Stay Sharp: How To Keep Your Lawn Mower Blade Working Its Best

lawn mower
Have you ever pondered the sharpness of your lawn mower? If so, you are not alone in your consideration of the sharpness of your mower. You can follow all the mowing tips and mowing best practices available for consumption, but with a dull blade, you won’t get too far. The pros at Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care professionals, are here with the tips you need to keep your mower blade sharp and your lawn looking sharp!

Guide To Keeping Your Lawn Mower Blades Sharp

Does a sharp mower blade really matter?

Compare the sharpness of your lawn mower blade to your razor. Your goals of a clean-shaven face would fall flat without a sharp blade, wouldn’t they? An old or dull lawn mower blade can leave your lawn looking less than amazing as well as cause damage to your grass.

If your lawn mower blades are dull and/or damaged, it can actually create long-term issues with your lawn. The dull cut can leave a torn grass blade becomes distressed and more susceptible to pests and diseases. As we work so hard to keep our lawn looking great all summer, the state of our lawn mower can actually undo all that hard work if not maintained properly.

How do I sharpen my mower blade?

Lawn mowers have a few options to sharpen lawn mower blades, ranging from a bench grinder, hand file, rotary tool or angle grinder. Your lawn mower blades can also be sharpened with a drill and sharpening stone designed for sharpening dull lawn mower blades. While every lawn mower make and model is unique, here are some guidelines to removing the blades before sharpening:

  • Some mowers allow you to sharpen the blades without removing them, which saves a lot of time.
  • Taking the blade off, however, does allow you to do a more thorough job and avoid damaging any other part of the mower.
  • Take safety precautions like disconnecting your lawn mower’s ignition wire from the spark plug or removing the battery pack before getting started. Also, drain the gas tank, so there is no chance of a fuel spill while you are sharpening the mower blades.
  • Once you have the mower blades removed, take advantage of this opportunity to clean your mower scraping away any debris that’s hard to reach when the mower is intact.
  • Once you’ve sharpened the mower’s blades, be sure to the blade using a lawn mower blade balancer. This step is important as a lawn mower blade that is out of balances can damage the motor and stress the mower.

How often should mower blades be sharpened?

A commonly-asked question is how often, “Should I sharpen my mower blades?” The answer is it depends. Factors such as the type of mower you use, the age of that mower and the condition of your mower can impact the frequency. Your sharpening frequency will also be impacted by how often you mow and how large the space you are mowing is.

A good rule of thumb would be to sharpen if you notice the grass is not cleanly cut or is uneven. Another good frame of reference is to sharpen your mower after every 20 to 25 hours of use. This could be once a year for small, personal mowers or once a quarter for those who mow large areas more frequently.

How much should I expect to spend on sharpening my mower blades?

Some good news…it doesn’t cost a lot of money to keep your mower blades sharp! If you are a do-it-yourself type, you need to invest in the cost of the sharpener or drill bit which will typically be in the ballpark of $20. Of course, you may have to factor in the value of your time, if you want to get an accurate cost.

If you choose to have a local garden shop do it for you, it will cost a bit more (most likely) but will save you time. For those of you doing the math, if you pay someone to sharpen your blade twice during the lawn mowing season, you’ll likely pay enough to cover the cost of the sharpening tool that you could use to do it yourself for years to come.

A routine check of your lawn mower’s blades is essential to keeping your lawn looking good, feeling healthy and keeping your lawn mower working at optimal levels. Sharpening your lawn mower blades is easy to do yourself or have a local professional assist you.

The professionals at Spring-Green are here to provide you tips for proper lawn mowing. Being locally owned and operated, Spring-Green is able to truly understand the lawn care needs of your area so we can create the best value and most personalized yard care programs for you!

Contact your neighborhood Spring-Green lawn care professional today.

