Category Archives: Lawn Care

Where Do I Start? A Homeowner’s Guide to Spring Lawncare

  1. It’s important to do a walk-around of your lawn at the beginning of Spring to check for damage, weeds, and other issues.
  2. Get your tools ready for the season by doing maintenance such as changing the oil, air filter, and spark plugs on your mower.
  3. After you’ve prepared, it’s time to start clearing debris and hand-pulling weeds. You should also apply a pre-emergent treatment and some super high-quality lawn food to boost your grass’ growth.

Spring is here, and with it comes the time for homeowners to start thinking about lawn care and maintenance. As temperatures begin to rise and snow melts away, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the task of caring for your lawn. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you get started!

Our first recommendation is always to take a nice long walk around your property. Here are a few things you should look out for when assessing your lawn.

Signs of Damage

The first thing you should look for when assessing your lawn is any signs of damage that may have occurred due to snow plows or other winter weather conditions. Check for areas where the grass has been uprooted or pushed aside, leaving an unsightly patch in its wake. If left unaddressed, these patches can grow into larger problems over time, so it’s important to fix them as soon as possible.

Weeds

It’s also important to check for any weeds that may have sprouted up over the winter months. Some weeds (e.g., bittercress) emerge before the grass does, so you’re likely to see these first thing in the Spring. If you spot any emerging weeds, use a weed killer or pull them manually by hand if they are small enough.

Snow Mold & Critter Tracks

Finally, be sure to check for any circular spots on your lawn that look like moldy bread – this could be snow mold! Additionally, keep an eye out for any “tracks” in your lawn where pesky critters (moles/voles/mice) may have enjoyed your beautiful lawn this winter! If you do spot anything out of the ordinary during your walk around your property, take a couple pictures and let us know – we can provide tips on how best to address any issues you find!

One of the best ways to kickstart your Spring lawn care is by aerating your lawn. Aeration is a process that helps break up compacted soil and allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground. Not only does this promote healthier grass growth, but it also improves root development and helps to prevent grass from becoming weak or patchy. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your aeration process, be sure to use a core aerator—a tool with hollow tines that removes plugs of soil from the lawn—as opposed to a rake or spike aerator which can leave behind large chunks of soil. 

Fertilizing Your Lawn

Once you’ve gotten your soil ready for Spring, it’s time to start fertilizing your lawn. Fertilization serves two main purposes: first, it provides essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which help create healthy green foliage; second, it prevents disease and pests from taking over. When choosing a fertilizer for your lawn, make sure to select one that is tailored specifically for the type of grass you are growing (warm-season vs cool-season). You should also take into account the weather conditions when applying fertilizer—for example, if you live in a drier climate then use a slow-release fertilizer so as not to overwhelm your plants with too much nitrogen during hot months. 

Mowing Your Lawn–Right Schedule, Right Length

Finally, don’t forget about regular mowing! While it may seem like an afterthought in comparison to other more “complicated” aspects of Spring lawn care such as aerating and fertilizing, mowing plays an important role in keeping up the health of both warm-season and cool-season grasses alike.

When mowing, keep an eye out for any weeds or dead patches and be sure to trim along edges so that they look neat and tidy. Try not to cut too short; keeping your grass at 2 1/2 – 3″ will help shade out weed seeds while giving roots an ample amount of protection against environmental stressors such as drought or extreme temperatures. Additionally, don’t forget to sharpen blades regularly throughout the season; this will help keep cuts clean instead of jagged which could cause further damage down the line.

Taking a walk around your property is one of the best ways to assess what kind of state your lawn is in after the long winter months. Look out for signs of damage from snow plows, emerging weeds, and tracks from critters who may have made themselves at home over Winter!

If there are any issues that need addressing this year – don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re here to help! With just a few simple steps and some good old-fashioned elbow grease – you’ll be well on your way towards having a lush green yard all summer long!

Happy Spring everyone!

Get the Perfect Lawn this Spring: Expert Tips for Mowing Your Yard

Spring is the perfect time to start taking action on improving your lawn. As temperatures rise, lush and green grass will begin to sprout – making it impossible not to admire a beautiful, well-manicured lawn! But getting that perfect look takes some knowledge, skill and routine. To help you achieve optimal outdoor beauty this season, here are some expert tips for mowing your yard from professional landscapers who know exactly what they’re doing when pruning the grass in their clients’ yards!

