How to Continue Caring for Your Lawn in the Fall

How to Continue Caring for Your Lawn in the Fall

The end of summer is nearing, but that doesn’t mean the care of your lawn should end with it. The cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall make this the best time of year to prepare your lawn for spring. So don’t stow away your lawnmowers just yet; check out these tips for fall lawn care.

Continue As Normal

Until the first hard frost appears, grass will keep growing. Continue to water and mow your lawn as usual until cooler weather begins.

Fertilize and Control Weeds

Fertilizer will provide enough nutrients for the roots to grow deeper and allow them to retain these nutrients until spring. The best time to begin is in early September, repeating again 6-8 weeks later. Another great tip for your Fescue lawn is that fall is the best time to aerate and overseed. If you have Bermuda or Zoysia, refrain from doing this in the fall, as spring is the best time of year for that.

Your grass thrives in the fall, but so do weeds! Be sure to begin controlling weeds in September or October. Treating weeds with a pre-emergent in the fall season will allow them to fully absorb and they shouldn’t return in the springtime.

Keep Leaves Raked

The fall-time chore that no one really enjoys doing is raking leaves. It’s a vital part of keeping your lawn healthy and lush. You should begin removing leaves as they begin to fall; if you wait too long, the piled-up leaves will be matted together from rain and dew and will be more difficult to remove. This can also suffocate your lawn and cause fungus to grow, which can become detrimental over time.

Taking the time to care for your lawn before major season changes is the best way to keep it healthy. If the care of your lawn seems overwhelming to you, a local lawn care company can give you a free lawn care analysis. They can provide you with the best comprehensive treatment plan customized for your lawn.

Best Maintenance Methods for Fort Myers Lawns

Best Maintenance Methods for Fort Myers Lawns

Fort Myers Lawn Care: Maintaining A Healthy Lawn

The goal for most homeowners is producing and maintaining a lush, green lawn to show off! Unfortunately, Florida weather sometimes has other things in mind that can impact our lawns, such as droughts, heavy rains, and unbearably hot temperatures. Maintaining your Fort Myers lawn can take some work, but it is possible to obtain. Check out our lawn care tips and tricks to get you started on your lawn goals.

Utilize Grass Seed

To produce new grass over your existing turf, consider reseeding! Grass seeds are a great, easy option to help your lawn grow even more. Purchase grass seeds and utilize a spreader to disperse seeds throughout. For the best reseeding result, prep your lawn beforehand, including removing thatch buildup by aerating the soil. Water regularly to allow the seeds to sprout the new grass.

Remove Lawn Pests

Chinch bugs, ants, millipedes, and other lawn pests can cause major damage. These pests cause dead patches, discoloration, and dirt mounds throughout your lawn. It’s important to eliminate turf pests in the soil and around your plants. While insecticides can be used to remove pests, it’s not always the best option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option. A local lawn care company will be able to inspect your lawn, identify the pests, and provide the best treatment plan to remove them.

Establish a Lawn Maintenance Routine

For a healthy lawn year-round, it’s important to establish a routine lawn care maintenance plan. Without a maintenance schedule, your lawn could suffer during every season. Dedicate at least 30 minutes on the weekend to removing debris, weed control, and watering. Consider investing in a sprinkler system to help prevent dry grass. If the problem becomes bigger than you can handle, contact your local Fort Myers lawn care company to provide a free lawn analysis and determine the best maintenance plan for your lawn.

 

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How to Bring Your Lawn Back to Life This Spring

How to Bring Your Lawn Back to Life This Spring

Winter can ravage your lawn, leaving yellow spots, brown grass, or even bare patches when the weather starts to warm up. Don’t worry – there’s still hope! You can bring your lawn back to life just in time for warm weather. Here are 5 spring lawn care tips to bring your yard back vibrant and green.

Identify the Issue

It’s important to know the difference between dormant grass and dead grass. If you live in an area with a warm climate (e.g. the southeastern United States), you likely have warm-season grass in your yard. This type of grass naturally goes dormant over the winter but should return to it’s lush, green state by late spring or early summer. If you walk on your brown or yellow grass and it crunches under your feet don’t fret – it’s still in its dormant state and should wake up soon.

Signs that your grass is dead include a pink, white, red, or black color; water doesn’t help it grow; the sun makes it worse rather than better; it feels spongy to walk on; or you can easily pull up sections of your lawn and not just handfuls of grass. Grass can die for a number of reasons including harsh winter weather, fungus or lawn disease, drought, thatch, overwatering, overfertilizing, pests, or excessive pet urine. If this is the case, reseeding or sodding may be in your future.

