Crabgrass control and spring seeding

Okay, so last week we talked about de-thatching, remember? I hope you took that generous knowledge and put it to good use, and I hope you’ll consider how helpful it (hopefully) was for you and continue reading this with high expectations and low likelihood of disappointment. Because these next steps are just as useful as last week’s. (maybe even more, I am a whole week wiser, you know)

So I will continue on, and after this post we will both have made great strides toward the best lawn in the world (or at least on your block). There are a couple different routes you could take, so let’s see what’s behind door number one…

SCENARIO ONE

“Simply Seeding

Any questions about what seed to use, check this post out, Seed to Use

With your lawn so freshly de-thatched, it is the perfect time to seed! When the soil is broken up a bit the seeding is entirely more effective, and the de-thatching does a fine job of this. So let’s start seeding. (finally!!)

I know what you’re thinking… isn’t fall the ideal time to seed?

To that I say… yes, but lucky for you there is a small window during the spring that works, too. Just make sure the seed is put down early enough so it has time to germinate before it gets too warm. When the sun comes up and starts beating down on young seedlings, it becomes struggle to survive, so get the seed down early.

The next step after seeding is to think about the fertilizer and lime needs of your lawn. Crabgrass control is an important application to perform, but most weed preventers also happen to prevent grass seed from germinating. So when it is time for you to apply it, try to remember to only apply it to areas that you have not seeded. On the areas you haveImage result for crabgrass seeded, you could use instead a starter fertilizer that also controls weeds.

If you buy a crabgrass control product or round 1 product, it is designed to prevent growth. DO NOT apply this product to fresh seed. Instead, find a starter fertilizer with weed control. It is more expensive, but worth it to protect all the seed work you did. Check the package, it should be clear about the goal of the product. Purchase the right one and apply according to the label. It’s ok to use 2 products, one for seed and one for the rest of the lawn. Please feel free to ask us and we can let you know what products to use.

The next step is to complete a lime treatment.

Lime treatments are good to put to use when lawns are weedy, patchy, or yellow. Adding lime helps restore that beautiful green appearance you remember once upon a time. Lime treatments also add calcium and magnesium to soil.

SCENARIO TWO

“Simply Not Seeding”

This scenario plays fairly similarly to scenario one, the only difference being that you skip the seeding and starter fertilizer. The skip means that you can freely use crabgrass control on the entire lawn.

POST-SCENARIO

No matter which scenario you chose, it is so great that you have gone out of your way to complete these steps to improve your lawn. Just remember the order, because it is of upmost importance! (written four times to really set the knowledge in)

Dethatch, Seed, Fertilizer, Lime

Dethatch, Seed, Fertilizer, Lime

Dethatch, Seed, Fertilizer, Lime

Dethatch, Seed, Fertilizer, Lime

 

 

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

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Seeding a Lawn? Choose Grass Seed Wisely

Spring Lawn Service; De-thatching

Picture this…

You’re talking to your neighbor.

They are going on and on and on about their gorgeous lawn. They just measured the grass in front of you, putting the ruler up to your face chanting that they have the perfect height of grass. They boast endlessly about their shiny flowers and weed-less environment. You wonder how your conversation had become about the lawn and also wonder how you could politely stop talking to this strange person. She leans over, looking just slightly past you.

“Oh, how awkward. You have thatch. Tsk tsk, I hope I didn’t make you feel bad. I should probably go. Have a good day, if you need me to help you with your lawn, just let me know.” (don’t ask me how they can tell you have thatch, maybe they’re some sort of magic lawn care person or something).

Then they are gone, and you are left staring ahead angrily… wondering what a thatch is and thinking about whether it’s worth it to move.

Don’t move! Because lucky for you, I have all the answers you seek. Your odd neighbor will never tsk at your yard ever again.

What is thatch?

Thatch is a layer of organic material built up over time that is on top of the soil and at the base of the grass blades.

Thatch threatens the root system of your lawn, so you do NOT want it!