Mowing the lawn is an essential part of keeping a neat and attractive outdoor space. It is important to understand how to properly mow your lawn in order to maintain it in good condition. Preparing the area before mowing begins is the first step towards having a well-manicured lawn. Fertilizing and watering your grass will help keep it healthy, as well as removing debris from the area before mowing. Different types of blades can be used for optimal cutting depending on what type of grass you have, so make sure you are using the right one for your particular lawn.

When it comes to cutting techniques, setting the blade height at the proper level is key – too high and you won’t get a clean cut, too low and you risk scalping your lawn. Sharpening blades regularly ensures that each time you mow, you’re getting an even cleaner cut than before. Additionally, overlapping patterns when cutting or taking care to only mow in straight lines can help give your lawn a professional look. In shady or wet areas, leaving taller grass helps provide added protection against damage from foot traffic or other activities.

Cleaning up after mowing is a very important step that should not be overlooked. Raking up clippings and disposing of them properly will help keep your yard looking tidy and free of debris or potential hazards like slips or trips over clumps of grass.

Emptying out any catcher bags attached to the mower will also help keep things clean. Lastly, applying weed control products as needed can help prevent weeds from taking over large portions of your yard.

First of all, why do I need to mow my lawn regularly?

Mowing the lawn is one of the most important activities for keeping a healthy, green and well-maintained lawn. It involves cutting grass at regular intervals to keep it in shape and looking neat. Mowing can be done with a gas or electric-powered mower, or even manually using a push reel mower. The frequency and height of cut will depend on the type of grass and desired aesthetic look. A shorter cut helps to suppress weeds, while a longer cut encourages more growth and lushness.

When it comes to maintaining your lawn, it’s essential that you mow regularly so that no portion of the lawn goes too long without being cut. If you do this, then your lawn won’t suffer from overgrowth of certain areas which can cause an uneven look as well as prevent other plants from thriving due to lack of light or nutrients. When you’re regularly mowing your lawn, you also create an even surface which stops water from pooling in certain areas as well as allows for smoother movement when walking around or playing on the grass.

Aside from these practical benefits, a well-manicured lawn can also improve the look of your home significantly by creating an attractive landscape outside your front door. Not only does this have aesthetic benefits but it can also add value to your property if you ever decide to sell it down the line. A crisp green lawn with trimmed edges is sure to impress potential buyers, especially if they don’t know how much effort has gone into getting it just right!

Preparing Your Lawn for Mowing

Taking some time to prepare your lawn before you mow can help ensure that you get a clean and even cut, and make your lawn look great. To begin with, fertilizing and watering your grass regularly will help promote healthy growth. This will not only make your lawn look better, but also make it easier to mow. Secondly, it’s important to remove any debris such as rocks and sticks from the area before mowing.

Your dog may love these sticks, but your lawn mower definitely will not!

These items can easily be caught by the blades of the mower, causing damage or injury. Lastly, understanding the different types of blades available for your mower and when to use each type is essential in getting the best results from your mowing job. The two most common types are rotary blades which are used for cutting grass and mulching blades which cut leaves into small pieces for easy disposal. Using the right blade with each job will help ensure that your lawn is well-groomed and attractive all year round.

Cutting Techniques for a Healthy Lawn

Having a healthy, lush lawn can be a source of pride and enjoyment. To achieve this, it’s important to master the various cutting techniques used in lawn care. The first step in maintaining your lawn is setting the proper blade height for your mower. If the blades are set too low, you risk scalping your lawn, which is when you cut it too short and damage the grass. Equally important is sharpening blades regularly to ensure a clean cut that doesn’t damage grass or leave any unsightly brown tips. When mowing, always take care to move in straight lines or overlapping patterns so that no part of the yard gets missed or cut multiple times (potentially causing damage to your lawn!).

It’s also recommended to leave taller grass in shady or wet areas as shorter grass will be more vulnerable to disease during periods of increased humidity and moisture. With these tips in mind, you can confidently create a beautiful and healthy lawn with minimal effort!

Mowing your lawn is an important part of keeping your yard looking its best. After mowing, however, there are a few other steps you should take to make sure that your lawn looks great and stays healthy. The first step is to rake up the grass clippings and dispose of them properly. Raking them up helps keep thin layers of clippings from building up on the lawn, which can lead to excess thatch and cause stress for the turf. It also helps prevent clippings from blocking sunlight or crowding out any flowerbeds or garden areas you may have. 

