Lawn Mowers


Fall Lawn Repair and Care

October 2nd, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

The fall is the time to consider repairing your lawn and getting it ready for winter. You can give your lawn a head start by doing a few simple things. Fall lawn repair and care can give your lawn a head start next spring when the growing season starts. Within a month your lawn will look great and recover quickly from the wear and tear of the winter season.

The main steps for making your lawn look great and also keeping it healthy easy to follow. First remove all debris from the lawn. this includes leaves, twigs, weeds and anything that blocks the sun from your grass. Although leaves with all of their colors may look great, they can damage your lawn. Mold will form on and under the leaf. Air and sunlight does not penetrate to the lawn. In short your lawn can die out in that area. It is not a pleasant task to rake up moldy wet leaves.

Another step to follow is to make repairs to areas of your lawn that need repair like the one in the picture. First use a rake to remove the dead grass and thatch. Add good quality soil to fill in the depression. Apply appropriate grass seed for your area and lightly cover up the grass seed with more soil. Water every day to facilitate the new seed to germinate and begin to grow. Remember you need to do this in early fall to ensure that your seed has time to germinate and put down roots.

Finally fall fertilizer should be applied to help your grass build a strong root base and prepare itself for the winter.

Fall Lawn Repair and Care

There are a few more steps and regular things that home owners should follow in addition to those mentioned above. They are:

  • Remove the leaves as mentioned above.
  • Keep cutting, but to the correct height.
  • Continue watering as needed
  • Loosen the soil using aerating machines.
  • Add fertilizer for the fall.
  • Spread grass seed to thicken up the lawn
  • Complete repairs as mentioned above
  • Stay on schedule, don’t leave it too late before the snow arrives or the grass stops growing.
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Soluble Synthetic Fertilizers

April 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Soluble synthetic fertilizersThis is our second post about types of fertilizers. Our previous post discussed organic fertilizers. This post will cover soluble synthetic fertilizers, slow release fertilizer‘s and water insoluble nitrogen. Many consumers select the type of fertilizer they wish to use based on local climate, the type of grass they have and the environmental conditions e.g.  spring, summer, fall, humid, arid etc. It is very important to match your grass type with the desired look and feel of your lawn when making a decision regarding what type of fertilizer to use.

Soluble synthetic fertilizers

These are the most common fertilizers used on lawns today.

The big advantage of this type of fertilizer is predictability. Because their characteristics or normal precisely, you can learn the exact effect they have on the lawn. This is an important feature for many lines. Soluble synthetic fertilizers become available to the lawn before the soil has thoroughly warm in the summer, they are less expensive than organic fertilizers, and they are easy to handle. Less fertilizer needs to be applied since the percentage of nitrogen is usually high.

However more work is usually required of these gardeners will use. Most applications are necessary because the effects or short term. If your line requires 4 to 6 pounds of actual nitrogen a year, that many separate applications are necessary.

Further, because of the high percentage of nitrogen, there is the possibility of fertilizer burn. To avoid this, apply the fertilizer at recommended rate, spread it on add dry line, and water it thoroughly after application.

Exceptions are some weed and feed products that are formulated with soluble fertilizer‘s and are designed for use on wet grass during moderate temperatures, usually under 85°F.

Slow release fertilizer‘s

To some extent these fertilizers combine the characteristics of the organics and the soluble synthetics. Usually they have a high percentage of nitrogen, spreading large quantities is not necessary. The possible possibility of fertilizer burn is greatly reduced, since the nitrogen does not become available to the plant all at once.

Several types are available. Some are categorized on the fertilizer bag as WIN, meeting water in soluble nitrogen. Mini commonly available lawn fertilizers or actually a combination of soluble nitrogen and WIN

Slow release fertilizer‘s are favored by mini blind growers because they make you have your applications of nitrogen possible, hence making your applications necessary. However, they do not provide a quick green up. Your control of greening response is slightly more than with organics.

Our next post on lawn fertilizers will cover water insoluble nitrogen, complete fertilizers, and fertilizer and pesticide combinations. For more posts about lawn care and how to have a great looking lawn that is the envy of your neighbors, click here.

