A Step-By-Step Lawn Care Guide

A Step-By-Step Lawn Care Guide

Spring can be a busy time for lawn care. The weather is highly unpredictable, plants are just emerging after the winter cold and can be tender and delicate, and the soil is thawing from the winter freeze. Taking the appropriate steps early in the season can help ensure a lush, green lawn throughout the rest of the year. Check out this step-by-step lawn care guide to help get your lawn ready this spring.

1. Get Rid of Weeds

A few weeds in your lawn are inevitable. These can be pulled by hand or with a handheld weeder or hoe. Make sure to pull them out completely, roots and all. If you have an abundance of weeds, use an herbicide directly on the offenders or apply a weed and feed product to the entire lawn. If dandelions are a problem, they can be sprayed with diluted vinegar. Crabgrass can be treated by raising the mower blades higher and watering less frequently.

2. Dethatch

Thatch is the matted accumulation of organic debris that collects between grass blades and roots. Thatch can cause dead patches in your lawn and open spaces for weeds to proliferate. Inspect your lawn for signs of thatch. Thatch can be removed with a thatching rake or a power dethatcher. Recovery from dethatching takes about 3 to 4 weeks.

3. Aerate

Inspect your lawn to see if aeration is needed. Dig a 1 square foot section of your lawn and examine the roots. If the roots don’t extend deeper than 2 inches, your lawn needs to be aerated. Make sure to water the lawn for 1 to 2 days before you aerate. Use a core aerator over the lawn once. After aeration is done, apply compost or sand over the entire lawn.

4. Reseed and Overseed

Before applying any seed, check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to make sure what seed works best for your lawn. In early spring or fall, overseed with a cool season grass (rye, fescue, Kentucky bluegrass) and overseed with a warm season grass (Bermuda or Zoysia) early in the summer. To get an even application apply the seed with a broadcast seeder. Water the seed to help it establish.

5. Mow

A healthy lawn is denser, making it better able to resist weeds. When mowing, only remove about 1/3″ off the top of the grass. Set your mower deck height so that the grass is about 2-1/2″ to 3″ tall. Taller grass helps shade out weed seeds and prevents them from germinating. Try alternating your mowing pattern by mowing at a 45 to 90 degree angle from your last mow. This helps prevent soil impaction and helps grass grow upright. Also make sure to keep your mower blades sharp.

6. Water and Fertilize

Watering provides adequate moisture to grass, especially during times of heat or drought. If possible, try to water early in the morning when the air is cooler so there is less evaporation. For warm season grasses, spring is the ideal time to apply fertilizer when the lawn is actively growing (approximately 6 weeks after the last frost). Cool season grasses benefit from fall fertilization.

7. Mulch and Clean

Spring is the best time to clean up any leaves, twigs, and other debris left over from winter. Edge your beds, trim back dried branches on shrubs, and replace the mulch.

8. Call a Pro

You always have the option of calling a professional lawn care service to help with your lawn maintenance throughout the year. Proper analysis, treatment, and timing are critical in achieving a green, healthy lawn. Lawn care professionals are experts in all aspects of lawn care and use technologically advanced products for your lawn. Click here to request a free lawn care analysis and get started with your professional lawn service today.

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8 Tips For Winter Lawn Care

8 Tips For Winter Lawn Care

Although the cold of winter has set in and your lawnmower is stored away for the year, don’t relax just yet! Lawn care services don’t end just because the weather has turned cold. While your lawn requires more maintenance in spring, summer, and fall, there are things you can do in the winter months to make sure you have a healthy, green lawn when the weather warms in the spring. Check out these 8 tips for winter lawn care.

1. Clean Up The Yard

Beginning in the fall, clear away any debris that has accumulated in your yard and do periodic sweeps throughout the winter. Early winter is the perfect time to rake up any matted areas as these can lead to old. Raking and mowing the debris in winter also encourages better air flow throughout the grass in your yard to prevent both disease and insect infestation. When new grass starts to grow in the spring, having the debris cleared away will allow them to grow without a struggle.

2. Control The Weeds

Although it’s a little early now, start thinking about how you want to control weeds as winter moves into spring. Pre-emergent crabgrass control should be applied in early spring before the soil temperatures reach 55-60 degrees. Once the temps warm up above 60 degrees, weed seeds have already begun to germinate and the pre-emergent weed control won’t be effective.

3. Core Aerate

Another thing to start thinking about is core aeration which should also be done in late winter/early spring before the soil temperatures warm up above 60 degrees. Once temperatures are above 60 degrees, the voids that are left in your yard from the aeration will only serve as an open invitation for aggressive weed seeds to grow. Core aeration is important because it allows air to reach the root zone faster which leads to new growth and improved root development.

4. Repair Your Lawn

Winter can do a number on your yard with its harsh weather and cold temperatures. When spring comes around, you may need to make some much needed repairs to your lawn. Spring is a great time to reseed any damaged areas that developed over the winter months.

5. Fertilize

Applying fertilizer in the late winter/early spring can jump start your lawn from its dormant winter state. Fertilizer provides a build up of nutrients that will provide it with the strength it needs to withstand heat stress and drought throughout the warmer summer months.

