Lawn care tips for a lush lawn

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in News | Comments Off on Lawn care tips for a lush lawn

Fertilize

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for springtime—it all depends on the soil and the type of grass you have. Your soil test will offer tips on what amendments to add, or take the results to a gardening center and get their advice. Opt for a slow-release, organic fertilizer, and apply it to the outer edges of your lawn, then cover the middle, overlapping each pass by a few inches. You may have to mow more frequently afterward, since you’re adding nutrients at a time of rapid growth.

Watch your Calcium intake

Up to 90 percent of common lawn weeds are linked to a lack of calcium in soil. Ideally, you should have a calcium-to-magnesium ratio of 7 to 1. If yours falls short of that target, spread high-calcium lime over your lawn, which will boost its ability to absorb nitrogen and synthesize proteins, robbing weeds of food.

Add organic matter

Early-season grass benefits from added compost, whether you make it yourself or get it from your home center or town. Apply a ½-inch layer over your lawn and rake it into the surface. Finished compost should smell earthy and slightly sweet; avoid using compost that’s still steaming, which indicates it’s not fully decomposed yet. One yard (or 27 cubic feet) will cover 600 square feet.

Stop crabgrass

Crabgrass germinates when the soil temperature reaches about 13.3 degrees F, which happens in mid-April in many regions. Right now Spray N go companies have bee putting this down for three weeks (04/21/2013) which has been a complete waste of time, money and effort.  Wait until your soil reaches this mark for a few consecutive days, then apply corn gluten. Crabgrass doesn’t grow well in the shade, so you don’t need to add chemicals in well-shaded parts of your yard. DO NOT PUT CORN GLUTEN ON YOUR LAWN IF YOU PLAN TO OVERSEED. IT WILL STOP GERMINATION OF GRASS SEED.

Invest some sweat equity. Hand pull those noxious weeds!

Ever notice that weeds pop up right after a spring rain? That’s your cue to pull them—if they’re small and the soil’s moist, they should come out by hand.

Lawn mower service and maintenance. Blade sharpen every 8 Hrs.

Dull mower blades tear off grass rather than cutting it clean, leaving ragged tips that invite disease to set in. Holding the blade in a vise, sharpen it with long, smooth strokes using a blade sharpener or a 10-inch bastard mill file, following the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper angle. During the growing season, sharpen the blade after you’ve used your mower for about 8 to 12 hours.

Seed, Seed and more seed

In the spring every year, you should be putting down lots of grass seed. Our recommendation is to combine this with aeration as the ground is opened up and the perfect opportunity to seed. Also you can combine with dethatching as the ground has been scarified. Weed seeds are for free and are continually settling on your lawn, by over seeding you are going to steadily counter this. Every year at least 10% of your lawn will not survive through the summer and winter. Grass dies! Over seeding is adding new fresh fighters into your lawn care arsenal. Consider adding new cultivars of grass that are more disease resistant, drought tolerant. You never want your lawn to be completely one species of grass; a monocultivar.

Cut height and when to bag

Your grass might be as short as a putting green, but don’t keep it that way. Let it grow to a length of about 3 to 3½ inches, and maintain that height all season. This lets the grass blades shade out weed seeds, and in the summer it shades the soil, reducing evaporation. Come fall, you can go back to cutting it short—weed seeds aren’t as abundant then, and evaporation is less of a concern. Bag your lawn clippings when you see dandelion weed seeds out and in the fall again. Essentially your lawn mower will act like a vacuum sucking the weed seeds off your lawn thwarting germination. The rest of the season let the clippings recycle back into the lawn.

Aerate

Aeration will open the ground up to nutrients, air and water enabling the lawn plant to access what it needs. Compaction slowly makes the grass plant suffer and sets the soil up as an enabler for weeds. Weeds typically can survive harsher conditions. Set the competitive advantage in the grass plants favor. Good lawn care is all about ensuring the grass plant has the competitive advantage over weeds. This is what an integrated Pest Management plan is.

Soil Test

It is important to get a baseline reading of where you soil is which has the biggest impact on how the grass grows. Your doctor would not prescribe a medicine or corrective action without knowing what your body is doing. Why would you think your lawn is any different. A soil test takes the guesswork out of lawn care, giving you precise measurements of pH as well as the quantity and availability of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus (home kits are usually reliable for pH only). They cost around $30 or we can sample and send off on your behalf. Once you have the exact measurement you may find your lawn pH is too low too high or your soil is deficient in phosphorous.

Lawn care

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