Category Archives: Summer

Typical Lawn Disease & How to Fix IT

Maintaining a healthy, vigorously growing lawn is the best way to prevent a severe disease outbreak in turfgrass. Executing the lawn game plan with optimum amounts of water and fertilizer along side the right mowing regime is a solid start. Not forgetting to aerate and setup for well-drained soil is next level. If any of these factors are missing or in excess, the grass may become stressed and more susceptible to disease. NOT GOOD!

Many common diseases are active only under specific environmental conditions and with some lawn love can be put back on track in a short period of time. The key is taking action quickly when you see it! Getting down an appropriate fungicide might be needed to stop the spread and start to cure the disease. Bagging clippings when mowing will also help to stop the spread. Understanding the disease’s favorable conditions and doing your best to counteract those is going to be necessary. If excess water is a problem… turn off the irrigation, or try to regularly aerate your lawn annually as an example. We cannot control the weather so doing our best to react will keep us on our toes.

Red Tread Lawn

Red Thread. 
This disease is common under conditions of rising air temperatures 60°–75°F in spring with extended periods of leaf wetness and is likely prevalent where there are low levels of nitrogen in the soil. Red thread is a relatively harmless disease that can be used as a good indicator that it’s time to fertilize the lawn. Cool season grasses like fescue, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and bentgrass are most susceptible.

Brown Patch.
Brown patch appears as circular patches in the lawn that are brownish yellow in color and range from 6 inches to several feet in diameter. It affects all cool-season lawn grasses but is especially harmful to ryegrass and tall Fescue. Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescues can occasionally be affected, but the damage is usually minimal in these species. Brown patch also affects a variety of warm season grasses including St. Augustinegrass and Zoysiagrass. Brown patch is most likely to occur during extended periods of heat and humidity when night-time temperatures remain above 68° F.

Powdery Mildew
This fungal disease is common to many plants beyond grass even, each with its own species of the disease. Powdery mildew on lawns is most common on cool season grasses, Kentucky bluegrass specifically. Powdery mildew can appear quickly on a lawn, mainly in shady areas and more frequently during cloudy or overcast periods. The presence of powdery mildew is evident by a white dust appearance on the leaf blades.

Grey Leaf Spot

The conditions favoring this disease start with daytime temperatures of 85°–95°F along with high humidity or rainfall. The symptoms as seen in the picture below include irregular blighted patches of turf with bleached spots with dark edges to the spotting on the blades of grass.

Snow Mold
Will appear in the early spring as the snow melts. There are two types of snow mold. Grey snow mold and pink snow mold. Pink snow mold infects the crown of the plant and can cause more severe injury than gray snow mold which only infects the leaf tissue. Snow mold is caused when there is an extended period of snow cover on the ground that is not completely frozen. Snow mold more easily under leaves that have not been cleaned up before winter or with long grass that should have been mowed once more before winter set in.

HOW TO TREAT:

This Bayer BioAdvance product can help to stop the spread in a diseased lawn while also aiding in the cure. Additionally, applications to help prevent turf damaging diseases could be necessary if you see favorable disease conditions helping to stop the disease before they become very noticeable. This rainproof formula provides up to 1-month protection against most common lawn diseases including Anthracnose, Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, Fusarium Patch, Powdery Mildew, Red Thread, Rusts, Stripe Smut, Summer Patch, and Snow Mold. VIEW PRODUCT HERE

Don’t forget that disease and fungus are normal parts of maintaining a lawn. You might see these problems every year or every few years depending on where you live in the country. Not your fault, just do what you can to try to maintain it and have fun working on solving the problems!

Continue to amend and manage your lawn ecosystem appropriately with LAWN SERV!

How to Make your Lawn Thicker and Greener

When it comes to the old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” it is always better to be the one whose grass is on the other side. Green, lush lawns  are great to look at and even better to enjoy for cookouts, parties, games, and other summer activities. By following a few basic guidelines outlined below, that each build on the other, you can be on your way to the green grass on the other side.   

Soil Test

What makes your grass look good above ground is dependent on what happens in the soil below ground. So, the foundation of a great lawn starts with knowing your current soil conditions, and a good soil test will reveal the specific nutrients your soil needs.  Based on the testing results you can then tailor your fertilization and amendment program to give the soil what it can use without guesswork or wasted product. If you are looking for a good testing option, lawnserv.com offers a great test for all new and existing customers.  

Fertilize

Just like the human body, your lawn needs food to be healthy and strong.  Regular fertilization, in the correct amounts and nutrient makeup for a given time of year, provide your grass the food it needs when it needs it.  In order to avoid wasting your time, and fertilizer, it is important to be on a program that is tailored to your lawns specific needs. Also, consider using a mulching blade on your mower to return clippings back to the ground and into nutrients that benefit the soil.  

