Archive for May, 2012

Liquid vs. Dry Lawn Treatments

Published by JKeefe on May 22nd, 2012 - in Fertilizer, Lawn Care Companies

Liquid vs Dry Lawn TreatmentsLiquid vs Dry Lawn Treatments

 

As far as your lawn cares, it simply wants some Nitrogen each year to assist in growing and some help if disease or pests are present.  Your lawn does not care if the lawn application is liquid or dry.  Issues arise only when cost and ease of treatment come into question between lawn care companies.  There are pro and cons to each method of fertilizer use, so let’s start with the liquid vs dry debate.  (more…)

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Weed Control: Pre-emergent vs. Post-emergent

Published by JKeefe on May 14th, 2012 - in Broadleaf Weeds, Lawn Care Companies

 

I have lots of folks asking the difference between treatments that claim control over annual broadleaf weeds, or pre-emergent weeds like spurge, vs. post-emergent weeds such as dandelions.  While this is often a very confusing distinction, a brief explanation will clear things up and differentiate between the two types of weed control.

Annual broadleaf weeds germinate beginning in late April and continue throughout the summer.  The early season crabgrass suppression treatment not only inhibits crabgrass, but these annual broadleaf weeds as well.  Therefore, these weeds don’t even germinate because of this first treatment in many lawn programs.  However, this type of treatment will not control existing weeds like dandelions or clover.  A subsequent treatment which targets these perennial or biennial broadleaf weeds works completely different by attacking the plants you see in your lawn right now.  This is done by contact with the leaf surface and by absorption into the root system.

Although there are some annual broadleaf weeds which will germinate later and not be controlled by the first treatment in April or May, subsequent weed treatments in a post-emergent setting will address those villains.  Another option to naturally reduce both annual and perennial/biennial broadleaf weeds involves turf building by adding compost tea, kelp, annual aeration/overseeding, lime, as well as natural or organic fertilizer.  A healthy lawn that is thick and growing will naturally crowd out a huge amount of weeds over time without the need for broadleaf weed control treatments.  However, many folks like to speed the process up by having a few select weed reduction treatments followed up by a conversion to natural treatments afterward.

So, if you are confused about pre-emergent weed control versus post-emergent weed control, I hope you feel a little better after reading this short blog post!  Have a great spring and don’t fear, “Mrgrass” is always near!

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Topdress and Aerate Your Lawn This Spring

Spring is a great time to fix your lawn before the summer heat moves in.

Spring is an ideal time to topdress and aerate your lawn; two steps that can really improve your lawn. Topdressing is a process where you add a thin layer of compost or soil on the lawn surface to add organic material.  This process is ideal for seeding as it makes a nice surface for grass to germinate.  Instead of adding yards or truck loads of soil and starting from scratch, some lawns can be salvaged with just ¼ to ½ inch of topdressing.  This process won’t bury existing healthy grass but fill in around it like water around an island, creating a great seeding surface.  Another benefit of topdressing allows you to seed over any weed or crabgrass barrier which may have been recently applied since doing so into the soil would be futile; it just won’t work because the chemicals prevent seed germination.

Spring aeration and overseeding is an excellent process which can help thicken up a lawn, with or without utilizing topdressing.  Aerate when soil moisture is good to enhance seed germination in the holes created by the machine.  (a line about overseeding?)

Everyone has some degree of winter damage or bare spots from plowing or salt use over the winter.  May and early June are ideal times to repair these often neglected areas of your lawn.  Addressing these weak links will make the entire lawn look better during the summer.  Left unchecked, bare spots will yield crabgrass and broadleaf weeds no matter how many times you spray.  The solution lies with replacing open soil spaces with healthy turf grass.  Perennial rye is a great grass to use in the spring because it germinates fast and is tough.  Crabgrass is a fierce competitor so the sooner you get “good” grass to germinate; the better off your lawn is as summer approaches.  No amount of spraying will suppress the inevitable weed infestation as bare soil heats up and fills in with fat crabgrass plants.

Take advantage of May and June’s cooler, wetter weather and get your lawn ready for summer before you leave for the beach this year!

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