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Understanding Common Turf Disease

Common Cool-Season Grass Diseases:

  1. Red Thread: This fungal disease is notorious for its reddish-pink threads that give infected grass blades a distinctive appearance. It thrives in cool, moist conditions, often making an appearance in early spring or late fall.
  2. Dollar Spot: Characterized by small, circular patches of bleached or tan-colored grass, Dollar Spot is another common cool-season disease. It tends to emerge during periods of high humidity and inadequate nitrogen levels.
  3. Snow Mold: As the name suggests, Snow Mold typically occurs in areas where snow cover persists for an extended period. It presents as circular patches of matted, straw-colored grass, often with a white or pinkish fungal growth.

How to Protect your lawn:

Cultural Practices: Maintain proper lawn care practices, including regular mowing, adequate watering, and appropriate fertilization. Healthy turf is more resilient to diseases.

Rotate Fungicides: If necessary, utilize fungicides to control the spread of diseases. Rotate between different types of fungicides to prevent the development of resistance.

Improve Air Circulation: Promote air circulation by pruning trees and shrubs, as well as avoiding excessive thatch buildup. This helps reduce humidity and create an environment less favorable to fungal diseases. Aeration in our area typically does the trick as our cool season grasses do not create as much thatch as warm season grasses.

Monitor Moisture Levels: Be mindful of watering practices, ensuring that your lawn receives enough moisture without becoming waterlogged. Proper drainage is essential to prevent the onset of diseases like Red Thread and Dollar Spot.

Early Detection: Keep a close eye on your lawn for any signs of disease, such as discolored patches or unusual growth. Early detection allows for prompt action and better control of the situation.

By implementing these strategies, you can safeguard your cool-season grass from the threat of diseases and maintain a lush, healthy lawn year-round. Remember, proactive management is key to keeping your turf in tip-top shape!

Winter Turf Care

Taking care of your lawn in winter, especially in cooler climates, is essential for maintaining its health. Here are some tips specifically tailored for our cool-season turf:

  1. Keep the Lawn Clean: Ensure the lawn is free of heavy snow for extended periods. Prolonged snow cover can invite diseases like snow mold.
  2. Limit Foot Traffic: Try to avoid walking on frozen grass as it can damage the blades. It’s more susceptible to breaking when frozen.
  3. Watering: Your lawn might still need watering in winter, especially if there’s a dry spell. Water during the warmest part of the day to avoid freezing.
  4. Snow Removal: If snow does accumulate, gently remove it from the lawn to prevent compacting the grass.
  5. Monitor for Diseases: Keep an eye out for snow mold and other diseases that might develop during winter. Proper lawn care practices can help prevent these issues.

Importance of Fall Lawn Care

  1. Prepare for Winter Resilience: Fall fertilization provides your lawn with the essential nutrients it needs to build strong, healthy roots before winter sets in. By strengthening the root system now, your lawn will be better equipped to withstand harsh winter conditions, including freezing temperatures and potential stressors like snow mold and ice damage.
  2. Promote Spring Green-Up: Properly fertilizing your lawn in the fall sets the stage for a vibrant and lush spring green-up. As temperatures rise and the growing season begins anew, your lawn will already have the necessary nutrients stored in the roots, ensuring a faster and more vigorous growth come springtime.
  3. Weed Suppression: Fall is the ideal time to tackle those persistent weeds. As temperatures drop, weed growth slows down, making them more susceptible to weed control treatments. Applying weed control measures in the fall not only helps eliminate existing weeds but also prevents new weeds from taking hold in the following seasons.
  4. Reduce Spring Workload: By focusing on fertilization and weed control in the fall, you effectively reduce the workload and stress on your lawn during the busiest time of the year – spring. With a healthy lawn already established, you’ll spend less time combating weeds and nurturing struggling grass, freeing you up to enjoy your outdoor spaces.
  5. Enhance Overall Lawn Health: A well-fertilized and weed-free lawn is a healthy lawn. Fall provides the perfect conditions for grass to absorb and utilize nutrients effectively. This not only ensures better growth and color but also strengthens the lawn’s resistance against diseases, pests, and environmental stressors.
  6. Maximize Fertilizer Effectiveness: During the fall, cool-season grasses experience a surge in growth and absorption of nutrients. Applying fertilizer at this time maximizes its effectiveness, as the grass actively takes up the nutrients and stores them for winter. Additionally, nutrients applied in the fall remain in the soil and become available to the grass in the following spring.
  7. Environmental Benefits: By implementing fall fertilization and weed control practices, you’re promoting a healthier ecosystem overall. A dense and robust lawn helps prevent soil erosion, filters pollutants, and absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, contributing positively to the environment.

