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!
During the summer months we are applying slow release fertilizer, surface feeding insect control, preventative grub control, nutsedge control and fungicides. We are also spraying summer weeds where needed. (Broadleaf weed control will help control broadleaf weeds present in the lawn at the time of the 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.)
Slow release FERTILIZER: Heat friendly and designed specifically for summertime use. It only releases from moisture, not temperature. Catching a few rain showers over a few week period will help keep the root system strong as well as help grow out disease and mowing stress.
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. This application also targets ticks and fleas.
Preventative Grub Control: White Grubs are the larvae of many different species of BEETLES. In July, beetles lay their eggs in the soil. Grubs emerge between late August through the beginning of November and feed on the grass roots. This is the only time frame that grubs can cause damage to the turf. The damaged turf dies, turns brown and can be pulled up like a piece of sod. After grubs are done feeding, they go deep into the soil where they stay for the winter. During the spring, grubs work their way to the surface to come out of the ground (June/July) as the beetle. As grubs are coming to the surface during the spring, skunks, moles, crows and blackbirds can create damage to the turf by digging for them. Applying preventative grub control July through the first half of August is 100% guaranteed that the turf will not be damaged by grubs this fall.
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.
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”.
The following will help lessen crabgrass break through: Raise your mowing height, do not weed whack aggressively along the edges, do not over water (if you are sprinklered), do not aerate, spike, seed or de-thatch the lawn until fall.
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" (a white appearance) and "wounded", which is unattractive and can result 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 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.
Fall Seeding Schedule:
The window to perform mechanical plug core aeration and overseeding is short and the schedule is filling up fast.
* Mechanical plug core aerations with overseeding will be scheduled from the end of August through the first half of October. (Soil testing is required for us to seed. Dates are weather permitting).
Sprinkler heads and invisible dog fences need to be flagged by the homeowner prior to us performing plug core aeration and overseeding.
If you are looking to aerate your lawn (without seed), read more about our Liquid Aeration!
Liquid Aeration is a process of applying a liquid solution to the lawn that splits the soil structure on a much finer level when compared to traditional mechanical core aeration. One of the main goals of this treatment is to increase the lawn’s ability to absorb nutrients provided by our fertilizers. The better a lawn is able to absorb nutrients, the more effective each and every one of our treatments will be. Additionally, due to the finer splitting of the soil structure, liquid aeration can be performed at the beginning of the growing season — unlike traditional mechanical core aeration. This opens up the lawn to a wealth of benefits that were previously unobtainable in the spring: the soil is loosened for root development, the thatch layer is gently decreased, and nitrogen is more readily available for uptake.
A summary of the benefits of Liquid Aeration:
* creates microfractures within the soil and encourages deeper root growth.
* can be done anytime during the growing season.
* the soil structure is split at a much smaller scale, allowing for deep penetration of water; roots will, in turn, follow, making nutrients available that were previously unreachable by the plant.
* covers the entire lawn (hill areas, areas not accessible with a machine, rocky areas, under trees that have exposed tree roots, etc).
* no need to mark sprinkler heads, invisible fences or cable lines.