With fall right around the corner, now is the time to start getting your lawn ready for cooler weather. The best time to start fall lawn care maintenance is when night temperatures start to drop and warm-season grasses start to lose their color. However, now is the time to put together your lawn maintenance plan and start your list of projects you want to accomplish before winter sets in. Here are a few fall lawn care tasks you can start prepping for now.
- Keep Mowing. Your grass will continue to grow until the first hard frost so don’t put away your lawn mower just yet! Continue to cut your grass to a height of 2-1/2 to 3 inches. Leaving your grass any longer than this can cause it to mat which can lead to fungus and mold. Cutting any shorter than this can damage the root system to the point that it can’t tolerate the winter cold and dryness.
- Keep Watering. Even though there is more rain and dew in the fall, it’s usually not enough to keep your plant roots hydrated and healthy. Your grass needs at least an inch of water per week. If you’re not getting that much in rain, etc., keep your sprinklers and irrigation system running until the end of October. Then you can disconnect your hoses and flush your irrigation system so the pipes and spigots don’t freeze over the winter.
- Rake Up Those Leaves. Contrary to popular belief, leaving a layer of leaves over your lawn doesn’t insulate it over the winter. The leaves, in fact, will block light from getting to the grass and trap moisture underneath which can lead to disease and fungus and kill your grass. Blow or rake the leaves as often as you can – or – mow them and reuse the clippings as a nutritious mulch for your yard!
- Aerate Your Lawn. Aeration should be done regularly – once every couple of years. Aeration prevents the soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch (a thick layer of roots, stems, and debris). Thatch blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil. The best practice is to aerate your soil right before you fertilize so the fertilizer goes straight to the plant roots where it is most needed.
- Fertilize Your Lawn. Fertilizing not only protects plant roots from freezing in the winter cold but also gives them a boost of energy so they can bounce back in the spring. It is best to fertilize in 2 steps: Apply a weed and feed first so you can kill weeds and nourish your lawn at the same time; then apply a 2nd feeding about 6 to 8 weeks later to give your lawn the last bit of nutrition it needs to store energy for the spring.
- Overseed Your Lawn. Overseeding is is the planting of grass seed directly into existing turf, without tearing up the turf, or the soil. Overseeding not only fills in thin spots and bare patches but also makes your lawn denser which helps protect against weeds. Fall is the best time for overseeding because the ground is still warm, moisture is plentiful, the nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day.
- Clean Out Your Flower Beds. Fall is the perfect time to clean out your flower beds before spring planting. Clean out the remains of any old annuals, dried stems, and other debris. This not only helps keep destructive pests away but also helps prevent the spread of disease and fungus. Cut perennial stems to within an inch or 2 of the ground.
- Clean Your Tools. Once your fall lawn preparations are complete, it’s time to put your tools away for winter. Make sure to clean them before you store them to prevent rust. Perform any maintenance on your mower after the last cut of your yard before you store it away for winter also.
- Check Your Gutters. Falling leaves are a big culprit of clogged gutters and downspouts. Clean out any leaves and debris from your gutters before winter sets in. Inspect for damage and make sure downspouts are pointed away from foundations. Consider installing gutter guards to eliminate the hassle of cleaning your gutters in the fall.
Preparing now can give you a jump start on your fall lawn care plan, ensuring you have a vibrant yard when spring rolls around again. If you need help getting your yard ready this season, contact your local lawn care company who can provide you with a free lawn analysis and set you up with an appropriate lawn care maintenance plan.
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Summer is the time of year when we want our lawn looking its best. Unfortunately, the summer months are also the time your lawn undergoes the most stress. Drought, hot temperatures, and increased traffic from kids and pets combine to increase the wear and tear on your yard. The warmer weather can also lead to an increase in both disease and pest activity in your grass.
Summer lawn care doesn’t have to be a full time job but taking a few steps now can help keep your yard lush and green even during the hottest of days. Here are some lawn care tips you can use to keep your grass summer ready.
- Mow high. Put your mower on a high setting, leaving grass blades about 3 inches tall. This not only provides shade for the root system, allowing for deeper, stronger roots, but it also keeps them covered during high heat.