Prepare Your Lawn

The best time to revitalize your lawn is early spring and fall. These are the optimal growth seasons for turf and provide a moderate climate for grass to thrive. Once spring arrives, the first step is to get rid of any weeds that have taken over during the winter. Weeds compete with grass for nutrients, light, and water. If you are using weed killers rather than weeding by hand, prepare ahead of time. These herbicides stop the growth of both weeds AND new grass for about 3 weeks. Once the weeds have been eliminated, mow your grass to a height of 1 inch and rake afterwards to remove any debris and dead grass. This also helps loosen the bare soil to prepare for fertilizing and reseeding.

Boost Your Lawn

Your lawn can be boosted with fertilizer, soil enhancer, or by seeding or laying sod. Grass can’t live without nitrogen, which promotes healthy, green growth. Applying fertilizer gives your grass a boost of necessary nitrogen at the start of its growing season. Soil enhancer are minerals you can add to your lawn’s soil to influence the soil condition in an effort to help new grass take root and grow better.

If you have brown or bare spots, you may have to reseed your lawn or put down sod. Reseeding is a less expensive, less labor intensive alternative to sod. It only allows a small window of time to plant, however, and increases your chance of weeds. Seeding means more maintenance in the early stages, as well, and a longer time for seed to mature. Sodding is quicker and gives a longer window of time to put grass down. You also have little to no weeds with sod. It is more expensive and more labor intensive, however, and the sod may not take the first time it’s put down.

Water Your Lawn

It is important to water your lawn consistently to bring it back to its vibrant, green status. Grass seed needs consistent watering in order to germinate and establish strong, healthy roots. Soil should be watered daily when seed is first put down to stay consistently moist. If temperatures are considerably high, you may need to water twice a day. This should continue until the grass sprouts and grows tall enough for its first mow (usually 3 to 4 inches in height). Once you reach this point, you can transition to a regular watering schedule that gives your lawn about 1 inch of water per week.

Be Consistent

Once you put the work into restoring your lawn, it’s important to set up a maintenance routine to keep it that way all season. Mow often enough to keep your grass at the recommended height (making sure not to remove more than 1/3 of its height in a single mow). Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate periods of heavy rain or drought. Fertilize and feed as necessary.

If your lawn could use a boost or you just need a helping hand getting it back in shape, contact your local lawn care company for a free lawn care analysis and maintenance plan that’s tailored to you and your yard.

 

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Preparing Your Lawn for Spring

Preparing Your Lawn for Spring

Now that spring is within sight, it’s time to get your lawn ready for warmer weather. Winter can leave grass, shrubs and trees weak and hungry for nutrients. Ensuring the proper spring lawn care now can lead to a lush, green yard throughout the rest of the year. Here are 8 tips for preparing your lawn for spring.

Clean Up

Now is the time to clean up leaves, twigs, and other debris in your yard. This debris can get stuck in lawnmowers and can also prevent fertilizer and other nutrients from being properly absorbed by your lawn. Use a rake or an air blower to get rid of as much debris as possible.

Use Fertilizer and Herbicides

After the harsh weather of winter, grass is hungry for essential nutrients needed for growth in the spring. At the same time, weeds will start to emerge as the weather warms up. Early spring is the best time to go ahead and apply fertilizer to feed your turf along with a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass. 6 to 8 weeks after this, reapply your fertilizer and pre-emergent again, along with a broadleaf weed killer. There are several combination products on the market to help cut down on cost and the number of products you have to apply.

Cut the Grass

Letting grass grow too high between cuts can actually stunt roots, preventing them from reproducing and growing properly. Instead of mowing once per week, try to cut your grass every 5 days, at least for the first 6 weeks of spring. This can help lead to a fuller, thicker lawn.

Choose the Right Mulch

Once your lawn is taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to your landscaping, especially mulch. Edge out your flower beds and trim back any dead branches on your shrubs. Now is also the perfect time to replace your mulch, giving your landscaping a much needed “spring cleaning.” Try to use a heavier mulch rather than wood chips for longer durability.

Trim Trees

Winter can wreak havoc on your trees along with your lawn. It can be difficult to tell if tree branches are dead without actually getting up into the tree to inspect them. Falling tree limbs can cause damage to your property and injury to yourself or others nearby. Consider hiring a professional tree service to come out every 3 years and do a “safety trim” on your trees.

