Where to plant and what type of bulbs varies with how the gardener wants to deal with the remaining leaves after blooming. The leaves must be allowed to stay long enough to gather energy for next year. Taller bulb varieties must not be mowed down until early summer. Shorter leaved varieties can be mowed over, as leaf height is close to the same height of grass. My experience deems these shorter varieties have a better chance for survival, as most residents feel the need to mow their lawn as early as possible.
Leaves are green because of chlorophylls that function by capturing the sun’s energy and to manufacture food for the plant or photosynthesis. All of this takes place in the plastids (specialized cells). During the growing season, the green color of these chlorophylls masks out all the other colors that may be present. So all you see is green.
As the growing season slows in autumn, chlorophyll production slows and the green-color dominance lowers to reveal the other colors of the leaf. Many influences such as amount of water, sunlight, temperature, and microclimate can manipulate the timing of the color changes. A couple of weeks of bright sunny days mixed with clear, cool nights seem to bring out the best fall colors.
Thatch is a layer of dead grass, crowns, and surface roots that accumulate at the surface of the soil just under the turf. Allowing a small layer, about ½ an inch will act as a great natural mulch, but any more than that will cause the following:
- Tight, spongy mat that will choke the crowns of the living grass
- Inhibits the decomposition of organic debris around the grass
- Prevents good circulation of air
- Can provide breeding grounds for harmful pests
- Can harbor diseases such as fungus
- Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
- Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
- A nitrogen-based fertilizer applied annually (in the fall) supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
- When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.
I’ve noticed many different types of fungus coming out in droves because of our weather this season. Some are fairly rare and hard to treat. I wish we could get over the ‘Perfect Lawn’ mentality and all just enjoy the clovers and other blooming weeds. =-)