- Water deeply and regularly. Water consistently during the summer. Rather than shallow watering more often, water deeply once or twice per week. Your yard needs 1 to 1-1/2″ of water each week. If you have an irrigation system, program it appropriately.
- Water early in the day. The best time to water your lawn is between 6:00 and 10:00 am. This gives your grass enough time to dry out during the day, helping to prevent fungal disease. If you have an irrigation system, program it during these hours if possible.
- Maintain your mower. Keeping your mower and other lawn equipment properly maintained is critical to good lawn care. Dull mower blades will tear the blades rather than cut them, leaving them with brown tips. Make sure mower blades are sharpened and also change the oil, filter, and spark plugs as necessary.
- Treat pet spots. When your dog urinates on the lawn it is essentially overfertilizing the area, usually leaving a yellow-brown spot on the grass. If possible, try to rinse the area with water immediately after your dog has done its business. Overseed these areas when appropriate for your grass type to fill in bare or damaged areas.
- Fertilize. The general rule for lawn care is to fertilize every 6 weeks. If this causes your grass to grow too fast, consider using a fertilizer with a lower nitrogen content. Using a mulching mower is also a good option. Mulching mowers naturally fertilize your lawn by recycling the nutrients in grass clippings back into the soil. When fertilizer is applied, make sure it is spread evenly and judiciously.
Lawn care doesn’t have to consume your entire summer. If you need assistance with lawn care at any time during the year, contact your local lawn care company for a free analysis.
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As the weather warms, the time for spring cleaning is upon us – and that doesn’t just apply to your house! Spring is the time to get your lawn in shape, as well. Cold weather during the winter can leave your grass weak because of the ice, snow, and freezing temperatures. Spring is the time to get your grass replenished and nourished so that you can have a lush, healthy lawn during the warmer months when you want to enjoy it. Here are some spring lawn care tips to get you ready for spring.
Don’t Start Too Early
Timing is everything when it comes to landscaping. While many of us want to jump right in as soon as the weather is warm, starting on your lawn too early can actually compact the soil and kill new grass shoots before they are fully matured. Try to wait until your lawn has turned mostly green before doing any mowing or aerating. Check your soil to see if it is compacted. If it is, add aeration to your fall lawn care plan. It is not recommended to aerate your lawn in the spring.
Rake In the Spring and Fall
While most of us associate raking with falling leaves in the fall, it is just as important to rake in the spring, as well. While there aren’t usually any leaves to rake this time of year, raking does help control thatch by breaking it up and allowing the grass underneath it to breathe. It also helps prevent mold and other diseases. Thatch is the intermingled layer of dead leaves, roots, and stems that accumulates under grass and soil. Thatch is considered excessive if it is more than 1/2″ thick.
Clean Up and Out
Spring cleaning extends from your home to your yard. Your lawn usually sees higher traffic in the summer so cleaning it up in the spring will help prepare for that. Take a walk around your yard and dispose of any twigs, branches, and other debris that may have accumulated. Use your rake to get rid of any dead grass. Wait to put out lawn furniture or other items until the grass has matured and is fully green.
Nourish and Repair
The harsh weather of winter combined with other environmental factors (dog urine spots, large objects like furniture and toys that were left out, areas of high traffic, etc) can cause bare or yellow patches on your lawn. Spring is the time to reseed these areas to fill them back in. After new seed is spread, water the area daily for the first week. Don’t mow these areas until the grass is at least 2 inches tall. If your grass is thin, spring is also the best time to overseed to help thicken these areas. After the overseeding is spread, water these areas daily for at least 2 weeks. A slow release nitrogen fertilizer can also be applied when you overseed and then again about 5 weeks after the grass starts to sprout.
Fertilize Your Lawn
Early spring is ideal for applying a fertilizer with weed killer to provide additional nourishment for your lawn. Best practice is to use a lighter fertilizer in the spring and save the heavier fertilizer for fall as this allows the grass to sustain nourishment over the colder winter months. Too much fertilizer in the spring can also allow disease and weeds to flourish.