The next step is to empty out the catcher bag on your mower if it has one. This will help keep the bag from becoming heavy and hard to push when it’s full, as well as ensuring that all the clippings get collected in between mows.

If you don’t have a catcher bag, then it’s important to use a broom or leaf blower to quickly clean up stray clippings after mowing. Either way, grass clippings can make fantastic compost material–particularly if you’ve been using the Lawn Serv All Natural Subscription (packed with tons of high-quality nutrients and organic soil boosters!)

Cleaning up after mowing your lawn is essential for maintaining a neat and healthy-looking yard. Raking up clippings, emptying out catcher bags when necessary, and applying weed control products are all important parts of this process that will help ensure your yard looks its best all season long!

Learning how to properly care for your lawn by mowing it correctly will pay off in dividends with healthier grass, less weeds, and an overall better looking outdoor space that everyone can enjoy! However, there are also some things to avoid when mowing in order to get the best results for your lawn care.

  • Firstly, never mow on wet grass as this can cause damage or injury due to slippery conditions.
  • Additionally, it’s important not to set the blade height too low as this can result in scalping the lawn which will leave unsightly brown tips on the grass blades.
  • Lastly, understanding and using the right type of blade for each job is key – rotary blades should be used for cutting grass while mulching blades are better suited for leaves and other debris.

By following these simple tips you can ensure that your lawn looks beautiful all year round! Taking action this spring on creating an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space starts with understanding the basics of how to properly mow your lawn for optimal results – so let’s get out there and enjoy that lawn!

Fall Lawn Tips – Warm-season Grass Types:

For warm season grasses of the south like St Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, etc. keep growing strong. The growing season is just longer in the south and building up a healthy plant before the grass goes dormant for the winter is really beneficial. We recommend feeding your lawn until soil temperatures fall to 70 degrees.

Customer Question: Why Do Saint Augustine Lawns Go Brown In Winter?

Not all lawns will go brown in winter, and there can be many factors which can attribute to a lawn either going brown or staying green over the winter time. But the main reason is that lawns naturally become dormant or semi dormant over winter, and in doing so – some will naturally lose their green color and brown off. Warm season grasses thrive in the hot weather and therefor suffer in the cool weather. Luckily they come right back in the spring!

Fall Weed Control: Typically many winter annual weeds are really cool season weed types and can be managed by applying a pre-emergent herbicide around September/October. Selective, post-emergent herbicides can be applied as necessary —- use sparingly as the warm season grass does not have the ability to grow or fight off the weed control itself and can be effected more dramatically than the spring time before the growing season.

Fall Irrigation: Without regular rainfall you should continue to water to prevent drought stress. After the lawn has become dormant, water as needed to prevent excessive dehydration. No more than 1 inch needed a week including natural rain.

Fall Mowing: Continue to mow at the normal mowing height until the weather starts to cool in the fall. Once nighttime temperatures fall below 70 degrees regularly, raise the mower cutting height ½ to 1 inch to allow more leaf surface. This will allow the turf to become acclimated and insulate the roots longer. Once fully dormant, cut slightly lower than normal to allow airflow and reduce disease.

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Fall Dethatching & Overseeding

Everyone wants that lush green and full lawn. For northern cool season grasses, the closest thing to a get rich quick lawn solution is to fall dethatch and overseed. It will create the biggest impact difference to your lawn and is fairly easy.

The Preparation:

To do the dethatching for most yards under 20,000 sq ft you can easily knock this out with a simple DIY electric dethatcher like the one SunJoe sells for typically between $130-180. We like it for its price (as cheap as renting a beast of one from Home Depot for a few hours), and for its effectiveness. Check out the thatch coming up in the quick video below. Removing all of that buildup will allow water and nutrients to better reach the soil to be more effective. This will also prep your soil for better seed to soil contact when overseeding.

Dethatcher Rake

Type of Grass :

When picking your grass type for the fall overseed you need to decide what is best for your lawn. We like the idea of introducing more Kentucky bluegrass (AKA – KBG) blends into the lawn for their ability to expand growth and fill in gaps in the lawn. You can READ MORE ABOUT GRASS TYPES HERE. One brand we enjoy using is from OutsidePride.com and comes at a fair price.

