Lawn Mowers


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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Budget Lawn Care

December 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Budget Lawn CareThis beautiful golf course is struggling because they are probably applying budget lawn care techniques. It is also a very dry climate and it is pretty tough to keep the grass looking healthy and green all of the time. This is their challenge and the challenge of most home owners who want a great looking lawn on a budget. We decided to write this post to describe to consumers just how they can maintain their lawn while on a budget and still have a really great looking lawn. It is not that hard. You might not have the best and most lush looking lawn but it will certainly be healthy and something to be proud of. So exactly what do you need to do?

Budget Lawn Care – Techniques

All it takes is water, fertilizer, weed control, lawn seeding and mowing to have a great looking lawn. Each of these items will cost some money, but the more work you do on your own the less it will cost. A thick healthy looking lawn has a better chance of resisting the weeds. Fertilizer and regular watering will accomplish that. If you have only a few weeds, hand pick those out of the grass, otherwise apply weed control several times a year.

Regular mowing is great too, but do not let it get too long or you will damage the grass when it is cut. At the same time do not cut it too short as well. cutting it too short allows for faster evaporation of moisture which dries out the grass more quickly. In dry times allow the grass to grow a bit longer, while when it is raining a lot you can cut it a bit shorter. Adjust your lawn mowers cutting height accordingly to manage the amount of water you need which in turn reduces the cost of water consumed.

Spreading lawn seed over your lawn during prime growing season with a little topsoil added and lots of water will cause the seeds to germinate and thicken up your lawn. In turn a thick lawn keeps the weeds from growing as well.

Manage your costs and if you decide to hire a company, evaluate just how much it would cost if you did everything on your own. It might be a chance to save money and keep to your budget.  Once your lawn is in great shape, there will be less work involved to keep it that way. All it takes is regular mowing at the right times, fertilizer consistent with the time of year and weed treatment on a regular basis. With water and sun, your lawn will look great within weeks and it is easy to keep it that way, provided that you do the regular maintenance.

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Fall lawn maintenance

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

Fall lawn maintenanceIt is that time of year when homeowners must prepare their lawns for the coming winter. The basic things that everyone should do to ensure that their lawn survives the winter so it will look great next spring includes removing all debris such as branches and leaves falling to the ground. If you have any pine trees or Cedar Trees you will also want to remove all of the needles that fall to the ground. It is amazing how many Pine Needles fall from the tree every year. If you have a pool, leaves and needles are going to be blown into your pool, sink to the bottom and become a rotting mess next spring when it comes time to open the pool. the best approach in addition to having an air tight surface cover on your pool is to rake all of the leaves up from your lawn and also to remove any leaves from the pool in the fall when they are still intact and relatively easy to remove.

Fall lawn maintenance – don’t Leave the Grass Too Long

In addition to removing all debris, the lawn should be cut one final time to ensure that it is not too long that it provides a home for small animals such as mice and moles. The small animals will create trails underneath the snow in the grass and leave a maze of trails with dead grass all over your lawn. It can be pretty messy if you have this happen to your lawn. While your lawn will recover, it will take a few weeks before the trails disappear and the lawn is back to normal.

Approximately one month before the end of the season consumers should also apply fall fertilizer. This fertilizer is especially designed to promote root growth and a healthy lawn for the next season. If you have a grub problem, begin treating the lawn in August with grub control treatment. You will need to apply several applications to properly deal with the grubs. You will know if you have a grub problem when your grass looks thin and animals are digging up your lawn to get at the grubs. They apparently are considered a delicacy by skunks and raccoons! We have seen entire lawns ruined by these grubs and the animals digging up the lawn to get at them.

Consumers will also want to protect small shrubs from heavy snow load. Heavy snow can break the branches of a small shrub ruining it for the next season. Consumers can build small wooden tents over the shrub to protect it from the snow. Taller shrubs should be wrapped in burlap after the first snow or freezing cycle to avoid broken branches etc.

These are maintenance activities that will improve the overall look of your property and preserve your investment in shrubs and your lawn for the coming year. These steps are relatively easy to accomplish, do not take a lot of time or expense and is well worth the investment.