Keep Your Mower Height High
This rule applies year-round. Any time you mow it is best to only remove about 1/3 of the total grass length at any given time. In early spring, mow at the highest setting based on the type of grass you have in your lawn. By leaving the grass taller you allow the roots to sink deeper and crowd out any weeds that may be emerging.
Edge Your Flower Beds
Edging in the spring helps prevent grass from invading your flower beds. Edging is best done by using a garden spade to cut a deep, V-shaped trench about 2-3″ deep around the edges of the flower beds. Once this is done, it can be maintained with a string trimmer throughout the summer and you can recut the trenches as you need to.
Get Rid of Weeds
Weeds can quickly take over your lawn if left unchecked. There are two types of weed killers (also known as herbicides): pre-emergent and post-emergent. Pre-emergents kill weeds before seedlings can even emerge. Post-emergents kill weeds after they have germinated. Pre-emergents should be applied in conjunction with fertilizer so that it forms a barrier that prohibits the germination of the weed seeds. You should also avoid aeration when using a pre-emergent as this will puncture the barrier the herbicide provides and it won’t be effective. Post-emergents can be applied any time. Take caution when using these herbicides and make sure to read the product label carefully. Some post-emergent herbicides are selective meaning they only target weeds while other post-emergents will kill anything that is green, including your grass shrubs and flowers!
Eliminate The Grubs
Hibernating grubs begin to crawl toward the surface of lawns to chew on grass roots in late spring. Therefore, a grub preventative product should be applied in early spring. It is especially important to treat for grubs if you had a problem with them in previous years or if you have a neighbor that you know has a problem with grubs.
Tune Up Your Tools
Mowing season really picks up in the spring, making it the best time to clean and tune up your mower and other lawn equipment. Change the oil, air filters and spark plugs and make sure your gas can is full. Clean any dirt or old clippings that may still be lingering on your equipment. Sharpen blades and replace any that are necessary. If your mower has been stored for winter, leave it out in the sun for 1 to 2 hours to warm before cranking it up for the first time.
Call The Pros
Lawn care can seem overwhelming, especially this time of year. While many enjoy working in their yards, others look at it as a chore. Whatever your situation, a professional lawn care company can provide you with a free lawn care analysis and set up the most appropriate treatments and timing to get your lawn healthy and green, not just in the spring but year-round.
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With warmer weather around the corner, many homeowners are preparing their lawns for spring. While the ultimate goal is lush, green grass, the last thing any homeowner wants is a yellow lawn. So what is causing those offensive spots and how can you fix them? Here we take a look at the 4 top reasons for a yellow lawn and how to fix it.
Physical damage to your grass can come in many forms. Cutting your grass unevenly, too short, or with dull blades on your mower can result in it turning yellow as the grass is weakened and destroyed. If you have items sitting on your lawn (such as children’s play equipment or lawn furniture), you will often see yellow spots pop up around them as a result of soil compaction. In this case, oxygen and water are unable to reach the roots of the blades in order to circulate.
When mowing your grass, make sure the mower is working properly and the blades are sharpened. Set the blades at the proper height for the type of grass you have. Aeration can help resolve the issue of soil compaction and allows your grass to get the oxygen, water and other nutrients it needs to thrive.
Amount of Water
Too much or too little water can wreak havoc on your lawn, resulting in those unsightly yellow patches you’re trying to avoid. Overwatering leads to poor root development and a limited supply of oxygen. It can also lead to fungus and pest infestations. Underwatering can dry out the blades, making them brittle and undernourished, which can also cause them to turn yellow.
Double check your sprinkler system to make sure they aren’t overwatering certain areas of your lawn and that they are reaching all of the areas of your lawn. Keep an eye on the weather to make sure your lawn is getting just the right amount of water (e.g. turning off sprinklers during rainstorms). Identify what type of grass you have and make sure your watering schedule is appropriate.
Lack of Nutrients
Fertilization provides the nutrients your lawn needs to grow and thrive. Yellow patches can appear when your lawn lacks the proper amounts of these nutrients. On the other hand, overfertilizing can burn the turf, also causing the grass to turn yellow. It is important to find the proper balance of nutrients necessary for the type of grass you have.