Weed Control

Because weeds compete with grass for sunlight, water, and nutrients, the best weed control is a thick healthy lawn.  Early spring is a good time to kill potential weeds with a quality Pre-Emergent herbicide. If you are noticing weeds have already established a foothold in your lawn, there are both blanket post emergent and spot treatment options available.  You can even tackle weeds by hand, if they are not to overwhelming. A good trick is to pull weeds after a rainfall or watering, when the soil is looser.

Grass Cutting

Proper mowing is an often overlooked part of an overall lawn care plan.  Set your mower height so you don’t remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade, otherwise you risk stressing the lawn. Ideally grass should be kept at a length of 3-3.5” for the season. This height lets the grass block weed seeds, shades the soil, and reduces evaporation. Also, keeping your mower blades sharp will ensure the grass is cut by shearing rather than tearing.  A torn end will usually turn brown after a few days and become more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Water

Once you have your soil tested, fertilized, controlled for weeds, and the mowing is dialed in, following good watering practices will keep you on track for the thicker green lawn desired.  Germinating grass seeds need consistent moisture and should not be allowed to dry out. For established lawns it is generally accepted grass needs about 1” of water per week, either from nature or irrigation.  Less frequent watering, but in higher doses (to reach the one inch goal) has been proven to encourage deep root growth and an overall stronger more resilient lawn. Investing is a rain gauge or an electronic soil tester is also a helpful way to keep track of moisture levels.  

By following the plan outlined above, your lawn will look great for the entire growing season, despite the parties, barefoot traffic, and other summer fun it endures.  If you are looking for some more comprehensive help with several of the steps above, check out lawnserv.com for a DIY lawn service that takes the guesswork out of lawn care and delivers it to your door.  

Lawn Plan

Common Lawn Bugs That May Be Hurting Your Lawn: See Any of These? Let’s Chat! (Part 1)

Contrary to popular belief, not all bugs are bad bugs!  In fact, there are TONS of beneficial insects for your lawn.  Healthy lawns are actually packed with a wide variety of insects–those that you can see, and many that you never will.  These insects serve as tiny little grass protectors, helping to fend off invasive and damaging pests, and promoting a living, breathing lawn ecosystem.


But, there are several types of insects that, if left uncontrolled, may cause significant damage to your beautiful grass.  We’ve shown some of these below, and provided some tips on how to identify these, but as always, feel free to reach out if you suspect certain insects are harming your grass.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs typically like hot, dry conditions, basically using your grass as tiny little water taps.  As they rob your grass of its valuable moisture in the summer heat, large brown patches–often with clear “boundaries”–will quickly emerge as the grass dies off.  Chinch bugs reproduce very quickly, and in very large numbers, so acting quickly is very important!

Treating grubs in lawn

Grubs

Grubs are one of the more easily-identified lawn pests due to their distinct white, curled-up appearance (like a letter “C”).  But, grubs are actually the larval form of several different beetles, including Japanese beetles, “June” beetles, and chafer beetles.

When grubs are active in your lawn, you can usually find them a few inches down into the soil, right where your grass’ roots are.  In fact, that’s where they love to be–grubs love to eat grass roots! Although grubs are typically inactive during the winter months, younger grubs have a big appetite during the Summer and Fall months, where they do the most damage (grubs will feed in the Spring when they “wake up”, but typically much of the damage done is seen in the Fall).

Some of the symptoms of grub activity?  Spongy soil, random dead/brown patches that do not green up, and birds/skunks/moles digging into your lawn (looking for snacks!).  One way to confirm you have grubs is to pull back a section of your grass. If it peels up like carpet and/or you see numerous small/white grubs underneath, you may need to treat for grubs.  Typically, fewer than ~5 grubs per square foot is not a problem for healthy lawns, but more than 6-10 per square foot could result in significant damage over time.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of this blog series for additional bug identification, as well as tips and tricks for getting rid of unwanted pests!

Treat Bugs in lawn



Why We Love Our Lawns

You wake up on a beautiful Saturday morning, walk downstairs, grab a cup of coffee, and take your first mid-summer step out the back door to that fresh warm air over your backyard. It smells like heaven as you see those perfect lines still in the grass from yesterday’s mow. It’s the American Dream; it’s as ingrained as baseball and apple pie!

