Turf Tips

Do you think you spend too much time, money and energy on your lawn? Here are some reasons why it's all worth it.

• Oxygen Production. 58 square meters of lawn provide enough oxygen for one person for an entire day.

• Temperature modification. For one block of eight average houses, front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning.

• Allergy control. Turf controls dust, in addition to pollen from plants that can cause serious health problems for some individuals.

• Pollutant absorption.Turf grasses absorb gaseous pollutants such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, converting them to oxygen.

• Particulate entrapment. Turf grasses trap an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the atmosphere.

• Fire retardation. Grass around buildings helps slow the spread of fire.

• Water quality. Reducing runoff, turf grass filters the water that helps to recharge groundwater supplies.

Seeding Tips

WATER – Keep your newly-seeded areas moist for 3 weeks. Water lightly (5-10 minutes) at least once per day, up to 3 times per day. If it's windy and/or still warm, it will dry out more quickly. If the seed dries out, it will not germinate. If newly-germinated seedlings don't get water, they will die quickly. After mowing, you may return to a normal watering schedule.

GERMINATION – Seed should begin to germinate in about 7-10 days. All of the seed WILL NOT germinate at once. KEEP LEAVES OFF. New seedlings must have sunlight to do well next year. When the leaves are off the trees in the winter, the seedlings are busy using sunlight to build carbohydrate reserves (by photosynthesis) to get through the hot summer coming. Leaves should be kept off the seeded areas, before germination and after. A blower is best for this until seed is up and it has been mowed. Please do not use a rake on the seed or new seedlings.

KEEP TRAFFIC OFF – Please keep heavy traffic off your newly seeded areas. If dogs or children are present, you may want to rope off the area until it is established.

MOWING – When your new grass is about 3-4 inches tall, it's okay to mow. Try to mow carefully, so that the wheels aren't gouging in when you turn. You might want to bag the clippings to more easily keep the leaves off of it.

RESULTS – While there are no guarantees when working with Mother Nature, with our aeration and overseeding service, you will see good germination with the holes made from the aerator. Some germination will occur outside the holes as well. This aeration service will not provide sod-like results. It will take time to develop. If you continue on our full service program and adhere to our suggestions made along the way, you should expect a quality turf grass system within two seasons following the service. This turf grass will need to be continually maintained to uphold a desirable level.

Good Mowing Practices Turf Tips

Though we do not take care of your mowing needs, these are some great practices to think about when mowing your lawn. Your lawn is a living plant, and as with any living thing, change (good or bad) causes stress. Each time you mow your lawn you are putting it under stress.

For the best results and for minimizing stress:

• Mow high – Set your mower high. Most of our cool season grasses are best if mowed to 3” or more.

• Do not mow during the hottest part of the day.

• Do not mow when the grass is wet.

• Keep the blades on your mower sharp.

• Never take off more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. If lawn is really long, mow 1/3 off the top and wait 4 or 5 days and take another 1/3 off.

• If the transition from fall to winter looks to be pretty average, make your final cut for the year a short one. Get all the leaves off your lawn, cutting it shorter than you would for summer but without scalping it.

Understanding Fertilizer

What Is NPK?

Found as numbers on most bags of fertilizer.
Ex. 21-5- 0      N P K

• N is Nitrogen which is key to plant growth.

• P is Phosphorus which is important for plant establishment.

• K is Potassium which increases stress tolerances in plants.

All three are important to the overall health of plants and turf.

Spring Turf Disease

Red Thread And Pink Patch

Red Thread and Pink Patch are two different fungi that often appear together in turf under the same environmental conditions. These are usually found in turf when the weather conditions have been cool and moist. Although these are fungi, fungicides are not recommended except in extreme cases. It is possible to reduce red thread through good mowing practices.

Core aeration can help loosen compacted soil and allow water to penetrate deeper in the soil. The soils pH should be maintained at between 6.5-7.0. Prune trees and shrubs to allow more light penetration and air circulation. Avoid frequent watering late in the day. Once the weather conditions warm up and are drier, both fungi should disappear without causing much damage.


What Can I Do About Moles?

Let's start off by clearing up a common mistake: “If I have moles, I must have grubs.” Not necessarily. Although they will also eat grubs, a mole's primary food source is earthworms; and actually, earthworms are a great thing and you want to encourage worms in your lawns and gardens. There are many products on the market that claim they will rid your lawn and gardens of moles, but the results are mixed. Some success has been found with castor oil based products. When caster oil is applied to the soil, it makes the soil distasteful to moles – so they move on. Of course, beware – they may just move to other parts of your lawn or over to your neighbors.

Fall Leaf Clean Up

Prevent Disease With Fall Clean Up!

Sometimes, the fall clean up seems to never end, but it's very important to the health of your lawn. Depending on the amount of leaves, you may develop some brown spots. If it is a really heavy accumulation of leaves, dead spots will appear. Ignoring piles of leaves for long stretches of time can create prime conditions for diseases and molds to take hold. You can try to clean up those accumulations first thing in the spring, but the damage may already have been done. Always clear your lawn of leaves in the fall to avoid further damaging your lawn as you go into spring.

Questions? Call CMS Landscaping at 413-533-3300 and speak directly to a member of our team!