Choose a fertilizer that is appropriate for your turf type. Make sure to read the directions carefully and apply evenly across your yard. A nutritional supplement may also need to be added in addition to the fertilizer to help replenish your lawn.
Diseases and Pests
Many lawn diseases manifest as yellow or even brown patches. Some of the most common diseases include lawn fungus and dollar spot. Most lawn diseases are fungal and are caused by excessive moisture. These diseases slow the growth of your lawn and can cause the blades to spot and wilt. This excessive moisture is also a major attractant for pests which can also damage your grass and cause it to turn colors.
The first step is to get rid of the excess moisture in your yard. A fungicide may need to be applied depending on the severity of the disease. Lawn diseases should be treated as soon as you start to see symptoms. Try to avoid overwatering the areas and follow good mowing habits, as well. The damaged areas can sometimes be repaired by raking away the thatch and reseeding in the fall.
A yellow lawn can get out of hand quickly. If you have yellow spots on your lawn, contact the professionals who can give you a free lawn analysis, as well as ensure any lawn pest control needs are also met.
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Just because the weather turns cold doesn’t mean that’s the end of lawn care for the year. Believe it or not, even grass that has gone dormant in the winter months can benefit from a little TLC. While warm season turf typically grows in the spring and summer and then turns straw-colored in the winter, cool season turf grows in spring and fall and still retains some of its green color through the colder months. Don’t retire your lawn mower to the garage just yet! Here are 6 winter lawn care tips to help get your yard ready for spring.
Compaction can be a big issue for your lawn. When the soil under the grass gets compacted by heavy foot traffic or the weight of heavy machinery, the dirt gets packed down tightly making it difficult to penetrate with air or water. This can cause the soil to dry out due to lack of moisture and cause the roots to not be able to take in the nutrients they need to survive. This can also cause drainage problems as the soil isn’t able to absorb as much water. Thatch (the layer of living material and debris that builds up between the soil and the grass) can also cause problems with your grass. A thatch layer up to 1 inch is considered healthy. Once it gets thicker than 1″, it can also block water and air penetration to the soil. Aeration helps alleviate some of these compaction and thatch issues by making holes through the turf and into the soil. These holes allow air and water to penetrate through, helping keep your turf healthy. Aeration can be done manually or with a power tool. It can be performed any time the ground isn’t frozen.
Fertilization usually goes hand in hand with aeration. After you’ve opened up your lawn by aerating it, fertilizing gives it the essential nutrients it needs to prepare for winter. These nutrients are absorbed and stored by the roots; the grass then taps into these stores in the spring to get a jump start on growth.
Winter is a great time to give your lawn tools a once over. While it’s not in regular use, give your mower a thorough cleaning and tightening. Repair and replace any parts that need it. Sharpen mower blades for a clean cut in the spring. Dull mower blades leave grass blades jagged which makes them susceptible to disease. They can also tear the crowns away from the roots, leaving bare patches on your lawn. Follow the maintenance instructions for your mower to winterize it for the season. Store your mower in a dry, protected place until spring.
If you didn’t get your last cut in before the cold weather set in, don’t worry! You can still give your lawn a final cut on a dry day this winter. It is important to keep your grass height shorter in the winter than in the summer. Rodents are common in the winter months and shorter grass helps inhibit these populations.
Leaves fall off the trees at different times throughout the cold season, making raking an ongoing chore. Wet leaves laying on your turf can cause water buildup which, in turn can lead to fungal growth, pests, and even bare or yellow patches.
Weeds can still grow in the winter, especially after a mild, rainy day. It is important to remove these weeds when they appear before they have a chance to take a stronghold in your yard. Winter is also a great time to apply a pre-emergent weed killer which inhibits the growth of weeds before they even start. Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied anytime as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
Although most lawn care happens in the spring and fall, winter is still a good time to get yard projects accomplished. It also helps you shorten that spring time to-do-list by checking a few items off before the weather warms up. Taking the time to invest in your lawn in the winter will help ensure a lush, green yard come spring.
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As the leaves start to fall and the weather cools off, we can easily forget about maintaining our lawns; but the fall season is the perfect time to get your yard ready for next spring! By investing a little time now, you can make sure that your grass is green and lush by the time warm weather rolls back around. Here are three easy fall lawn care tips!
