Archive | How To

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch

Tips for Effective Weed Control – Partial Content By: Barbara Pleasant
Don’t give weeds the chance to see the light. Whether you choose wood chips, bark nuggets, straw, or even pine needles, keep the mulch coming to smother out weeds.

Mulch benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and depriving weeds of light. Organic mulches, in particular, can actually host crickets and carabid beetles, which seek out and devour thousands of weed seeds.

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Spring is Here

Spring is Here – Partial Content By: Julie Day of Danny Lipford.com

As the world outside finally begins to turn green after a long winter, it’s time once again to pay attention to your lawn. Spring is a sensitive time for your yard – the soil is spongy, the plants are tender, and the weather is unpredictable. Your lawn will thank you for being gentle this time of year, but it will also thank you for addressing a few important spring tasks. Here’s how to go about taking care of your lawn in the spring.

Types of Grass

Spring lawn care depends on the type of grass you are growing:

Cool-season grasses include fescue, bluegrass, and rye. They have two growth spurts – a moderate one in the spring, and a big one in the fall. They go dormant and can struggle in hot summer months, so the focus of spring care is strengthening the plants for summer. Warm-season grasses—such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, centipede, and Bermuda—thrive in the heat and go dormant during winter. They begin growing after the last spring frost and really get going by midsummer. Understanding the type of grass you have and its peak growing season will help you address lawn care tasks at the correct time.

Clean Up – Gently!

Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good spring cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up and separate the grass shoots.

In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

Fall is a great time to give your lawn that extra boost it needs to make it through the winter months. Cool-season grasses especially need a fall feeding to get ready for next spring. Here are a few tips on how to winterize your lawn. Fall Lawn Fertilizing

  • Fertilize cool-season grasses, such as ryegrass, fescue and bluegrass in September, October or November.
  • Fertilize warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, Bahia, centipede, St. Augustine and Zoysia in July, August or September. Don’t overfertilize centipede.
  • Specially formulated winterizing fertilizers are higher in potassium than regular lawn food. Potassium is the nutrient that makes grasses more winter hardy. Apply winterizers as the last fertilizer application of the growing season.

Controlling Lawn Disease, Weeds and Insects

  • To help prevent lawn diseases during the fall and winter, remove leaves from your yard. Leaves left on the lawn encourage disease by preventing sunlight and air from reaching the grass. Use a rake or blower to collect the leaves and add them to a compost pile. If you’d rather, you can go over them with a mulching mower, chopping them into a fine compost for your grass.
  • For weed control during the winter months, apply a pre-emergent weed killer. Some products feature a combination fertilizer and weed killer called “weed and feed.”

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