Archive for the ‘Crabgrass’ Category

May is an important month for lawns

May and September are perhaps the two biggest months when it comes to helping your lawn.  May is the best month to prevent crabgrass, reduce broad-leaf weeds, knock back ticks, spray compost tea and fertilize.  Wow, did you write that down?  Unless you set aside the time, you will surely miss the golden opportunity to set the stage for a successful lawn in 2014.  Failure to address key issues in May means your lawn may certainly suffer, and in the case of ticks, your family and pets may pick one up.  Why all the fuss you say?

Dandelions in lawn
Lawns usually begin to grow in May as soil temperatures warm to stimulate new growth just like in trees, shrubs, and flowers.  Grass must grow to recover from ice, snow, and damage resulting from surface feeding of mice or moles below ground.  Just because your lawn went to sleep last November does not mean all is well this spring because winter can deal unpredictable damage.
Since preventative crabgrass control is dictated by soil temperature, May is the best month to apply a barrier to help reduce this obnoxious weed from overtaking your own little piece of grassy paradise.  May is a great month to knock back weeds like dandelions, clover, hawk-weed, violets, “creeping Charlie”, and chickweed.  Since ticks are coming out to breed, May is the best month to spray for them around your house and wood- line to help reduce your likelihood of a pet or family member picking up a tick.
Compost tea is full of beneficial micro-organisms that fire up the natural processes in the soil below your grass.  More bacteria and fungi mean more available organic matter and a greener lawn, pure and simple.  May is a superior month to spray compost tea because is coincides with turf recovery and preparing for hotter summer weather.  As a probiotic, compost tea adds organic matter and can be sprayed right up to the water in the case of public water supplies, lakes, and streams.  For more information on compost tea, use the search function on my blog and you can find more specific benefits to compost tea in past articles.
Since most turf grass requires 3 to 4 lbs of Nitrogen from fertilizer per year, May becomes a critical month to add this important nutrient to promote a dark green, healthy lawn.  Fertilizer should be provided in a slow release formulation for a consistent, extended release that can improve winter recovery.  Slow release formulations can be in a granular form or in liquids with the proper amendments.  If you are unsure, ask your lawn care provider if they use or have these products.  In my experience, very few companies that spray liquid fertilizer have them prepared in a slow release formulation, like Chippers does.
One last note of caution, many over-the-counter grub control products, such as milky spore, are setup as preventative, not curative treatments.  (Preventative = preventing grubs from becoming established while curative = curing an existing grub problem). Therefore, applying a preventative in May is generally too early and will not kill grubs you have in your lawn right now.  This is a very common mistake, confusing curative over-the-counter products to preventative materials.  Using the wrong product will waste your time and money not to mention the objectionable application of applying an ineffective pesticide.  Knowledge is power and Chippers turf division has both.  May your lawn thrive in the month of May!

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4 Quick lawn tips for Spring

Here are four, quick audio tips for your lawn this spring now playing on the radio.  Enjoy!

 

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Summer crabgrass woes

Published by mrgrass on July 11th, 2013 - in Crabgrass

A typical July and August brings ideal summer heat for optimum crabgrass growth.  Hot summer days slow normal grass growth but crabgrass takes off like a rocket; growing up and then outward to claim weak, thin, or bare lawn areas.  If you failed to apply a pre-emergent spring crabgrass suppressant, chances are your lawn may look like the lawn to the left in the picture below compared to one treated to the right.  The lawn on the left is actually 90% crabgrass and come fall, it will all die leaving behind a brown dusty mess.    A picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, a thousand crabgrass plants!  If left untreated, millions of crabgrass seeds will take hold as a new school year begins.  If you forgot or do not think a crabgrass suppressant works, just keep looking at the picture below – with only one treatment in May, simply amazing.  Even the bare/plow damaged edges are crabgrass free as of July 9th!

Crabgrass in a lawn

Fear not, there are still treatments which can slow, thin out, or completely eliminate existing crabgrass in small, medium, and even larger areas.  Chippers’ turf division offers several post emergent sprays which can be used to target just the crabgrass, not the good grass you want to save.  One well-timed spray can provide superior results when done properly with our licensed lawn technicians.  If you have lime green crabgrass and it is starting to resemble the photo above, give me call or your local lawn care company so you don’t allow your lawn to be lost in a jungle of crabgrass this summer. 

What else can you do to prevent crabgrass from taking over? In most cases, a healthy lawn which is cut properly and treated fairly in terms of care will have the best defense against germinating crabgrass; density.  Fair care refers to fertilizing, lime, aeration, and compost tea for example but does not mean any or all need necessary be done to insure a healthy lawn.  A proper cut and a thick healthy lawn are your best natural defenses against crabgrass.  This just makes good sense.  Think for a moment, a thin lawn has hotter, exposed soil and hot soil lets crabgrass seeds germinate and grow fast – real fast.  A few too short mowing cuts can cause an explosion of crabgrass in weeks where proper 3” mowing would have prevented some, if not most, under the same conditions.

If your lawn is in trouble, have a qualified company inspect the problem and provide solutions.  Something might be appropriate now, next month, or this fall depending upon the infestation given the overall lawn location and condition.  Don’t let a good lawn go bad, stop crabgrass before it engulfs your mailbox and pets!

 

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