Archive for the ‘Fertilizer’ Category

Autumn lawn care

Published by mrgrass on September 29th, 2015 - in Fertilizer, Lime

October beckons more treats than tricks when it comes to attending to your home or commercial lawn this fall. After a brutal summer of drought and heat, October is your best last chance to make repairs before winter because the soil is warm and competitors like annual weeds are dead or dying. And that’s no trick.


Don't let fall play a trick on you see year, give your lawn plenty of treats like lime and potassium.

Don’t let bad summer weather trick you out of a great lawn this October.

As you place your pumpkin and harvest baskets of flowers out, don’t miss a golden opportunity to seize one of the best months in the year for growing healthy grass and making repairs. Consider October a cousin to May, without the cold soil and germinating annual weeds.
Have your soil tested for low potassium. I have been finding lawns low in potassium this year and October is a great month to apply a specialized blend of high potassium fertilizer designed to correct this deficiency. For the benefits of potassium fertilizer read



Have you limed lately? Fall is a wonderful time to lime your lawn. Lime will move the soil pH upward from acidic to a slightly acidic range, optimum for turf growth plus making fertilizer more available to your hungry grass. If a calcium based lime is used, your lawn will love you even more because turf loves calcium and so does your soil. For the benefits of lime read
Don’t forget about mowing height as Halloween approaches. This is the time of year when you can begin to slowly drop your mowing height from 3” in the beginning of October down to 1.75” by the time trick or treat arrives. Any mowing in November, or your final cut, can be razor short at 1.5” in preparation for snow. If you put your mower away too early, you risk having your lawn overwinter with an early 70’s hair cut that is much too long lending to snow mold, winter kill, vole and winter damage. Before winter retirement, take your mower blade off and get it sharpened. You’ll be ready for spring and your lawn will thank you.


Patience with Your Lawn

However, a living landscape is much different then ordering your coffee with extra sugar in the morning. Living plants, including grass, are not easily changed by your desires or a swipe of your debit card. This mindset is hard to break evidenced by, “If my lawn is treated today, it had better respond by at least tomorrow morning”. Sorry my friend, but there are complexities of the outdoor environment that may be difficult to control irrespective of your desires.

Red Thread is a very common disease during the summer.

Red Thread is a very common disease during the summer.

Living grass and the soil beneath is a complex ecosystem which does not easily yield to our commands and thoughtful applications. Even under the best lawn care program, high heat or drought can hinder expected improvement during the season. A harsh winter can take your lawn back five steps after so much hard work the prior season. Mowing short can undo months of hard earned results if done at the wrong time of day and year. Patience is what I recommend, with a dash of hope, to any homeowner dreaming of that emerald carpet.

Think of all the working pieces in a lawn, the soil, the grass itself, the location, and then the care it receives in terms of mowing, watering, raking and such. There are a lot of variables, each playing a role in hindering or helping overall improvement to your lawn. The instant fix mindset does not work in the realm of living plants with so many “what ifs”. Sure, there are general predicable outcomes for any action, but there are many side roads which can lead to disappointment without a measure of patience.

There are no pizzas with extra cheese in the world of lawn care, only a mower with a sharp mulching blade. Patience means knowing that one season of weed spraying may not live up to your expectations. Patience means knowing that too much water can be just as bad as no water. Patience means knowing that you cannot have instant success when dealing with living plants.

There is a Latin proverb which says, “He who endures with patience is a conqueror”. Maybe we do live in a fast-paced society with a frenzy to be the best and have it all. Perhaps patience is a lost art and could be practiced in the many areas including lawn care. A fascinating thought worthy of reflection. I hope this year you can be the conqueror of your lawn and so much more while enduring with ample patience.


Are lawn fertilizers dangerous?

Published by mrgrass on March 4th, 2015 - in Fertilizer, Lawn Care Companies

Every now and then, I hear or read random statements claiming that lawn fertilizers are dangerous. This is a topic worthy of further investigation and scientific explanation. There are many different kinds of lawn fertilizers which often can blur and dilute the discussion simply because of the wide range of materials available to professionals and home owners alike.


Most folks recognize that fertilizers are often just plain minerals manufactured for plant growth for lawns, trees, flowers, and house plants. Fertilizers can have a base source of organic material, natural (blended), or straight manufactured minerals for plant consumption. Within these categories there are slow release types, zero phosphate forms, and a host of other varieties dependent upon the use and intended results.

A desirable lawn fertilizer should have characteristics including slow release of Nitrogen and Potassium, plus no phosphate due to use around waterways as dictated by state and federal regulations. A perfect example would be Lake Sunapee in NH. To protect the drinking water, the Shoreland Protection Act requires use of a slow release, zero phosphate fertilizer be used no closer than 25ft to the surface water.

Lake Sunapee is also a watershed that means unless you have very specific permits issued by the state, any application to the landscape cannot occur within 250ft of the lake. This important safeguard protects both the beauty of the lake and the water supply for those living in and around this watershed. Chippers lawn and plant health care division has such a permit due to the precise use of our advanced product choices for not only lawn fertilizers but for weed and pest control as well.

Since grass is a living filter and growing every day, proper mowing and watering play a large role in protecting our lakes, ponds, stream and rivers. The correct use of lawn fertilizers promotes a healthy turf area, reduces erosion, and creates a safe play area during our brief summers. Since most turf in NH requires 3-4lbs of Nitrogen per year, a balanced lawn program will satisfy this requirement under most conditions of use. Excessive watering, short mowing habits, and misuse of any kind of lawn fertilizer are certainly potentially harmful to our waterways and aquatic friends.

Not only does the product itself play an important role due to its inherent chemical properties, but the applicator, including home owners, are responsible for safety when using fertilizers in any situation. As in any business, proper certification, licensing, and training are all key ingredients toward managing a healthy landscape while using lawn fertilizers as one tool for property enhancement and enjoyment. Talk with your landscape expert if you have questions or concerns.

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