Okay, but is thatch really a big deal?

Okay, I totally get it. You hear that it threatens the root system and you’re just like…. Psh, the root system. The root system isn’t even visible so I don’t need to worry about it. The only person who will notice that is my weird neighbor.

The root system is important though, and there are some unfortunate consequences if it is threatened by thatch.

Thatch….

  • Prevents water, fertilizer, and healthy nutrients from reaching the soil
  • Reduces the amount of sunlight absorbed
  • Invites disease by acting like a sponge and keeping moisture on the leaf
  • Creates an uneven lawn
  • Increases pest problems (gross)
  • Suffocates the base of the grass blade

I don’t know if you could tell, but these are not good things.

Okay, so how do I thatch?

Mow the lawn a little lower than you normally would, grab a dethatcher and go at it! It is recommended to make at least two passes over the lawn. Than you should rake up all the debris left over, water and fertilizer. Your lawn will then be a beautiful, dethatched environment.

It is recommended to complete the thatching in the spring prior to any applications. This will clean up the leftover debris from the fall and winter and prepare the lawn to accept the first application of crabgrass control, ensuring all nutrients and weed control make their way into the soil.

Do I have to thatch every year? If it’s in the budget or timeline, than yes.

But, No! There are ways you can avoid thatching the lawn annually,

Lime applications and core aerations will help reduce the thatch layer. Make sure you keep excessive nitrogen applications minimal. Fungicide and insecticide treatments will build up the thatch and should be used on as needed.

And grass clippings should be left on the lawn to provide nutrients back into the soil. This practice does contribute to the thatch layer, but a small price to pay to give back more nutrients.

If those steps sound like too much work, you could also just simply dethatch every year. The choice is yours, young obi wan.

Okay, I hope you guys learned enough to really stick it to your neighbor! Let them never judge the thatch layer of your lawn ever again. Good Luck!

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

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Spring Game Plan

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it is already MARCH. March is just one step away from April and you know what they say about April… April showers bring May flowers. And you know what the say about showers… showers are the weather of spring. Which means that April is probably spring, am I right?

OKAY, my point is that spring is approaching and will be here any day now.

So now my question for you is, do you know what you and your lawn will be doing in less than a month?

Do you have a, shall we say, Spring Game Plan?

No?

Okay well, I’ll let you in on my secret spring game plan and if you’re interested (you should be) grab on and take it for a spin. You might just have the best lawn of the season.

First I’ll give you the plan for the lawn, these steps are in this specific order for a reason… so don’t stray away from it!
  • 1st: Spring Thatching (heavy raking to remove thatch and dead debris)
  • 2nd: Seeding – You have a short window for this! The seeding needs time to germinate before it gets too warm outside, so seed early.
  • 3rd: Fertilizer – Here’s the thing though, if crabgrass control is used it will kill the seed that you might have put down. However, there is a product out there that controls crabgrass while also acting as a starter fertilizer. You could use this product, or just use a straight starter with no weed control.
    Products that won’t kill the seed:
    Tupersan
    Scotts Starter with Crabgrass Preventer
    Products that will kill the seed:
    Dimension
    Halt’s
    Other crabgrass controls
  • 4th: Lime the yard
  • Remember to not do these out of order! You definitely do not want to thatch after a crabgrass application is put down. You see, the crabgrass control creates a barrier on the surface to prevent weeds from sprouting, and a thatching after the treatment will destroy the barrier and make the control worthless. So you know, just don’t do it.
Now here’s the plan for the landscape…
  • 1st: Horticultural oil
    This needs to be done early in the spring (another short window). It suffocates the eggs and young insects
  • 2nd: Fertilizer Treatment
    This should be done early to mid spring. (So either before or during the first bloom. Allow the spring to begin before applying, don’t force a growth)

Alright, so that is the spring game plan so far.

I hope it has peaked your interest and inspired you to make this the lawn that will be the talk of the town. Just follow this plan and make this spring the best one yet!

Ready, set, LAWN!

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

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