Lawn Renovation Steps & Video From This Old House:
1. Mow the lawn to a height of 1½ inch. Be sure to collect the grass clippings.
2. Run a de-thatcher across the entire lawn to remove dead plant matter. (WE LIKE THE SUNJOE!)
3. Use a leaf rake to collect and remove all the thatch pulled from the lawn. Some people use a leaf blower or run their lawn mower over after raking to pick up the extra piece in their bagger.
4. Run a gas-powered core aerator across the lawn. (WE ACTUALLY SKIP THIS STEP, UNLESS YOU HAVE REALLY COMPACT SOIL)
5. Rake up and remove the soil plugs extracted by the aerator. (IF YOU DID THIS)
6. Spread compost over the lawn and rake it down into the holes. Even if you did not core aerate compost or peat moss is a really nice introduction of organic matter to the soil.
7. Analyze the physical structure of the soil with a soil test kit; amend the soil as necessary. (LAWN SERV’S JOB!)
8. Use a broadcast spreader to over-seed the lawn with new grass seed. Adjust the spreader to dispense seven pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet area.
9. Use backside of leaf rake to lightly work the grass seed into the lawn.
10. Lightly water twice a day to keep the lawn damp, not soaking wet.

How to Get Started in the Spring with Your Yard Care

Your lawn is starting to wake up! Think about your lawn like a bear emerging from hibernation. It has just spent the last several months sleeping and recovering from the stress of last year’s hot summer, and is now slowly warming up. Now, your lawn is hungry (needs some high-quality food), could probably use a nice long shower (here comes the Spring rain!), and could use a nice thorough grooming to get ready for the season.

Spring lawn care can be daunting (where do I even start?!), but don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be that hard! In fact, there are a few big things to start with that will really get you set up for a great season.  Take a look below for some tips on how to get started.

1.       First up?  LOOK for signs of damage, weeds, and issues that you want to address this year.

Our first recommendation is always to take a nice long walk around your property. Do you see any signs of damage (did the snowplow dig up a part of your grass?) A few things to take note of:

  • Wet winter weather may mean that you have moss growing in your lawn.
  • See any circular spots on your lawn that look like moldy bread? If so, this might be snow mold!
  • Can you see any “tracks” in your lawn where pesky critters (moles/voles/mice) may have enjoyed your beautiful lawn this winter?
  • Are there any new weeds that are starting to pop up? Some weeds (e.g., bittercress) emerge before the grass does, so you’re likely to see these first thing in the Spring.

If so, take a couple pictures and let us know!

Spring Lawn Care
Colorful crocuses and snow

2.       Next: GET READY for the season!  Time to prepare your tools.

Mower maintenance is a big one—we usually recommend doing a mower (and other equipment) maintenance at the beginning of each summer.  This includes:

  • Changing the oil, air filter, and spark plugs
  • Giving your mower a good wash (we also recommend washing before you put it away for the winter, but just in case, give it a good wash in the Spring too!)
  • Blade sharpening
  • Fueling the tank with fresh gas!

There are many shops that offer a full maintenance (or even just a quick blade sharpening), but most of these to-dos are easily done by yourself if you’re willing to give it the time!  Most importantly, make sure to read your owner’s manual for proper maintenance safety, and never do any of this maintenance while the mower is running!

Spring Lawn Service

3.       Finally, after you’ve tackled this prep work, it’s GO TIME!

Even though the soil ecosystem has been active over the entire winter, now that your lawn is waking up it’s about to be kicked into turbo mode! This means that your grass—and potential weeds—will be pulling nutrients from your soil at a much higher rate and quickly growing the “shoots” part of the plant.  This means you’ll need to start mowing very soon! A couple of big needs at this point in the season:

  • Clear a path for sun and rain to get to your grass and its roots—make sure you pick up any sticks, trash, leftover leaves and debris that may be covering your lawn. You should also give your lawn a good raking—this will really help to promote air and water flow (my removing dead grass, etc.), boosting your lawn’s health!
  • Hand pull those weeds!  Some individual weed plants can drop tens of thousands of seeds over the course of a single season, so any weeds that you can hand pull at this point in the season will be a big help in reducing weed populations as we go.
  • Time for your pre-emergent treatment—this early-season treatment is focused on creating a weed “barrier” that will prevent weed seeds from germinating and popping out of the soil.

So, to summarize: take a nice long walk around your yard, get your tools ready to go, and then dive in!  Most importantly, have fun with it (if you have kids, now is a great time to have a competition on who can pick up the most sticks!).

