Posts Tagged ‘turf’

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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Big green care news for Lake Sunapee

Published by mrgrass on January 22nd, 2014 - in Lawn Care Companies

Our quality of life is directly enhanced by shades of green in lawns, tree and shrubs, and by the vibrant blues reflected in our lakes and rivers.  Waterways are vital resources which are protected in many ways by strict federal and state laws, as they are in New Hampshire.  Our lakes and ponds are often surrounded by homes and landscapes where usage of products in and around these homes that can threaten the health of our waterways.  It’s important to strike a balance between protecting, enhancing and enjoying our property with protecting our environment.

Lake Sunapee lawn view
Lake Sunapee in NH is an example of a clean lake used as a water supply and is home to many year round and summer residents who enjoy boating, swimming, or simply taking in the views.  Given the proximity of the lake to hundreds of homes, landscapes have sprung up to add color and privacy between houses.  While the colors and textures of lawns, flowers and shrubs are delightful, the diseases, ticks, weeds, and other noxious pests are not!  In fact, landscapes worth thousands of dollars or more are continually damaged, losing their intended value and use.  After all, who travels hours to stay a weekend or longer only to sit lakeside to view crabgrass, weeds, or ticks crawling in the mulch?  Not a “feel good” experience to say the least.
This brings me to the good news about caring for and improving the lawns and landscapes of lakeside homes around Lake Sunapee NH.  Chippers is now the only legally authorized green care company to treat for ornamental, tree, and lawn issues in and around the Lake Sunapee as it pertains to EPA approved pesticides (many are organic but stilled registered by the EPA).  While we have been able to use other products in the past, our newly obtained permit authorizes us to treat much closer to the water, utilizing techniques and new products which are in high demand around Lake Sunapee as it relates to ornamental, tree, and turf pests. We are very proud of this permit issued by the NH Department of Agriculture and other departments as it is a direct reflection of Chippers advanced product choices and field expertise.

Lake Sunapee NH
An important fact: any company or person treating for lawn, tree, or ornamental pests in or around Lake Sunapee must be licensed at the appropriate level and cannot treat within 250ft of the lake itself without a special permit, essentially excluding many lakeside homes.  Even homeowners who don’t require a license at their own residence must adhere to the 250ft distance. Chippers is now able to operate within that 250ft restricted area.
Our precise use of organic and traditional products around this vital water resource extends to each and every client’s landscape, exemplifying our commitment to the environment while providing new and existing clients with the results they expect.
For more information just call or email anytime.

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Lawn renovation from start to finish

A recent lawn evaluation in Vermont actually became a lawn renovation.  The lawn had not been cared for in some time and was overgrown with various weeds.  The client wanted to reclaim the lawn and improve the view off the end of the lawn by removing some low growing brush and saplings.  The first order of business was to start with a clean slate by spraying the existing lawn area to destroy the vegetation.  We then had the soil tilled to provide a seed bed after determining the consistency was appropriate.  In fact, we did not have to add any additional loam after tilling but simply raked out and removed the dead vegetation prior to seeding.  The attached pictures in this blog post start with the sprayed vegetation, followed by the removed brush and the completely tilled and seeded lawn.  The final picture shows the established lawn about seven weeks later. Quite a transformation and the client was thrilled.

We sprayed the existing lawn which consisted of weeds and assorted plants.

We sprayed the existing lawn which consisted of weeds and assorted plants.

Lawn is now tilled and seeded.

Lawn is now tilled and seeded plus the view has been enhanced by removal of brush at the bank level.

The final product, enjoy.

The final product

Although most lawns can be improved “as is” without this kind of renovation technique, Chippers has the ability to diagnose and renovate lawns from small to large.  Due to widespread insect, weather (hurricane Irene), and disease damage over the past few years, we have been involved in many more lawn restoration projects than in the past.  If you think your lawn is in need of assistance, have us take a look and we can determine if your lawn needs a complete face lift or simply a little love in the form of lawn treatments.  Fall and spring are ideal times for these projects. If you don’t have the time this fall plan ahead and get your lawn projects lined up for next spring.

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