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Spring Start Up Tips;
Test Your Lawn’s pH
Professionally testing your lawn’s pH every 2-3 years will give you a good idea of which minerals (and how much of each) is best for your individual lawn. Lutz Landscape professionals can test your lawn, and advise you as to what is best.
Apply Lime in Early Spring Months
Depending on your soils, pH, you may need no lime, a small amount, or a great deal in order to maximize the spring growth.
Do Not Over–fertilize
Many homeowners tend to throw down way too much fertilizer at the first sign of green grass growth. In reality, the best thing to do is to apply a light amount of fertilizer in early spring, and then apply a larger dose a bit later in the season, after the initial growth rush.
Reseed & Water Thoroughly
As part of the spring startup process, dead or damaged grass patches should be reseeded in early March or April. The most important thing to do is to provide newly developing seeds with enough water for proper growth and development. Developing seeds, especially early in the season, need plenty of water.
Choose the Right Grass Type for Your Lawn & Climate
There are over 9,000 species of grasses, so choosing the right one for your lawn may not be quite as simple as you think. Lutz Landscape specialists will take into consideration your lawn’s specific needs, and recommend the best possible choice for you.
Do Not Mow Too Short
Grass will grow best at approximately two inches and higher, so keep it a minimum of this height during the first few cuts in spring.
Apply Herbicides to Control Crabgrass
Mid-April is the best time to control crabgrass, because it will not be up and growing yet. Once the crabgrass has significantly grown and developed, herbicides will have less of an effect on them. At that point, good ole’ fashion weed plucking may be the best option.
March is Too Early For Insect Control
Most insect’s life cycles have not yet started in March, as the weather is still relatively unpredictable, and is often simply too cold for insects to survive. The vast majority of insect control tasks can wait a bit later, until the April and May months. But once you start to see those annoying insects in your lawn and garden, you will want to give Lutz Landscape a call, and let us take care of the pest problems.
Fall Tip: Power Seeding
There are many methods out there that lawn owners can use to restore a lawn that has seen better days. To be certain, aerating is one of the most useful procedures and should be completed whenever thatch accumulation has grown particularly severe. Fall is always a great time for power seeding a lawn. With summer over, many lawn owners find that their lawns are ravaged by drought, insects, or lawn diseases, all conditions that wreak havoc on your lawn. In these instances, reseeding your lawn may be enough to get it growing healthily once again. Sometimes, though, more basic techniques aren’t enough, and when this happens, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you find that your lawn is in really bad shape, you may want to consider power seeding, arguably the most powerful procedure for bringing your lawn back to growing condition. Below, we explain exactly what this process entails and how to power seed your lawn.
What does power seeding involve?
As the name would suggest, power seeding involves using a power seeding machine. This instrument cuts holes into the soil and then drops seed into the holes. In so doing, the seeds are given more direct contact with the soil. Power seeding also involves over seeding to a pretty large degree. Because it consists of over seeding, lawn owners with lots of thin spots or bare patches on their lawn often find that power seeding is especially effective. The important thing to remember is that power seeding will not harm the lawn; in fact, it makes it much easier for soil to receive the new seed and keeps the turf from getting damaged in the process.
Always aerate first
We’ve discussed the importance of aerating many times in the past, and anyone looking into power seeding needs to be aware that power seeding should not be viewed as a substitute for aerating the lawn. Before power seeding, aerate the lawn in order to properly loosen up the soil.
Rent, buy, or hire
Power seeding is a necessary procedure, but the machines are pretty expensive (well over $1000) Most lawn owners find that it is most economical to just hire a lawn care professional to complete the procedure.
Power seeding is the most effective way of saving a lawn that is in poor condition. Whether you hire a pro or rent a machine and do it yourself, you can be confident that you are doing a great service for your lawn.
Late Fall Lawn Care
The fall is a busy time for gardeners. Not only are you trying to clean up your gardens and flower beds to prepare them for the winter, you are also winterizing your garden so that you can hit the ground running in the spring. Often, we forget that our lawn requires the same amount of love and care. A healthy lawn is just as important as any flower or vegetable. Therefore, after you have finished harvesting the last bit of vegetables and flowers from your garden and you have successfully closed up shop, give your lawn some extra care before the winter comes so that it’s as green as ever the next year.
