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.

What Types of Grasses Work for My Georgia Lawn?

What Types of Grasses Work for My Georgia Lawn?

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

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

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.

Are Spring Showers Healthy for My Lawn?

Are Spring Showers Healthy for My Lawn?

With springtime in full bloom, that usually means more rain is coming. Although your grass needs water to stay healthy, too much can be a disadvantage.  Heavy rain can cause your grass to become waterlogged and flooded. It can also cause erosion of the soil. Every homeowner should be extra cautious when caring for their lawn after heavy rain, so it’s not damaged further. Here are some lawn care tips to follow if heavy rain is on the way.

Don’t Mow When Wet

Mowing a lawn when wet can cause compactions and create ruts in the soft ground.  It’s best to wait until the grass is completely dry before mowing after a rainstorm. It’s also best practice to never use an electric mower on wet or even damp lawns.

Once your lawn is completely dry and ready to be mowed, ensure that you use the suggested cut height for your type of grass on your mower blades to keep the ground shaded enough from the sun.

Keep Off and Take Notes

When the weather is nice out, most of us want to enjoy the backyard. Unfortunately, after a rainstorm it’s best to stay off the grass until completely dry. Stepping on the grass too soon after rain can damage the blades and hinder the growth of your lawn.

The most suitable time to inspect your lawn for standing water is when you can safely walk on it without leaving footprints behind.  This is an effective way to discover if leveling needs to be done or if drainage needs to be improved.

Aeration Time

After a rainstorm is the perfect time to aerate your lawn because the soil is soft enough to penetrate with either a garden fork or a power aerator. Before using a power aerator, it’s best practice to know how to dry the type of turf that’s on your property. Aeration is beneficial for your lawn in many ways, including improved fertilizer uptake, resiliency, and reduced soil compaction.

Clean Up Silt and Watch Out for Disease Patches

A rainstorm is the perfect opportunity to create silt buildup and any diseases. Both are bad for the health of your grass and need to be removed as soon as possible. The buildup of silt can make it difficult for the grass to breathe, creating a lack of beneficial sunlight.

Depending on the type of turf you have, there are many lawn diseases that you could experience, like yellow to brown patches, leaf lesions, or fungal disease. Taking care of your lawn will help prevent these diseases from emerging, but sometimes it’s too much to handle without professional care.

If you have followed these tips to protect your grass after a rainstorm, but are still seeing problems, reach out to your local lawn care company. They will be able to help with any further issues by coming up with a personalized care plan for your lawn.

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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