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Types of fertilizers for your Lawn – Organics

April 7th, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

This post and the next two posts following this one discuss more detail about the types of fertilizers for your lawn available on the market for consumers. A little shopping in a garden store reveals an abundance of lawn fertilizers. You see labels proclaiming fast acting, slow release, and so on. But if they all contain the same basic minerals, what is the difference? Here is a description of these products.

Types of fertilizers for your lawn

Organic fertilizers: a chemist might argue that some manufactured fertilizers are technically organic. Here organic refers to a fertilizer derive from plant or animal waist.

The variety of organic fertilizers is endless. There are manures of all kinds, sewage sludge, blood meals, and seed meals. They all share in advantages and disadvantage. In some areas, they may be inexpensive and easy to obtain, yet the reverse is often true. Most have distinctly beneficial soil building properties,.

Since the action of organic’s is slow, over fertilizing is usually not a problem. This is the major difference between organic fertilizers and soluble synthetic fertilizers, their nutrients are released slowly. Organic fertilizers are bulkier, heavier, and more difficult to handle than other types of fertilizer. They have a low percentage of nitrogen, so it is necessary to apply a much greater quantity at one time. They may also have an unpleasant smell.

The release of nutrients from organic fertilizers depends on the weather and is, therefore, unpredictable. Soil microbes must digest the organic material to release its nutrients. Because the activity of micros depends on soil temperature, nutrients may not be available in early spring or in late fall when cool season grasses are growing actively, but be abundant in summer when cool season grass should not be fertilized heavily.

Our next post will talk about soluble synthetic fertilizers, slow release fertilizer‘s, water insoluble nitrogen, complete fertilizers, and fertilizer and pesticide combinations. For more posts about lawn care, fertilizers and much more, click here.

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Fertilize Your Lawn

March 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

fertilize your lawnPeople accept the fact that they must mow and water to maintain the health of their life. But some may question the need for fertilizer. They should not. Fertilize Your Lawn.

Lawn grasses live in an unnatural environment. The grass plants are crowded together they compete with each other, along with neighboring trees and shrubs, for water and nutrients. They are mowed regularly, which is highly irregular in nature, and their clippings, a source of nutrients are often removed.

Because of this competition and the unnatural demands placed on lawns, they must be fertilized. Just as a balanced diet works best for people and animals, the same is true for lawns. They need fertilizer for sustenance. When properly fertilized, the lawn maintains good color, density, and vigor, and does not easily succumb to insects, weeds, or diseases. When under fertilized, the lawn is not only less attractive, but also is considerably more susceptible to environmental stress and damage.

Fertilize Your Lawn – The nutrients a lawn needs

16 different mineral elements are essential to the growth of all awns. Some are common, such as oxygen from air and hydrogen from water. Others, such as zinc or boron, are needed in only the minisculet amounts usually found naturally in most soils.

Nitrogen: this is by far the most important element the lawn needs. It promotes rapid shoot growth  and givesl awns a healthy color. Nitrogen is the mineral most often in short supply. Growing lawns need a plentiful and continuous supply of water, but watering also flushes nitrogen from the soil. Without sufficient nitrogen, growth stops and the lawn becomes pale and yellowish. On the other hand, if there’s too much nitrogen, thatch and disease develop.

Phosphorus: this nutrient is less important, but it still essential for the healthy growth of lawn grasses. It stimulates the early formation and strong growth of the roots, which is why
new lawns need it at such a high percentage. It is not readily flushed from the soil by watering and is needed by established lawns in small quantities, so most balanced lawn fertilizer‘s contain only a low percentage. Phosphorus is supplied by phosphoric acid.

Potassium: next to nitrogen, potassium is second in importance. And like nitrogen it is flushed out of my water but at a slower rate. It strengthens lawn grasses, enabling them to withstand traffic and resist disease. Potassium is needed in about the same quantity as nitrogen, but since the soil supplies a considerable amount, not as much is added to fertilizers. The major source of potassium and fertilizers is potash.

