Did you know that there were about 30 million acres of residential lawns in the U.S. in 2005? And, according to a 2015 collaborative study between Mountain West researchers and NASA, the lawns in the U.S. covered three times as much land as any other crop in the entire country. That’s an estimated 63,000 square miles or approximately the same size as Texas!
So, homeowners just like you will be hosting numerous picnics, barbecues, and games of catch, Frisbee, and badminton all year-round on them. Your lawn can still look beautiful, however, in spite of all the hours of traffic and hot sun that it has to endure, as long as it receives proper care. Keeping your grass greener simply involves a few important lawn maintenance steps.
The first thing you need to know about mowing, in general, is how important it is to ensure that you’re cutting your lawn correctly. The height is a significant factor when you mow because certain types of grass in different areas of the country should be mowed to specific heights during each season of the year. Being aware of this and mowing at least close to that recommended height is the best way to ensure that your lawn grows healthy and strong all year-round. This is a very important part of proper effective lawn care. It’s OK, however, if you don’t have the time nor the inclination to deal with regular mowing or proper grass height because professional lawn care service is only a phone call away.
All lawns require proper nutrients to survive and thrive. That’s why fertilizer is such a necessary part of lawn care. Natural fertilizers are your best option simply because they’re better for not only your lawn but also for your family and the environment. In addition, they’ve been proven to work considerably better than any synthetic fertilizer, according to a recent study where it was definitively proven that using organic fertilizers results in healthier lawns. Applying granular or liquid nitrogen-based fertilizer annually or more often is a must. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer can give your lawn a major boost and make it grow quicker and turn a deeper green. How much your lawn actually requires depends on the richness of your soil. Don’t forget to bear in mind, however, that if you overfeed your lawn, you could end up with weak growth or even fungal issues. So, leaving the care and feeding of your lawn to professionals could be your best option and will result in a more beautiful lush green lawn without having to spend the time and energy to ensure proper lawn fertilization.
For a lush green lawn, effective watering is essential. You want to make a habit of watering it less often and very deeply. If you’re just turning on your sprinklers a couple of times weekly for just a few minutes, it’s not going to help your lawn very much. What it really needs is no less than one inch of water weekly. This will require deep watering two or three times each week and preferably in the early morning hours when it’s cooler. You can tell that your lawn is being properly hydrated if it feels springy when you walk on it. And, determining if your lawn is actually getting an inch of water is easy. By placing some empty shallow containers around your yard, and then turning on your sprinklers, you can see when they fill up to one inch in each one. This will also help you with knowing whether your sprinklers are evenly watering your lawn. If the levels in the containers vary widely, then it could explain why you have dry patches and you can effectively adjust the sprinkler heads to eliminate them. On the other hand, if you’d prefer not to go to all of that trouble, just call us and we’ll test your lawn’s hydration and make the adjustments for you.
Proper weed control involves preventive methods that include pre-emergents plus elimination of any existing weeds using post-emergent weed control. In addition, 90 percent of commonly found weeds can be linked to not enough calcium in the soil. The ideal ratio of calcium-to-magnesium is seven-to-one. When your lawn falls short of that ratio, adding high-calcium lime can be effective at boosting your lawn’s ability to synthesize proteins and absorbing nitrogen, thereby depriving the weeds of the food that they need to survive. On the other hand, if all of this weed control sounds complicated and time-consuming to you, let us handle it for you so that you have the perfect weed-free lawn plus more time to spend with friends, family, or just doing all of the things that you like a lot better than worrying about weeds.
Many people tend to overlook the effects of sunlight when they troubleshoot their lawn problems, never thinking beyond weeds, insects, and disease. The fact is, however, that conditions like how much shade your lawn is getting can be a significant factor in its overall health. Excess shade can cause weed problems, as well as pest management issues. Cutting down trees that are creating too much shade or just trimming some of the tree limbs can greatly improve your lawn’s performance. And, the amount of sunlight that your lawn requires varies greatly according to the type of grass. Grass that is deprived of proper sunlight tends to have spindly stems and leaf blades due to the fact that it has to work so hard at getting the sunlight it needs. This results in a serious depletion of carbohydrates and a reduction in the overall health of the lawn. The majority of grasses in the southeast need six hours or more of sunlight per day to facilitate optimal health and growth. And, research shows that St. Augustine grass actually grows better with 30 percent of the full sunlight that gets filtered all day long. Determining the actual amount of overall sunlight that your lawn needs can be somewhat tricky, so having a professional lawn service could be the answer. We have the expertise necessary for determining what needs to be done to meet your lawn’s need for life-giving sunlight.