Save Seeding for Fall

If you are using a pre-emergent herbicide or weed killer in the spring, new seeds you sow will not germinate. For this reason, it’s better to overseed or reseed your lawn in the fall. For brown spots, fertilize in the spring and new shoots will help fill in these areas. If bare patches are too big or you just can’t wait for fall, consider laying sod instead of reseeding.

Rake the Yard

Raking isn’t just a fall chore. Not only does it get rid of any residual leaves left over from winter, but it also removes dead grass blades, helping to prevent the accumulation of thatch which can prevent nutrients and water from getting to roots. Raking deeply can also break up any existing thatch, leading to healthier growth of your lawn. It’s best to wait to rake until your grass has started to green up, indicating roots are fully rooted and the grass is actively growing. Use a flexible leaf rake rather than a stiff metal rake. Make sure you rake deeply and vigorously.

Aerate if Necessary

Although it is best to aerate in the fall, circumstances may require you to do it in the spring instead. This is especially true for areas that get heavy traffic which can lead to soil compaction. An aerator creates openings in the turf to allow water and air to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. If done in the spring, these holes also provide the ideal location for weeds to thrive.

Spring lawn care can be a daunting task. Contact your local lawn care company for a free analysis and help with your spring lawn care plans.

 

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6 Winter Lawn Care Essentials

6 Winter Lawn Care Essentials

Lawn care doesn’t end just because the weather gets cold. Even if your turf goes dormant during the winter months, it can always benefit from a little TLC. Here are 6 of our favorite winter lawn care essentials to help ensure a lush, green yard in the spring.

Aeration

Your soil can become compacted for several different reasons, including lots of foot traffic, heavy machinery, etc. Soil compaction causes the soil to dry out because it isn’t getting adequate hydration which in turn leads to poor nutrient uptake by the roots leading to drainage problems, dead turf and bare spots. Thatch is the layer of material and debris between the soil and the visible grass. A thatch layer of 1″ is considered healthy; anything greater than 1″ blocks air and water penetration to the roots which leads to drainage issues. Aeration is a solution to both of these issues. Holes are made through the turf into the soil below, allowing air and water to penetrate through. Aeration can be done manually or with a power aerator. It can also be done in the warmer months or in the winter, as long as the ground isn’t frozen yet.

Minimize Soil Compaction

Help avoid the need to aerate by minimizing soil compaction in the first place. As mentioned before, compaction decreases nutrient intake by the turf, causing it to dry out and leading to drainage issues. Soil compaction in the winter is often caused by increased foot traffic, parking cars on the grass, and storing machinery and equipment on top of it. Avoid compaction by limiting storage on top of the grass and sticking to walkways and sidewalks when outdoors.

Fertilization

Winter is also a perfect time to fertilize, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Check the pH of your soil. If your soil is acidic, winter is a great time to add a little lime to it for balance. You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer to help winterize before the spring.

Raking

Raking is not just a chore for the fall. Leave can drop at different times during the cold season. Wet leaves on the ground can cause water to buildup, fungal growth, pests, and bare patches on your lawn. Rake up any leaves that fall, even if you’ve already done it multiple times.

Clean Up Debris

Winter storms can leave behind a mess of branches, tree limbs, and other debris. Even though it’s cold outside, it’s best to clean these up ASAP. Heavy limbs can impede water drainage and compact your soil, and lead to crown hydration, all of which can cause bare patches on your lawn. Crown hydration, also known as grass freeze, is when warm weather spells cause the soil to thaw and tricks the grass into thinking it’s spring. The grass sucks up water and nutrients in preparation for spring growth, but the cold weather comes back and refreezes the soil and the water it has retained, causing it to expand inside the crown of the grass and kill it.

Maintain Equipment

Winter is a great time to make repairs and perform maintenance on your lawn machines and tools since they aren’t in regular use. Give your mower a once over and follow the appropriate maintenance instructions (e.g., fuel stabilizer in gas powered equipment). Give it a thorough cleaning and repair or replace any parts that are necessary. Sharpen your mower blades so they’ll be ready for spring. Check the gears on your height adjustment mechanism and store equipment in a dry, protected area.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the need for lawn care slacks off. Use this time to get ahead before the spring to ensure you have a lush, healthy lawn you can enjoy year-round. For help with all of your lawn care needs, contact your local lawn care company for an analysis and ongoing maintenance plan.

 

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