Posts Tagged ‘organic’

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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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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Time to review and renew your 2011 lawn care program

Published by JKeefe on January 3rd, 2011 - in Lawn Care Companies

The winter months bring back not so distant visions of once green lawns and surrounding trees.  As odd as it may seem, scheduling any kind of lawn program while snow is on the ground is actually a sound process.  There are many good reasons to activate a lawn or plant health care program during the winter to insure prompt service once mud season arrives. 

Review your lawn proposal this winter

The weather plays a large role in the spring as to what and when certain treatments can be done- mostly due to temperature and moisture.  High heat speeds up insect, weed, and disease development- in some cases by weeks not days.  While this may not seem of great importance, temperature plays a huge role in advancing or retarding certain pathogens, ultimately affecting your landscape.  If you do not have a program “online”- ready to go- this timeframe can easily be missed.  Cold weather can slow down the ability of your lawn to recover and green up fast.  The later the first application of fertilizer, compost tea, or lime is applied, your grass is missing vital time for improved color and recovery from winter damage.

I have seen several years where the temperature rose into the high 70’s to lower 80’s in April and May- making some types of weed control applications harmful to turf without proper precautions.  The same can be said about not scheduling early plant health care sprays- you simply miss the window of opportunity for obtaining decent results on a variety of insect and disease issues.

Moisture content can wreak havoc on turf and shrubs in the spring- especially if the spring is cold and rainy.  Such weather greatly advances snow molds and leaf spot on turf while creating apple scab on fruit trees.  Low moisture can reduce seed germination without proper irrigation if aeration and overseeding are done in May or June.  Having overseeding or aeration already scheduled during the winter insures they can be completed at the proper time frame in the spring since they are already booked.  A great green care company will watch weather trends and activate services during the appropriate time frame- you deserve this kind of service.

Timing is the third reason to have your program already setup during the winter.  Many applications have a narrow window of opportunity and if missed, results suffer such as pre-emergent crabgrass control or broadleaf weed control.  Soil temperature and timing are very important on these kinds of applications.  If you think you may remember to call- it may already be to late- spring is a crazy time of year.  Another fabulous reason to schedule your green care treatments during the winter includes a signing bonus if available or a prepay offer for sending in the contract early.  Look for these kinds of financial incentives in addition to a high quality- diversified green care company.

If you have not read the “researching a lawn care company” series on this blog- be sure to check them out since they were statistically the most read in 2010!

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