Tip One: Keep Mowing!
Until the first winter frost hits your lawn, grass will continue to grow. Since we have a little while before freezing weather hits, it’s important to keep mowing your lawn. In order to ensure that your grass won’t mat, cut it to a height of 2-1/2 to 3 inches. Mowing your grass helps prevent fungus and mold from growing on your lawn, which can potentially kill the grass.
Tip Two: Keep Watering!
Did you know that grass needs at least an inch of water per week? It’s true! Your lawn needs water, even during the colder months. If rain has been sparse in your area, consider keeping sprinklers or an irrigation system running until the end of October. After October, disconnect hoses and flush your system so that pipes don’t freeze over the colder months.
Tip Three: Keep it Clean!
Falling leaves can pile up throughout the duration of the fall season. Leaves that are left on your lawn can block your grass from getting light and can trap moisture which leads to disease and fungus. Make sure to blow or rake the leaves as much as possible. After gathering, mow over them or even use the pieces as mulch for your yard!
If the thought of trying to maintain your yard sounds daunting to you right now, consider your local lawn care company for help. They can provide a free lawn care analysis and discuss a lawn care plan to ensure your yard is healthy, green, and lush by the spring season!
With summer here, your lawn and plants could be taking a major hit from the continuous rain and heat. Common issues that the summer weather can bring to your lawn include dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, and disease. While it’s important to notice these during the summer months, it’s equally important to take care of your lawn all year long to avoid these issues. We’ve broken down what you can expect when investing in a year round lawn care program.
For every customer, our lawn care experts will analyze each lawn to determine what it needs to continuously grow healthy and green. With temperatures higher in the spring and summer months, applying a pre- and post-emergent weed control and high potassium fertilizer is important. The pre- and post-emergent weed control will tackle weeds before they take root while the fertilizers focus on turf growth.
When fall approaches, it’s important our experts prepare your lawn for winter. If necessary, our team will apply a lime treatment to your lawn. This will help regulate the PH levels in the soil, and as a result allows your lawn to grow throughout the following year.
During the cold, chilly winter season, grass will typically stop growing. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop caring for your lawn during these months. Maintaining your lawn during the winter can help guarantee a healthy, green lawn for the rest of the year. Our experts will apply products to fertilize and manage the growth of weeds and root development during the winter months. This will, in turn, help create a good foundation for the rest of the year.
Ensure your lawn stays healthy all year long with our 8-Step Lawn Program – request a free lawn analysis to get started.
One of the best things about summer is spending more time outdoors. The warm weather and sunshine brings everyone outside in droves to enjoy their luscious, green lawns. The last thing you want to deal with are yellow spots on the lawn. Unfortunately, the summer heat isn’t always to blame for these discolorations. There are several reasons a green lawn can turn yellow. What is important is to identify the cause of the yellow spots and correct it quickly to return your lawn to its healthy green condition.
Here are 6 common causes for yellow spots on your lawn along with solutions to fix them.
Soil issues are one of the most common causes for yellow turf in your lawn. These issues typically stem from a nitrogen deficiency but can also be related to a lack of other nutrients. These deficiencies can make the turf susceptible to pests and disease.
Soil issues can be corrected by:
- Amending the soil with compost. This helps fix poor drainage and pH levels in the soil.
- Adding fertilizer which replaces the nutrients that are missing.
- Adding nitrogen or iron supplements to regulate these nutrient levels.
There are several seasonal factors that can cause yellowing of your lawn. Cutting your grass too short leaves yellow or brown grass behind. A low mow should only be done on the first cut of the spring. Mower blades should be raised for all subsequent mows during the summer and fall. Iron deficiency is also a seasonal problem that can cause yellow spots. This often happens after a heavy rain causing the turf to grow faster than it can take in nutrients, making the grass turn yellow. Grasses in their off season can also turn yellow. Warm season turf will turn yellow in the fall and winter.
These seasonal issues can be corrected by:
- Avoiding cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing.
- Overseeding your lawn with another grass type.
