Treat your battered lawn to a little TLC this fall, and it will reward you with lush, healthy grass come spring.

 

Your lawn probably has taken a beating this summer — family gatherings, fetch with the dog, and kids' games and toys have likely been working together with heat and drought to make your grass gasp for a breather. If your lawn is in need of a little TLC, you're in luck — fall is the best time to revitalize it so that next year's grass is the greenest and healthiest it can be.
 

1. Know your grass. There are cool-season and warm-season grasses, and several varieties in each category.
  • Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass) are better suited for cooler climates, are most productive in spring and fall, sometimes take more irrigation and are generally mowed higher than warm-season grasses due to their erect growth habit.
  • Warm-season grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, big bluestem) grow best in warmer climates, are typically more drought tolerant and are often mowed at lower heights.
Be sure to check with your local lawn experts for specific recommendations for turf grass in your area.
 
 
2. Fertilize. In the fall, fertilize your lawn with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio of 3-1-2 or 4-1-2. The ratio doesn't need to be exact, but do try to get a product with similar amounts. Plan to use approximately 1 pound of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn and always follow the package directions. Applying too much fertilizer will not help your grass and, in fact, may damage it.

 
3. Dethatch. Thatch is the buildup of dead roots and stems that develop between the soil and the green grass blades.

If you have just a little buildup, you can use a hard rake or a dethatching rake to remove the dead grass, but if you have more than 1/2 inch you will need to core aerate in the fall or the spring.

Core aeration uses rentable equipment to remove plugs of soil, increasing the soil's ability to receive water, air and fertilizer. If your buildup is thicker than 2/3 inch, you will need to not only core aerate but add 1/8 to 1/4 inch of organic matter like compost or peat. Water in well.
 

4. Control weeds. September and October are the best months to control perennial broadleaf weeds like clover and dandelions. These weeds are busy taking in sun and nutrients to get them through the winter months, so that means they are open to receiving weed killers as well.

If you have just a few weeds, pull them out by hand, but more numerous weeds may require additional tactics or chemicals — either organic or nonorganic. As with fertilizers, always follow the package directions when applying any chemical to your lawn to avoid damaging it and the surrounding plants. Don't worry about any bare spots left by weed removal; your healthy grass will take over those areas in no time.
 
 
5. Sow grass seeds. If you have large bare areas left by weed removal or simply need to establish a new or extended part of your lawn, mid-August to mid-September is the best time to sow grass seeds. Always check with your county extension office or trusted local nursery about the best times to sow seeds in your area, however.

Before you sow, be sure you have prepared the soil correctly to get the best results. Till the soil at least 6 inches deep, add 1/2 to 1 inch or so of compost or peat, rake the soil smooth and sow the seeds. Water in well and keep the soil consistently moist until after the new growth emerges, or about 6 weeks.
 
Written by Jenny Peterson

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HOME PRICES RESILIENT DESPITE LOWER SALES IN THE FRASER VALLEY

 

News Release: September 5, 2012

 

(Surrey, BC) – In August, sales on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) ranked the third lowest for the month in the last decade – after 2008 and 2010.

 

Last month’s 1,073 property sales represent a 20 per cent decrease compared to the 1,341 sales during August of last year and 23 per cent fewer than in July. In 2008, the Board processed 910 sales in August, and in 2010, 997.

 

“It was a slower August, but nowhere near historical lows for our Board so it’s too soon to tell if it’s a sign of a longer-term trend or if buyers and sellers in the Fraser Valley finally enjoyed a bit of summer,” explains Scott Olson, FVREB president. “We do know that our economy currently remains fundamentally strong with stable mortgage and employment rates; and, our region in particular has some of the fastest growing communities in the Lower Mainland.”

 

Olson says, “And we’re seeing evidence of that growth in the sales of more affordable, attached properties in the Fraser Valley. For example in August, apartment sales went up significantly in Central Surrey and Abbotsford and remained on par in North Surrey and Cloverdale compared to last year, suggesting that first-time buyers are continuing to find opportunities.”

 

Similar to sales, the Board saw a decrease in new listings. We received 2,406 in August, a decrease of 8 per cent compared to August 2011 and 18 per cent less than we received in July. This caused the number of active listings to decrease month-over-month, however the 10,366 active listings at month end still remained 3 per cent higher than the 10,074 listings available in August 2011.

 

Across the Fraser Valley, the benchmark price of a single family detached house in August was $551,400, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to $532,700 in August 2011.

 

For townhouses, the benchmark price in August was $303,000, a decrease of 0.7 per cent compared to $305,200 during the same month last year. The benchmark price of apartments in Fraser Valley in August was $206,600, an increase of 3.4 per cent compared to $199,800 in August 2011.

 

Olson adds, “Overall, we’re seeing prices stay resilient, however in almost half of our communities, the three-month trend is showing a decrease in prices while the other half is showing increases so for a detailed market analysis, check with your local REALTOR®.”

 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,900 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.

 

Full package:
http://www.realtorlink.ca/portal/server.pt/document/3420892/package_201208_pdf

 

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