Are Spring-Green Lawn Care Services Safe for Pets?

pets lawn care safety

A general concern that comes up every year is if the pesticides we use are safe for pets and children. The majority of the pesticide products Spring-Green uses are considered “General Use” and can be purchased and used by homeowners.

Spring-Green will post every treated lawn and leave instructions to stay off the lawn until the application has dried. While the drying time is influenced by weather, in most cases, keeping pets and children off the treated area for 2 hours after the application is a good practice and recommended. After the drying time, your pets and kids can enjoy the yard!

Always check the invoice left at the time of the application for any other specific information.

Protecting Pollinators

We appreciate your concern for bees and that dandelions are a food source of bees. For the majority of lawns that we service, dandelions or other flowering weeds that may be food for bees, are usually not found in large numbers. For those that are present, we will apply a weed control application on a spot treatment basis.

A great way to support pollinators is by adding diverse flowering plants in your yard that bloom from early spring to late fall. You can also make your own hummingbird nectar by mixing 1 part sugar with 4 parts water, and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold present.

There are a certain number of lawns that do have an extensive weed problem when they begin our service and this situation requires that the entire lawn to be treated. There are an abundance of flowering weeds in parks, vacant lots, commercial sites and residential lawns that provide food for bees and other pollinators.

The weed control products that we use are labelled for residential use by the US EPA and we adhere to those label directions. When properly applied by licensed and trained applicators, they pose no unreasonable risk to the environment.

Spring-Green Lawn Care Has Over 40 Years of Experience

Spring-Green has over 40 years of experience in applying pesticides. We require appropriate protective equipment when making applications to lawns and/or landscapes and all our Field Service Professionals are trained and appropriately licensed to apply these pesticides.

Each pesticide we use is registered for use on residential properties by the Environmental Protection Agency. The registration process can take up to 10 years to complete and may cost $100 million or more before it is available for residential use. Additionally, each pesticide must be reviewed once every 15 years. The EPA considers the effects these products have on pets, humans and the environment during the initial registration process and during each review process.

In summary, the products that Spring-Green uses are registered for use on residential properties as determined by the US EPA and when applied based on label requirements by a licensed and trained applicator, pose no unreasonable risk to humans, pets or to the environment. Spring-Green offers the highest quality service in an environmentally responsible manner. Spring-Green also offers an Organic-Based Fertilizer program that introduces organic materials into your soil.

If you have any additional questions, contact your local neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green or submit your question to our lawn care expert on the left side bar.

Happy National Lawn Care Month – We’ve Got All The Tips!

national lawn care month

It’s April. It’s spring. The temps are rising, the birds are chirping and it’s National Lawn Care Month! At Spring-Green, we love April for all these reasons, and we want to spread our love of the lawn with you with some fun facts and interesting tips to celebrate.

In Honor of National Lawn Care Month: 3 Ways Our Lawns Make Our Lives Better

1. They protect us from ticks, mosquitoes, fleas and fire ants. A lawn treated with safe and environmentally-friendly pest control products will protect your family’s health. If left untreated, we could be exposed to the diseases and discomfort that these pests can cause, such as:

  • Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases can be transmitted via tick bites.
  • West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Chikungunya and the Zika virus are all linked to mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes.
  • Anemia-causing tapeworms, as well as murine typhus, have been traced to flea bites.
  • Life-threatening allergic reactions, more than just a painful nuisance, are linked to fire ant bites.

2. They make us happier. Our lives are enriched by having green spaces around us, and the science backs up this assertion. In fact, a study put out by Housley and Wolf showed that just by looking (even through a window) out at plants, trees and green lawn, we can reduce our stress levels and lower our blood pressure – not to mention the endless hours of fun the kids have playing tag on hot summer evenings! A green environment has also been shown to improve focus and memory. Greener neighborhoods also tend to have lower crime rates. Coincidence, we think not.

