The weather in Georgia is starting to warm up, which means more time will be spent outdoors enjoying your lawn. The type of lawn maintenance you need depends on the type of grass you have and what you want your lawn to look like. Here’s our top three grass types for Georgia and the best plan for maintaining each.
Zoysia grass originated in Asia was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s. This type of turf is an excellent choice for Georgia’s climate because although it thrives in warm, sunny weather, it can also tolerate the occasional cold spell, light shade, and droughts. Due to it being a warm-season species, it does perform best when given at least eight hours of sunshine. Thanks to its deep root system, Zoysia needs less water than other grass types.
This type of turf grows very densely and feels soft under your feet. The only downfall is that it can be invasive, overgrowing in lower beds or the neighbor’s lawn if it is not maintained correctly.
Bermuda grass has been in the U.S. for centuries and is a popular choice for most southern states. This warm-season grass thrives in hot weather and will perform poorly in shaded areas. This turf will quickly grow, making it difficult to control near flower beds and borders of your yard. However, it can tolerate low rainfall and can recover from damage quickly.
Since this grass grows quickly, it will need to be mowed more often during peak growth. Many homeowners love Bermuda grass as it is beautiful and resilient with the summer climate in the south.
St. Augustine Grass
This turf species has a distinct, coarse texture and a dark green color. It is tolerant of shade, though it does grow best in the sun. St. Augustine grass does not do well during dry or cold periods and will need extra watering during the hotter months of the year. It is best for low trafficked lawns since the blades are easily damaged and compacted. Although recommended for the lower half of Georgia, many homeowners in the Atlanta area have this type of grass in their lawn. St. Augustine grass can quickly grow, needing to be mowed often, even with the recommended 3-4 inches of height.
Choosing turf for your lawn may depend on how much maintenance you wish to dedicate to it. To learn more about different types of turf and maintaining each, reach out to your local lawn care company.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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The landscaping and the fresh coat of paint are often the first impression for a person buying a new construction home, and the green, lush lawn truly completes the exterior package. Getting the new sod to its healthiest point can take a lot of time, patience, and maintenance. With the Northwest Lawn Care program, our trained teammates look after the care and potential of the new lawn to get it to look and feel its best.
Here is our Lawn Care program, broken down by season, which helps your new homeowner’s lawn be the one of their dreams.
During the winter months, maintaining the lawn can make the difference in starting the Spring and Summer out properly. We will apply products to fertilize and manage the growth of weeds and root development during the winter months to create a good foundation for the rest of the year.
SPRING & SUMMER
Each lawn is unique. Our lawn care experts are able to analyze each lawn to determine what it needs at the right time of its growth. During the Spring and Summer months, as it warms up, the team will apply a pre and post emergent weed control and high-potassium fertilizer. The pre and post emergent weed controls allow us to tackle weeds before or after they take root, while the fertilizers focus is turf growth.
We apply a lime treatment for the lawn before the winter months. This treatment helps the lawn’s overall growth in the next year and is essential for regulating the PH levels in soil. During each step of our program, we’ll communicate with the homeowner about their best watering and mowing schedule to ensure proper growth and lawn health!
The overall 8-Step Lawn Program allows our team to help properly grow a green, talk-of-the-neighborhood type lawn. Due to the unestablished sod placed during new construction, patience and care from a professional team will help create a successful new lawn. For a new homeowner, they can see the difference after the first year compared to their neighbors.
If you’ve been considering what premiums to offer a new homeowner, Lawn Care could be what your new construction package is missing. Find out more information on our lawn care options, including aeration and fire ant control, here.
You know how the saying goes … April showers bring May flowers. As we move into April and those heavy spring rains, one thing that takes a beating is your lawn. Grass can’t survive much longer than 4 days once it is underwater. Heavy rains can cause your grass to become waterlogged and flooded. It can also cause erosion of soil. You should take extra caution when taking care of your lawn after rain so you don’t damage it. What should you do to keep your lawn lush and verdant after these heavy spring rains? Check out these 8 tips to care for your lawn this spring.
1. Don’t Mow
Don’t mow a wet lawn. You should wait until your lawn has dried out completely before you cut it. Mowing a wet lawn can not only cause compaction but it can also develop ruts in the soft ground. You should also never use an electric mower on wet or even damp lawns. When your lawn does dry out enough to mow, make sure to use the highest cutting height on your mower blades.
2. Keep Off
Keep off the wet grass. You shouldn’t walk on wet grass if at all possible. This can cause your grass blades to become damaged. You should wait for the water to subside completely before walking. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to walk on it without leaving wet footprints behind.
3. Take Notes
After a heavy rain you should inspect your lawn for areas where water tends to collect and stand. Once you have identified these areas, you can correct them by leveling out the ground or by improving the drainage to the area.
Your lawn can benefit from aeration after it has been flooded. You can aerate it either manually with a garden fork or with a power aerator.
5. Clean Up The Silt
Silt can be left behind on your lawn after a flood. There is a chance that the silt that is left behind can be contaminated. You should always use caution when working in your yard after a flood by wearing rubber gloves and boots and covering any open wounds. Remove any silt and debris by either raking it up or washing it off with a hose. This allows the ground to breathe and to absorb more sunlight.
6. Remove Moss
Flooding after a heavy rain can cause moss and algae to grow on your lawn. You can rake away the moss and algae but you might need a professional treatment to make sure that it doesn’t grow back.
7. Watch Out For Fairy Rings
Another thing that pops up after a flood is mushrooms. Mushrooms are typically harmless and can be removed by mowing over them. What can be damaging is if the mushrooms are growing in a fairy ring. Fairy rings happen when mushrooms grow in a circle with dark, green grass in the center. The grass in the center of a fairy ring will usually die because it is competing with the mushrooms for water. If you have a fairy ring, remove the mushrooms immediately down to their roots.
Heavy rains can wash away vital nutrients that your lawn needs to thrive. You can replenish these nutrients by fertilizing your lawn. Continue to apply the fertilizer even after your lawn starts to recover so that it can rebuild healthy roots.
If you need help with your lawn this spring consider contacting a lawn care company who can provide you with a lawn care analysis and set you up with a comprehensive lawn maintenance plan.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean no yard work. In fact, fall and winter lawn maintenance is vital to a healthy green lawn in the warmer months. Here are some things to consider when caring for your lawn in the winter:
- Keep it clean. It’s important to keep your lawn clean of debris that could smother grass and promote the growth of weeds. Rake leaves, remove debris, and keep pine straw in the beds. This is also important in keeping unwanted bugs and other pests from finding a home in your lawn or even worse, your home.
- Mow, if necessary. – If your grass is long it can smother itself, cause damage from freezing conditions, or develop diseases. Beware not to cut the grass too short, you could scalp it and cause further damage.
- Fertilize. Choose a fertilizer that is high in phosphate and focuses on root development rather than lush lead development.
Your lawn is supposed to be enjoyed. So whether it’s having cook outs in the summer, raking leaves in the fall, or building snowmen in the winter…take care of your lawn. And for those of you who like to spend your time and effort elsewhere, call a professional lawn care service to take on the task for you. If you’re looking for lawn care in Atlanta call Northwest Lawn Care.