Repairing Bare Spots In A Lawn & Changing The Color Of Your Roses

Question:

The lawn in the backyard has several large areas where the grass has died. Which is the best month to reseed these areas?                    

Answer:

  • September through October is an excellent time to reseed lawns or bare spots. However, If you wait too long like reseeding in November, the seed germination rate declines as the temperatures cool off. Also, an early start to the rainy season could hamper the seed germination. So don’t wait too long to seed.
  • You’ll find lots of seed blends available that have drought tolerance characteristics. The grass seed should germinate in seven days to two weeks.
    • For bare spots, I’d consider EZ Seed from Scotts or Pennington One Step. These products combine the seed, fertilizer, and mulch in one product. They simplify the reseeding of bare spots into a one-step process. Now, read the packaging to see what the coverage is, and I wouldn’t recommend stretching the coverage to cover a larger area.  From personal experience, the results are not as expected.
    • To thicken up a thinning lawn with small bare spots, I’d reseed the entire area, and apply a starter fertilizer. Next, cover the seed and fertilizer with a top dressing of soil conditioner, homemade compost, potting soil or some other type of organic matter but not animal manure. A quarter inch layer should be sufficient.
  •  With any reseeding project, keeping the seed moist during the germination period is critical. The area needs to be sprinkled at least three times per day or more depending on the temperatures. If the seed dries out during the germination period, you’ll have to start over.
    • The top dressing will indicate which areas are drying out as it changes from a darker to a lighter color as the material dries.
    • I’d prefer to hand water versus using sprinklers until the seed germinates to prevent the water from puddling; otherwise, the seed will float. This creates bare spots within the bare spots. Once the grass seed sprouts, you water less frequently but for longer periods.

Question:

 I’ve been successful keeping my Hydrangeas blue by applying a weekly, diluted, solution of Aluminum Sulfate. I’ve also turned my white Hydrangea blue. Now, I’m experimenting by applying it to several roses, Iceberg, a pure white and Sterling Silver, a pale lavender. What might I expect?

I’d expect there would be no color change in the roses.
  • Roses, unlike Hydrangeas, are not affected by the acidity or alkalinity of a soil.
  • Acidity or alkalinity is measured by the pH scale which runs from one to fourteen.
    • A reading of seven is neutral while seven or below is acid and eight and above is alkaline, It’s the acid soil that makes Hydrangeas blue while alkaline soil turns them pink.
    • In between, they revert to white. Aluminum Sulfate is an acidifier, but there are several others available.
    • I’d be concerned if the pH falls below five. So far, I doubt that has happened. You can monitor the pH with a simple pH kit available at your favorite garden centers.