3. They make us healthier. Keeping your lawn properly mowed can keep us healthier by reducing the effects of seasonal allergies. The pollen in grasses is produced at the tips of the top of the blades. By keeping your lawn maintained at a height of about two inches, you’ll help the allergy sufferers in your family avoid the pollen that makes them miserable. Just a few of many reasons, we celebrate National Lawn Care Month.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Lawn Care This National Lawn Care Month (And All Year Long):

Do mow often, but don’t mow too short.
Do use fertilizer to control weeds, but don’t use harsh chemicals.
Do stick to a watering schedule. Don’t overwater.
Do cut your lawn at the right time of day, but don’t cut it if it’s wet.
Do adjust your lawn care plans based on the season. Don’t forget about clearing away debris, leaves and branches regularly.
Do learn what things make sense for you to do yourself. Don’t hesitate to bring in an experienced lawn care professional to help you with your lawn care.

While National Lawn Care Month is top of mind in April of every year, it’s top of our minds here at Spring-Green all year long. We understand just how important, and sometimes challenging, it can be to have and maintain a lawn care regimen. That’s why we’re here.

In fact, for over 20 years, we’ve been perfecting ways to help home and business owners enjoy beautiful lawns with no stress and no worry about what to do and what not to do. Our experienced professionals are up-to-date on the latest lawn care techniques, dedicated to providing the very best in customer service and standing by to meet your needs.

Contact your Spring-Green lawn professional today!

Weed And Feed 101 – Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know

weed and feed

Like many things in life timing matters. If you want a healthy, vibrant lawn year-round, it’s just as important to understand what it needs as well as to understand when it needs it. A foundational link to your lawn’s health is providing protection from the weeds that can threaten its very existence. Weed killers, weed and feed and the timing of it all, however, can be mystifying to homeowners seeking answers.

Not to worry though, you’ve got a neighborhood lawn expert at your disposal! Spring-Green has the basics of weed killer best practices, timing recommendations and more. Before you go out to administer any weed and feed, check out this primer on the when, what, where, how and why…well, we know the why, right?

Common Weed And Feed Questions Deboned

What is weed and feed? Weed and feed is an interchangeable, universal name given to a wide variety of lawn chemicals that have the purpose of strengthening the lawn by killing weeds. It generally improves your lawn’s ability to absorb water and food and adds necessary nutrients which promote healthy growth.

A healthy lawn, in turn, discourages weed propagation, enabling the use of a reduced amount of the product over time. There are many types of weed and feed that we will drill down on for further learnings.

What is the “weed” in my weed and feed? The weed component is comprised of herbicides (typically Dicamba, 2, 4-D and/or MCPP). These chemicals are designed to squelch dandelions, dollarweed and the most common green leafy weeds.

What makes up the “feed” in my weed and feed? The “feed” is a fertilizer. Typically, it is a combo of nitrogen, phosphorous and/or potassium. The blends vary, but all are designed to help your lawn flourish.

How does weed and feed work? Granules are applied to and absorbed by the leaves of the weed but doesn’t kill regular grass (unless too much is applied). In addition to the granular form, liquid forms are available that can be applied with a sprayer.

What is pre-emergent weed and feed? Pre-emergent weed and feed, as the name implies, targets weeds before they appear. Pre-emergent weed and feed does not control existing weeds. Annual applications over the target area for best results. Water in your pre-emergent weed and feed to activate the herbicide and create a barrier against weeds before they grow.

What is post-emergent weed and feed? Post-emergent weed and feed is the most common form for ridding weeds from lawns. When you already have weeds, the post-emergent weed and feed varietal is in order. Using a mixture of chemicals, they kill the weed and keep it from growing back.

How do seasons impact my weed and feed strategy? To be effective with your weed and feed strategy, you need to get the timing right. As a rule of thumb, time the application of weed and feed with the fertilization of the lawn during the last week of March or early April.