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Fall Lawn Care

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

Fall Lawn CareFall lawn care is very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy looking lawn. Failure to prepare your lawn for the winter can mean dead patches of grass in the spring, a thin lawn and it also can provide shelter for lots of animals through the winter if the leaves and other debris are not removed. They make little trails under the snow and under the debris and leaves, which will kill the grass and leave a patchwork looking lawn in the spring.  Raking debris and leaves in the fall before the snow arrives can prevent this and keep your lawn looking great. Consumers can do most of the work themselves, however they can also arrange for contractors and lawn care companies to do the work that is needed on their behalf. Whatever you decide, the following should be considered as part of your regular fall lawn care routine.

Fall Lawn Care Routines

One of the main steps is to make sure that all leaves and any other debris is removed from the lawn. Leaves on the lawn provide shelter for small animals to burrow under and they also suffocate the grass. Rake up all of the leaves, dead branches and any other material that is on your lawn. You can use the leaves for composting or bag the leaves which the city will pick up.

Cut your grass and keep it relatively short. this also prevents the small animal problem. Mice, moles and other rodents cannot make a home in the long grass over the winter if it is kept short.

Apply fall fertilizer to promote root growth and prepare the grass for winter. The fertilizer should be applied in late fall  while the grass is still growing so it can be absorbed and utilized by the plants. Applied too late it will just sit there or runoff during rain storms etc and not be absorbed by your grass.

Also apply grass seed early in the fall when there is at least a month of growing season left. This way the seeds have time to germinate and grow before winter sets in. This will thicken your lawn and fight off the weeds that may try to penetrate your lawn. The best deterrent for weeds is a healthy, thick and well looked after lawn. Weeds will still penetrate in a few locations, however in most areas they will be smothered by the healthy grass which is exactly what you want to happen. The need to apply weed control will be less which saves money and helps the environment as well. Your lawn will look great all year round as a result.

Simple steps, that will contribute to a great looking lawn next spring that the average person can do quite easily.

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Lawn Care Signs

October 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Lawn Care 1 Comment »

Lawn Care SignsAs a consumer do you really want to have lawn care signs dotting your lawn? Typically lawn care companies want to advertise their services and one of the ways they do this is to place small lawn care signs on the lawn at corners etc. They attract people passing by and usually there is a phone number, web site address etc for potential customers to obtain their information.  Would you be willing to allow your lawn care company to place signs on your lawn? Snow removal companies do the same thing, but at least they have an excuse. The signs are used to indicate the edge of the driveway so that they do not damage your lawn on the side of the driveway.

Lawn Care Signs

This writer is not actually in favor of allowing lawn care signs on our own lawn. Perhaps for the first time it would be alright, but after a few days it is definitely coming down. The other time it may be ok and in fact you need to place signs, is when you apply weed control, then it is mandatory to let people know that they should not be on your lawn after weed control is applied. You want to make sure that children and pets are kept off the lawn.

Most weed control applications are ok after a few days or after a rain has washed all of the weed control material into the ground. The next time you cut the lawn, the signs can be removed. If you are applying weed control on your own and not using a lawn care company, you really should put some sort of signage up to ensure that kids and adults are protected from coming in contact with the weed control material.

Lawn care signs are definitely not for everyone. We would just as soon not allow them on our own lawn, unless weed control is applied. Then a combination of  advertising and warning of weed application is probably ok. Commercial applications on commercial properties are a different matter. In this case, the owner may not care or if the lawn is in great shape, they may be proud of their lawn and allow the signs.

Sometimes commercial companies will give a discount if you allow then to place their advertising on your lawn. A 5% discount might not be unreasonable for this service. Make sure that the sign remains on the lawn for a significant period of time or at least as long as the agreement specifies. This is a subcontract and both parties should get their value out of the deal. We have not tested this particular approach and would be interested if any homeowners were successful with this approach. Even a 10% discount would be interesting and worthwhile to allow signs on your lawn for a specified time frame.

Placing the sign at the edge of your property along the road or at one corner of your lot might also be ok. Your neighbor might object, however if it is on your property he cannot really object to the Lawn Care Signs being in this location.