The most prevalent lawn disease in Georgia, as well as in many other states, is fungus. In fact, most lawns are just naturally filled with spores and fungi. Many of them are quite harmless while others can be a big problem. Certain conditions can result in lawn fungus erupting into a harmful disease. Many homeowners believe that using a broad spectrum fungicide can be effective at controlling all lawn fungus and lawn diseases. However, the fact is that an incorrect lawn fungus diagnosis could result in the use of a chemical treatment that could actually hurt your lawn more than helping it. And, you probably aren’t even aware of just how many different types of fungi there are out there, so here are some tips on identifying some of them:
~ Anthracnose has spots on its leaves that are reddish-brown in color and affected areas usually vary from as little as two inches to as much as ten feet. The favorable conditions for the proliferation of this fungus include excess rain, high humidity, and hot weather.
~ Brown Patch has stems and leaves that will kill your lawn in circular patches and it is among the diseases that commonly occur in fescue lawns. The favorable conditions for the proliferation of brown patch fungus also include excess rain, high humidity, and hot weather.
~ Dollar Spot also causes grass to die out in circular spots that are fairly small, however, those small spots can end up fusing together to create large dead patches. Favorable conditions can include excess moisture, weather that is mild to warm, and under-fertilization.
~ Powdery Mildew is a fungus that affects the blades of grass and looks moldy. It can be either white or a light gray in color. The favorable conditions for this mildew to proliferate are shady areas, excess moisture, and mild damp weather.
~ Red Thread shrivels the tips of the grass blades, causing small dead grass patches. It is generally tan in color but can also contain tiny pink threads. Favorable conditions include under-fertilization, misty weather, 60-75 degree temperatures, and high humidity.
~ Rust is a fungus that won’t actually kill your lawn but it causes dust-like spores all over the blades of grass, giving the affected areas a look that is kind of rusty or orange in color, which is certainly not the look that you’re going for. Favorable Rust conditions include dry weather and 60-75 degree temps.
Ridding your lawn of damaging insects while also preserving a healthy bio-ecosystem can be a serious issue. Armyworms and grubs are the two biggest pest problems in Georgia. Armyworms are a garden pest that can be quite destructive. They get their name from traveling in tiny insect armies and consuming everything in their way.
There are actually numerous armyworm caterpillar species and many of them are into eating just about anything in your yard, whether it’s yellow, red, or green. They tend to be nocturnal and extremely active at night, hiding under garden debris or plants in the daytime. They often move en masse, attacking new areas of your lawn. Big armyworm invasions generally occur following a spring that has been unusually cool and wet. Autumn armyworms can be the cause of lawn defoliation all over the southeast. And, believe it or not, many of them migrate as flying moths all the way from the Caribbean!
Now grubs, on the other hand, are tiny white critters that are actually C-shaped with soft bodies and legs near their heads. They stay alive by feeding on the roots of your grass and can cause the death of large sections of your lawn. Eventually, they will morph into adult beetles, emerging from the soil under your lawn, mating, and laying their eggs. Then, those eggs hatch and you have lots more grubs to eat even larger areas of your lawn.
Both of these pests can destroy your lawn if left unchecked. But, with professional lawn service, you don’t have to worry about these insidious creatures because they’ll be a thing of the past while the future of your lawn will be beautifully lush, green, and healthy.
A Worry-Free Lawn
It’s quite obvious that proper lawn maintenance can be time-consuming and often exasperating. But, if you want your yard to be like a beautiful picture frame for your home and as healthy and green as it can possibly be, then what you really need is a professional lawn care service so that you can live your life both worry and yard work free.