Keeping weeds out of your lawn can often be a chronic struggle that requires a strategy that is comprehensive and continuous. Understanding when to use pre-emergent weed and feed versus post-emergent as well as getting the timing right can be the winning combination to help you reach the finish line.

Whether it’s weeds or routine upkeep you’re in need of, Spring-Green is America’s go-to for neighborhood lawns and landscapes care since 1977. We are locally owned and operated and take our commitment to our community seriously.

Contact your nearest neighborhood Spring-Green lawn care professional today.

Do It Yourself Lawn Care Worth It? Factors To Keep in Mind For the DIY Landscaper

lawn care professional

It’s safe to state that spring has finally arrived through much of the United States. The temperatures are on the rise, lawns are waking up from dormancy, trees and shrubs are leafing out and many of these plants are also producing flowers and the tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs are blooming. It is also the time of year when advertisements for lawn care fertilizers and other control products are seen in the mail, newspapers and online.

If you use a professional lawn care service like Spring-Green to care for your lawn, you may start comparing the price you pay for that service to the prices advertised for different lawn care products and think it may be cheaper to do care for your lawn on your own. Caring for your lawn on your own can appear to be much less expensive than contracting with a professional company, but there are other important aspects of caring for your lawn that should be taken into consideration.

DIY Lawn Care Factors To Keep In Mind

• What products to apply?
• When to apply each product?
• What pest you are trying to control?
• Why each product should be applied?
• What is the size of the area being treated?
• How each product is applied?
• How much of each product to purchase?
• What equipment is needed to apply each product?

It is important to highlight a few of these points. Do you know how big your lawn is in square feet? Most products are applied as a set amount per 1,000 square feet. This can be in pounds or ounces per 1,000 square feet. If you don’t know the size of the area being treated you could either be adding too much product, which can lead to possible lawn damage, or not enough product, which can reduce the effectiveness of the product.

The second critical factor is knowing what type of weed you are treating, what products can and cannot be used on that plant and at what rate. This is especially true when it comes to different species of turfgrasses. The nutritional requirements for Bermuda grass is much higher than that of Centipede grass. In fact, too much fertilizer on a Centipede lawn could result in permanent lawn damage.

Timing in Lawn Care Maintenance

Timing is important.Fertilizing warm season grasses too late in the fall can lead to an increase in winter injury. On cool season turfgrasses, applying too high a rate of fertilizer during periods of stress may result in a decrease in performance and possibly an increase in disease activity.

You cannot effectively control grubs and pests without being able to identify the pest and know what part of its life cycle is the most damaging and at what stage control measures should take place. In regards to insects, does it have a complete or incomplete life cycle? When controlling weeds, are you trying to control a broadleaf weed or grass-like weed. Even lawn diseases have a life cycle, so you need to know if the disease is currently active.

You also must know what product is labelled to control that pest. Just because it’s an insect, it doesn’t mean that all insect control products are effective in controlling that bug. When controlling weeds, you need to know whether you should use a pre-emergent or post emergent product. You need to know if you should use a selective or a non-selective weed control product. For diseases, you need to know if you should apply a preventative or curative product.

There are several RTU or Ready-To-Use products on the market to control weeds, insects or diseases. Many times, these are the same products that the professional companies use, but are mixed in very small quantities, relative to the size of the container. If you are planning to spray an entire lawn for broadleaf weeds, a 16-ounce container is not going to be sufficient in size.

Why Hire Spring-Green Lawn Care?

At a minimum, if you plan to purchase the basic lawn care equipment to fertilize your lawn, spray weeds and control diseases and insects on ornamental shrubs, it will cost about $110.00 for a spreader, two 1-gallon sprayers and a hose end sprayer. After buying all the equipment, you still have to buy the fertilizers and control products.

