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.

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.

Has Spring Finally Sprung? Tips For Your Lawn This Spring Season!

spring season lawn tips

Spring has taken its sweet time to arrive for most of the U.S. If you live in the more northern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan, you may be thinking that spring may never arrive since these areas still have snow. Receiving some snow at this time of year is not uncommon for these folks.

Even the lawns in the warmer parts of the U.S. are greening up at a much slower rate than normal. Warm season turfgrasses such as Bermuda or Zoysia, often turn brown during the winter months and don’t begin to start growing until temperatures are consistently above 70 degrees. There have been warm days, but not enough in a row to get these grasses to start growing again.

Tips to Prepare Your Lawn For Spring

Except for the lawns in the great white north, there are still plenty of things that you can do for your lawn and landscape to get a jump start on the year. The first thing to do is to take a walk around your lawn and look for any areas where the grass may be matted down.

This can be the result of foot traffic across the lawn, excessive levels of snow or even some snow mold that may have developed in the late winter of early spring. For the most part, lightly raking the area to fluff up the grass is all that is necessary. Be sure to wait until the lawn has dried out some before raking. Raking wet turf could result in pulling out the new growth.

You can also check your lawn mower, power equipment, and gardening tools in case they need to be repaired or replaced.

Should I Core Aerate My Lawn This Spring?

Core aerating your lawn in the spring is a good thing to do, but the timing is important. For warm season areas, it is best to wait until the turf has begun to turn green. The roots grow best when temperatures are between 80˚ to 95˚ F. The roots of warm season grasses are growing the most in the spring when soil temperatures are between 75˚ to 85˚ F.

For cool season grasses, such as Perennial Ryegrass and Bluegrass, roots grow the best when temperatures are between 60 to 75˚ F and roots grow best when soil temperatures are between 50 to 65˚ F. Core aeration for cool season grasses can be performed on the lawn now, but it is best to wait a couple more weeks before aerating warm season grasses.

Most lawns don’t need to be seeded in the spring. Even a thinning lawn will improve dramatically over the next couple of months. Also, if a lawn is seeded in the spring, it will be difficult if not impossible to control annual grassy weeds like crabgrass or to control germinating broadleaf weeds like dandelions.

Spring fertilization is also important to get your lawn off to a good start and “wake up” from dormancy. Contact your local neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green to schedule your important spring fertilization treatment for a green, healthy turf this season.  Be sure to learn more about our additional services, such as core aeration, that we have to offer to help you enjoy your lawn and landscape this spring!

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!

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.

Lookout and Prevent Fall Armyworms On Your Lawn!

fall armyworm damage

In northern climates, where cool season turfgrasses grow, Fall Armyworms attack as summer gives way to fall. In the south, where warm season turfgrasses thrive, their threat begins earlier and lasts longer. As often as not, by the time a serious infestation is diagnosed, substantial permanent damage has already been done. And with a name like Fall Armyworms, you know the news can’t be good. Even their scientific name, Spodoptera Frugiperda spells trouble, as “frugiperda” is Latin for “lost fruit.” Fall Armyworms aren’t really worms at all, but caterpillars, the larvae stage of Fall Armyworm moths. They start small and grow to an inch and a half in length. Fall Armyworms tend to appear unpredictably in large number, like an attacking army, and they come hungry.

Spotting Fall Armyworms In Your Region

According to an article by Rick L. Brandenburg of North Carolina State University, Fall Armyworms feed on a variety of turf grasses, including Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass in the south and Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Fine Fescue and Bentgrass up north. But more than just being turf pests, Fall Armyworms have been known to wipe out entire crops of small grains, too. Although Fall Armyworms cannot overwinter in the north, the adult moths migrate there in large number from warmer southern climes.

Armyworms lay many eggs in many different places. When the larvae emerge, they begin feeding and growing, moving in groups as they exhaust their food sources. After feeding, they burrow into the soil and evolve, first into pupae and then into adult moths. The next generation moves on and repeats the cycle. This can happen up to four times in extreme southern climates, where the Fall Armyworm is a more constant threat. Up north, a single generation arrives to do its damage in late summer or early fall.

The unpredictable nature of Fall Armyworms make it difficult at best to forecast where the worst infestations will occur in any given growing season. How can you tell if you are dealing with a Fall Armyworm? The adult moth of this species is dull colored,and has white blotches on the wings, which are about an inch and a half in length. The larvae will range in color from light green, to olive green, to nearly black and have longitudinal stripes along their sides.

