Posts Tagged ‘nh lawn care companies’

Compost tea: many benefits for your lawn this spring

Published by mrgrass on February 12th, 2014 - in Compost Tea

Maybe you are an avid lawn care consumer, sticking by tried and true products for years but are looking for that extra edge.  Perhaps your lawn has seen better days and experienced a recent insect infestation or has a chronic disease issue.  Would you like your lawn to green up faster in the spring?  Is your soil compacted or do you have bare spots?  While there is no miracle one size fits all cure to these ailments, they are all valid reasons to consider compost tea this year as a part of your normal lawn care program.  Like most lawn care consumers, you just don’t know what compost tea is and really have not given it much thought.  Maybe you thought compost tea was a new green age beverage to drink on a cold winter’s night?  After all, if your current lawn provider does not offer the service, how important could it be?  The simple answer, “Very”!

Compost Tea for lawns

So what is compost tea?  Compost tea in its simplest form is a liquid solution containing a variety of biological delights including but not limited to bacteria, fungi, protozoa, yeast, molasses, and water.  Most teas are alive and need to be applied soon once mixed so the benefit is obtained by getting the tea into the soil when the root system is most active.   Spring and fall are generally the best time periods to apply a compost tea although any time is better than none at all.  Spring applications have the ability to improve resistance to summer stress which is a valuable benefit to your lawn.

Here are the cold facts.  Conventional fertilizers are not particularly friendly to soil organisms which are part of any healthy ecosystem, your lawn included.  When used over decades, a salt imbalance can and usually does occur, reducing helpful soil organisms over time.  Without friendly organisms in your soil like earth worms, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, the balance changes and this imbalance is generally bad for a lawn.  Healthy soil full of organisms support early spring greening, thatch reduction, air pockets for healthy roots, and degrade organic matter for themselves and your lawn’s use.  Air pockets mean healthy roots can grow longer when the soil is less compacted.  Air pockets mean water can be stored and drain better.  Bottom line, a healthy soil environment supports a more resilient lawn able to tolerate stress like drought, heat, and winter cold.  Spring compost tea in April and May fires up the soil and gets the lawn growing faster in cool climates; I’ve seen it work time and time again.

Compost tea helps stabilize your lawn’s soil, helping reduce disease issues when used as part of a well balanced lawn program or alone.  Compost tea is not just for those who appreciate organic products and the benefits; this product has a wide range of uses that spreads into ornamental trees, shrubs, and even flowers.  If your lawn is low in organic matter, a delightful way to add some over time is to use compost tea and recycle your own grass clippings when able to do so.

Compost tea improves soil health

Compost tea has a place in any lawn care program and should not be dismissed simply because of its unfamiliarity or because it is not offered by large national chains.  A healthy lawn and landscape can provide so much enjoyment during our short growing season here in New England; why not give your lawn what it needs to be the best and consider compost tea this year.  Compost tea is not a miracle product or elixir but it does make a great companion to any lawn or landscape.

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Concord NH lawn looking great

Published by mrgrass on May 11th, 2013 - in Lawn Care Companies

Here is a nice Concord NH lawn looking great due to proper treatments from our lawn program and watering.

A healthy green lawn in Concord NH

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A look back at the 2012 lawn care season.

There is little disputing the 2012 growing season was a record breaker in more than one area.  Extreme heat and corresponding drought caused widespread damage to even well cared for lawns.  The effect of these weather phenomena then led to massive explosions of pests like grubs and chinch bugs.  Even with November fast approaching, the pest issues will spill over into the spring of 2013, and if left untreated, will continue to cause turf damage.  There is little that can be done for physical lawn repairs at this point in the growing season like bringing in new loam or trying to establish a lawn through seeding.  However, beneficial turf treatments applied now like potassium, lime, compost tea, sea kelp, and slow release fertilizer can help both a damaged and healthy lawn.  Lawn repairs ranging from small to full renovations should be explored now or at least during the winter months as landscapers and lawn care companies will be overwhelmed this spring by sheer volume of repairs necessary never mind pest treatments.  Timing could not be more critical in terms of seeding and treating for damaging turf and ornamental pests than the spring of 2013.  Even if the weather pattern returns to a more “normal” or stable pattern, the repercussions of this season’s heat and drought will continue into 2013.  Although brown grass in October can be a result of past drought and exposure to dry weather, it can also spell bug troubles in the surrounding lawn as grubs vigorously eat fast growing root systems.

Don't wait until the spring to make your lawn plans

I am seeing grubs in record setting numbers and on lawns which have never had a past issue.  While a curative treatment is only a short term fix, a preventative treatment in 2013 may well be in order for more lawns than previously expected.  I do not normally endorse the use of materials to preventatively protect against grubs, which in a normal year are rarely a huge issue unless past history indicates a problem.  However, I will be firmly endorsing both curative and preventative grub control on a case-by-case basis for 2013 because of the high risk factors recently experienced in New England.  Furthermore, another mild winter would further enhance tick populations in 2013 in addition to hundreds of other outdoor pests.  Make a note on your calendar to explore the potential health issues this winter and make plans, if deemed appropriate after speaking to professionals in the industry, such as Chippers.

On the bright side, the recent rain and cooler weather in combination with fall lawn treatments are helping damaged and weak lawns recover to the maximum degree possible before winter.  Don’t dismiss potassium, compost tea, and aeration after the harsh growing season we experienced this past year.  All of these treatments can be done well into November in most of New England so long as the ground does not freeze.

White grubs are eating your lawn without you knowing it!

In closing, don’t forget the millions of crabgrass seeds which were deposited in record numbers along driveways, patios, and walkways because of drought or insect damaged lawns.  Although a thick, healthy lawn is your best defense against crabgrass, some areas will not be up to the task without additional help of a preventative crabgrass barrier in the spring of 2013.  Timing will be key and a lot of good can be done in an eight week period next spring, so don’t file your lawn contract when it arrives this winter, review it carefully and setup a proactive plan to both protect and perhaps restore your home lawn for the investment it truly is!

 

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