Lawn Service Guide
At Turfgro, we believe that a total lawn care program should be a joint program between US AND THE CUSTOMERS. That means educating you on your role in the proper care of your lawn. Below is helpful information and suggestions:
Turf Gro’s fertilizers are blended especially for the grasses and soils of this area to produce a thick, green, healthy lawn. We apply the right amount at the proper time to sustain a good lawn throughout the growing season. But grass must also have water in order for fertilizer to be effective, since grass roots absorb fertilizer nutrients only when they are dissolved in the soil’s moisture.
Proper watering is a vital part of a successful lawn care program because nearly 85 percent of the weight of grass is water. Watering is also needed to sustain growth when there’s inadequate rainfall and for fertilizers and weed controls to be effective.
More watering is needed during hot, dry summers — several times a week — than during cool spring and fall weather, when one good watering a week may be enough. Don’t wait until your grass begins to severely wilt or turn brown before watering!
Avoid daily, light sprinkling because it encourages shallow roots, disease, weeds and thatch. It also wastes a lot of water to evaporation. On the other hand, be careful not to keep the soil saturated, or the roots will die from lack of oxygen.
Morning is the best time to water, but if the grass needs it, water anytime. If you water in the evening, finish 30 minutes before sunset so the grass can dry off by night. Turf foliage that is wet during the night favors disease. If possible, also water your lawn the day after a Turf Gro application service.
Mowing is one of the most important aspects of a good lawn. It makes the lawn attractive and dense, and helps prevent weeds. Proper mowing is also critical for maintaining quality turfgrass, no matter what the season.
Mow often enough so that no more than one third of the grass is removed at one time. On average, that’s about once a week. However, cool season grasses grow most rapidly at temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so those lawns may need mowing twice a week in the spring.
How high you mow depends on the kind of grass and the season of the year. Bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass will endure summer heat stress better if they are left slightly taller during that time (3 – 31/2”). This height is also recommended for shade grasses, so there will be more leaf surface to capture the limited light.
Keep your lawnmower blades sharpened for a good cut. In addition, sharp blades cut faster and require less power and gas. The mowing pattern is less critical than the height of the cut or mowing frequency, but it can contribute to thick, healthy turf. Cut the lawn in a different direction each week to prevent the compaction of having the mower wheels pass in the same pattern each time you mow. This also distributes the traffic and wear pattern more evenly and improves the quality of cut because the grass won’t lean in one direction.
It is best not to mow wet grass, as that increases the probability of soil compaction and the chance of spreading disease-causing organisms.
Removing turf clippings makes for a more attractive lawn, but research shows minimal adverse effects from leaving them on the lawn.
Newly Seeded Turf
New turf should be watered lightly at least two to three times per day (if possible). Continue to maintain a damp surface for at least 10 – 14 days, avoiding washouts.
The establishment of new turf varies according to the time of year and watering efficiency. Fescues usually appear in 10 – 14 days during late summer and early fall, but may take two to three times longer in late fall or spring. Many grasses seeded in fall and winter will appear the following spring.
New turf is ready to be mowed when it grows taller than the cutting height for the established lawn.
Maryland is part of a region called the transition zone – also known as “the crabgrass belt.” Crabgrass is one of the most troublesome weeds in turf, surviving through hot, dry weather and producing a lot of seeds. Poor maintenance, such as mowing too short or frequent light watering, increases crabgrass.
Recent testing of pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide in Maryland showed less effective control than in northern regions. It takes several years to control crabgrass; if it’s a persistent problem, call about an additional spring treatment.
Fortunately, healthy turf grass can withstand substantial insect attacks. Well-maintained turf should be able to tolerate four to eight grubs per square foot. By applying insecticides at the proper times, Turf Gro controls potential turf pests and problems.
A typical lawn’s topsoil averages more than 5,000 weed seeds per square foot!
Turf Gro’s weed controls are formulated to destroy more than 275 weed varieties, but most weed seeds remain dormant for many years, appearing when conditions are most favorable. We apply a post-emergent broadleaf weed control at each visit (except winter). However, if weeds become a persistent problem, call us and we’ll re-apply the application.