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Turf Report

We work hard to give our customers the best lawn care experience as possible.  In addition to providing exceptional service, we strive to educate our customers on ways they can keep their lawn healthy and green all season long. Check out our seasonal tips below to learn how you can maintain your turf!

What's Happening Now:

We are now applying a SPRING FERTILIZER AND CRABGRASS PRE EMERGENT.  This application provides the lawn with the correct amount of nutrients to help recover from winter dormancy.  It creates a barrier within the top 1-2” of the soil to help prevent crabgrass from germinating later in the summer (crabgrass pre-emergent is not 100% guaranteed due to many factors beyond our control.  For example, weather, mowing, weed whacking, etc.).  When two crabgrass pre-emergent applications are applied in the spring, there is at least a 90% control based on changing weather conditions throughout the year.  Thin lawns and lawns serviced with a partial program may have less of a control.  Crabgrass pre-emergent does not prevent broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, from germinating.

A liquid broadleaf weed control will be applied where needed.  During early spring not all broadleaf weeds have germinated yet.  Broadleaf weed control will control broadleaf weeds present in the lawn at the time of the application.  Weeds germinate every day and should be tolerated between visits.  Broadleaf weeds that germinate after this application will be taken care of with the next service.  Broadleaf weed control does not prevent broadleaf weeds from coming up later. 

The following will help lessen crabgrass: Raise your mowing height, do not weed whack aggressively along the edges, do not overwater (if you are sprinklered), do not aerate, spike or dethatch the lawn for 4 months after this service. 

 

After the snow has melted, you may unfortunately see after effects...........

 

Disease in the spring:

Snow mold.... appears in two varieties (pink and gray).  Snow mold is a fungus that kills grass in late winter/early spring when the snow starts to melt.  Just because your lawn has never had it, doesn’t mean it can’t take hold in the right conditions.  This fungal growth from snow mold can cause grass to take a little longer to green up in the spring.

 

 

Vole tunnels:

Voles (also known as meadow voles, or meadow mice) are common rodents active underneath the snow cover – eating the grass foliage and roots, and creating trails, traveling to and from different locations.  The only way to try and get rid of them is to use traps or poison.  You can also use a shovel or spade to turn the soil over to collapse the holes/tunnels. However, as we move further into the spring, they move back into the mulch areas and the grass will repair itself over a few months by itself.

 

Lawn Tech/Simply The Best Lawns does not seed, core aerate, slit seed or dethatch in the spring.

Why we do not seed in the spring……..

We get many requests for spring seeding and our answer is always the same……“We do not seed in the spring”.  

The results of spring seeding are very poor and spotty at best. We know, with over 35 years of experience, that the results will not be up to our customers’ expectations. Why?

There are three very big reasons:

1) When you seed in the spring you cannot apply crabgrass pre- emergent in a timely fashion.  By the time seeding is completed, the window to prevent crabgrass from germinating in the summer will most likely have passed. Crabgrass pre-emergent cannot be applied to newly seeded areas until the new grass has been cut a minimum of three to four times.  By the end of June/beginning of July, the crabgrass will begin to overwhelm the new grass.

2) New grass does not have a deep root system to start, which means it can dry out quickly.  Going into the heat of the summer, with unpredictable periods of drought, can cause damaging stress on new grass. During the summer is when crabgrass starts to take over; this is because the crabgrass pre-emergent could not be applied in the spring.  Also, new grass cannot withstand dormancy as well as established grass can during drought/heat conditions.

3) New grass that germinates in the spring is highly susceptible to disease. Most university researchers indicate that the likelihood of disease in spring seeding is nearly 50%.

When you invest in seeding, you want to do it at the most ideal time to ensure a nice lawn.  Lawn Tech/Simply The Best Lawns aerates and overseeds and slit seeds hundreds of lawns every fall. The results are terrific and our customers' lawns improve nicely.

 

Watering your lawn:

General requirement - Your lawn should receive roughly 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water per week (even during the hottest, driest summer months). If rainfall should occur, adjust the amount of watering you do. Usually once every 3 days is sufficient. Deep, infrequent watering to a soil depth of 4-6 inches is recommended. Frequent, light watering that only dampens the grass can cause more harm than good, by creating conditions favorable for diseases to form and earlier crabgrass breakthrough. 

Timing - The best time to water your lawn is very early in the morning (starting around 4 or 5 a.m.). This will allow the lawn to dry as the day progresses. Watering in the middle of the day when temperatures are hot allows the water to evaporate. Evening watering promotes disease problems due to prolonged wetness.

A rule of thumb for figuring out how long to water is to put a coffee can or bucket on the lawn to see how long it takes to collect the 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water. You then know how long it will take to water the lawn to the proper depth.

 

Mowing your lawn:

The pros and cons of mowing have a huge influence on how healthy a lawn is, and this is why mowing your lawn correctly is so important.  In fact, in many ways it's the key, so let's take a look at some mowing techniques that will help your grass look better and yet stay healthy.

Height of cut - Mow at least 3 1/2 inches or higher.  The higher the mowing height, the more water is retained in the grass plant.  It also helps to shade the grass roots and soil keeping them cooler in the summer months.  When grass is severely cut back, the growth of the roots and the plant comes to a complete stop until the leaves can recover. This places a huge amount of stress on the grass plant which is often visible in a yellow to brownish look to the lawn.  Mowing too short creates stress on the grass plant which will make it thin out, be more susceptible to heat, cold, drought, insects and disease.

Frequency of cut - Mow the lawn only when needed. Base your mowing schedule on the growth rate of the lawn rather than a time schedule. Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at any one mowing. Removing more than ⅓ of the leaf blade in a single mowing is detrimental to plant health.  Do not mow when the lawn is dormant from heat stress!!!!  This will break the grass plant creating permanent damage to the lawn.  Do not mow during the hottest part of the day.  Do not mow the lawn when it is wet.  Disease organisms are more easily spread in wet turf and fresh cut leaf blades offer a point of entry for infection.

Clippings - Do not remove grass clippings unless they are smothering the lawn. Clippings decompose and re-supply the lawn with nutrients. Clippings do not contribute to thatch.

Blade care - Maintain a sharp mowing blade. Lawns mowed with a dull blade appear "ragged" and "wounded", which is unattractive and results in making the grass plant more susceptible to disease and insects.  Ideally, mower blades should be sharpened once a month.

Direction of cut - Always Vary Your Mowing Pattern.  Try not to mow your lawn in the same direction every time. Shake it up a bit. When you mow in the same direction all the time you can compact the soil into actual ruts. Plus, grass leans and grows in the direction it has been mowed.  By mowing in a different direction each time, you will help the grass grow more upright and avoid developing ruts in your soil that in some cases are quite visible.

Mower maintenance - Avoid filling your mower with gas or doing other maintenance work while on the lawn. Any gasoline or oil spills are going to kill the grass and sterilize the soil.