As always, feel free to reach out anytime with questions and let us know what you see when you’re out there!

BASIC LAWN CARE TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Taking care of your lawn for the first time is a great feeling. It takes time and effort and you can get tangible results. If you are new to the yard game it can probably be a little much on figuring out where to start.

Fertilizer How To

One way to lighten your load is to not try to take it all on at once while you are learning. Lawn Serv, our do-it-yourself lawn care subscription box can help take some of the highly effective and technical science pieces off your plate to start as you learn more. 

To learn more about some of the yard basics follow along to these items:

  • Getting to Know Your Soil
  • Fix Any Problems
  • Knowing Your Grass Type
  • Feed Your Grasses Well
  • Fight Lawn Weeds
  • Mowing is More Than a Saturday Chore
  • Water is Likely Needed
  • Stick with It

1. GETTING TO KNOW YOUR SOIL

When it comes to lawn care, what happens with the grass reflects what’s going on in the dirt it grows. An easy place to start is by testing your soil. Your local agricultural school or county agriculture office will have information on test kits and reputable soil laboratories. This will help you understand imbalances of pH, organic matter, macronutrients and provide insight into how much nitrogen should be applied at what times of year. 

At Lawn Serv we consider this a major data point to both the long term and short term planning of products needed to apply and can dramatically improve results with less waste and environmental impact. That is why we include a free soil test for everyone who signs up. 

2. FIX ANY PROBLEMS

You can use the soil test results to make decisions on when and how much product to apply from pH to nitrogen. One of the most common soil problems is a too high or too low pH which can lead to an unhealthy grass growing environment but a lush weed growing ecosystem. Lime, as an example, reestablishes balance to soil pH so grasses can take up available nutrients more easily. If your family includes pets, you’re sure to have some pet damage. But don’t worry; healthy lawns with good soil and happy dogs can coexist.

At Lawn Serv we include products for weed control, pH balancing, bug control, and fertilizer in our subscription boxes. If you run into any lawn diseases or need grass seed we can get you that also and include those products into your lawn box plans! 

3. KNOWING YOUR GRASS TYPE

Grasses suited to their growing region create the best lawns. 

We WROTE A BLOG ABOUT IDENTIFYING YOUR GRASS TYPES HERE

Grass types vary in their climate preferences and tolerances for drought, shade and other conditions. Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, peak in growth during cool temperatures in fall and spring. They flourish in northern zones. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass, excel in summer heat and warmer climates. Region-appropriate lawn grasses require less water and other resources, including maintenance time.

4. FEED YOUR GRASSES WELL

Lawn grasses need proper nutrition. Nitrogen is especially important to keep your lawn lush, vibrant and green. LEARN MORE ABOUT NPKs OF FERTILIZER HERE. Your soil test results will recommend how many pounds of nitrogen your lawn needs annually (usually per 1,000 square feet), based on its organic matter and other considerations. LEARN MORE ABOUT SOIL TESTING HERE

The numbers on fertilizer labels reveal the percentages of actual nitrogen and other nutrients products contain, so you can match the product to your needs. Be careful, though: feeding too much or too often causes more harm than good. Establish a feeding schedule that meets your lawn’s fertilizer needs, or sign up for Lawn Serv and we will take care of the timing and delivery of the appropriate products based on soil testing. 

5. FIGHT LAWN WEEDS

Even new lawns usually end up with weeds and weed seeds as they can travel many ways and from near and far. Weeds compete with grasses for nutrients, water and light. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DETAILS OF WEED CONTROL HERE

One lawn weed can quickly turn to more and not all weeds are cured the same way. In short manually hand pulling mature weeds, followed by pre-emergent control to stop weed seeds from germinating, with post-emergent weed control for weeds that do germinate but are hard to hand pull is the triple threat. When moving in the right direction a full lush lawn that crowds out weeds is going to be your ongoing defense. 

One lawn weed can quickly turn to more.

6. MOWING IS MORE THAN A SATURDAY CHORE

Keep a sharp mower blade, know your grass cut height and mow based on grass growth, not day of the week. Mowing heights vary according to grass type and the season. Some grasses, such as Bermudagrass, are best kept short, while other types need more height. Hot spells warrant higher mowing heights all around.

