Useful info Lawn mowing A properly mowed lawn will have a tremendous effect on the appearance of your property. The mowing height is an importance factor to consider. For best appearance, turf should be maintained at a consistence height.
Mowing is one of the most important cultural practices performed in lawn maintenance, regardless of whether the lawn is fertilized, irrigated or receives applications of control products. Proper mowing practices are essential if a high quality lawn is to develop. Properly mowed lawns will have fewer weed populations, better moisture, stress tolerance, and ultimately better quality than lawns not maintained within recommendations.
Grasscycling Grasscycling is the natural way to recycling grass-clippings by leaving them on the lawn when mowing. It is a simple and effective way to help conserve landfill capacity while benefiting from getting a greener and healther lawn
Grasscycling does not spread lawn diseases, and does not cause thatch build-up in the lawn
A previous study at the USDA research station in Beltville Maryland, showed that thatch is composed primarily of grass roots, not clippings. Clippings left on the lawn decay quickly and release valuable nutrients back to the lawn. It has been proven that it is an effective method for turf management... It also provides an important opportunity for everyone to participate in curbside waste management while saving $ by reducing lawn mowing labor cost
However, for all customers who must have their clippings taking away due to using the area for kids-play or are allergic to it, there is no need to feel guilt. Local laws requires us "the mowers" to take all clippins to the yard waste recycling center where all clippings are procesed and converted into organic matters (fertilizers, and other environmentally friendlyenergy sources)
Keeping blades Sharp One of the most important things to ensure a quality cut is keeping the blades sharp. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen blades after 10/20 hours of use. Cutting with dull blades actually tears the grass instead of cutting it, causing the top part of the grass blade to turn brown. That will result in a dull and patchy look throughout your lawn.
Alternating mowing Patterns Mowing in the same direction (week after weeks) will leave tire marks and compact the soil and turf.
We use two or three mowing patterns and alternate between them weekly... This will prevent soil compaction and give an interesting patterns on the lawn.
Making sure the cutting height is right Cutting the lawn too short makes it vulnerable to disease and insects, because the crown is extremely exposed. Lawn dehydration also take place when cut too short in the drier and hotter months, causing the grass to die, and as a result, heat-resistant weeds will take-over the lawn.
All mowing machines should cut at a height calibrated accordingly to prevent grass damage.
Mowing Conditions We try not to mow when it is wet. In Spring that may be hard to do but mowing when wet will cause soil compaction and give us a less desirable finish cut.
However, if grass must be cut to prevent over-growth due to continuing rains we must consider xtracare to prevent damages to the turf, perhaps some-times the use of smaller or lighter machines will be necesary.
Aeration Aeration helps loosen compacted soil, a common condition in most lawns. Aeration increases oxygen levels, allows the lawn to breath, increases roots growth, improves the exchange of water and air in and out of the soil, helps reduce thatch level and the decomposition of existing thatch.
Core Aeration Core aeration is the process in which a machine is used to remove small cores of soil from the lawn. The opening of the soil will permit free movement of water, fertilizer, and air. In addition, it will relieve soil compaction, this will encourage more vigorous root growth and allows them to grow to a greater depth Thatch Thatch is a layer of dead, decaying plants tissue, and growing root stems that builds up in between the soil surface and the grass. Thatch absorbs water and nutrients, and the roots of the grass are drawn up rather than penetrating the soil.
Fertilizing Weed and feed - Choosing the Right Fertilizer The USDA mandates that products sold as soil nutrients must have their essential nutrients displayed on the container. These numbers represent percentage by weight. The order of the numbers is- Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. If there is a fourth number it represents Sulfur and would not be good on turf (Sulfur is an acid-loving plant food good for Azaleas and other acidic-soil plants). Choosing the right fertilizer at the right time of year is important to the lawn’s health. Using the wrong fertilizer can burn your grass or promote poor root growth. The biggest thing to watch is your Nitrogen content. Using a fertilizer with High Nitrogen content during the middle of Summer will burn the grass. Always check the bag for application rate. Nitrogen promotes overall growth and makes grass that green color that everyone wants. Phosphorus and Potassium promote root growth. The following schedule gives a pretty good idea of when certain things need to be done.
November, December and January This is a good time to apply lime. Lime will bring the soil to a pH level that is good for grass and bad for weeds. Lime is also a soil softener, it will help to prevent soil compaction.