- Waiting until spring when warm season turf returns to its normal green growth season.
Some environmental factors can cause a lawn to turn yellow. Excessive dog urine, spilled gasoline and other chemicals, and a lack of a strong root system because of previous stress can all cause yellowing.
These environmental issues can be resolved by:
- Soaking areas with excessive urine with water or dish soap to help clean the staining substance off the grass.
- Encouraging the dog to use other areas of the lawn.
- Reseeding or resodding your lawn.
During the summer months several factors combine to increase the dryness of your lawn. Summer often brings drought conditions to many areas, leading to increased water rates on utility bills and water restrictions by local governments. This lack of watering can cause turf to dry out significantly. Decreased watering coupled with the excessive heat and full sun exposure can cause extreme stress to your lawn, causing it to turn yellow.
Dryness can be combated with:
- Watering more deeply and more frequently.
While the nitrogen deficiencies we mentioned earlier can cause yellowing of the lawn, too much nitrogen can have the same effect. Too much fertilizer (and subsequently too much nitrogen) can burn the roots of grass and change the pH of the soil. This makes the roots unable to take up water and nutrients they need to grow.
Overfertilizing can be corrected by:
- Always deeply watering in fertilizer when it is applied.
Diseases & Pests
Fungal diseases can also cause yellow turf. Some common fungal diseases include fairy rings, snow mold, fusarium, and smut. Insects can also damage grass causing yellow spots. Adult insects do not typically cause a problem; it is the larvae of the insects that will eat grass roots causing damage.
Diseases and pests can be avoided by:
- Using a fungicide in the spring combined with the healthy lawn care steps below.
- Using an insecticide or larvacide specifically formulated for the particular pest you are dealing with.
Steps To A Healthy Lawn
Once you have identified the source of your yellow lawn and corrected it, take these steps for lawn care that you can use regularly to keep your lawn healthy and green.
- Mow at the correct height for your turf.
- Use sharp blades on your mower and only mow when the grass is dry.
- Use the proper turf for your region and/or climate zone.
- Check the soil for deficiencies and add fertilizer or nutrients to enrich as needed.
- Have the lawn aerated; this loosens the soil to let more nutrients, oxygen, and water reach the root system.
- Thin out the trees so the turf gets plenty of sunlight.
- Rake up any excess grass clippings and fallen leaves.
- Fill in any low areas with dirt or sand; water can accumulate in these areas and cause disease.
- Improve drainage with the help of a professional lawn care company.
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As the temperatures rise, you may catch yourself spending more time outside with friends and family. When you’re enjoying the warmer weather, the last thing you want to worry about is seeing your lawn with brown splotches. Unfortunately, there are certain pests that can cause a great deal of damage by feeding on your grass.
The White Grub is a particular pest that will destroy your lawn. These six-legged insects are small, white, and “C” shaped. A good indicator that you might have these bugs is seeing additional beetles in your yard. When they infest, they will destroy your grass roots, and as a result, it weakens the area infested. If your grass has ever been easy to lift out of the ground, it’s due to the white grub.
Another insect that can damage your lawn is the Sod Webworm or the larvae of Lawn Moths. Sod Webworms live in the roots of your lawn and will eat the grass leaves. A good indication that you have these pests is noticing that brown patches are continuing to grow throughout your yard. To spot sod webworms, you can also look for them at the root level of grass where you’ll be able to see small white tubes made of a silky web. Sod Webworms are about ¼ – ¾ inch long and gray to tan with small dark spots on the body with brown heads.
A third bug you should be aware of is the Billbug. These bugs are known to chew holes into grass blades, deposit eggs inside, and feed off grass. With a long, curved, bill-like snout, billbugs can grow up to ½ inch in length. These bugs look very similar to a white grub; however, white grubs have legs while billbugs do not. After laying their eggs, the larvae will hatch and begin to eat the grass from inside out from the root to the tips. A clear sign that you may have billbugs in your yard is grass that breaks off at the soil line and has lots of powdery sawdust-like excrement.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your yard, it might be time to contact a professional lawn care company who can inspect the damage and provide you with a lawn care plan so that you can enjoy your yard more with this upcoming warmer weather.