Seedheads Developing on Cool Season Grasses

Some customers get worried when they see little seedheads covering their lawns, usually starting around the middle of May when sunlight reaches 12 hours a day. It is a natural process of the grass to produce seed, and fertilizing and proper mowing practices will help keep the lawn healthy.

The seedheads are forming on tiny stalks that the grass plant sends up. Depending on its abundance, the seedheads can make the lawn look pale. Once the stalks are mowed, which don’t cut as easily as grass blades, they may shred and give the lawn an almost white appearance.

Seedhead development usually occurs on cool season grasses such as Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue during this time of year. Annual bluegrass (Poa Annua) produce seedheads earlier in the spring and sometimes in the fall.

seedheads

Tips For Lawns Forming Seedheads

Continue mowing at 2½ to 3 inches, but you may have to mow more often. Be sure to keep a sharp mower blade and mow high. It is not recommended to mow short or lower the mower blade to remove or reduce seedheads. It takes extra energy to produce them so your lawn may look a little pale for a couple of weeks, but it will recover. The old seed stalks will break off and will decompose into the lawn.

Unless the seedheads can ripen for about 4 months, the seed will not germinate in the lawn or, if you compost your clippings, in your compost pile. Be sure to continue your fertilization program and provide an inch of water per week as we move into the warm summer months.

Keep in mind that seedhead development is a natural process, but with proper lawn care practices you can minimize their impact. If you have any questions, contact your local neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green.

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.

Answers to Top Frequently Asked Questions about Warm Season Grass Mowing

warm season grass lousiana

If you’re like most homeowners, you have a few pressing questions about warm season grasses that need to be answered ASAP! Before we dive into the most commonly asked questions about your dormant grass and its best care recommendations, let’s get on the same page.

First-things-first, let’s make sure we understand what warm season grasses are. Warm season grasses, as the name implies, thrive in temperatures that are consistently over 75 degrees.

These warm-weather loving grasses are best used in warm regions such as the south, southeast, and southwest of the United States, where summers last longer, and average temperatures are higher. Now that we’ve got our definitions cleared up, let’s explore the most commonly asked questions about warm season grass and its care during winter and beyond.

Answers To Your FAQs About Your Warm Season Grass

1. What happens when my warm season grass goes dormant? When the temperatures begin to dip, warm season grasses become dormant. They change from green to brown, but this does not mean they have died. They are simply in their dormant state to ride out the cold seasons. Once temperatures rise above 75 in the spring, they will turn green again. If you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures in the summer, you may notice a dormancy period during the hottest and driest parts of your summer as well.

2. When should I stop mowing my lawn before winter? The answer, well it depends. First, you have to define what frost zone you live in. (Hint – the Farmer’s Almanac can help with that.) Once determined, mow your warm season grass two or three times before the first frost arrives. Be sure to slowly reduce the blade’s height each time you mow before it gets too cold.

3. What are the common types of warm season grass? Another common warm season grass question goes something like this: Is Bermuda a warm season grass? How do I know if my grass is the kind that goes dormant during winter? Is Zoysia grass a warm season grass? To answer these pressing questions, the most common types of warm season grass include Bermudagrass, Bahia Grass, Centipede Grass, St. Augustine Grass and Zoysia Grass.

4. Should I mow dormant grass? In most cases, it is not necessary to mow dormant warm-season grasses. The exception to this recommendation is when the grass was left too long the previous fall. In this case, mowing the grass shorter in the spring is a recommended practice.

Proper mowing is the key to successful warm season grass and the overall health of your lawn. The guideline for mowing your winter season grass vary based on the type of grass you have, but three best practices hold true for all.

Tips for winter season grass mowing:

• Bag up the trash! Dispose of clippings to reduce thatch buildup in warm season lawns.
• Use a sharp blade! By using a sharp mower blade, your mowing will put less stress on the grass as well as help to prevent fungus.
• Never go too short! Don’t remove more than one-third of your warm season grass’s height in one mowing.