February Depending on when the season starts or weather conditions, you will want to put out pre-emergent fertilizer BEFORE the grass begins to grow. Pre emergent fertilizer will prevent a lot of seed-weeds from germinating, but be careful because it will also prevent grass seed from germinating (so you will want to seed in the Fall) mid September to mid October before all the leaves from trees are down
March This is the time for the second fertilizer application. You will want to wait about 6 weeks between applications (if you have not had much rain you may want to wait a couple extra weeks). This application should be a high nitrogen (the first number in the formula) fertilizer. Use a fertilizer with nitrogen content between 20 and 32. An ideal fertilizer for this application would be 28-10-20.
Ordo nothing in February, and do a combination of weed and feed early in March.it may help save some money!
April The first week of April is a good time to apply crabgrass pre emergent, it will prevent crabgrass and some other weed-grasses seed from germinating.
May It’s time to start thinking about Summer. Put out a fertilizer with low Nitrogen and high Phosphorus and Potassium. This will give the root system a boost before the dry season comes on. Remember to use a very low nitrogen on this application, a good fertilizer would be 5-20-20.
Julay If you want to boost the green on the lawn at this time of year use pelletized iron.This will give you the green without burning the lawn like nitrogen will.
August This is generally the hottest month of the year. Remember if you are watering to only do it early in the morning. Late in the month put a light application of a fertilizer with a 0 nitrogen content. A rating of 0-15-15 will be good to prepare the soil for Aeration and seeding. If you have broadleaf weeds apply a spray weed killer. Be sure that the spray is a broadleaf weed killer only (this will be listed on the bottle). If you have crabgrass, spot spray a herbicide on the center of clumps (keep the spray low to the ground so you only kill the crabgrass). All of this will prepare the lawn for fall aeration and seeding Mid September to mid October Aeration/over-seeding. Aeration controls soil compaction, and helps the development for stronger root system to the lawn. After aeration and over seeding the lawn, it is recommended to fertilize with a medium fertilizer (12-10-10).
November Around mid to the end of the month, put out a high nitrogen fertilizer to keep the lawn green through winter.
December Congratulations, we made it to another year just to be come older. Happy Holidays, a new year is about to emerge!
Seeding By following the nature life cycle of most grasses which go to seed during summer and then germinates in the early fall, you will get the best most vigorous stands with the least competition from weeds and insect pest and avoid the chances of newly seeded grass from getting burnt in the hot summer months. Seeding can be done in early Spring or preferably in early Fall, but for the best results we recommend that seeding be done following a de-thatching, slicing or aeration. By removing any accumulated thatch and with the loosening of soil that is the result of core aeration, you get the most "seed to soil" contact which is crucial to seed germination.
For most lawns we use TALL FESCUE BLEND, this blend consists of improved tall fescue varieties that offer good resistance to brown patch and other turf diseases, plus faster recovery to damaged areas.
In shady areas like under trees we use a shady mix blend containing low light grasses.
Before we spread the seed we use a machine to loosen the soil. More attention is considered to bald spots and areas where "existing lawn" growth is thin.
Following, we use a spreader to distribute grass seed evenly. We pay close attention during this process to avoid getting seed in planting areas "garden beds" and patios. In addition we hand seed near the edges of plantin beds to help create denser growth around the edges, so when it is mowed it will get a sharp manicured look.
To settling the seed, we go over the seeded area with a roller or use the back of a leaf rake, this will help make seed to soil contact
To accelerate seed germination and root development, we recommend to spread starter fertilizer during the seeding process
To prevent birds from eating the seed and to promote moisture to aid the seed, we spread a layer of organic leafgro or straw for "newly lawns"
We will provide a door hanger that reminds to water early in the morning and during the day rather than evenings, as late watering can encourage the spread of fungus and disease.
Sodding Sod is a contained grass and soil held together by the grass root system, sodding is like installing a new grass carpet. If a lawn has many bald spots or is being over-taken by all kind of weeds, and if for any reason a nice lawn is needed quickly, then sodding will be the right solution, because in most cases sod can be installed in one or two days in a small lawn.
Watering a newly seeded lawn The seeded area should be watered regularly with a light spray so the surface of the soil is never allow to dry out, consider frequency rather than duration. Frequent light irrigation cycles provide more consistently available water to the seed. Make sure the seeded area is moist late in the day, this will ensure water is available for many hours because night time evaporation is low. Once the seed is crowned it is important to continue watering until the grass plant is firmly established, other wise the tiny delicate seedling will die.
