Posts Tagged ‘trugreen’

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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5 Things Your Lawn Wants to tell You

1. Location

As the winter begins and your lawn is covered by ice or snow, there are some secrets your lawn may be hiding. For starters, and this may seem simple, your lawn’s location has a huge bearing on what you should be thinking about before spring arrives. For instance, that encroaching tree line has slowly but surely thinned out the edges of your lawn over the past 5 or 10 years. Your once proud carpet of green has become a band of dirt and moss due to the shade and overgrown limbs hovering above the now missing grass.

2. Grass seed

The second lawn secret reveals that all lawn grasses are not created equal and do have limitations in response to drought, heavy use, and shade. Yes, many turf types can tolerate less than desirable growing conditions, but left alone, thinning and ultimately bare ground will result. Much like a receding hair line, the question is not if, but when the grass thins out enough to get your attention. Don’t think throwing lime down or some patch seed mix will suffice, oh no, this situation beckons professional help. Only an intervention to change the site and current grass types will truly resolve and reverse turf loss.

3. Mowing height

Although the 70’s have come and gone, many lawns are treated and cut at less than optimum intervals and height. The third lawn secret beckons a weekly cut to a handsome and proper 3” most times of the year, not a foot every month. If your lawn could speak, a basic request would be for a regular mowing and a realistic cutting height; not a shaggy carpet reminiscent of the 70’s where bell bottoms earned their following. On the other hand, a short military type cut can brown a lawn out for the summer causing irreversible damage. The harm done to your lawn by improper mowing cannot be underestimated.

4. Healthy soil

A fourth and valuable fact relates to soil health and the ability of your turf to not just exist – but to thrive. Healthy soil, full of organic matter, bacteria, fungi, and worms support not only a vibrant root system but a lawn that can withstand pests and environmental stress. Chronic and heavy use of salty fertilizers and other products over time can reduce soil health and thereby predispose your grass to a host of health issues. If your lawn could talk, it would ask for more positive reinforcements in the form of compost tea, organic materials, lime, and other soil enhancing actions.

5. Timing

Timing does matter. Our fifth lawn tip is timing as it relates to pest control, soil enhancements, seeding, aeration, and other helpful activities. Most pests, including weeds and insects are best controlled at very specific times of the year. For example, ticks are best controlled in the spring and late fall – the same time as most broadleaf weeds. Crabgrass is best controlled in the early spring while lawns installations, overseeding, and aeration are best done in the fall. Soil enhancements are best applied in the spring and fall when accompanied by seeding. Your lawn would tell you timing is everything!

 

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Fall lawn tips

Generally speaking, the summer of 2014 on average was a little cooler and wetter than the past few years. The few hot and humid periods did cause a spike in disease issues like red thread but overall our lawns’ were fortunate not to have to endure extended drought. What does this mean for the average lawn as fall is a mere few weeks away?

 

Back to school time is fix up your lawn time

Back to school time is fix up your lawn time

First, actively growing lawns means faster recovery and a more robust turf plant going into the winter, especially if you take advantage of the weather. Aerating, over seeding, lime, a few fertilizer applications, and perhaps potassium will put your lawn in top condition for next spring. My advice is not to squander this unique scenario and time period but seize its advantages.
A bit of caution, healthy growing grass can easily mask grubs eating your lawns roots. The classic brown patchiness may not be visible until the invaders are much larger and difficult to control this fall or next spring. If you have not had a preventative grub treatment earlier this year, take a brisk walk around your lawn, especially in the sunny areas, and pull up on the grass to see if it is weakly rooted. If so, you may well see small white grubs within the first few inches of loam below the grass. Treat them now, don’t wait!
Over seeding with such warm, moist soil is a dream come true for lawns and can yield fantastic results to help thicken up your existing lawn. Bare patches should be top-dressed and then seeded after aeration. September and early October are the best time periods to seed a lawn, no question about it. Seed your lawn now, don’t wait until spring!
Healthy grass will grow aggressively and save extra energy down below in the root system. Providing a generous supply of nutrients during the fall allows for a healthy growing lawn that can save extra energy for winter and next spring’s green-up. Don’t forget to fertilizer a few times and be sure to lime. If you forgot to lime this year, it’s never too late as liming any time is just fine.
A final word on year-end lawn mowing. Keep your cut high at 3” for now but you can begin to lower it in October by about ½” per week. The slow decline in height will help harden your lawn off and not expose it to a harsh scalping on one massive slicing. Most lawns will grow well into late November so your final cut should end up at around 1” to 1.5” in November. Mowing short in height is ideal for helping minimize snow mold and winter damage caused by long grass.
This fall could be the best in years, don’t let your lawn miss out on a great growing opportunity.

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