Calcium, sulfur, and magnesium: it takes relatively large amounts of these nutrients to meet the needs of most lawns. Calcium is either present in adequate quantities in the soil or is added through periodic applications of lime. Dolomite supplies magnesium as well as calcium. Most soil sulfur reaches a lawn through the air, water or organic material.

Micro nutrients: these are elements needed in small amounts. If your lawn does not become greener with an application of nitrogen, the problem may be a shortage of iron. This is particularly true in your areas were soil pH is high. Yellowing can also be caused from a sulfur deficiency, or watering, Manganese is deficiency of sandy soil‘s, or a pH less than 5.0. A soil test may be needed to help find the cause of persistent soil related problems such as these.

For more posts about lawn care, click here.

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Should You Remove Grass Clippings

December 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

grass clippingsWhether to leave clippings on the lawn or to pick them up is a question of many gardeners. There are advantages and disadvantages to leave in grass clippings on your lawn, depending on the type of grass you have and how well you maintain it.

Leaving clippings of cool season grasses on the lawn does not cause or contribute to thatch buildup. It is the woody, slow to do decompose stems below warm season grass blades that contributed most to thatch build up.

Clippings and Nutrients

Clippings return nutrients to the lawn. Although it is difficult to measure, some estimates suggest that as much is 1/3 of the nitrogen requirement of a lawn can be supplied by decaying grass clippings.

At certain times, however, it makes sense to remove clippings from your lawn. First of all, clippings can be unsightly. They are removed from any intensely maintain lawns for just this reason. Secondly, if you do not mow your lawn frequently enough you will cut off too much grass at one time. If clippings mat down and block the sun from the lawn remove them so only a light cover of clippings remain.

Some people remove clippings to use as a composter mulch in a vegetable garden. This is fine provided their free of two, 4D another broad leaf herbicide. Continually mulching tomatoes with herbicide treated clippings for example, has resulted in distorted plants. Also, watch the weeds in the clippings, they can create havoc in your garden.

To remove clippings from your lawn, use a steel tine lawn rake after mowing. The tines are made of spring steel and snap back into position even when bent back. Do not substitute a steel wire leaf rake for collecting clippings. It’s wire tines are more likely to tear the grass. An easier solution is to purchase a grass catcher bag for your lawn mower.

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Mowing New Lawns

December 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Mow a new LawnNewly seeded lawns are more delicate than established ones, which is why you have to be more careful when you mow a new lawn. The soil is soft and the grass plants usually are not deeply rooted by the first mowing . On the other hand, when you mow a new lawn, especially those planted vegetatively, it helps the plants to spread, thus promoting a thicker lawn. Use common sense and apply the same principles for properly mowing any lawn. If you are experiencing a hot dry spell, make sure that the new lawn is receiving lots of water. The top layer where the roots are trying to establish themselves will dry out very quickly and your lawn may perish before it even gets started. You may need to water the lawn every day.

Mow a new Lawn

For the first time after it has grown a third higher than the regular mowing height. For example, a lawn that should be maintained at a 2 inch height should be mowed when it reaches two and a half to 3 inches. Do not remove more than a third of the total height of the grass.

If you can, use a mower that is not too heavy, especially if the soil is too soft. A lightweight rotary or push real mower is your best bet when you mow a new lawn. Make sure the mower blades are sharp; young grass plants can be easily pulled from the soil by dull blades.

If the soil remains too soft or if the new grass is too loosely knit to mow without damage, wait. Let the lawn continue to grow, then lower the cut gradually until it’s down to the proper height. reduce the cutting height by 1/2 inch or 3/4 of an inch every second mowing until you reach the recommended mowing height.

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Mow Your Lawn at the Right Height

November 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

mow your lawn at the right height Mow your lawn at the right height for a healthy lawn. Proper mowing height depends primarily on the type of grass. The rule of thumb is: mow the grass when it grows from 1/4 to 1/3 taller then it’s recommended mowing height. For example, if the recommended mowing height for your lawn is 2 inches, mow when is about 3 inches high.

