Pre-emergent Crabgrass Control (First Visit)
Our first treatment in the spring is to help control undesirable crabgrass. Crabgrass is a grassy weed and not controlled with our other treatments when we spray the lawn for broadleaf weeds. The products today are designed for specific weeds that may invade your lawn. Our granular crabgrass control product can last as long as 60-90 days by slowly releasing the herbicide each time moisture is applied into cracks and crevices where crabgrass harbor. What most homeowners don’t realize is crabgrass seed can lie dormant in the soil for as long as 15 years. Under certain weather conditions, it may emerge at any time during the year. Please understand that complete control is impossible when you are dealing with Mother Nature. For lawns with a prolonged problem or a heavy infestation, we recommend 2 applications of the pre-emergent or spray able post-emergent until the problem is under control. Some conditions that are out of our control are: Too much irrigation or rainfall can drive the product through the soil zone where it needs to be. Also, extreme temperature changes can expand and contract the soil causing movement of the product. We also recommend raking of leaves during the fall season is best. Raking in the spring should be done lightly if our product has been applied. The least amount of disturbance to the spring application is highly recommended. Although, mowing procedures are also important. Leaving the grass blades at 2 ½ to 3 inches tall helps eliminate broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds as well as thicken the turf from the fertilizer we apply at this visit. Mowing lower than that will surely create a problem someday. Bare or thinning areas in the lawn are perfect harborage for crabgrass as well and should be seed all throughout the year. A thicker lawn is the most effective way to help prevent crabgrass. Where pavement or concrete areas meet the soil (walk & driveways), the temperature of the walk and driveways retain heat throughout the evening and along these edges you may see crabgrass emerge throughout the year. It should be your responsibility to pull it before it goes to seed so that you do not pick it up on the bottom of your lawn mower and distribute it to other areas in the lawn. In all due respect for other companies that provide a lawn mowing service, we’ll bet that most if any clean the bottom of the mowers after each lawn. Whatever they have under the mower blades (weeds, fungus) can be distributed throughout your lawn. We have seen this for many years. Also the use of weed whacking devices we are not very fond of. Over time, the use of the weed whacker became a necessary household item for professionals and the homeowner. What did we do before them? They have become devices for trimming and edging, exactly what they were not designed for. There are mechanical edging tools specifically for edging; it makes for a cleaner looking lawn too! The use of weed whackers scalps the turf and this is where we see crabgrass emerge, then if there is crabgrass, it becomes our fault to the homeowner when actually it is not. I use the old fashion shovel method at my home and usually don’t have to worry about edging but once or twice a year and I don’t own a weed whacker.
Lawn Core Aeration
Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to more readily reach the root zone of the grass plants in your lawn. It accomplishes this by relieving compacted soil and opening up the thatch layer. It also stimulates new growth, improves drainage, provides a better environment for over seeding and increases the effectiveness of applied fertilizers and control products. The cores that you will see on your lawn will break down gradually over the course of a couple of weeks. This natural return to the soil helps hold the thatch to a desirable level. Aeration relieves soil compaction, provides oxygen and water deeper into the soil developing new roots creating sturdy turf by mechanically removing many small plugs of soil. A vital part of professional lawn maintenance. This is just like the golf courses do! They do it twice a year. 85% of our clients choose to have it done annually. Aeration can be done in the spring or fall. We choose to do it in the spring to benefit all the products that we use by getting them down quicker for optimum results.
What are the benefits of Aeration?
Core aeration can help make your lawn healthier and reduce its maintenance requirements through these means:
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
- Enhanced soil water uptake.
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use.
- Reduced water runoff and puddling.
- Stronger turf grass roots.
- Reduced soil compaction.
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.
- Helps break down thatch.
- Reintroduces microorganisms into the soil.
How often should lawns be aerated?
Most lawns benefit from annual aeration. While you shouldn’t expect miracles, especially with poor soil, lawns that receive this care will be healthier, more vigorous, easier to maintain and have fewer pest problems. Heavily used lawns create compacted soil and turf with heavy thatch are a perfect candidate. Just one good core aeration can actually shrink your lawn’s water bill by fifty percent!
What can you expect?
Aeration is accomplished through the use of a machine equipped with cylinder-like tines designed to penetrate and shatter the soil. Cores of thatch, soil and grass are actually pulled out of the ground. Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be dotted with small holes and plugs. Within a week or two, they break apart depositing the soil on top helping thatch to decompose.
Relieve Thatch Accumulation!
Most home lawns are subject to thatch accumulation. Left unmanaged, it impedes water, fertilizer and pesticide effectiveness. Core aeration combines soil with the thatch debris, so soil organisms are better to break down the thatch and reduce its accumulation.
What is Thatch really??
In all my years in the lawn care industry, I have found that most people misunderstand the meaning of thatch. Firstly, it is not the dead grass that sits down in the grass after many mowing. Thatch is a tight layer of living and dead stems, leaves and roots of grasses located between the soil surface and the green growing grass blades. This layer becomes harmful after it builds up to a level that it prevents water, nutrients and oxygen to reach the soil. Fine fescue and rye grasses (native to our area and in most lawns) are subject to build up. Dethatching is then necessary. Core aeration is also helpful. Dethatching can only be done in the spring or fall when grass roots are actively growing.
Green Way Turf Pro has the proper machinery to handle dethatching or power raking to some. It can be a strenuous and labor intensive job if doing it by yourself. Perhaps only certain sections need to be done or a simple thinning out of the turf is required and recommended over time. I do mine each fall. You just won’t believe how much is really in there once we start a job. Our service includes removal of all debris.
Water and Mowing
Watering: Typical lawns (depending on soil type), require at least 1 inch of water per week. Our granular products should be watered in that much to activate and to see best results. If a liquid weed control was applied the same day as a granular application, wait till the next day to begin watering. To determine how long it takes a lawn sprinkler to apply an inch of water, place a tuna fish can at different spots in the sprinkler pattern. Keep track of the time it takes to fill the can. A water timer can now be set knowing this information. Any rainfall should be considered as part of the inch required. Water measures: 1 inch of water is about 640 gallons per 1000 square feet. Sandy soil will require watering twice per week. Cold season grasses go dormant during hot summer months if not watered on a regular basis. The lawn will appear a light tan color. It is ok to let the lawn go dormant if watering is not an option. Some grass blades will be lost though. For optimum results to keep the lawn green throughout the summer, please water at least some. If you choose not to water throughout the summer, it is important to keep watering especially if the lawn is fertilized or stopping will be more harmful than allowing the lawn to go dormant. Mowing: Mowing is the most important factor in proper lawn care maintenance. A manageable height for turf is 2-3 inches for a rich, green, thicker lawn. Mow often with short clippings. Sharpen mower blades in the winter for spring use, and then do it again in the summer. Unsharpened blades will shred grass, exposing them to drought, disease, and insect problems. Mowing encourages growth by stimulating bud development and tillering (growth from the base), which produces thick, dense sod. Cutting grass shorter than recommended heights will cause an invasion of weeds and crabgrass. Be careful not to scalp the grass. Note: Do Not Use grass clippings for compost in a vegetable garden that has been treated with herbicides (weed killer). Do Not mow or water lawn for at least 2 hours after our visit. If you can, wait a couple of days after our visit.