Posts Tagged ‘lawn companies’

Crabgrass Q & A

Published by mrgrass on April 23rd, 2015 - in Crabgrass

Q. It’s April and my lawn is full of crabgrass, what can I do?

 
A. Crabgrass is an annual plant and does not even germinate in NH and VT until mid or late May. Any grasses you see now and suspect are crabgrass, are not. They are perennial grasses and may appear to look like crabgrass. This is a very common misperception. Unwanted perennial grasses need special care including manual or herbicide removal.

 
Q. I always have crabgrass, nothing seems to work, what can I do?

 
A. Crabgrass generally indicates an underlying problem like unhealthy soil, recent insect damage, or some other event that allow it to flourish rather than your lawn. Although pre-emergent products work great, in the absence of surrounding grass, the barrier will fail and the problem will reoccur year after year. Only by improving the soil and adding superior grass seed into the infected area will you ever conquer this ongoing issue.

 

Q. I typically dig out crabgrass and weeds, is this doing more harm than good?

A. Whenever you tear up any plant, you bring up more of the weeds’ seeds to the surface where they will germinate. While you may have temporary relief and feel good about removing crabgrass manually, you are actually making the problem worse by depositing seeds that would otherwise have remained dormant buried below.

 

Q. When is the best time to apply crabgrass control?

A. In NH and VT, there are several types of pre-emergent control products that do a nice job by safely preventing not only crabgrass, but also many annual weeds from germinating in the soil. A pre-emergent is the best product and means to reduce crabgrass. By definition, a pre-emergent must be applied before the crabgrass rears its ugly head! Soil temperature is the big deal here and once mid to late May arrives, you are likely to have crabgrass germinating; especially in sunny locations like along your driveway, walkways, or roadside. Once crabgrass germinates and while still small, in the two or three leaf stage, there are other products that can be used to still gain control. For larger crabgrass, you would need to switch to yet another specialized material for use through August. Once fall rolls around, just let this annual plant die off. However, the best way to prevent crabgrass is with a thick healthy lawn created with healthy soil, adequate nutrition, and by mowing at the proper height (2” first cut of the season, 3” May – September).

 
See my blog http://www.mrgrassblog.net/2012/03/30/crabgrass-is-more-than-a-crabgrass-problem/ for information on crabgrass.

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Spring lawn tips

Published by mrgrass on April 10th, 2015 - in Cultural Practices, Home owner tips

As the last-gasp of winter loosens it grip on spring, your lawn is likely covered with gravel, sand, leaves, and crusty black snow banks. Here are a few helpful tips that can get your lawn into recovery mode or better yet, green.

 

Big snow bank

 

 

Rake, rake, rake!

 
Rake as much sand and gravel as possible from your lawn. The less sand and gravel there is on the surface, the warmer the soil , allowing for a quicker green-up. Rocks, sticks and leaves should also be raked up sooner than later. Any object left on the lawn, especially once air temperatures begin to heat up, means the possibility of mulching the grass beneath the object. Without sunlight and air, grass will green around the piles of leaves and branches, but thin or even die beneath the winter debris.

 

Break Up Snow Banks

 
Large snow banks can be broken up with shovels to help speed up the melting process. This year, we ended up with car-sized snow banks or larger. Left alone, these snow banks can last into early May! Break up those nasty snow banks and help the lawn beneath get a breath of fresh air. A good lawn application cannot go down with large snow banks, so the sooner they are gone, the better!

 

 

Spring’s First Mowing
One last note, if your lawn is long and shaggy, give it a nice short cut. A 1.5” to 1.75” cut will enhance turf recovery by removing dead grass and allowing the soil to warm faster with improved exposure to spring-time sunshine. And, sharpen that mower blade now for a neater cut this summer.

 

Everyone was inside all winter, so get outside, take in the spring air and give your lawn a fresh start.

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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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