The penalty for not paying attention to the recommended height is a stiff one. By letting grass grow too high and then cutting away half or more at once, you are expose stems that have been shaded and may burn in strong sunlight. If the lawn is yellowish after you mow, you have waited too long. More importantly, roots are severely shocked by heavy mowing and may need several weeks to recover. Research has shown a direct relationship between the height of the cut and the depth of roots. When grass is properly mowed to it’s recommended height, roots grow deeper. Intern, a deep root system makes lawn care much much easier.

Mow your lawn at the right height

Grasses tend to spread either horizontally or vertically. For instance, Bent grass and Bermuda grass spread horizontally by creeping stems. Because the stems are parallel to the ground as well as the cut of the mower, they are not normally mowed off. Unless these grasses or mowed low preferably with a heavy real mower, they will have problems with thatch.

Think of it this way: X amount of leaf surface is necessary to keep the grass plants healthy and growing. If that Leaf surface spreads out over a wide area, the lawn can be mowed close to the ground without reducing the necessary leaf surface.

Vertically growing grasses, such as by bahai grass, common Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and Saint Augustine grass, cannot be mowed too low, below 1 1/2 2 inches, because they do not have enough leaf surface to support the plants.

Mowing to low probably ruins more Kentucky bluegrass lawns more than any other practice. This is especially true in transitional periods were adaptation is marginal. Cut high, Kentucky bluegrass is more disease resistant and can successfully complete with weeds and insects. The tall growth shades the soil, keeping the temperature lower for cool loving roots.

Exceptions are some of the new Kentucky bluegrass cultivars which are essentially dwarfs. They are more compact and have more leaf surface in less area. In shade mow another 1/2 inch higher.

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How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn

November 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Many people who want a handsome lawn do not realize the importance of mowing. A lawn that is mowed to the right height at the right time will resist weeds, insects, and disease, and appear lush and healthy. Infrequent mowing often results in the removal of too much grass at one time, and eventually produce is a lawn that looks thin, spotty, or burned. Unfortunately, grass could also be weakened by mowing to frequently, especially if it is kept short. Mow your lawn based on the type of grass, how long it is and how vigorously it is growing. It also depends on how much water it receives along with fertilizer.

How often to mow your lawn

How often your lawn needs mowing depends on three things:

  • how often and how much you water and fertilize,
  • what time of year it is, and
  • the type of grass in your lawn.

The fertilizer you apply affects the growth rate of your lawn, and consequently, the frequency of mowing. Lawns that are fertilized often require more frequent mowing. Golf course greens, for example are usually mowed daily.

Cool season and warm season grass responds differently to seasonal climate changes. When cool season grasses slow down or become dormant during summer heat, mowing may only be really necessary once every two or three weeks. However, during spring and fall, cool season grasses grow more vigorously and usually need mowing at least once a week.

Warm season grass do not grow at all in the winter and slowly in the spring and fall. Mowing is required infrequently during these times. But during the high temperatures of summer, growth is vigorous and mowing should be more frequent.

During periods of vigorous growth, many people find it convenient to mow their lawns on a weekly schedule, such as every Saturday morning. Unfortunately this is not appropriate for all lawn grasses. Even though you could establish a general schedule for both cool season and warm season grass, different types of grass still grow at different rates.

For example, although common Bermuda grass  may do well with mowing once a week during mid summer, well fertilized improved Bermuda grass may need to be mowed every two or three days. If you can, match your mowing schedule to the growth rate of the grass, your grass will be much healthier and able to deal with weeds and drought.

 

 

 

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Lawn watering tips

December 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Lawn watering tipsLawn watering tips and general guidelines depend on the type of lawn, location and rainfall. We will provide some general guidelines to follow in this post. For specific details use common sense and discuss with your local garden supply store. They will be able to give much more specific advice. Advice that will take into account the type of grass and the location you live in. The chart on the left indicates the best times to water your lawn for maximum results. Best time to water is early in the morning to avoid high evaporation and also promoting disease.  During the day you get high evaporation. At night, damp lawns are more susceptible to mold and disease.

Lawn watering tips

How often to water – During dry periods, you may need to water once a week. if you live in the desert, you may need to water every day to avoid your grass drying out. If you receive an all day rain once a week on average, you may never need to water.