6 to 8 weeks later we recommend to apply fertilizer. Doing so, after all this hard working venture, it is time to feel proud, a nice developed green lawn is about to emerge! Watering established lawns No need to water in the Spring unless natural rainfall is delayed more than 10 days. There after, deep watering will help the turfgrass establish adequate roots and provide sufficient moisture between watering cycles. To determine when to water use a probe that removes a core of soil at least four to six inches below the surface. When watering does take place, it should moisten the soil to a depth of at least four to six inches. This will cause the plant roots to sink deeper, seeking the reservoir of moisture. It will take an inch of water to wet the soil four to six inches deep. To achieve this, it will take about 45 minutes of watering. If not sure and want a better understanding without the testing A lawn needs about an inch of water a week, be it from rain or sprinkler. This can be accomplished with one good thorough soaking instead of daily watering for a few minutes at a time. It’s fairly easy to determine how long a particular sprinkler needs to run to provide an inch. When watering, place a couple of coffee cans or other containers in the path of the sprinkler. Note how long it takes to get one inch of water in the containers. The best time of day to water is in the early morning because generally there is less wind and helps to reduce problems associated with disease.
Home owners with irrigation system in place To prevent over watering that causes root rotting, nutrients to sink too deep or wash away from plants and turf area and the creation of an environment for fungus and disease. We recommend to turn-on irrigation system in June rather than in April or May unless nature has delayed rainfall for over 10 days. Doing so, not only will help eliminate over watering problems, but also save money by reducing water usage However, this only applies to systems that relies on timers rather than system with moisture sensing capabilities that tells the systen to turn water on when sensors read the level of moisture is too low.
Bush Trimming Shrubbery is an importance part of a healthy and attractive lawn. Trim the bushes to your desire shape in the spring. Resizing or trimming back more than 15% to most ever-green shrubs can be done in the spring and in September/October. And have a neat and clean looking yard the following year! Trimming Flowering Shrubs The easy way is to remember to trim shrubs a month after they finish blooming. This eliminates the risk of removing next year's blossoms. Tree Trimming Go ahead and give' em a good trim. Tree trimming done correctly promote good branch structure and improve the overall health of the tree by removing dead, diseased and dying branches. Thinning the crown also permits new growth and better air circulation. Regular pruning to remove weak, diseased or dead branches can be done at any time of the year.
Mulch Mulching trees and shrubs or any landscaped bed is a good method to reduce landscaping maintenance and keep plants healthy. Mulch help conserve moisture 10/15 percent reduction in soil moisture loss from evaporation. The proper proportion and application of mulch help keep the soil well aerated by reducing soil compaction that result when raindrops hit the soil, It also reduce water runoff and soil erosions Mulch eliminates the need of mowing around trees and shrubs, and provides a physical barrier that prevents damages from lawn mowers and weed-trimmers Adequate setting of mulch is key at stoping some seeds from germinating by preventing light from reaching them, it also enriches and protects soil and plants, it help regulate soil tempeture, insulating plant roots from tempeture extremes, helping to provide a better growing environment and a greater look to your property.
Mulching Mulch should not exceed 2 inches thick, and should not be placed up around the trunks of trees and bushes, because it will promote root growth at the base of these plants, which rotting can occur at the root flair due to excess moisture on the trunk wood. A plant can also decline and die due to root suffocation.
Mulching new beds - initial installation of mulch should be at 3" thick, and then 1¾ - 2" thick once or twice a year from then on. This is the right amount to allow for mulch decomposition from year to year without excess build-up. Excess build up of mulch not only will cause the problem said above, but also will form a hard crust on top that will deter water movement through soil that is vital for most plants.
Gutter Cleaning: Avoiding gutter cleaning is never a good idea Over the course of time, an organic muck builds-up creating a good medium for growing all kind of stuff adding weight making gutters vulnerable to get separated from it fascia boards and collapse Dirty gutters with cloged down-spout will create a host of ills. Water will over-flow in all directions causing erotion problems and rotted fascia boards. Sometime water makes it way in between sidings to inside the house and basements. We recommend to clean gutters at least twice a year, making sure all down-spout are free flow.