Archive for August, 2012

Spraying compost tea on your lawn is a great idea this fall

Published by mrgrass on August 31st, 2012 - in Compost Tea, Lawn Care Companies

The link below activates a short video for your viewing enjoyment.


Demonstration of spraying compost tea on a lawn



Broadleaf weed problems?


As Labor Day approaches, you are likely forced to think about school resuming and the sad state of affairs with your lawn.  If you have an average lawn in New Hampshire or Vermont, you are likely going to find fat broadleaf weeds like plantain, dandelions, and clover among a host of other weedy villains.  Let us not forget to give tribute to the massive crop of crabgrass which has now grown into your driveway, patio, and walkway cracks!  You my friend have lawn problems!  What to do?  There must be something that can be done!

If you attempted to treat for weeds this summer, your efforts were most likely in vain due to high temperatures and dry conditions.  Broadleaf weeds are best reduced when they are actively growing which usually occurs with cool fall or spring weather when soil moisture is adequate.  Any summer spraying usually just causes the surrounding turf to brown under the stress and the weed itself might look a worse for wear but does not die.  This year brought such unusually hot and dry weather, attempting to keep a lawn free of weeds and especially crabgrass seemed like spraying a house on fire with a garden house.  While proper mowing does help, irrigation became vital if your well supported the flow or your town did not put a watering ban in effect.  Brown grass caused the soil to heat up quickly where dormant crabgrass and annual weed seeds popped up and grew overnight, basking in the hot noon sun.  That is the past and explains why your lawn may look the way it does today, even with professional care.

Moving forward, you have two main options, renovate and repair damaged lawn areas to regain lost lawn or go after the weeds once we get cooler, wetter weather.  My advice to most folks is to aerate and seed in the fall and repair any lawn damage without the pressure of crabgrass and annual weeds, that are now dying (something about them dying in the fall).  With reduced competition, fall becomes the best time to overseed and aerate a lawn after a brutal New England growing season.  Go after the weeds next spring when seeding is less effective and crabgrass lurks, just waiting to over run your best efforts in lawn repair.  There is little time now to spray for weeds and seed, given most weed control products have a one month waiting period before seeding is recommended. My advice for the average home owner is to get as much grass back now and then deal with the weeds next spring.  Try improving the soil quality by adding sea kelp or compost tea to get an edge next spring.  The next few months are critical and should be taken full advantage of if you really want to make a difference in your home lawn; not only this fall but to set the stage for the entire growing season of 2013!


Grubs are eating your lawn right now!

Grub damage in a lawn

Grubs love a sunny lawn with warm soil



Grubs in your lawn right now and into the fall are likely hidden beneath brown grass.  While crows and skunks may alert you to this lawn problem, grubs are growing fat thanks to the hot, dry summer.  Grubs destroy the root system (or whatever it is they do!) so it is important to take action against this lawn pest. What is a home owner to do?

Take action this fall before winter arrives.  To reduce the grub population, your lawn can be sprayed several times with cedar oil for an organic approach or more traditional products can be applied. One hundred percent control should not be expected since the larger the grub, the harder they are to knock down.  Any reduction in the population will be helpful, especially if you have animals digging on a nightly basis.  The same method of grub reduction can be employed next spring for additional results.  I do not normally endorse wide spread use of preventative action toward insects in general, mostly because in a normal year insects are usually kept in balance. However, this dry, hot year is anything but normal, so added control measures are certainly prudent.  The best approach for lawns with a history of insect damage would be to consider a preventative treatment in 2013 which will provide the highest degree of satisfaction.

If your lawn has experienced severe damage, renovations are better done this fall including seeding, topdressing, liming, and fertilizing to help set the stage for 2013.  Failure to repair damage this fall means you miss out on warm soil, cool nights, and generally warm days; ideal grass growing weather.  An added bonus is the absence of annual weeds and crabgrass which will not interfere with fall seeding results compared to waiting for the spring of 2013 when they will thrive.  In general, seeding is best done in the fall because of these important factors.

If you suspect your brown lawn has more than a water issue, give your local turf expert a call and get it checked out before you carve that Halloween pumpkin!

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