Height guidelines for your warm season grass:

• Bermudagrass – 3/4″ – 1 1/2″ inches
• St. Augustine Grass – 1 1/2″ – 3″ inches
• Centipede Grass – 1″ – 2″ inches
• Zoysia Grass – 3/4″ – 2 1/2″

5. How best should I wake up dormant grass? There is a chance that your warm season grass is not simply dormant. It could be dead. It’s hard to tell what the answer is until you begin to reverse the condition which is done by watering and as temperatures begin to warm up. By watering your warm season grass regularly, you should revive it from its dormant state in a matter of a few days. An important note – while you are in the process of watering your lawn to “wake it up,” try to limit foot traffic that can damage the root system. Also, refrain from mowing during this time period.

6. When will my grass go dormant? Warm season grass thrives in temps above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. When soil temperatures dip below 55 degrees, your grass will enter its dormant state. When this happens will vary based on where you live, and the weather patterns your region faces during any particular fall or winter season.

Now that we’ve gotten this pressing questions out of the way, it’s time to get out there and care for our lawns…well, if it’s time, that is! At Spring-Green, we’ve been helping homeowners and businesses maintain beautiful lawns and landscapes all year long for 40 years.

As your neighborhood lawn care professional, we will treat your lawn like it’s our own. When it’s time to wake up that dormant warm weather grass, you can count on our professional team of lawn care technicians for even the toughest challenge.

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

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 Cooler Temperatures Are Affecting Lawn and Landscape

Is It Spring Yet?

As is the case with most years, sometimes it will warm up early, fooling a lot of plants, including turfgrasses, to start the annual spring green-up. Only to be broadsided with an arctic blast and cooler temperatures that pushes plants back into winter dormancy.

Cool-season turfgrasses like bluegrass, ryegrass and the fescues are somewhat accustomed to these weather fluctuations, but the warm-season grasses, such as Centipede, St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses can be greatly affected by a cold snap after they have been coaxed into an early spring green-up by an early warm up. Such is the case with many lawns in the warmer parts of the United States.

Roland Freund, Franchise Owner in the Houston, Texas area, posted some information on his Facebook page about lawns in his area that are turning a purplish color due to some cooler temperatures that have pushed southward. Turf turning a purple color is often a sign of stress and when warm season grasses that have started to come out of winter dormancy get hit with freezing temperatures, the result can cause turf to turn an off-color. Luckily, it is a temporary condition and the turf generally recovers on its own.

Some warm-season grasses that have started to green-up can display an usual camouflage-like pattern when subjected to cooler to freezing temperatures, such as what you see in the picture below. This can happen to Bermuda and Zoysia grasses. Just as is the case with St. Augustine, this is a temporary problem and the grasses usually grow starting growing and the damage disappears as new grass blades cover up the blades that have turned brown.

grass in cooler temperatures
The one unknown for warm-season turfgrass lawns is how the extremely cold temperatures that affected much of the South in early to mid-January. Temperatures in the single digits is a common occurrence in the areas where cool-season turfgrasses grow, but this year many parts of the south experienced near record setting cold weather for an extended period. It is still a little early to tell if those temperatures had a lasting effect on lawns and landscapes in the South. I will tell you that I was conducting a training session in Lake Charles, Louisiana towards the end of January, and I saw many palms trees whose fronds were badly damaged by the cold weather. It is going to take some time for those trees and the lawns to recover from the cooler temperatures.

Caring for warm-season turfgrass lawns at this time of year focuses on controlling existing winter weeds and preventing the growth of annual grasses like crabgrass and goosegrass. Weeds are much more durable than turfgrasses and will quickly come back from the onslaught of freezing temperatures. It is almost time to start fertilizing these grasses, but patience is necessary. Applying fertilizer too early can have detrimental to these grasses.

As the South gets ready for the beginning of spring, what about the lawns and landscapes in the cool-season areas? Spring applications have started for lawns in the Transition Zone where Tall Fescue is the predominate turfgrass. Except for parts of Northern California, Oregon and Washington, it is still too early to prepare for the first application of spring.