The biggest advantage you have in doing your own lawn care is that you can pick the day to do the work, providing that it isn’t too hot, too cold, too wet or too windy. It may seem that it is cheaper to do the work yourself, but if you start adding up all the costs, including your time to do the work and the inconvenience factor, hiring a professional lawn care company like Spring-Green makes the most sense! Contact us to get started on your lawn care service this season!

Winter Turf Damage: Cold Temperatures Affected Southern Lawns

Winter Grass Damage

Blog Post Provided From Roland Freund, Spring-Green Franchise Owner of Spring, Texas

This past winter will be remembered as an unusually cold one in the South region, and landscapes are now telling the story.
Homeowners are busy trying to replace dead plants and repair lawn areas. Since Eastern Redbuds are blooming, there is a very good chance the freezing cold weather is behind us.

Lawn Care companies and the Extension Offices have been inundated with phone calls regarding dead areas in lawns. Everyone is quick to blame someone, but the truth of the matter is that no one had control over the weather and the amount of winter kill to lawns.
Based on my observations in different communities, most of the damage occurred to turf in open areas with no protection from frosts or low temperatures.

Lawn areas beneath a tree canopy, between buildings or next to water bodies fared much better because they got some protection from the cold. One lawn may be damaged and the one next door may be fine.

Lawns Affected By Cold Weather

There are lots of variables that affect cold hardiness such as the type of lawn and variety, soils, mowing height, etc. Also, new lawns installed after late August or later did not fare well, because the lawns did not have sufficient time to establish.

According to University of Florida turfgrass specialist Bryan Unruh, winter injury is a very complex and poorly understood phenomenon in turf. It is not only related to low temperature but also to fertilization rate (individual applications and seasonal quantities), state of hydration at the time of low temperatures and perhaps most important is the number of times that it greens and re-greens throughout the winter.

Warm temperatures are often followed by cold, creating a roller coaster of temperature fluctuations. As a result, the stored carbohydrates in lawns dwindle and are depleted when spring rolls around. Based on this information, it would be difficult to blame any one thing for the damage we experienced this year.

Repairing Your Lawn From the Winter

If you have dead areas in the lawn, it’s time to move on and repair them. If the dead areas are small, gently rake out the damaged turf so the surrounding lawn can fill in the gaps. If the areas are large, use a garden rake to remove the dead material; then loosen and level the existing soil.

Depending on the type of grass, replace with sod, plugs, or seed. St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Improved Bermuda lawns can be planted as sod and/or plugs. Common Bermuda can also be grown from seed. Plugs, sod, and seed are readily available at sod nurseries or garden centers.
Don’t mix different grasses in the same lawn, because the growing requirements are not the same. Also, try to match the variety with what you currently have unless you are dissatisfied with the existing lawn. For example, Floratam, Delmar, Palmetto, Bitterblue, Captiva, Seville,and Classic are all St. Augustine grass varieties.

If you are unable to match the variety, make your own plugs by cutting out sections with a shovel or a special steel plugger. Plugs are typically spaced 6 to 12 inches apart but can be spaced closer so the bare areas will fill in quicker to reduce weed problems. Store-bought plugs will establish sooner because they have a more developed root system.

Seed or Sod Your Lawn

Seeds should be applied evenly, lightly raked into the soil and/or covered with a thin layer of topsoil, and then rolled to ensure seed to soil contact. Cover the seeded area with a thin layer of mulch to prevent seedlings from drying out. Watering is the next critical stage to the success of the new sod, plugs or seed. Keep the area moist by applying small quantities of water several times each day for about two weeks. Do not turn the sprinkler on and let it run constantly as this keeps the area too wet, promotes disease problems, and wastes water.

After the seedlings emerge or the sod starts to grow and take root, reduce the irrigation frequency but increase the amount. Once established, and the grass is actively growing, apply 1 inch water/week when you run the irrigation system to encourage a deep root system.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Spring-Green.

