Tag Archives: How To

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!

Managing Weeds In your Yard While keeping the grass

Everyone wants a weed free yard. Understanding where to start and setting realistic expectations is going to save you the frustration though as managing weeds in a lawn is an ongoing battle.

1.) Hand pulling weeds is going to help whenever you have established mature weeds already.

2.) Using a spot treatment is going to help on any weeds that are less mature or that are really hard to hand pull

3.) Preventing weeds is going to save you time on step 1 and 2, so be sure to apply your pre-emergent weed control religiously and using a broad post-emergent early is going to be more effective against less mature weeds.

We talk about attacking weeds in a bunch of ongoing mini-battles a lot here at Lawn Serv. We personally like to try to spend 5-10 minutes before mowing the lawn to walk the area, pick up sticks, and pull any mature weeds. After the mow take another 5-10 minutes pulling any mature weeds you saw while mowing while walking around with the spot treatment spraying anything too hard to pull.

After a few weeks of repeating that process you will have made a lot of great progress!

Enjoy the lawn!

Lawn Serv Team

https://lawnserv.com/

Spring Lawn care checklist

It is that time of year again when the daylight last a little longer, temperatures are getting warmer, and winter is in the rear view mirror.  Spring has officially arrived and it is time to venture outside and get the lawn looking great. However, as eager as you may be to begin improving the look of your lawn, patience is an important part of the process. See our top 5 checklist of time tested spring lawn care tips.    

Get your soil tested

Just like our bodies need various vitamins and minerals to be healthy and strong, so does your lawn. But not just any nutrients will do. Having your soil tested annually (as is provided with every Lawn Serv account) will tell you what specific nutrients are needed to achieve optimal results and obtain a healthy and lush lawn.  

Debris Cleanup & Mowing

No doubt your lawn has experienced the effects of winter with twigs, sticks, leaves, ect. littering the yard along with dead grass.  Definitely pick up the major debris as time allows, but hold off on any vigorous raking or mowing until the grass is mostly green and the ground is fairly dry, otherwise you risk doing more damage than good to your lawn. Raking or detaching can tear up roots if the soil is to damp for roots to hold.  When appropriate give the entire lawn a coarse raking to pull off any dead grass and debris. dethatching is also an option at this time of year, but is a more involved process and will be covered in a separate article. One trick you can use to save some time is to give you lawn a “short cut”. Setting the mower blades a little lower will help pull up some of the dead grass, without the added step of raking. Don’t go to low however, or you’ll risk damaging the crowns of the grass.  Having a shorter first cut before applying any products will also help facilitate getting the fertilizer down to the roots where it’s needed and getting the pre-emergent to the seeds.

Pre-Emergent

If your lawn is prone to weeds, early spring can be a good time to apply herbicides to prevent the weeds from developing. Crabgrass is the most common as it is a prolific seeder and the bane of many homeowners seeking a better lawn. If you had a crabgrass issue last year (or even multiple years back) expect to see it again this year, so consider using a pre-emergent herbicide. It may be tempting to use the more is better method for controlling weeds, but avoid this mentality or you may damage the young grass that is starting to grow.  For ideal results you will want to apply the weed control as soon as the soil temperature consistently reaches 55 degrees.

Fertilize

A green lawn is great, but keep in mind the goal of your spring lawn care is to encourage maximum root volume and depth to prepare the grass for summer heat and drought. During springtime green will happen on its own.  Similar to weed control, don’t overdue the fertilizer in the spring. Too much will cause a flush of growth at the expense of the roots. Lawn Serv customers, no need to worry about how much is too much, you will receive just the right amount of fertilizer for your lawn size and time of year.

Reseed

Overseeding in the spring is not ideal, as it will be tough for the young grass to develop enough strength to survive the tough summer months.  However, you’ll want to fix any bald spots so try to get the seeding done early so the new grass will have enough time to develop before the summer stress. Watering will be key to helping young grass survive the entire season.  Grass seed will start to germinate when soil temperatures reach 50°F, so as soon as your seeing soil temperatures in this range, get the seed down. For the same reason pre-emergents work on crabgrass and other weed seeds, they also work on grass seed, so be careful not to use pre-emergents over new grass seed.

A  little extra effort in the spring will pay big dividends all year long, and help make the entire lawn care season much more manageable.  By following the above steps you’ll be on your way to a thicker, fuller, more healthy lawn that will be the envy of all your neighbors. Now if I could just get the same results with my hair.  

Spring Lawn Care Tips

How to Prep Soil for Grass Seed

The key to grass seed really taking to a new area is getting great soil seed contact. You want to take the time up front getting the area prepped so the seed has the highest likelihood of success to maintain moisture during germination. Some quick tips and a HowCast video below should get you there…

  • Loosen up the soil with rakes
  • Level the area to be even
  • Remove debris like stones or twigs
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How to Revive a Dead Lawn

You lawn is likely not dead.  It is likely dormant waiting to be revived.  If you have bare patches (not a dormant lawn) think about seeding not reviving.

Check out this HowCast video below and be sure to read the bullets below that with additional helpful hints…

  • Try to stay off of it
  • Water it – please use a sprinkler (but be committed to continued watering)
  • Provide the lawn with a boost of food. Try an All Natural fertilizer to start with that has Nitrogen and make it a hose-end application product as that has great absorption
How to revive a lawn
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Winterize your Lawn Mower

How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower

Quick Pro Tips:

  • Wash the mower
  • Run out the gas
  • Think about taking this time to sharpen the blades for the new year

If you get sustained below freezing temperatures in your part of the country you need to think seriously about simple maintenance if you plan to extend the life of your machines.  Grass clippings in bags can ruin them, so turn them inside out, rinse and let dry in the sun.  You should clean your mower deck after each use, but especially before winter.  Grass holds moisture and can rust parts of the mower quicker.

Gas only has a couple months shelf life.  You should run that out if you don’t plan on mowing in the next 60 days and put new gas in.

Sharpe blades are going cut more efficiently and cleaner.  This will improve the health of your lawn.  Now that you have a few winter months off go take the blades to a local shop and get those sharpened.  It’s short money for the saved headaches they can cause by creating lawn problems.  

Want a more convenient way to fertilizer your lawn?

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

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Fertilizing After You Mow The Lawn

Quick Pro tip

  • You should fertilize after you mow your lawn.
  • If granular fertilizer, you should water in the fertilizer so it can get to the roots, or apply right before a rain.
  • If you can, mulch the clippings and leave them on the lawn, those are packed with nutrients for the soil! (just not clumpy)
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Fertilizing after you mow is important because you want the product typically to be able to reach the soil line.  If you fertilize on top of the tall grass the product can be wasted and in some cases even burn the grass leaves.

Some other things to note would be that you should never cut more than 1/3 of the blade of grass off when mowing, and be sure to always water your lawn if it’s been a while without rain!

Cheers!

Lawn Serv Team

Best Way to Mow Stripes