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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!

Fertilizer/Crabgrass Pre-Post Emergent/Broadleaf Weed Control being applied now.  This application provides the lawn with the correct amount of nutrients and also helps prevent crabgrass from germinating in the summer (crabgrass pre-emergent is not 100% guaranteed due to many factors beyond our control, for example weather, mowing, weed whacking, etc.).  Thin lawns and lawns serviced with a partial program may have less of a control.  The crabgrass pre/post emergent product we use has a much longer application window than other kinds of crabgrass herbicides so you have more time to put it down.  This product can be used into mid season because it can kill younger crabgrass that begins to germinate in the summer; up to the 3-leaf stage.  Broadleaf weed control is blanket sprayed on the entire service area.  Broadleaf weed control will control broadleaf weeds present in the lawn at the time of application.  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.  Broadleaf weed control does not control Japanese stiltgrass, crabgrass, nimblewill, bentgrass, nutsedge or anything that looks like a grass.  The lawn is inspected for disease presence.

The following will help lessen crabgrass during the summer:  Raise your mowing height, do not weed whack aggressively along the edges, do not over water (if you are sprinklered), do not aerate, spike or dethatch the lawn for 3 months after this service.

 

Please keep in mind, there are many junkier type grasses that, when they germinate in the spring, you may look at and say "my lawn has crabgrass".  It is not crabgrass.  Crabgrass does not germinate until some time in June.  Grasses that may be undesirable and not look as good as your Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Rye Grasses are:  Annual and Roughstalk Bluegrass, Poa Annua, Poa Trivialis, Quackgrass, and in some cases, Tall Fescue.  Broadleaf weed control does not kill these grasses because they are a grass......not a broadleaf weed.

Click https://turfblog.rutgers.edu/?p=1192 for more information for Rutgers Turf Blog

         

 

Grass going to seed:

May is the time that you will see grass going to seed.  It may look like a weed, but it is just the grass seeding itself.  

         

 

LAWN DISEASE (fungicides):  Red Thread, Dollar Spot, Leaf Spot and Ascochyta Leaf Blight are present in lawns.  They are most easily seen right after mowing as pink/red (red thread), white/brown patches, appearing like “cobwebs” in the early morning (dollar spot), dark spots on the grass blades which then turn brown (leaf spot) or a bleached tan appearance most noticeably where the mower tires tracks are (ascochyta leaf blight) .  Weather, watering and mowing are the biggest factors that cause disease to attack turf grass. When lawns are mowed, the newly cut blades of grass offer a point of entry for infection. (see below on how to mow and if you are sprinklered, how to water)

A fungicide program of 3 applications every 21-28 days is recommended, which will help stop the disease from creating long-term, permanent damage to your lawn. Once the fungicides are applied, over the course of a few mowings, you should notice the disease begin to “grow out”.  

     

      

Mowing:

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.

 

Watering:

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.

 

 

Lawn Tech/Simply The Best Lawns does not plug core aerate and overseed 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 40 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.  (That also goes for broadleaf weed control spray.)  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 hundreds of lawns every fall. The results are terrific and our customers' lawns improve nicely.

 

Fall Seeding Schedule:

The window to perform plug core aeration and overseeding is short and the schedule will fill up fast.  

* Scheduling is from the end of August through the first half of October.  (Soil testing is required for us to seed.  Dates are weather permitting).