Armyworm damage to turfgrasses is seldom enough to kill the turf altogether, but they can make a lawn look pretty bad in a very short amount of time. They feed on blades of grass from the top down and tend to move in a line, like an advancing army. You might see frosted tips, transparent grass blades, or brown areas in a straight-line pattern that advances from an outer edge inward or you might see grass blades eaten all the way down to the crown. Bird activity can be another indicator. Anytime you see birds feeding on your lawn in significant numbers, insects are likely to be the reason.

Preventing Fall Armyworms

Our advice as Your Neighborhood Lawn Care Professionals® is going to be quite consistent: If you suspect your lawn is being damaged by insect activity, contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green at once—the sooner the better. After making a positive diagnosis of the problem, we can then prescribe an appropriate course of treatment. Preventative insect control applications are also available from Spring-Green. A fall insect control application is your preemptive strike against possible infestations by the Fall Armyworm. Whether curative or preventative, as is often the case, the timing of these applications is of the essence to control armyworm.

And as always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any aspect of caring for your lawn, please do not hesitate to  contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green.

DIY Core Aeration – Is Aerating Your Lawn Worth It?

core aeration

Of all the beneficial things you could do to ensure a healthy, beautiful lawn, core aeration is second only to fertilization. By disrupting the surface of the lawn and the soil beneath it, core aeration allows more air, water, and nutrients to reach the turf’s root zone. This in turn encourages better lawn root development below the surface and—you guessed it—healthier, thicker, greener plant growth above. Compacted soils are loosened, restrictive layers of surface-level thatch are broken, and your turf uses these improvements to its natural advantage, growing stronger and healthier as the surface repairs itself.

Virtually all U.S. regions and all common turfgrasses can benefit from regular aeration. What differs somewhat is the timing. According to information provided by Bayer Advanced, the best time to aerate a lawn is prior to a period of vigorous growth, during which the lawn can best recover from the disruption intentionally created by the aeration process. For cool season grasses, that time is late summer into early fall, making sure to allow at least a month of growing time before the threat of frost sets in. For warm season grassses, late spring to early summer is your best bet.

DIY (Do It Yourself) Core Aeration

Is core aeration worth it for your lawn? Yes, absolutely! Is it worth doing it yourself? Let’s weigh the options of do-it-yourself (DIY) aeration versus having the work done by a professional lawn care service.

No matter who does it, the work is performed using a specialized core aeration machine. This is a powerful and somewhat heavy motorized device that drives hollow tines several inches into the ground, extracts plugs of soil and plant material, and then deposits them on the surface as it moves forward. The desired result is a visible pattern of holes in the ground and plugs laying on the turf. Over time, the holes will be filled in with loosened soil, new roots, and grass plants, while the plugs break down and assist in the decomposition of the thatch layer that builds up on the soil surface.

This would be a piece of cake if the machine did all the work and the operator merely had to throw a switch on or off, but such is not the case. The machine operator controls where the machine goes, taking special care to avoid damage to irrigation heads, pavement features, flower beds, children’s toys, and other common obstacles. The operator must also determine whether soil conditions are favorable before commencing the operation. The key concern here is moisture. Soggy soil will clog the tines whereas overly dry soil will be difficult at best to penetrate. Aerating during a prolonged period of drought or excessive heat may do more harm than good.

The application of additional grass seed to an existing lawn, sometimes called overseeding or reseeding, is best done immediately following core aeration of a lawn. Fertilizer applications are also more effective at this time. This is because the openings caused by the aeration process make it easier for the new seed and/or nutrients to penetrate the soil. Obviously the individual applying these materials must know what to apply and at what rate.

Better To Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

So which provides the better value for core aeration, DIY or using a professional lawn care service? Consider the following.

● Who will transport the core aeration machine to and from your property?
● Who will determine whether conditions are favorable to aerate your lawn?
● Who will ensure the safe and effective operation of the core aeration machine?
● Who will be responsible for any damage incurred to properly identified obstacles?
● If applicable. who will be responsible for properly overseeding/reseeding your lawn?
● If applicable. who will be responsible for properly fertilizing the lawn after aeration is completed?

When properly performed, under favorable conditions and at the appropriate time, core aeration will most assuredly benefit your lawn, whether you do it yourself or bring in a lawn care professional. With that said, if you have questions or concerns about core aeration or any aspect of caring for your lawn, please do not hesitate to contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green. We have a wealth of professional lawn care experience to share with you.

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.