Posts Tagged ‘Crabgrass’

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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Spring Lawns After a Harsh Winter

Unusually large amounts of snow and a late winter thaw can spell trouble for home lawns in VT and NH.  Massive piles of snow and ancient icy banks are determined to persist well into late April.  Slow melting ice and snow is anything but good news for grass buried deep beneath the arctic wasteland we call home as temperatures remain far below average in the last days of March.  The real damage from the copious use of rock salt will become apparent as the snow recedes, exposing brown and yellow patches along walkways and driveways.  Pieces of turf now flipped upside down lie like fish out of water from plow damage after each successive storm in what has been called a “real winter”.  Cue the spotlight on snow mold as the cold temperatures, with just the right amount of humidity, are ideal for this disease to thrive.  Pink and gray snow mold may be widespread and hamper the ability of your lawn to recover successfully from the trauma dealt by Mother Nature.  If I had a batman lamp, I would surely turn it on and point it into the night sky; our lawns need help.

Help our lawns
Fear not, Mr. Grass is here and although not a super hero, I am well versed in the green art of lawn care and helping the innocent lawns which have been beaten down from a harsh winter.  You can help your lawn immediately by breaking up piles of ice and snow, scattering the chunks onto warmer surfaces to melt; a driveway or patio perhaps.  The faster the snow goes, the quicker the soil will warm and awaken your dormant lawn into recovery mode.  If there are excessive leaves, debris, branches and other objects, try and remove them before the lawn begins growing to prevent mulching and unnecessary damage.  This is especially true of gravel and rocks that may have been pushed up and onto lawn surfaces from winter plowing.  Rake and remove any gravel and sand from your lawn.  If you do have visible turf chunks, help them by flipping the root surface over and put it back on the ground so when growth occurs, some root regeneration can occur.  Leaving chunks of lawn in pieces lying on each other will also damage the healthy lawn below; acting as mulch.  This phenomenon is especially true as things really warm up and the grass begins to grow again.

Big pile of snow
Additional winter recovery can be obtained by firing up the friendly soil micro-organisms with compost tea, a high quality lime, or fertilizers.  I do not recommend heavy dethatching because the damage inflicted may well thin out or even kill portions of your lawn under such stress.  I do recommend lightly raking out any matted snow mold and ice damage which will speed up the drying process, warm the soil, and promote new root and shoot growth.  Your lawn will need extra help this spring so plan on doing your part.  As your lawn recovers, using crabgrass or other broadleaf weed controls become more practical as tools to protect future infestations.  Good luck and may the temperature rise in your neighborhood creating more green and less white!

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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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