7. WATER IS LIKELY NEEDED

Water-conserving grasses help reduce water use and bills. Watering and other lawn maintenance can vary from month to month through your seasonal lawn care calendar, but you should always accommodate what’s happening in your lawn. If you are applying products to your yard such as fertilizer the plant will need water during times of drought to absorb those nutrients. LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERING HERE. Keep in mind though that grasses can go dormant naturally. This happens during heat in the north and cold in the south as example and does not mean your lawn is dead necessarily. 

8. STICK WITH IT

If you are even going to start with caring for your lawn you need to learn to love it at least a little bit and have fun. There are ups and downs, never ending weeds, and gratification that come from the opportunity. You don’t have to win every weekend, you just have to stick with it and over time you will most definitely see the results. 

Lawn Plan

How to Identify Your Grass Type

Types of grass and why knowing is important…

Lawn Serv

There are many different types of grasses, and most lawns contain a mixture of them. Even turf grasses you might see in the store year after year are always slightly different as environmental conditions change each year for harvesting. Turf grasses have in a lot of cases been evolved through science to stand up to the ever changing climate and diseases to provide more resistance turf. 

One of the key starting points of identifying your turf typically just starts with where you live. There are different types of grass meant for the warm and cool seasons of the United States and their climates.  We WROTE A BLOG SHOWING THIS HERE

  1. Warm season grasses that thrive in warm-weather regions, such as the Southern United States.
     
  2. Cool season grasses that do best with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as those found in the North, Northeast, and Pacific Northwest.

It’s important to know your grass type so you can take the best possible care of your lawn. The transition states between clear cool and warm season grasses can make for some of the hardest identifications. For example, if you pick a Northern weed control for a Southern lawn, you could actually harm it, not good! 

Below are some characteristics of grass types…

TALL FESCUE (Cool Season)

Typically a cool-season type, tall fescue can also be found in hotter regions due to its ability to tolerate heat. It is a bunchgrass often used in athletic fields because it can withstand heavy use and foot traffic. In some lawns, patches of tall fescue may stick out and appear as a grassy weed. It grows in bunches, and is therefore not used very often in seed mixes.

Blade: Pointed, visible veins, 3/16” wide

Color/Texture: Dark green, coarse, stiff

Growth: Clumps

Water: Frequent

Popularity: All regions

RYEGRASS  (Cool Season)

Ryegrass is easy to spot in a lawn due to its shine. Also, it leaves a “whitish” cast when mowed. It is a bunchgrass, which germinates quickly and is often found in seed mixtures with Kentucky bluegrass. It is primarily found in cool-season areas of the North, but may not survive as far north as Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Canada.

Blade: Pointed, visible veins, 1/8” wide

Color/Texture: Dark green, soft

Growth: Quick, bunch type

Water: Average

Popularity: Mid- to North U.S.

FINE FESCUE  (Cool Season)

The name “fine fescue” is actually a collective term for the various species of grasses in this group: red, chewings, hard, and sheep. Like the name implies, they are very fine textured with needle-like blades. Fine fescues are popular because of their shade tolerance. However, they do not tolerate heat and dry conditions.

Blade: Hair-like, fine tip, 1/16” or less

Color/Texture: Dull or gray-green, soft

Growth: Fast

Water: Above average

Popularity: Northeast to North Central U.S. (depending on species)

KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS  (Cool Season)

Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most popular types in the North. It has a deep, green color and excellent texture. It grows well from seed, and is a popular choice for sod farms in the North. It grows from a very extensive system of rhizomes, underground stems that produce new plants. However, it does not grow well in deep shade.

Blade: V-shaped, pointed, 1/8” wide

Color/Texture: Darker green, soft

Growth: Aggressive, via rhizomes

Water: Average

Popularity: Northern favorite, sod farms

MIX – BLUEGRASS/RYE/FESCUE  (Cool Season)

The majority of Northern lawns are a combination of Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescues. Kentucky bluegrass will form the nicest lawn, but it has a very low shade tolerance. Ryegrass can tolerate heavy foot traffic, but does not tolerate extreme cold or drought conditions. Fescues (both tall and fine) are often found in mixes due to their tolerance of shade, foot traffic, cold, and drought. When combined correctly, these types will form a dense turf that is acceptable for most Northern lawns in the U.S.