Late fall lawn care begins with mowing and raking. Continue to mow your lawn until the grass stops growing. With so much to do, mowing your lawn is often neglected. Most gardeners assume that the grass stops growing long before it actually does. They become complacent and assume it will take care of itself. This is false. The only thing taking care of your lawn is you. If you slack off now, the result will be a brown lawn still full of dead grass and foliage in the spring. Most grass will stop growing around early November. Mow your lawn at a height of 2-2.5 inches in fall for the best results in the spring. Don’t forget to continue to rake your lawn of all leaves and debris. A layer of leaves can smother and damage the turf grass plants. Raking leaves will also provide you with an excellent source of compost for later.
Don’t be afraid to rake deep so that you begin to dethatch the lawn. Dethatching lawns refers to the removal of that thin layer of dead grass that builds on top of your lawn over time from mowing. Even though raking won’t remove all of the thatch, it will help manage the buildup that occurs over time. If you really want to properly dethatch your lawn, rent a core aerator from your local hardware store. This will be cheaper than hiring a lawn service and will also help break up the soil in your lawn to allow for more absorption of nutrients to the roots of your lawn. Another good idea is to rent it with a neighbor or two that way everyone saves a buck and also provides their lawn with the proper care.
This brings me to my last tip of late fall lawn care, which is fertilization. Even though grass stops growing in early November, the roots continue to absorb and utilize nutrients, which is why dethatching can be really important depending on the current status of your lawn. A late fall fertilization of your lawn will help promote root growth so that your lawn produces and early green surface at the beginning of next spring. Use a dry lawn fertilizer and be careful not to miss any spots. Some final suggestions for taking care of your lawn this fall will be to apply an herbicide to combat weed and fill in any bald spots that may be in your lawn. Pick up an all-in-one lawn fertilizer at your local hardware store for a quick and easy way to repair damaged spots in your lawn. Tis’ the season, give your lawn some attention now, and you will be rewarded with a healthy spring lawn later.
Winterizing Your Lawn
Many homeowners look forward to the end of summer lawn mowing as autumn approaches, but every lawn needs proper winterizing to withstand the rigors of winter so it can return to its vibrant state in spring. To ready your lawn for freezing weather and blankets of snow
- Fertilize: Check your soil’s pH and nutrient composition and choose a proper slow-release, winterizing fertilizer to supplement its nutrition. Summer is harsh and grass needs to recover in fall, and extra nutrients will help promote healthy root growth.
- Aerate: After a summer of backyard play and barbeques, your lawn can be compacted and dense in fall. Autumn aeration and thatch removal will reduce compaction and allow air, water and nutrients to better reach grass roots.
- Weed: Weeds can thrive in conditions when grass is already dormant, so don’t give up on weeding just because it’s fall. Removing weeds right away will keep them from germinating in late fall or in spring before the grass begins to grow.
- Rake: Large piles of debris will choke and stifle grass and can lead to rot and other problems. If you only have a few leaves, mow them into mulch to leave on the lawn for easy decay, but remove the bulk of fallen leaves, branches and other debris before winter sets in.
- Water: Lawns need less water in autumn, but can still be watered until the ground begins to freeze or it becomes impractical to use a sprinkler system. Doing so will keep grass blades luxuriously hydrated and healthy, but reduce watering later in autumn as the grass goes dormant.
- Over-seed: If your lawn is patchy or the grass is thin, fall is a great time to try over-seeding to help fill in the gaps. Choose a cool season grass blend to match your existing lawn, and keep the seed damp until it germinates.
- Mow: Don’t neglect mowing in fall just because grass isn’t growing as quickly. Leaving grass slightly longer will encourage more root growth, but trim grass slightly shorter than typical the last time you mow, using a mulching mower to leave the clippings to decay into essential nutrients.
Even as you winterize your lawn, don’t forget to winterize what you need to care for it as well. Prepare your mower and other garden tools for winter and flush out or winterize your sprinkler system so you will be prepared for a fantastic lawn when spring arrives.