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Organic Lawn Care Program

September 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Lawn Care No Comments »

Organic Lawn Care ProgramFollowing an organic lawn care program can be difficult for many people especially if there are a lot of weeds on neighborhood lawns. We have found that a combination of organic lawn care and traditional lawn care seems to work best. Following this approach we are able to have a really great looking lawn, but also have some control over the pesticides that we are introducing to the environment. We also are very careful of our pets and children as well as ourselves when it comes to using any chemicals. There is not much we can do about our neighbors lawn, but we can keep ours looking great and set the example for them to follow. Sometimes peer pressure works and causes people to take an interest and improve their lawns just because their neighbors take great care of their lawns.

Organic Lawn Care Program – what Is It

Basically it means that you do not use any harmful chemicals to control insects and weeds on your lawn. What should you do as an alternate? Unfortunately some people just let their lawns go. They still mow them once a week, but they are full of weeds and look terrible as well as contribute to weeds in neighborhood lawns much to the disgust of those neighbors.

Dandelions and other large leaf weeds are pretty easy to deal with. If you dig them up every time you see one, it can take only a few minutes every week to deal with these weeds. Other smaller leaf weeds are more difficult and will take more time to remove. However if you stick with the removing them every week, you can control them well. In addition, the key to fighting off weeds is to have a really healthy lawn. Apply grass seed to thicken the lawn, apply high quality top dressing to provide the lawn with lots of nutrients and use an organic fertilizer as well. Make sure it gets lots of water as well to ensure a healthy thick lawn which will be more resistant to weeds.

Organic Lawn Care Program – Spot Program

We also use some inorganic products to control weeds, We tend to apply this where there is a concentration of weeds instead of pulling them one by one. We do not apply the pesticide throughout the entire lawn and reduce or control the amount applied this way. The one exception is dealing with grubs. Once you have an infestation of grubs, you pretty much have to spray the entire lawn, because the grubs will kill the grass and the animals will dig up your lawn looking for grubs to eat.

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Need More than Lawn Mowing Service

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

Lawn Mowing ServiceConsumers with all sizes of lawns need more than lawn mowing service in many cases. For some like the one in this picture, mowing the lawn probably takes too much time and they have more important things to do. They also have lots of gardens and shrubs that need maintenance services on a regular basis. For others they just do not want to be bothered with looking after a lawn and hire a lawn mowing service. Then there are a few that simply cannot do it themselves and will hire a lawn mowing service to look after their lawns. If you need your lawn mowed, what other things do you need in addition to someone just cutting the lawn? Fertilizer, weed treatment, watering, patching, removal of leaves and debris in the fall and spring are just a few of the other types of services that may be needed.

Lawn Mowing Service – Other Services

In addition to someone cutting the lawn, many home owners would like the edges of the lawn trimmed so that it looks nice and neat. They also would like any grass cuttings swept off of driveways and sidewalks and disposed of. Fertilizer should be applied at regular intervals to ensure strong root growth and strong blade growth so that you have a nice healthy looking lawn. In most locations, fertilizer should be added four times a year.

Lawns also benefit from the annual application of lawn seed and top dressing to help thicken the lawn. This application of lawn seed and top dressing will also help to control weeds as well since weeds have a difficult time growing in a healthy thick lawn. A healthy thick lawn is actually the best defense against weeds making inroads in an otherwise great looking lawn.

Water is also important. In large lawns it can be difficult and expensive unless you have an underground sprinkler system to water your lawn on a regular basis. Making sure that your lawn gets regular watering will keep it looking green all year round. If you cannot water the lawn on a regular basis, let your lawn grow a bit longer to help conserve moisture in the ground.  If your lawn turns brown do not despair, as long as your lawn gets some rain, it will simply enter a dormant stage and then return once it rains or is watered. Your lawn care specialist should be discussing these options with you rather than just automatically applying fertilizer or cutting the lawn each week. The good ones care about your lawn and just do not focus on providing the service whether it needs it or not. We have all probably seen a dried out lawn that has not grown much being cut by some guy who could care less about your lawn. Avoid this type and hire someone who genuinely wants to see a nice looking lawn.

It is even more important to add grass seed and top dressing in the spring when there is lots of moisture to promote a healthy lawn. This is the best time for new seedlings to grow, establish roots and help to thicken your lawn.

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