When to water – As discussed above, the best time to water is early in the morning. This will minimize evaporation and also mold formation on the lawn.

How much to water – If you water once a week, your lawn should receive an inch of water. You can leave a small can or glass on the lawn. once there is an inch of water in the can, you have provided enough water. Too little water causes the roots to grow near the surface making them more susceptible in dry periods. Deep watering promotes root growth making your lawn stronger and able to withstand dry periods.

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How to Install a Sod Lawn

November 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

How to Install a Sod LawnWe covered how to seed a lawn in a previous post. In this post we will review the steps on how to install a sod lawn. One of the big advantages of installing new sod is that you immediately have a green lawn. There are a number of steps required to ensure that your lawn stays healthy and looking green the whole season. You don’t want to spend all of that money on a new lawn, particularly a sod lawn and then have it turn brown because you didn’t install it properly or look after it after the sod was laid down. The following are the steps that one should follow to ensure a great looking lawn.

Steps – How to Install a Sod Lawn

  • Choose high quality sod – if the sod already has brown spots or looks dried out, chances are it will not look very good or grow properly once installed.
  • Prepare the soil – make sure there is at least 3 inches of high-quality topsoil that is evenly spread across the area where you’re going to install the sod. There should be no gullies  or high points and you want to pack the soil lightly before laying the sod. Use a wide rake to level the ground and prepare it for the new sod.
  • Spread fertilizer and moisten soil – spread fertilizer evenly across the ground, avoid concentrations of fertilizer to avoid burning the new sod. Dampen the soil before laying the sod to provide a nice moist environment for the roots of the new grass.
  • Keep sod moist – once the side arrives at your home keep it moist and lay it as soon as possible. If it must sit in the hot sun for anytime, spray the sod with water. You want to keep the sod from drying out.

Laying the Sod

  • Start with a straight edge – always start along the straight hedge of your yard. A concrete driveway makes an excellent straight edge, or the side of your house for example.
  • Roll out the sod – One at a time taking care to maintain the straight edge that we mentioned earlier.
  • Place edges tightly together – wherever one piece of sod touches another. This will ensure that there are no small holes or areas that lack grass.
  • Cut pieces to fit – small areas and where you must fit in a small section of sod.  e.g. along the fence, around shrubs, or trees.
  • Roll to ensure contact – use a water filled rolling drum across your lawn. This will ensure that the sod is in contact with the moist soil underneath and to level out any rough edges.
  • Water thoroughly – lack of water on the new sod during hot weather is most often the cause for sod to dry up and die. For the first two weeks make sure that your new sod has lots of water so that the roots can establish themselves in the topsail underneath the sod.
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How to Repair Bare Patches in Lawn

November 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

How to Repair Bare Patches in LawnBare patches in your lawn can occur for a number of reasons. Weak grass can die off during a dry spell. Disease and insects such as grubs etc can also cause patches of dead grass. Clearing weeds can leave more bare spaces! We will cover how to repair bare patches in lawn, but first there are some issues to consider.

How to Repair Bare Patches in Lawn – spring or fall

The best time to do repairs to your lawn is in the spring before it gets dry and hot. Early fall is also good when there is usually more rain and temperatures are lower. Leave enough time for the grass establish itself before going dormant in cold weather.

Begin by removing the dead thatch. Remove all weeds and any weaker grass around the spot you are working on. Add good top soil to ensure  the lawn will be level. Tamp the soul lightly.

Add lawn seed or sod. If you are applying lawn seed, spread it evenly and then lightly rake the soil to cover the seeds. Be careful to avoid leaving spots with no seeds.

Finally water the area gently. You should keep the soil moist until germination of the seedlings. Continue watering daily for several weeks until the new grass is well established.

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Removing Noxious Weeds

October 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Removing Noxious WeedsResidential consumers are always concerned about weeds invading their lawns and killing the grass. Removing noxious weeds or weeds that the consumer considers noxious is not the same as official lists from the government. A noxious weed list typically includes weeds that most home owners will never encounter. For example most people will never have thistles in their lawn. For farmers, thistles are a huge problem. Most consumers have to deal with dandelions in their lawns, which actually is not on the official obnoxious weed list! This post will focus more on the average urban consumer and what you can do to remove more common weeds such as dandelions, crab grass and other types of weeds.