6. Clear The Clutter

Before winter sets in, clear your lawn of any clutter and do periodic sweeps throughout the winter season. Remove any debris, lawn furniture, logs from around your fire pit, toys, etc. If an object is left on the grass during cold weather or snowfall, it can cause large dead spots on your lawn because of the weight of the object. In spring, the grass in these dead areas will be stunted and thinner than the rest of your yard.

7. Keep Off The Lawn

Try to avoid lawn traffic as much as possible in the winter months; walking on your lawn too much can weaken even the strongest grass, if the same path is walked over too many times. Make use of sidewalks and never allow anyone to park a car or truck on your lawn, as this will leave impressions in the soil and kill grass that’s underneath the tires.

8. Professional Lawn Care Services

If winter lawn care seems like a daunting task, don’t stress! Call a professional lawn care company who can come out and provide you with a free lawn care analysis. The Lawn Care team at Northwest can provide you with expert lawn care services and a customized program that includes lawn fertilization, weed control, lawn pest control, aeration and overseeding, tree and shrub care, and even disease control. Fill out the form below or give us a call to schedule your free lawn care analysis today!

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Summer Lawn Survival Guide

Summer Lawn Survival Guide

Identify Your Grass Type

What kind of grass you have determines how your lawn should be cared for. Common warm season turf – zoysia, bermuda, & centipede grass – are ideal for warmer weather since they can withstand higher heat, thriving in 75-90 degrees temperatures. Cool season turf – fescue, ryegrass, & kentucky bluegrass – are better suited for cooler weather and can be hard to keep green in the hot summer season. Cool season grass will usually go dormant in the summer, turning a yellow or brown color, and then green back up in the fall when temperatures drop.

Give Your Lawn Enough Water

Water your lawn in the early mornings and make sure it’s getting adequate coverage. Some grasses do well with infrequent, deep watering in warmer weather.

Get Rid of & Prevent Weeds

Eliminating weeds is essential to keeping your lawn healthy and green. Look for weed control products at your local hardware store or contact a lawn care company for recommendations.

Mow the Right Way

Grass should be taller in the summer to protect the soil from losing water and nutrients, keeping grass healthy and helping to prevent new weed growth. Make sure mower blades are sharp; dull blades tear grass and can cause lawn diseases.

Control Grubs

Apply a chemical grub control product during the summer and follow directions carefully (some products require additional water).

Clean Up After Pets

Pups can damage your lawn by using the bathroom on it. Use water to flush areas of urine and pick up waste. Leaving it unattended can cause unsightly, unhealthy spots of dying grass.

Fertilize Warm Season Grasses

Now is a great time to fertilize since these types of grasses need nutrients during peak growth season. Check with your local lawn company to schedule lawn service if you’re unsure what kind of fertilizer to use, when to apply, and how frequently. They can take the guesswork out of lawn care for you!

Stay Off!

The easiest way to keep your lawn healthy is to stay off of it. Don’t drive or park on grassy areas and avoid walking on the lawn as much as possible.

 

Q & A: Preventing Mice From Coming Into Your Yard

Q: My neighbors abandoned their home and the yard grew about 4 feet tall. The neighborhood had their lawn service cut it and they saw many mice and rats in the yard. The yard is behind mine. What can I do to prevent them from coming into my house?

house mouse

A: It is a frustrating situation to be in when you are concerned about problems from another source that you do not have any control over!

All animals need three items in order to be successful: food, water and shelter.  If you can eliminate these, in most cases you can help control any issue.  It sounds as if cutting the grass from the neighbor’s yard took away the shelter and food causing them to search for these sources elsewhere.

We suggest that if you have any outdoor feeders for birds or squirrels to move them away from your home.  Also, if you have any water sources such as fountains, bird baths, etc, it would be helpful to move them as far away from the home as possible. Additionally, make sure that any pet food, bird seed or grass seed is stored in a tightly concealed, rodent proof container.

If you find that you notice evidence of animals or rodents in or around your home, call Northwest Exterminating.  A pest prevention program or wildlife control program may be needed to remove the unwanted visitors from your home.

Q & A: Preventing Mice From Coming Into Your Yard

Q: My neighbors abandoned their home and the yard grew about 4 feet tall. The neighborhood had their lawn service cut it and they saw many mice and rats in the yard. The yard is behind mine. What can I do to prevent them from coming into my house?

house mouse
A: It is a frustrating situation to be in when you are concerned about problems from another source that you do not have any control over!
All animals need three items in order to be successful: food, water and shelter.  If you can eliminate these, in most cases you can help control any issue.  It sounds as if cutting the grass from the neighbor’s yard took away the shelter and food causing them to search for these sources elsewhere.
We suggest that if you have any outdoor feeders for birds or squirrels to move them away from your home.  Also, if you have any water sources such as fountains, bird baths, etc, it would be helpful to move them as far away from the home as possible. Additionally, make sure that any pet food, bird seed or grass seed is stored in a tightly concealed, rodent proof container.
If you find that you notice evidence of animals or rodents in or around your home, call Northwest Exterminating.  A pest prevention program or wildlife control program may be needed to remove the unwanted visitors from your home.

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