a lot of headaches in the spring. Top dress your beds with a layer of compost or chopped leaves (I like to run them over with the lawnmower), being careful not to cover the crowns of the plants.


If you have a lot of Hostas and you don’t mind waiting for frost, they will turn to mush and can be easily raked up. Ornamental grasses can be cut back in late fall or, if you like the way they look in winter- left up until spring. Tie them up before you cut them to make cleanup easy. Cut grasses 12 to 18 inches high.

Some plants with attractive seedheads- Black Eyed Susans or Coneflowers, for example, can be left up for winter interest, and to provide food for the birds.

Questions or comments are always encouraged!

Cindy Hollett, MCH


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Your Fall Garden, Part one


Perennial gardens Hosta RhodiesWhen you are ready to cut back your perennial garden this Fall, keep in mind that certain plants should be left alone until mid to late Spring, when the weather starts to get warm.  It is fine to trim the spent flowers off of plants like Lavender, Russian Sage, Candytuft, and Santolina- but cutting into the woody stems could cause them to die back in the winter.

Heucheras, Hellebores (Christmas and Lenten Roses), and Tiarellas (foam flowers) remain mostly evergreen through the winter. Remove the old leaves in the spring when the new leaves or flowers emerge.

Some perennials need the extra protection of leaves to help them survive colder temperatures. Hardy mums and coreopsis return better and more vigorously if they are not cut back in fall.

While peonies can (and should) be cut back one to two inches above the ground now, tree peonies should never be cut back.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to comment in the space below-Happy Gardening!

Perennial hosta

Cindy Hollett, MCH (Massachusetts, Certified Horticulturist.)Vetorino’s Landscape and Irrigation

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