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Starting out the lawn care program for 2013

This is a very important time for your lawn- how you treat your lawn right now will set the tone for how your lawn looks for the next 6 months.

First, you NEED to address any weeds that have already emerged from the ground. These are cool season weeds such as chickweed, henbit, etc. These are easy to control RIGHT NOW with a broadleaf herbicide treatment. If you wait another month when these weeds are in full bloom and growing, they are much more difficult to control.

Next, you want to apply a pre-emergent herbicide (crabgrass preventer) to the lawn before soil temperatures reach 55 degrees (crabgrass can germinate once soil temps reach 57 degrees). As I write this on 2/28 soil temps are still in the upper 40's so we still have a few weeks of being in the window. Typically late February to mid March is a good time to do this treatment. Its a granular application that combines the herbicide with fertilizer to provide a feeding for your existing turf. 

Other considerations to address are taking care of any bare spots in the lawn. If seeding is required, you want to do that in early February so you can still get some pre-emergent out in late March/early April. Keep in mind though, you won't have the best protection from crabgrass is you take this approach.

If you have issues with poa annua weeds in spring, well there really is'nt a great approach to fixing at this time of the year. If it really bothers you and don't mind paying the extra money, you can re-sod these areas. Otherwise, you should just live with it for another 6 weeks until it goes away on its own.


Lawn Care Charlotte- Winter update

Its been a challenging year for lawn care. Starting with poa annua weed going crazy this spring, brown patch fungus the worst its been in years, a bumper crop of nutsedge weeds this summer, and finally a hot dry fall making it difficult to get new grass to grow. Each of these issues are directly related to the weather patterns we go through during the year: a wet spring with lots of downpours, Summers getting hotter and dryer, humidity through the roof, and drought periods continuing through the Fall.

Each year we go through extreme conditions like this one it helps me to refine my Premium Lawn Care Program. Although every year is different, and next year I’m sure will bring a new set of challenges, I feel better prepared to be proactive and deliver the most complete lawn care program available.

By now everyone has received the very important winter fertilizing treatment. This will provide nutrients over the winter as well as stored nutrients for recovery in the springtime.

If you have noticed weeds appearing in your turf or beds, I expect to be able to spray your lawn sometime this month so you will be weed-free going into next year.  

The plan is to begin spraying these weeds as soon as the new grass is established and strong enough to handle the herbicide used to get rid of the weeds. The new grass is considered established after it has been cut at least 3 times. Every cut of the new grass blades will force roots to spread and the top growth to come back thicker and stronger so it is very important to cut the grass several times before spraying. The challenge has been trying to get a dry stretch when we can get the mowers on the lawn without causing damage.



Lawn Care in Charlotte Fall/Winter

Although the turf growth will be slowing down over the next month or so, its very important that we continue to provide nutrients for the grass during the cold weather. This will keep some color in the lawn longer in the season and allow for a quick recovery from “winter fatigue” and faster green-up next spring. A high-nitrogen granular fertilizer will be applied to the lawn around the first week of November. Also, if any weeds have popped up recently, they will be sprayed as soon as the new grass has been cut several times and is established.

We did a lime treatment as part of the Premium renovation service this year. Lime usually isn't needed every year, so if you did not get the Premium renovation this year, let me know if you want a lime treatment added.

I’m always doing quite a bit of research on lawn care products, as well as talking with vendors and horticultural experts so I can continue to improve my lawn care program. I’ve also been doing some trial and error on my own property and some of my friends properties to find the best combination of lawn products, the best timing of applications, and optimal application rates. I am not content to follow the herd of landscapers and just do what everybody else is doing to get marginal results.

Next year I may be tweaking your specific lawn care program based on what we saw on your specific property. No two lawns are the same. What works for your next door neighbor probably won’t be ideal for your property. Once we pick up on the long-term pattern of what your lawn needs, how it reacts to certain products, test the soil, and take into account what kind of weather we’re getting; only then are we able to make informed and proactive decisions.

There may be points in time when we stumble, its hard to be perfect when we’re dealing with an ever-changing live micro-climate and rely on the weather to help out. But we strive for improvement each year as we get to know your property better as time goes by.    



Summer Lawn Care

We are full swing into Brown Patch fungus season as well as Nutsedge weed growth. We've had a good amount of rainfall this summer in the form of afternoon thunderstorms producing a large quanity of water on the turf at once. And thats exactly what makes those 2 lawn issues thrive!

For treatment of Brown Patch we are rotating between Armada and Disarm fungicides. We get about 30 days control after each treatment and using different active ingredients will reduce disease tolerance in the lawn.

We are using a combination of products for weed control treatment during the summer. Drive is an excellent control of crabgrass and a few other grassy/broadleaf weeds. Dismiss is used for nutsedge control as well as some broadleaf. And then we will use Momentum for control of more aggressive broadleaf weeds such as buttonweed and spurge. As always, we must be very careful when spraying herbicides during the heat of the summer. Some of these products can stress out the fescue grass if its too hot, and rain or irrigation within 24 hours will reduce effectiveness.



The last few years Nutsedge has been a weed that has invaded our lawns and beds due to the ideal conditions for it to thrive. Nutsedge does well in hot weather and takes off when we have a wet spring, so we've seen it get worse and worse over the last few years.

Nutsedge grows faster than your fescue grass so it will stand out as a different shade of green growing taller than the grass. The leaves look like a monkey grass blade: long and tapering to a point.

Nutsedge can be treated with a specific herbicide that can be sprayed during the summer. This weed can be difficult to control and it usually takes at least 2 applications to fully kill it off. The challenge we run into is that our tall fescue typically is under some stress during the summer because of heat/drought so we don't want to put too much herbicide down at once to add stress to our turf. It just takes patience and diligence to manage the nutsedge.