Life Cycle of Winter Annual Weeds In Your Lawn and Landscape

winter annual weeds

In the world of weeds, there are three different life cycles – annual, biennial and perennial. Annuals only live for one growing period, biennials live for two years and perennials live for more than two years. Among these life cycles, there is also a distinct as to when the initial germination takes place. The common thought is that all weeds germinate in the spring, but many of them germinate in the fall, such as Dandelions, Henbit and Shepard’s Purse. These life cycles are referred to as winter germinating weeds.

Winter Annual Weeds In Your Landscape

Winter annual weeds are often the first ones seen in the spring. The germination process usually begins in the fall and the plants persist over the winter in a vegetative state. They can survive freezing temperatures and be ready to start growing again once the weather begins to warm up in the spring.

As the weather warms up, the plant will begin to bolt, or send up a flower stalk or stem as their life cycle continues. This is the time that the plant produces seeds to perpetuate the species. By that time, the weather has usually started to get warmer, which signals to the winter annuals that their life cycle has come to an end.

It is important to remember that when a plant produces flowers, it also is creating seeds and those seeds will be present in the lawn to germinate the following fall and the whole process will start again. Applying weed control products in the spring is important, but it is equally important to treat a lawn for weeds in the fall as well.

Common First Winter Annual Weeds of Spring

Henbit

Henbit is a member of the mint family and has square stems with opposite leaves. It has pink to purple flowers and usually grows about 6 inches high in the Midwest. The plant has circular or rounded leaves with rounded teeth on the leaf edge or margin.

Shephard’s Purse

Shepherd’s Purse grows 3 to 18 inches tall and forms a rosette that is like a dandelion. The main difference between the two plants, besides the obvious of a Dandelion being a perennial and Shepherd’s Purse being an annual, is the shape and direction of the lobs on the leaves. The lobs on a Dandelion point back to the center of the rosette while the lobs of Shepard’s Purse point straight out from the mid vein. The seedpods are heart shaped and contain hundreds of seeds.

Common Chickweed

Chickweed has a shallow fibrous root which grows best in moist, cool shaded areas. It has small white flowers with 5 petals that are split almost to the base. The leaves are bright green and are about ½ inch long, smooth and sharply pointed.

Prickly Lettuce

The distinguishing feature of this weed is the deeply lobed leaves with a prominent row of spines on the underside of the mid vein.

Catchweed Bedstraw

This weed also has square stems with short hooks on the stems. It grows best moist shady areas. The hooked spines cling to just about everything and are difficult to remove. And it was used as a filling for mattresses.

There’s a lot more types of winter annual weeds. These weeds may be growing in your lawn now, but remember, they actually starting growing last fall. They will die when the weather turns warmer, but they will leave behind hundreds of seeds, ready to germinate again next fall. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local Spring-Green!

How to Get Your Lawn and Landscape Ready For Spring

get lawn and landscape ready for spring

If you live in the southern part of the U.S., you may have already started getting your lawn and landscape in shape for the coming spring. For those that live in the more northern parts of the U.S., you are most likely wishing that it will start to get warmer so that the snow will melt and you can see your lawn, but there are still things that you can do to start getting your landscape in shape for the coming year.

I conduct regional training programs across the U.S. at this time of year to help set the pace for the coming year. Besides sales and customer service topics, I also include sessions on technical topics as well as application and product safety. I start in the southern sections of the U.S. where we have franchise locations and slowly work my way north. In the southern sections, the primary work that is being completed is spreading mulch in landscape beds, selective pruning of trees along with controlling winter weeds and applying products to prevent annual grasses from germinating as the weather warms up.

About the only outdoor work that can be completed in the northern areas is selective pruning of trees. Winter is a great time to remove branches that may be crossing other branches or ones that are broken or misshapen. Up to now, snow fall has been far less than normal, so there is a good deal of tree pruning going on at this time of year. If you are pruning a spring flowering tree like a magnolia or crabapple, be careful of how much you prune off as it will reduce the number of flowers that will display this coming spring.