It is a best practice to wait until the ground is no longer frozen to apply the first application. In many northern states, this is mandated by law to prevent run-off from fertilizer or weed control products off of the frozen ground. It is still early and spring will be here before we know it, unless, of course, the area is hit with a late winter storm – not an uncommon occurrence in March or even early April. The best thing to do is make sure the lawn mower is tuned up and plan ahead for the season. Spring is just around the corner, so remember you can count on your local Spring-Green to make sure your lawn looks green, and thick for the upcoming season!

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.

Lawn Lime Treatment: Should You Add Lime To Your Lawn?

lawn lime treatment

Depending upon where you live, adding a lawn lime treatment to your lawn is as necessary as adding fertilizer or even mowing it on a regular basis. Unless the pH of the soil is determined by a soil test, the fertilizer you apply may provide little benefit to the lawn. If your soil is too acidic, meaning that the pH is below 6.5, the fertilizer is not properly utilized by the grass plant and the lawn will appear weak and have a dull green to yellow color.

The soil in some areas of the US is naturally acidic, so adding lime every year is a necessity. For other parts of the country, having a soil test will help determine if lime is needed to counteract acidic soil or sulfur is needed to correct soil that is too alkaline. The most common soil pH problem involves the soil being too acidic.

Here are the basic steps to follow when taking a soil sample:

  1. Using a clean, rust-free trowel, take samples from up to 10 areas of your lawn.
  2. Each sample should be about 6 to 8 inches deep.
  3. Remove the grass and any thatch at the top and save about 2 to 3 inches from the middle of the sample.
  4. Mix the samples together in a clear container and allow them to dry at room temperature.
  5. Send the sample to a soil testing lab, such as the county cooperative extension service in your community. Contact the service first for fees and where to mail the sample.

There is other valuable information that you can learn from a soil test beside the pH level, such as the amount of phosphorus and potassium that the soil contains. There may be a situation where the addition of supplemental nutrients is necessary. The other reason for determining the pH of the soil is that applying lime to a lawn that has a high pH can harm the lawn instead of helping it. If the soil test of the lawn shows it to be very acidic, yearly tests may be necessary.

When To Apply Lawn Lime Treatment

A lawn lime treatment can be applied at any time of the year, but spring and fall are probably the best times to apply it. The main reason to do so is that is when the most rain fall occurs. An added benefit for a fall application, is the normal freeze and thaw cycles help break down the lime and allow it to work faster.

If your lawn does not seem to respond to fertilizer applications and appears weak and has a dull color, contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green. They can advise on the best practices to help ensure a healthy, green lawn, including soil samples and lawn lime treatment applications.

Is Organic Fertilizer or a Lawn Care Program Better For My Lawn?

organic fertilizer

The first thing to understand about lawn care and lawns in general is that the lawn as we know is not a natural system. Most of the grasses we grow in our home lawns, sports fields, commercial properties, parks and playgrounds are not native to North America.

Here is a quick summary of the origins of common turfgrasses:

Kentucky bluegrass – native to Europe, northern Asia and the mountains of Algeria and Morocco.
Perennial ryegrass, Fine and Tall Fescue – native to Europe.
Centipede grass – native to southern China
St. Augustine – native to the tropical areas of the Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and West Africa.
Bermuda grass – native to West Africa
Zoysia grass – native to Japan.

Since lawns are not a natural system, they need help to grow and prosper in the varied and diverse environments where the grass is planted. At the very least, these grasses will need supplemental food to grow well. There may be some who disagree with this statement, but the plant needs food and where that food comes from is not as much of a concern to the plant as long as it is in a form that the plant can utilize.

Organic v.s. Synthetic Fertilizers

The biggest difference between synthetic and organic fertilizers is the time it takes for the plant to be able to use it as food. With many organic fertilizers, the process to change it from its natural state to plant form, can take days to months before it can be utilized by the plant. Synthetic fertilizers are in a form that can be used by the plant much faster, sometimes within a day.