Removing Noxious Weeds from Your Lawn

One of the most important things is to never allow the weeds to take over your lawn. If you maintain a healthy thick lawn, the weeds will have a tough time getting established. Never the less there will always be some that seem to make a toe hold in your lawn. When you see these weeds, remove them immediately so they do not become a problem.

There are several ways to remove noxious weeds from your lawn and gardens. The simplest and least time consuming method is to pull the weeds removing the entire root when you do. It may take an hour or so once a week but it is definitely worth it. Removing weeds on a regular schedule will allow you to keep ahead of them. It is also environmentally friendly.

If the weeds have over taken your lawn, you may need to spray the lawn with a weed killer of some kind. Note that many municipalities have outlawed many weed killers due to their impact on the environment. Choose the weed killer with care and apply following the instructions provided. Once they die off apply lawn seed and top soil,water until the new seedlings are healthy.

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How to Seed a Lawn

October 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

How to Seed a LawnIf you decide you want to seed your lawn instead of using sod, you will need to follow different steps. We will outline how to seed a lawn using lawn seed, a rake, a roller and medium to light mulch. It is important to keep the new lawn seed watered to help germination and continue growth. Once you have established the right kind of topsoil for your lawn the first step is to rake the soil to establish a level lawn. There are a couple of important points to remember in the step. The top soil should be level to avoid puddling during watering or rain fall. There should not be any dips or high areas to avoid the lawn mower scalping the lawn when your are mowing.

How to Seed a Lawn

Once you are confident that the top soil is level and there is good soil everywhere, it is time to move to the next step. Sow the seed using a fertilizer spreader following the same steps for fertilizer. Avoid high concentrations and gaps in the lawn seed. Always cover the area twice with the direction of spread at 90 degrees to the first application.

Next you need to lightly rake in the soil and lawn seed. Avoid changing the concentrations and only cover the seeds by one eight to one quarter of an inch. Next roll the soil to compress the soil around the seeds and causes germination to proceed quickly.

You may want to add light mulch to help retain moisture in the soil and help the lawn seed get established. Avoid heavy mulch which could smother the grass seedlings.

Water thoroughly and regularly to help with germination and to help with lawn growth until it is well established. High light the area to with ribbons or bright string to keep neighbors and children from accidentally walking across your lawn.

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Centipedegrass

June 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

CentipedegrassCentipedegrass is another warm season grass with the scientific name Eremochioa ophiuroides. It is a good low maintenance general purpose lawn that adapts well in poor soil conditions. It can also be aggressive enough to crowd out weeds and needs less mowing than most grasses. One big advantage is that this grass is resistant to chinch bugs which can decimate other grass types. This grass type can be a great low maintenance type of grass for lawns in the southern United States. It does not wear well and will only recover slowly from damage from too much foot traffic for example.

Centipedegrass

The Centipedegrass is coarse textured and has a light green texture. It can turn yellow from chlorosis and is also sensitive to low temperatures. Adding too much nitrogen will cause a build up of thatch. It is also fairly tolerant to shade.

Fertilizer should be in the range of .1 to .3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet  per year. Usually the stated amount is per month. Note that this is the amount you should add per year for this grass type.

With a shallow root system, it can be sensitive to drought or dry conditions. Water often to avoid problems. mowing height is from one to two inches.

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Improved Bermudagrass

June 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Improved BermudagrassImproved Bermudagrass is a warm season grass with the scientific name of Cynodon species. Improved bermudagrass has most of the same characteristics of common bermudagrass, however it is generally it is softer with a finer texture and more dense than it’s counterpart. It also needs more water, should be mowed more often and requires more fertilizer to keep it looking great compared to common bermudagrass. Since it is thicker and more dense, thatch control may also be required from time to time.

Improved Bermudagrass

It is not tolerant to shade and needs lots of water in dry conditions, compared to it’s sister grass.  Fertilizer from .7 to 1.0 pound per 1000 square feet per month should be added to have a healthy looking lawn. This grass type has an excellent wearability compared to other grasses we have reviewed.