Blade: Thin, tall

Color/Texture: Soft with coarse mix, dense

Growth: Average to tall, via rhizomes

Water: Average

Popularity: Most Northern lawns

BENTGRASS (Cool Season)

Bentgrass can be found on most golf courses in the Northern U.S. It can be mowed as low as 1/10″ and makes an ideal surface for putting greens and fairways. Even when mowed very low, it forms a dense turf with a very fine-textured feel. The costs to maintain a home lawn of bentgrass can be very costly due to the fungicides, insecticides, fertilizer, and expensive mowing equipment it requires. It also needs frequent watering – almost daily. Unlike other Northern types, it grows by an extensive production of stolons (above ground).

Blade: Narrow, flat

Color/Texture: Soft, dense

Growth: Low, 1/10″

Water: Frequently

Popularity: Northern golf courses

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ST. AUGUSTINE GRASS/FLORATAM (Warm Season)

St. Augustine grass is best suited to warm-arid regions such as Florida and the Gulf Coast region. Occasionally, it will be found in areas of California. It is not at all tolerant of cold temperatures, and requires plenty of moisture for survival. It is a very coarse-textured type that grows via above-ground stolons that can reach several feet. It has very broad blades compared to other grasses, with a rounded tip. It is often referred to as “Floratam,” which is a variety of St. Augustine grass.

Blade: Broad with rounded tip, 1/4” wide

Color/Texture: Dark green, coarse, spongy

Growth: Slow, from sod or plugs

Water: Frequent

Popularity: Southern favorite

ZOYSIA GRASS (Warm Season)

Zoysia grass forms a lawn that feels like a thick, prickly carpet. Zoysia is found mostly in and from the middle part of the U.S. and east toward the Carolinas. It can also be found in the North, but will turn brown once the weather turns cold. It is very slow-growing—it can take more than a year to establish a lawn of zoysia grass. It has stiff leaf blades and will produce numerous seed heads if it isn’t mowed.

Blade: Narrow, needle-like

Color/Texture: Prickly, stiff, carpet-like

Growth: Slow

Water: Average

Popularity: Mid U.S., East to the Carolinas

BERMUDA GRASS (Warm Season)

Bermuda grass makes for a nice home lawn because it can tolerate a very low mowing height, which is also a reason it is widely used on golf courses in the South. It spreads by both stolons (above ground) and rhizomes (below ground), which helps it to form a thick, dense turf. It is usually found in the South, but may grow as far north as Kansas City. Its maintenance requirements (fertilizing, watering, mowing) are high.

Blade: Sharp, pointed, 1/8” wide

Color/Texture: Deep green, dense

Growth: Close cut, high quality

Water: Frequently

Popularity: Central U.S.

CENTIPEDE GRASS (Warm Season)

Centipede grass spreads above the ground through stolons and forms a dense turf. Because it grows horizontally, it requires less mowing and is easy to edge around garden beds and sidewalks. It is found throughout the warm-humid areas of the South. It does not grow well in hot, dry areas and will die if not supplied with adequate moisture. However, it requires less fertilizer than other warm-season types.

Blade: Pointed with notch

Color/Texture: Light green, dense, soft

Growth: Grows low, almost horizontal to the ground

Water: Less than average; will go dormant quickly during a drought

Popularity: Southeast U.S.

DICHONDRA (Warm Season)

Mainly found in California and Arizona, dichondra is often used for home lawns since it can be mowed like grass, and it forms a pleasing, dense turf. The leaves spread opposite of each other along creeping stems. It requires a constant supply of fertilizer, and is often attacked by insects and diseases.

Blade: Round leaves

Color/Texture: Pale to bright green, dense

Growth: Broadleaf species; mow like grass

Water: Frequently

Popularity: Arizona & California

Mow Heights

Keep in mind allowing the grass to grow ½ to 1” taller during extreme heat or drought can be beneficial. You should never cut more than ⅓ of the blade off in a 3 day window. 

Steps to a nice lawn

How big is my yard and sizing your lawn

Typically homes are bought and sold with information such as the square footage of your house and a total lot size. However that doesn’t give us great lawn care information. We as homeowners and yard maintainers really need to know the grassy area eliminating the house, driveway, shed, and other non-grassy areas. 

Fertilizer How To

The great part about technology is we can now do that measurement from ANYWHERE! Lawn Serv built a tool leveraging aerial photography built off of the Google Maps database that you can use for free here — http://www.myyardsize.com/ .  Below is a video on how it works.