Synthetic fertilizers are also more economical for most homeowners as the amount of nitrogen, the nutrient that makes turf green and helps it to grow, is usually at a much higher rate in each bag. They are also more widely available than most organic fertilizers.

Effects of Organic and Synthetic Chemicals for Pest Control

In regards to pest control, the synthetic chemicals have come a long way in regards to efficacy and environmental impact. Usage rates are much lower and focused on more specific pests than using a “one product for all problems” approach.

There are many natural and organic control products and some work very well, while others are not very effective or a large amount of the product has to be used to achieve some type of control. Cost is also a major factor when deciding on using organic control methods. Any product, natural or synthetic, can have adverse effects to the user or the environment if proper safety practices are not followed.

Choosing which method to use when maintaining your lawn is truly a matter of choice. They both work, but you will find that the traditional lawn care programs and products, such as what Spring-Green offers, will produce the results you desire at a reasonable cost and will not have an adverse effect to the environment.

Consider Spring-Green for all your lawn care needs this year and contact your local Spring-Green Lawn Care professional to help create a great, healthy lawn.

Striped Lawns: How to Make it Look Like a Sports Field

striped lawn

As you watch a baseball game or golf tournament on television, you may wonder how beautiful the turf looks and how you can make your own lawn look as great as they do. We all need goals in life and wanting a perfect lawn is something one can strive to attain, albeit it is a challenge for the average homeowner.

The first thing to understand is that the people who manage sports fields and golf courses have spent years learning their trade as well as usually earning a degree in Sports Field Management, Golf Course Management, Turf Management or other advanced degrees in the Green Industry. The turfgrasses that are used have been specifically chosen as they have certain attributes that are desired, such as color, growth, and resistance to disease and insect pressures on the grass.

Turf on a Sports Field

The care these turf areas receive is far beyond an occasional fertilizer application. These venues care for the turf on a daily basis and employ many people to care for the turf. Fertilizer may be applied on a weekly basis instead of once every 4 to 6 weeks. Scouting for insect and disease problems occurs every day to make sure damage is prevented or minimized if something does occur.

The cost to maintain golf courses range from a low of $700.000 to in excess of $1,750,000, according to Club Benchmarking website. The cost to maintain a professional baseball or football field is much less, about $60,000 per year, but there is much less turf to maintain. Still, it is not uncommon for a professional sports team to replace the turf, which can cost $100,000 to $250,000 depending on the type of turfgrass used.

Tips to keep in mind

Even after all of these facts and figures, you may still want to achieve that striped look and pattern of a baseball field or golf course on your lawn. Actually, that pattern on the grass is due to the reflection of light coming off the direction that the grass blades lay, causing light and dark grass blades. You can create this effect when you mow your lawn in alternating or opposite directions, but the pattern can be more pronounced by using a roller or lawn striping kit that is attached to a lawn mower. If you use a normal walk behind mower, you can purchase a roller attachment that costs $100 to $200. There are even models that can be used behind larger ride-on or commercial grade mowers that cost about the same. The striping kit is a flat piece of metal that is pulled behind the mower that lays the grass down and bends in alternating directions as you mow or cut.

The constant use of a larger drum style roller is not advisable. Often times these drums are filled with water to provide weight. A gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds, so if the drum can hold 25 gallons of water, 200 pounds of weigh repeated rolled across a lawn will compact the soil, leading to root damage on your yard.

A home lawn is something we enjoy. We encourage our pets and children to play and frolic across the yard, all while the lawn looks nice and freshly cut. Keep in mind that the striping effect only lasts a couple of days before the grass returns to its normal growth patterns, and you would have to continue mowing in opposite directions again.

Consider Spring-Green for all your lawn care needs this year and contact your local Spring-Green Lawn Care professional to help create a great, healthy lawn.