Mowing height is between 1/2 inch and 1 inch. It is well adapted in the south and southwest, the east coast and the eastern mid west.

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Lawn Care Tips Year Round

November 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Lawn Care 1 Comment »

Lawn Care Tips Year RoundMost consumers want to have a great looking lawn that is the envy of their neighbors. It is actually not that difficult or that expensive if you follow a few lawn care tips and are consistent about looking after your lawn. We put together a list of lawn care tips year round that will help to ensure that your lawn not only looks great in the summer time, but all year long. It may take a few months for your lawn to respond, but it will be well worth it and you will have a lawn to be proud of. The following are our list of lawn care tips. If you have some to add, please leave us a comment and we will be happy to add them to our list.

Lawn Care Tips Year Round

Water Deeply – When you do water your lawn, water deeply delivering at least one inch of water to the lawn. You can measure the water, by leaving a small pot or can where you are watering. When there is an inch of water in the pot, it is time to stop. You can also use this same pot to monitor how much water your lawn is getting when it rains.

Water in the Early Morning Only – to avoid mildew, mold and fungus that can damage your lawn from overnight watering. Watering during the hottest period of the day will mean that you lose a lot of moisture to evaporation which is really just a waste.

Mow at a Higher Setting – to provide more protection for the roots, reduce evaporation and reduce the ability of weeds to get started. It will not eliminate the weeds, but there will be a lot less of them.

Keep your Mower Blade Razor Sharp – A sharp blade cuts the lawn rather than tearing the blades of grass. It is healthier for the grass and it also looks better as well.

Watch for Signs of Insect Damage – As soon as you suspect damage from insects, act on immediately to avoid losing your lawn. Chinch bugs and grubs are a common problem that can ruin a great looking lawn within a week. Grubs also attract animals that will dig up your lawn causing even more damage.

Watch for Signs of Summer Lawn Disease – Same applies, act quickly. Take a sample to your local garden specialist to see what the disease is or look it up online and apply the correct solution.

Remove Weeds – A thick lawn makes it hard for weeds to get started, however there will always be some. If there is just a few, 5 minutes once a week of hand picking will keep your lawn free of weeds. You may also revert to chemicals if needed, however follow the precautions stated on the package when using pesticides of any kind.

Remove Debris – Never leave debris on the lawn since it will suffocate the lawn and possible kill it. Leaves are notoriously bad for a lawn so you will want to make sure they are all removed before the winter sets in.

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Fall Lawn Care Steps

October 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Fall Lawn Care stepsLooking after your lawn and having a healthy great looking lawn can be so easy if you follow the following fall lawn care steps. This post is focused on the fall lawn care to enable a great looking lawn for the following year and is considered an important part of the annual lawn care that every consumer should follow.

Fall Lawn Care Steps

Step 1 – remove all debris from the lawn including leaves, twigs and weeds to reduce the mold that forms from rotting leaves and also allow the lawn to breathe and grow in the spring.

Step 2 – during the fall you can cut your lawn a bit lower than normal since the cooler temperatures will not hurt your lawn and also reduces the amount of evaporation. The reason you want shorter grass for the fall and winter is to avoid providing a home for small rodents that may live in your yard.

Step 3 – In late September or early October, apply fertilizer that promotes root growth so that the roots of your grass extend deeply into the soil. This will help your grass survive over winter and give it a strong start in the spring.

These are three easy steps to preparing your lawn for the winter which just about any consumer can follow. It is not expensive and by raking leaves etc you also get some exercise.

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Tips for Fall Lawn Care

October 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Tips for Fall Lawn CareOne of the best ways to ensure a great looking lawn year after year is to properly prepare your lawn in the fall. If your lawn gets through the winter in good condition, then it will look great all year round. What do you need to do to prepare your lawn for the fall. Here are several tips for fall lawn care  that will help to ensure a great looking lawn and also not break the bank. We are assuming that you the consumer will put in the effort to maintain your lawn to also help save money.