How to Get Lawn and Landscape Equipment Ready For Spring

Regardless of where you live, winter is a great time to get lawn mowers and other power equipment ready for the spring. If you are using a 4-cycle engine that requires oil, winter is a good time to remove the old oil and add fresh oil for the coming season. Change the spark plug if it hasn’t been changed for a couple of years. Clean the underside of the mower deck and clean and/or replace the air filter. It is also a great time to sharpen the mower blade. If you are not mechanically inclined, many hardware stores and small engine repair shops offer tune-up specials during the winter.

Many gas-powered line trimmers and blowers use gas and oil mixture so an oil change is not necessary, but cleaning and/or replacing the air filter is a good practice as is replacing the spark plug. If you use battery-powered line trimmers or blowers, there is not much maintenance that has to be completed on these items outside of cleaning them if they have become dirty.

Although gardening tools should have been cleaned and wiped down with oil before storing for the winter, sometimes this task gets forgotten. Using a stiff wire brush to clean off shovels, hoes, rakes or other metal gardening tools before things get busy again this spring. After cleaning off soil and any possible rust, either wipe the metal parts with oil are spray them with an oil-based lubricant.

Spring Gardening Ideas

This is also the time to start exploring different gardening ideas for the coming year. Think back and what you planted to determine what grew well and what sort of fizzled out and died. Seed catalogs are often abundant now, but not everyone has these publications delivered to their homes. Fortunately, the internet is a tremendous source for all types of advice for gardening. It is best to stick with recommendations for accredited sources such as university extension services or well-known brands such as Burpee or Proven Winners, just to name two.

The weather will get warmer, trees and shrubs will start to bud out and produce flowers and spring bulbs will surface to fill may landscapes with glorious colors. Gardening does require patience, so relax, explore landscape ideas online and before you know it spring will be upon us. Now is also a good time to start thinking about a lawn care service. Contact us to plan for the greener, thicker lawn you’ve been wanting!

Fall is a good time to fertilize cool season grasses!

fertilize cool season grasses

Right now many of us are wondering how it could possibly be fall already, but it’s a fact. The autumnal equinox has passed, football season is underway, and pumpkin spice flavored foods and beverages are all the rage. If your lawn contains types of cool-season grasses, like Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Fine Fescue or Tall Fescue, the fall season also presents some fantastic opportunities to improve the overall health, vitality and beauty of your lawn. Performing core aeration in the fall loosens the soil, breaks down thatch and allows air, water, and nutrients in. Overseeding immediately after aeration allows more seed to reach the soil as well. But perhaps the most beneficial thing you can do for your cool season lawn is feed it!

Grass is a seasonal plant whose growth rates fluctuate at different times of year. During the fall season, lawns are recovering from the stresses of summer, such as heat and drought. Early fall is a period for vigorous growth in cool season grasses, which take advantage of the milder temperatures and more consistent moisture levels. This new growth and recovery uses up nutrients, which must be replenished. A fall application of a controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer provides the necessary nutrients to keep your turf green and growing longer into the fall season.

Fertilizer For Fall  Applications

Here’s an interesting fact about cool season grasses: as growth above the ground begins to slow, the grass plants are putting more energy into root development, which is essential for winter hardiness and ensures greater turf density the following spring. As you might guess, all of this also requires nutrients. This is why fall fertilization is such an essential part of an effective cool season lawn care program. Depending on where you live, there may be enough time to apply a second, late fall application of fertilizer. We recommend that the applications be 4 to 6 weeks apart. In late fall, when the grass plants are no longer using the nutrients for growth, they begin storing the nutrients in the stems and rhizomes (the root system), which keeps the plants healthier not only over the winter season but also into spring.