Watering Lawn
Lawn Serv’s DIY Subscription Box Plans Make Lawn Care Simple

There is no question we love our lawns, but why?  Well, we grabbed a few Lawn Serv employees and headed outside to discuss our favorite reasons for why we here at Lawn Serv love our lawns:

  • Let’s play! At the sight of a nice day we all look to run outside ASAP.  Nobody wants to hangout in a messy house, same goes for outside the house.
  • It’s a work of art! We take pride in cultivating and nurturing a beautiful lawn … but also in still being able to kick off our shoes to enjoy it!
  • The juice is worth the squeeze!  Lets be honest, lawn care isn’t always the easiest. It’s hot. It’s dry. You’d much rather be in the AC.  But, when you get it right–whether your friends and family see it or not–you sleep a little better at night!
  • A great workout. Many of our customers share their stories of enjoying the peaceful exercise they get when taking care of their lawns.  Getting outside, enjoying the warm summer air–taking care of our lawns is mentally and physically fulfilling!

Whatever your reason, we can all agree that having a few friends and family over, with a couple of lawn games and a fired-up grill is even more enjoyable with a lush green lawn!

Lawn Dream
Come love your lawn more with us!

Watering your Lawn, When and How

Pro Tips:

  • Water between 4am-10am for the best results
  • Get at least 1” of water per week (25-30 minutes) minimum, best twice a week
  • Using a sprinkler will save you time and money
  • Don’t – water small amounts every day, it keeps the roots at the surface (NOT GOOD)

For more information on our Pro Tips keep reading!

What Time to Water & For How Long:

Every season there is a perfect time of day to water your lawn and how you should water it for the best results possible. The preferred method to get the best results in watering your lawn is in the morning. This is when the wind has died down and the air is much cooler. The best time would be anywhere between 4 AM to 10 AM allowing for the water to not evaporate too quickly giving it ample time to be absorbed. You need to water long enough for it soak down into the soil around 6-8 inches and you need enough water to get down that far. That amount is typically 1 inch of water over about 20-25 minutes.  One way you make sure that your soil is reaching 6-8 inches deep is by lifting up the sod. But let’s be real that’s too much time and energy. If the water is being absorbed it needs more water, if it is sitting up slightly you can stop (it will take a minute to absorb deeper into the soil), and if it is pooling you’ve gone too far.

You want to be sure to not over water your lawn, this being said most lawns need at least 1 inch of water per week from either rain or your watering system. Understanding that watering your lawn in the morning is the best time because if you water at night your lawn is subjected to getting a disease and/or fungus. If you also don’t water enough your lawn will not grow properly due to the grassroots not allowing them to grow to full length. Interesting enough, watering your lawn everyday is not necessary due to its resilience. Although this does not mean you can just forget about it, once it starts to turn a dull green color it’s time to start giving it some more attention.

How to Water your Lawn:

Within the first year of your newly seeded grass it is important to know that your watering schedule is crucial. That is because the roots have not developed deep enough yet to withstand weather extremes.  Early on lighter more frequent waters are needed. While towards the second half of that new lawns seeding you should water less frequently and with a larger amount to drive water deeper into the soil enticing the roots down.  

It’s good to know what type of grass you have.  For “cool-weather” grass, specifically Tall Fescue in the north, we see that grass being more resilient towards shade with great deep greens in spring and fall and a winter survivor.  However it needs some love in the summer as it is prone to drying out in the summer. To grow it sufficiently you need to water irregularly and deep and be a good friend to it in the summer months.

For “warm-weather” grass such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda and Centipede grass they do not need as much water as “cool-weather” grass.  They are meant for the heat but will brown out fast in a cold weather climate during fall and winter months.

If you take ANYTHING away from this content…..USE A SPRINKLER TO WATER YOUR LAWN!  It does a way better job watering your lawn more evenly that a person watering by hand.  Set that sprinkler up and tell your smartphone to set a reminder for 20 minutes. Go enjoy something (or fold laundry), move and repeat.

Cheers!

The Lawn Serv Team

Find out more about getting lawn care products shipped to you…

Watering the lawn video

Quick Pro Tip on Watering:

  • You need 1″ of water per week naturally or by you!
  • Use a sprinkler
  • Use a container to test how much water has fallen from the sprinkler

No matter how much you fertilizer your lawn or how perfect you mow it, if it doesn’t get enough water it will go dormant or die.  It is important to get at least 1″ of water per week when you consider natural rain and watering yourself.  It is also more important to water completely that frequently.  If possible, water for ~20 minutes so the water can soak deep into the soil driving the roots down vs. a light watering teasing the roots towards the surface water.  This is why using a sprinkler is the most effective way to water a lawn.  It can be time consuming to stand there hand watering, so setup your smart phone alarm for 20 minutes and go do something else.

Fertilizing and Mowing the lawn right
Changing the landscape of lawn care through the use of technology