Posts Tagged ‘cleanup’

Spring Lawn Checklist 2014

Goodbye winter, hello green!

The snow is mostly gone, you may even have a few lingering snow banks that refuse to leave, but for the most part, your lawn is begging for some attention.  Here is a handy spring checklist for your home lawn as you prepare for spring.

1. Plow damage.  It’s been a snowy, rough winter and if you had your driveway plowed, you are likely going to have plow damage.  Chunks of sod and lawn likely got plowed up along the edges and pushed further back onto your lawn.  These pieces of turf chunks may be close to their original location which is now just a scar in the dirt.  If possible, try to put the lawn puzzle back together and place the grass pieces back onto bare soil.  It may well be weeks before anything else can be done and during that time frame, those pieces of grass will start to break dormancy and grow.  Having them at least touching soil is better than mulching your unharmed lawn where they currently reside.  You can always move these grassy sections later and seed as needed into surrounding bare areas.

2. Debris. You may well find gravel, junks of asphalt, branches, leaves, and other debris that simply don’t belong on a grassy surface.  The sooner you can rake and remove this debris, the better.  If the debris is left in its current location, you may not see it during your first mow.  Nothing is more painful than hitting sticks, rocks, and gravel with your mower having been placed onto your lawn by a plow truck.  Leaves left in piles or allowed to matt, especially in shade, will simply mulch any existing grass depending upon its health and density.  The less debris the better.

3. Raking. There are two ways to rake a lawn, one is intentionally damaging- power raking/dethatching, the other is just plain hand raking or using a pull behind tractor implement.  I do not recommend power raking/dethatching unless the lawn has a severe, and by severe I mean a thatch problem- over 1” thick.  Most lawns do not have this kind of depth when it comes to thatch.  As a result, if the average lawn is power raked, it is actually damaged by the process of tearing and cutting.  Since the grass is dormant, and likely stressed by winter ice/snow/cold damage, power raking tears up roots and actually thins a lawn which in most cases is not a desired outcome.  If seeing piles of dead grass blades makes you feel warm inside, you might want to look at a coffee or hot cocoa instead, it certainly will do less damage to your lawn.  I have seen perfectly healthy lawns nearly destroyed by well intended landscapers, only to be called in to repair the damage by overseeding and other processes.  Stick with a hand rake and fluff the lawn up to help it warm and start to grow, or hire someone to do a spring cleanup which includes light raking.  If your lawn has a thatch issue, consider core aeration later in the spring or fall after it has recovered from winter damage.

4. Fertilizer/Crabgrass control. If you are going to use either fertilizer and crabgrass control blended together- don’t put it down too early.  A crabgrass barrier/inhibitor has a limited life span and can easily thin out turf already in a weakened state from winter.  Your best bet is to apply a plain balanced fertilizer to enhance recovery in April, than follow it up with a crabgrass inhibitor in May for maximum results.  This order will accomplish the best of both treatments while not subjecting your lawn to further stress, thinning, or damage.

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Ten Reasons to improve your lawn in NH or VT

Published by JKeefe on January 25th, 2011 - in Lawn Care Companies, Misc.

 

The Environment #10 and #9

#10  A healthy lawn reduces water runoff and soil erosion which in turns protects our lakes and streams from sediment moving from the land into the water.  Turf is a living filter which protects ground water quality through a vast network of roots, thatch, and leaves.  There are many lawn products that can be used close to or up to the water without harming that ecosystem such as lime, kelp, and further back slow release products.

#9  A healthy lawn will absorb 6 times as much rainfall as a common hay-field.  A healthy lawn entraps pollutants and with the help of soil microbes, biodegrades them safely.  Coating grass seed with mycorrhizae improves turf defensive capabilities against insects and disease issues often reducing the need for fertilizer in a calendar year.  Compost tea is a perfect example of how to improve the soil and help your lawn simultaneously.

 

Functional Benefits #8 thru #4

#8  A healthy lawn dissipates heat and reduces the energy required to cool homes and buildings- thus saving energy.

#7  Turf grass abates noise and reduces glare.

#6  A mown lawn decreases disease carrying ticks and reduces fire hazards near wooded areas.

#5  Well maintained turf grass reduces injury from sports played at home, school, or elsewhere.

#4  A well cared for lawn is actually a low-cost asset that can be physically used or enjoyed for pure viewing pleasure.

Health  #3 thru #1

#3  Studies show the cycle of growing grass and the color green lift human spirits and provide both thoughts and feelings of happiness, privacy, and serenity.

#2  Well maintained turf is known to have therapeutic effects on humans as measured by heart rate and blood pressure- increasing recovery rate of hospital patients.

#1  Hiring a licensed, experienced turf professional will help you accomplish some if not all of the benefits above while insuring the job is done correctly.  Free up valuable time and spend it with your family or friends!

As you can gather, grass is simply more than just a lawn!  Winter is the perfect time to explore the advantages of utilizing the skills of your local turf care provider.  Perhaps this is the year to explore natural or organic products?  Stop guessing and wondering if you are putting down too much or too little material while wasting your valuable Saturday or Sunday.  Send that e-mail or make that phone call today and get your lawn on the right path in 2011.

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Last minute fall lawn projects

A wonderful Turkey on a nice lawn!

 

Its quarter to Thanksgiving and you are fully engulfed in travel preparations, shopping, and cooking plans.  As the air cools there is little time to make sure your lawn is ready for winter.  Was the last mowing 2 months ago or in October?  Some projects can wait while others should be done before the snow flies!  Here is a quick five step list that is given in order of importance, with 1 being the most important!

5.  Change the oil on your mower, clean the air filter, inspect the spark plug, and lubricate the blade and undercarriage in preparation for an easy first mowing.

4.  Take the time to review your 2011 lawn health care proposal or contract during the winter so come spring time, your turf will receive the care it needs at the appropriate time.  Like reviewing seed catalogs for your garden, lots of planning can be done concerning your lawn during the winter in preparation for a busy spring.

3.  Mark or have your driveway marked with colored stakes along the edge of the lawn so the plow guy minimizes shredding the edges.  Grass growing along a driveway is prime crabgrass growing area, especially if you need to seed in the spring or replace torn up turf chunks.  Nothing says sadness than viewing former pieces of healthy sod upside down with a light gravel coating in April!

2.  Rake and or remove any debris piles.  Piles of leaves, wood, tarps, branches, gravel- anything that stops an air exchange steps up winter kill and dead patches come spring time.

1.  Mow the lawn shorter than usual. 1.5 to 2” is great.  A shorter cut helps prevent leaves from accumulating in piles as the wind moves them across your nicely trimmed, semi- dormant turf.  A shorter cut helps with snow mold and ice damage and provides a faster green up in the spring allowing the sun to warm the soil quicker.

Wishing each of you a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday!

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