What type of fertilizer is best for fall applications? There is no universally correct answer to this question because the nutritional needs of turf grasses vary by region based on predominant grass types, soil composition, and climate as well as when the product is being applied. It should most definitely be a lawn fertilizer, as opposed to a general purpose garden fertilizer. All bagged fertilizer products are required by law to display the guaranteed minimum percentage (by weight) of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Of these, nitrogen is the foundation nutrient essential to any fall feeding program. Nitrogen products can be formulated for quick release, where it becomes immediately available in the soil, or slow release, which becomes available over a longer period of time. Many lawn-specific fertilizers will contain both.

Preparing Cool Season Grasses For Winter

A few cultural practices will also help your cool season lawn prepare for its winter nap. As late fall approaches, begin to gradually bring the cutting height down on your mower. Do this in steps, over the course of several mowing, so that you are never removing too much of the grass blade at once, which would damage the turf instead of helping it. Also never adjust the mower so low that you are scalping the lawn all the way down to the soil surface. If you have a blanket of fallen leaves or other debris on the lawn, rake them up. Leaves can also be ground to a fine mulch with repeated mowing, though it is important to ensure that the resulting pieces have been finely ground. Both of these practices—gradually lowering the grass height and keeping the lawn’s surface breathable by controlling leaf cover and removing debris—will help prevent diseases like snow mold from taking hold.

Have we given you enough to think about? No worries! The easiest way to ensure that your lawn is receiving the correct balance of nutrients, in the proper amounts and at the right time, is to call on your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green and let us take all the guesswork out of it. We will be happy to answer any questions you have, too.

Thicken Your Lawn: It’s Time For Overseeding!

overseeding

Overseeding, sometimes called reseeding, is the process of distributing grass seed over an existing lawn. According to information provided by Pennington Seed, there are two primary reasons for seeding existing turf in this manner. First, to either rejuvenate a patchy or thinning lawn or to prevent one. Many grass types will thin out as part of their natural maturing process. Your turf may also develop thinning or bare spots due to the stresses of heavy traffic as well as certain diseases or pests. Simply put, if your lawn is receding, consider reseeding.

Purpose of Overseeding a Lawn

Lawn care professionals will frequently use overseeding as a preventative measure. Instead of waiting for the thin areas or bare spots to appear, they will reseed the lawn so that the new grass plants appear before the weak areas are able to develop. Rather than fixing a poor-looking lawn, this proactive approach keeps the turf looking full, green, and healthy.

The second reason for overseeding is to bring up color when warm season grasses go dormant in winter. This is done by seeding the warm season lawn with a cool season grass seed mix that will produce color during those months when the warm season grasses are dormant. It may seem odd to plant cool season grass seed on a warm season lawn but the very conditions that cause the warm season grass to go dormant—milder daytime conditions and cooler nighttime temperatures—will allow the cool season grass to thrive, if only temporarily. The desired result is year-round green color.

How and When to Reseed

So far we’ve looked at what overseeding is and why to do it. Now let’s address when and how. Cool season grasses of the northern regions enter a period of vigorous growth during late summer and early fall. The soil is still warm enough for the seed to germinate and the cooler temperatures, along with moist conditions, stimulate growth. This is the best time to overseed a northern lawn, with spring being the second best.

By comparison, warm season grasses experience their active growth beginning in late spring, which makes that the better time to overseed a thinning lawn or to prevent one. If winter color in a southern lawn is the goal, fall is the time—just as the existing warm season grass is beginning to turn brown and go dormant.

Without proper preparation and execution, one can spend a great deal of money on overseeding and not see great results. In order for grass seed to become grass plants, it must have an opportunity to germinate and thrive. Simply distributing seed, even good seed, over a lawn may not be good enough, especially if the soil is compacted, there is an excessive thatch layer, or both.

Improve Your Lawn With Core Aeration

Grass seed that cannot get into the soil and receive the necessary moisture and nutrients has a good chance of becoming bird food. Spring-Green’s core aeration service disrupts the surface of the lawn and the soil beneath it by extracting plugs of soil and plant material and then depositing them on the lawn’s surface. This process helps loosen compacted soil and break down thatch, allowing water, nutrients and grass seed to penetrate the soil. For this reason, we recommend scheduling core aeration and overseeding in combination.