It is very simple:

  • Put in your address
  • Plot points around the item you want to measure (cutting out your house, driveway, shed, etc). 
  • Read the number in the top left

Alternative Method:

  • Measuring Tape – section off areas, do a length by width calculation, add them all together
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Beginner Lawn Knowledge

At Lawn Serv we developed our DIY subscription box based on simple feedback from our customers and years of knowledge in lawn care. We identified a few things everyone should be thinking about and made the process simple by doing all the hard work leveraging science and data. 

Here are some of those items:

Measure Your Lawn

Why? Over or under treating your lawn could be bad for your lawn or bad for the environment. The easiest way to do this is with the MY YARD SIZE website that we developed just for you! The alternative of course, is to use a tape measure and do some math. 

Identify Your Turf

Why? Different types of grass require different mowing heights and lawn treatments. See the map below for understanding where you live and what type of grass you might have. 

Cool-season grasses grow in the north and most of the transition zone. They grow best at 65-75 °F. Examples: Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, fescues, bentgrass.

Warm-season grass of the hotter southern states grows best at 80-95 °F. Some examples are St. Augustine, zoysia, bermuda, bahia, centipedegrass.

Learn When Your Lawn Grows and How to Feed It

Different grass types grow at different times of the year as you can see in the images above. It’s important to fertilize the lawn at the right time to fuel that growth and create a thick, green lawn.

Warm-season grass. Grows most vigorously during warm weather. Begin feeding in spring. Instead of seeding warm season grasses try grass plugs in the spring.  They will grow and spread throughout the strong summer growth season. 

Cool-season grass. Grows the best during the spring and fall, with a tendency to go dormant during the heat of summer. Battle the heat by applying at least 1 inch of water a week in deep less frequent waterings. You can also cut the grass higher to cool the roots. Root length is typically proportional to grass length, and deep roots help in summer heat. 

Lawn Plan

4 Simple Spring Lawn (and Yard) Care Tips

Spring outdoor chores aren’t hard, but they do set the stage for getting your grass ready for the growing season. Plus after a cold winter getting outside provides a healthy dose of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise

  1. Tune up your lawn mower and weed wacker. 
    • Change the oil, air filter and spark plugs. 
    • Hopefully you cleaned them in the fall but if not try to remove any dirt and grass clippings-just be sure to detach the spark plug wire before working around the cutting blade. 
    • Sharpen the mower blade, or replace it if it has large nicks or gouges. Think about keeping an extra blade on hand this year. Check the string on your weed wacker and add more if gone. 
    • Fill the gas tank on the mower and if your weed wacker uses mixed gas and oil put together a fresh batch. 
  1. Clean up the yard. 
    • Walk around paying extra attention to fence or tree lines and gather any tree limbs or other debris that show up. 
    • Go the extra mile and give the yard a quick rake. Getting some of the dead grass, thatch, and blown leaves out of there. 
  1. Feed the lawn and tackle the weeds
    • Take the time to hand pull up weeds now, so the surrounding grass can get its best shot at growing tall and strong
    • Apply pre-emergent weed control. This stops weed seeds from germinating (like crabgrass) and will save your lawn down the road. Best to get this down before the soil temperatures reach 55 degrees well after the air temps do. Follow that up a month later with post-emergent weed control which knocks down weeds that might have made it through and sprouted up.
    • Apply a fertilizer. You should test your soil to know exactly how much but typically a spring fertilizer will be high in Nitrogen and Potassium. The bag or bottle might be something like 10-0-4 as an example. 
    • If you have any bare spots that need seed be sure to not apply weed control to that area or think about applying seed later in the season if it can wait. 
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  1. Edge the beds and apply fresh mulch. 
    • The spring soft soil makes edging the grass by sidewalks and driveways much easier.  Try to keep those looking fresh with a quick trimmer pass of the weed wacker each week. 
    • The winter can dull a mulch bed. Everything looks better with a quick topping off of new mulch. Think about applying a pre-emergent weed control to flower bed or shrub areas to help knock down the weeding later in the season.

Extras: 

  • Check the irrigation systems for any problems and prep for the season. 
  • Clean, sharpen, and oil your pruning shears so they are ready when the time comes
  • Trim the trees and shrubs. Be careful of limbs that will produce flowers though. 
  • Power washing the deck sure would look nice! 
  • Check the lawn for fungus and mold growth. Some details HERE
Lawn Fertilizer