SPRING LAWN CARE MYTHS BUSTED

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in News | Comments Off on SPRING LAWN CARE MYTHS BUSTED

Many of the large SPRAY AND GO companies are eagerly out there applying pre-emergent control like corn gluten, seed and fertilizers. So understandably so, many customers are asking why is V.I.P, why aren’t you out there?  We are eager to be out there but we simply cannot apply lawn best practices if we know they are not going to work. We work on quality and not quantity.. Larger companies have a large downside, they have too many customers and only a finite amount of time to get all of there programs in. This article is intended to blow some myths up and provide the detail. This is our attempt to be a LAWN MYTH BUSTER!

YOU CAN OVER-SEED ANYTIME IN THE SPRING! NO

 A great step in any lawn care program is applying grass seed. Although this year (April 12,2013) it is far to early to consider over-seeding or slit seeding. Why? Grass seeds need consistent soil temperatures above 10 degrees C to germinate. Freezing grass seeds will not damage the seed. In fact some large sod manufacturers will store seed in freezing conditions to speed up germination process. WHAT KILLS/DESTROYS GRASS SEEDS ARE FREEZE/THAW ACTIONS. If soil in which the grass seed sits goes through a series of freeze/thaw cycles, the moisture from the melting frost will collect around the seeds and can attract rot and mold, which can kill the grass seeds. Therefore a single, solid frost all winter will not kill seeds, but an irregular cycle of freezing and thawing can. If grass is applied below this, it is a waste of money as it is too cold and also the fact that we are still experiencing freezing conditions at night, the seed can loose

YOU CAN APPLY FERTILIZERS IN THE SPRING ANYTIME ? NO

Most fertilizer products are coated with multiple layers of resin that are available in the market. When they come into contact with water, the layers swell and increase the pore size in the resin so that the dissolved fertilizer can move into the soil. Release rate depends on the coating thickness, temperature, and water content of the soil. There is often a large release of fertilizer during the first 2 or 3 days after application. Release timing can be from 0 to 12 months, depending on the coating. The temperatures that we have right now are to low for the fertilizer to be released and given large amounts of precipitation, the rain is washing off the fertilizers as it is merely sitting on top layer. The other aspect is that the ground in Oxford county is not fully thawed out, only the first half inch is thawed out so the fertilizer is not able to penetrate down through the soil.

 

AERATE ANYTIME IN SPRING. NOT REALLY – TOO EARLY ITS A WASTE

This one is pretty simple. Core aeration should pull up plugs of 2-25 inches deep. This is based on ground being thawed out and the aeration provider having well maintained (not ground down aeration tines). Our soil is not thawed out so the aeration tine (which pulls out the plug) cannot penetrate down to 2-25 inch deep grade in the soil so it merrily bounces along the top in essence wasting time, money and effort. The reason for aeration is to allow air, nutrients and moisture getting to the grass root. This will not happen if your aeration provider is only aerating the top 0.25 inches. Also aeration will not prevent water clogging on a soil if it is clay based. It is a characteristic of that soil type. Sandy soils will allow water to penetrate through them faster. A little time will allow water to slowly go permeate through any soil type.

AERATION SHOULD BE COUPLED WITH OVER-SEEDING. YES!

Another thing about aeration is that it should always be coupled with over-seeding. The soil has been opened up. If you do not apply grass seed, you have opened your whole lawn to other competitor WEEDS who want to set up camp on your lawn. Your lawn will not thank you for aerating without over-seeding. If you want to reduce cost skip a year of aeration and wait another year and combine the two aeration+overseeding thereby saving cost one year and bringing it forward to the following year.

APPLYING PER-EMERGENT CORN GLUTEN TOO EARLY IS GOOD. NO!

On Tuesday this week I was providing a quote and noticed a large Spray and Go company proceed to apply corn gluten on a clearly re-seeded lawn (top dressed). The corn gluten will basically not let the new grass seeds germinate. So the homeowner who was busy earning his/her rightful pay had there new re-seeding destroyed as the seed is now rendered ineffective.
Apply corn gluten is still to early is ineffective,  given Spring like conditions are so late, so weed seeds are also late which means if applied not it is too early  ITS NO USE!. The weed seeds actually do germinate, but the corn gluten meal inhibits the expansion of the plants’ roots and they quickly die of dehydration. So far, so good. If you apply corn gluten meal anytime before or after that window, the product’s efficacy for weed control IS ALMOST ZERO. The unsuspecting consumer can get ridiculously frustrated by unfulfilled expectations especially given the price of corn gluten.

 

myth buster

 

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