Proper seed selection is also important. Use a quality seed mix that is well-matched to your growth region as well as to your overseeding objective. One objective may be to thicken an existing lawn without substantially altering the grass type. Another is to augment the turf by introducing additional grass types to it, such as the introduction of cool season grass seed to a warm season lawn in order to enhance winter color.

Watering, feeding, and weed control practices during the weeks following core aeration and overseeding may also vary according to the specific needs of your lawn. Contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green to obtain more information, ask questions, or schedule this service.

Summer Lawn Care: Mowing and Watering Tips

summer mowing and watering tips

It’s summer, which means it’s hot, and in many cases, dry. Lawns are showing the effects of these stress factors. It is critical to the health of the lawn to water properly and to set the mower to cut the lawn at a higher setting.

Mowing Your Lawn Properly

One of the most common problems that Lawn Care Operators face involve lawns that are mowed too short. Many homeowners are under the impression that if they cut the lawn short, they don’t have to mow as often. To a certain extent that is true, but by mowing short, the lawn will not grow well since it is trying to recover from the loss of food that was being produced by the grass blades. This is NOT a healthy practice to follow as it will weaken the lawn.

Here are the four main reasons why a lawn needs to be cut at a longer length:

  1. The grass blade is the food producing part of the plant. When mowed short, less photosynthesis is taking place until the plant grows a new grass blade.
  2. The longer grass blade will shade the ground underneath, keeping it cooler and inhibiting water evaporation. The lawn will require less water when cut at a higher length.
  3. By shading the ground underneath, less sun will reach the soil and there will be less chance for weed seeds to heat up and germinate. Having longer grass will help reduce weed growth.
  4. It is a natural balance of nature that the roots will grow in depth to match the height of the lawn. This does not mean that the grass should be mowed at 6 inches, but it does mean that the roots will be better developed and grow deeper than a lawn where the grass is cut short.

Many commercial lawn maintenance companies mow too short, stating that is what their customers want. It is important to discuss the mowing height requirements with the company that mows the lawn and find one that will mow at the proper height. These are the recommended summer mowing heights for common lawn grasses in the US:

• Bermuda Grass 1-1/2”
• Zoysia Grass 1-1/2”
• Centipede Grass 2”
• St Augustine Grass 3-1/2 ”
• Tall Fescue Grass 4”
• Bluegrass 3”
• Perennial Ryegrass 3”
• Fine Fescue 3-1⁄2”

Watering Your Lawn

Watering is the second most misunderstood lawn care practice. Unless the lawn has an automatic sprinkler system, watering can be a laborious task. Moving around hoses and sprinklers can be tedious and remembering to turn on and off the water can be difficult, especially when not at home during the day. The best time to water a lawn is during the early morning and try to avoid watering at night. The prime conditions for diseases to develop in a lawn is when it is cooler, there is a good deal of available moisture on the grass blades and the sun has set for the day.

Either water a lawn on a consistent basis or allow it to go dormant. Except in extreme drought conditions, most grasses can survive for about 30 days without water. Watering enough to stimulate new growth and then allowing the lawn to go back into dormancy, time and time again will use up the plant’s carbohydrate reserves – increasing its susceptibility to disease and insect infestations. If you are going to water, be consistent and provide one inch of water per week, regardless if you are doing it manually or have a sprinkler system.

If you do have a sprinkler system, be sure you have your system checked by a professional company. Many Spring-Green locations offer lawn irrigation system maintenance check-ups during the summer. This is a great idea to ensure that all sections of the lawn are receiving adequate water and there are no leaks or damaged heads. It is also a great time to update your system with rain gauges and moisture sensors to provide water when it is needed and not every day.

Feel free to contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green if you’re interested in learning more about our Irrigation System Maintenance program.