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Turf Report

We work hard to give our customers the best lawn care experience 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 Surface Feeding Insect Control.  This application will help control surface feeding insects such as chinchbugs.  Chinchbugs feed on the grass plant chewing it down to stubs.  The damage mimics drought stress.  

We are also applying a Fall FERTILIZER and spraying broadleaf weeds where needed.  (Broadleaf weed control will help control broadleaf weeds present in the lawn at the time of the application.  Weeds germinate every day, that is why we spray as needed with every application during the year.  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.)  

 

Lawn Disease Alert:  

Red Thread, Dollar Spot, Leaf Spot and Ascochyta Leaf Blight are lawn diseases that have been very prevalent this summer.  These diseases are most easily seen right after mowing as pink/red (red thread), white/brown patches that appears like "cob webs" in the early morning (dollar spot), bleached tire tracks (Ascochyta Leaf Blight).  There are many factors that determine disease conditions; however, weather and mowing are the most common factors.  Extended periods of rain, overcast skies, heat and humidity promote disease activity.  When grass stays wet, along with being mowed when wet, can contribute to disease spreading.  

                          

Applying a fungicide can stop most turf diseases from spreading for up to 3 weeks.  If weather conditions persist, a second (and or third) application may be needed. 

(Ascochyta Leaf Blight does not require a fungicide application.  This disease will just need time to grow itself out.)

 

Another lawn disease that will become prevalent during the fall is Rust.  As nights get cooler, with heavy dew in the morning, this adds to the ideal conditions for Rust to develop.  It is just an aesthetic disease.  When walking through the grass your shoes will turn orange.  Mowers can transfer the disease lawn to lawn.  In most cases, applying a chemical control is not recommended or necessary as the grass will not die off.  If the infection is severe, the grass can get an unattractive appearance.    

 

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.  In a case of the lawn having a disease, if you have the ability to bag the clippings until the disease has grown itself out is recommended.

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.

 

Nutsedge:  

Yellow nutsedge is a warm season perennial plant that loves the heat and moist soil.  The shallow root system produces many nut-like tubers, which are underground food storage organs.  Each of these tubers can germinate and produce new plants. Each new plant can also produce rhizomes which can give rise to additional new plants.  During the summer, germination of tubers and seed produced by plants from previous years are capable of producing new yellow nutsedge plants. Because of the seed and tubers that remain in the soil, repeat infestations in subsequent years should be anticipated.  

Unlike most lawn weeds, yellow nutsedge is not controlled with applications of traditional annual grassy weed or broadleaf weed control products.  This "weed" is a member of the sedge family and requires the use of very specific herbicides to achieve satisfactory control.  A nutsedge spray will kill the nutsedge that is up at the time of the application. That is why we recommend waiting until most of the nutsedge has germinated (beginning to mid August) before a control product is applied.

            

 

Fall Seeding Schedule:

The window to perform aeration and overseeding is short and the schedule will fill up fast.  In addition, for proper seed germination, aeration with overseeding takes priority and is scheduled as follows:

* Core aerations with overseeding will be scheduled: August 30th - October 9th (Soil testing required for us to seed.  Dates are weather permitting).

* Core aerations only will be scheduled: October 10th through the beginning of November (weather permitting).