Tips for Fall Lawn Care

Add fertilizer to your lawn in late September or early October to promote root growth. Strong healthy roots that go deeply into the soil will make for healthier plants and give the grass a strong start in the spring. Your local hardware store can recommend the right fertilizer for this purpose.

Next make sure that all of the debris is removed from the lawn. Leaves, sticks, branches and weeds should be removed so that the grass has a chance to breathe and also avoid providing shelter for small rodents. By removing the leaves you also reduce the amount of mold that can form on the leaves and potentially damage the grass.

Now that it is cooler you can cut the grass a bit shorter. During the hot summer months you should have allowed the grass to grow a bit longer to reduce water evaporation from the soil and protect the roots from the hot sun. In the fall you can safely cut the grass a bot shorter which avoids leaving shelter for rodents such as mice and moles. They can create a lot of damage if given a chance.

That’s pretty much it in terms of tips for lawn care. It is pretty simple and yet you will have a really great looking lawn.

 

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Mulch your Grass Clippings

June 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Mulch your Grass ClippingsThis looks like a lot of work! Mulch your grass clippings and help your lawn at the same time by adding the nutrients from the clippings back into your lawn. Save yourself some time and hard work raking  up the clippings. Sure you may need to cut your lawn a little more often, but compared to raking the lawn after it has been cut is child’s play. Leaving the mulched clippings adds 30% of the nutrients your lawn needs back to it. If the clippings have been mulched, i.e. the clippings are very short usually less than half an inch, they will decompose more quickly and help your lawn remain healthy. The clippings will also help prevent moisture loss during dry periods.

Mulch your Grass Clippings – Cut your Grass Often

The simple trick is to cut your lawn with a mulching lawn mower whenever your grass has grown an inch. Letting it grow longer will make it more difficult for the lawn mower to do its job and you may have clumps of cut grass on your lawn which you should really rake up! An inch of grass is easy for the lawn mower to handle and it leaves your lawn looking fresh with no visible grass clipping showing.

Yes it is more work to cut the grass often, but compared to raking grass cuttings, the writer would rather cut the grass more often especially with a self propelled lawn mower.

Short clippings decompose quickly and do not build up as thatch in your lawn. Long grass clippings have a tendency to build up thatch which may clog your grass while preserving moisture in the soil. It is a bit of a trade off, but in general a mulching lawn mower will cut the grass short enough to provide nutrients, provide moisture retention and decompose quickly.

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Environmental Lawn Care

December 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Environmental Lawn CareWe talked a little bit about this golf course in our last post. We also wanted to mention that they practice a form of environment lawn care on their course. We are not going to get into the issues of their being a golf course in the middle of what is obviously a desert, however if your going to have one built, you may as well as do it in an environmentally friendly way. In their case they use non potable water which means that it is untreated and not suitable for humans to drink. It is more than suitable for a lawn and this is what they do to partially save money and to also reuse water that cannot be used for human consumption or used on gardens with fruits and vegetables. But what can the regular consumer do with regards to environment lawn care ? There is also an issue with how much water is used on golf courses, especially in the desert, but that is a subject for another post.

Environmental Lawn Care – What Can Consumers Do

You may not agree with all of these suggestions, however select those that make sense for your situation, budget and interest. Here is our list of environmental lawn care activities:

  • Use an Electric lawn mower
  • Use a manual lawn mower
  • Convert to a desert landscape that needs minimal water
  • Convert to a forest landscape with lots of mulch etc that needs minimal water
  • Let your lawn grow a little longer to promote moisture protection
  • Hand pick weeds rather than use pesticides
  • Use natural fertilizer
  • Prevent runoff to avoid fertilizers ending up in the sewer
  • Plant shrubs and trees to provide shade
  • Conserve water by using water from downspouts and runoff
  • Use a mulching lawn mower
  • Mulch all leaves and lawn debris and use as fertilizer and ground cover.

There are probably other steps that can be taken for Environmental Lawn Care and we wold appreciate any suggestions that you may have. Our readers will appreciate your ideas so that we can all help to minimize our impact on the environment. Leave us a constructive comment and we will happily approve it.

 

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