Spring is Here!!

Time to open up those windows and get some fresh air!! It’s also time to get that yard cleaned up and ready for BBQ season!

Your lawn needs a few things to be successful this season. Sunlight, airflow and water.

It’s important to clean your yard of large debris to allow that sunlight and water to get into the roots.

Now is also a great time to clear your mulch beds, do some weeding and prune those hedges. While we don’t do this type of work, we work closely with a number of landscapers in the area that do. We’d be happy to share their information with you.

Another important aspect to look at is standing water. Clean out those gutters and dump any standing water you have in the yard. This will help tremendously with insect control.

Crabgrass! Why the first two applications are so important…

Crabgrass is a warm-season annual that germinates, lives and dies all in the same year. While they live, each crabgrass plant produces up to 150,000 seeds. With hundreds of thousands of crabgrass seeds potentially waiting in your lawn, preventing their successful germination is essential.

A well timed application of pre-emergent and a good nutrient rich fertilizer will help stop that germination and invasion. Pre-emergents work by inhibiting seed germination and root development so that seeds can’t become established plants.

Because crabgrass preventers only work before crabgrass seedlings emerge through the soil, timing applications right is critical to success. Crabgrass starts germinating when soil temperatures warm to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for four to five days in a row. A few or more warm days will not be a factor as the soil temperature takes a little longer to rise.

If your lawn hasn’t been treated in the past, it could take 1-3 years to fully control crabgrass.

Frozen Grass Damage

Frozen grass is very delicate and can be damaged easily by foot traffic or cars driving over it. Most times the grass will recover in the spring growing season but it will look like an alien walked or drove over your lawn until then. It is best to keep traffic to a minimum on a frozen lawn.

Aeration, Overseeding and Top Dressing After Care Instructions

WATERING!!!
Once service is completed, you want to water your lawn, keeping it evenly moist.
Water for approximately one hour in the early morning or evening time frame. You want to continue watering once each day until your lawn seeds germinate, which can take 2 weeks. Then resume normal watering practices.


SHOULD I PICK UP SOIL PLUGS AFTER AERATING?
When you first get core aeration services, you might see those tiny soil cores scattered about your lawn.
These cores are part of the benefits of aerating a lawn. These soil plugs break up and disappear pretty quickly into the grass and soil after a short time of mowing and watering. This adds organic matter back into your soil, enriching it and helping to increase germination after seeding.


CAN I WALK ON THE LAWN AFTER AERATING AND OVERSEEDING?
To achieve the maximum benefits of aeration and overseeding, staying off of your lawn as much as possible after the process is a good idea. You want your lawn to be able to repair itself before you use it for recreation again.
What does this mean in terms of timing? Keep foot traffic to a minimum for at least two weeks.


HOW SOON CAN I MOW AFTER AERATING AND OVERSEEDING?
Mowing weekly during the growing season is important for maintaining a healthy lawn, encouraging thicker growth. So you might be wondering when to mow after overseeding.
When grass first germinates, it’s very tender. So it’s important to wait 2 weeks until the seed has germinated. Mow later in the day so the ground isn’t as wet and don’t collect those clippings. Let them fall to the ground so you recycle nutrients and any leftover seed your mower may have picked up during mowing. Lastly, you want to mow on a high setting. We recommend 3 1/2 to 4 inches.

Why are some of my grasses different colors?

The simple answer is, we live in a transition zone and that allows for multiple different types of grasses to survive and thrive during different times of the growing season. For instance, fescues, bluegrasses and rye-grasses prefer cool nights and warm days, which is aligned with our northeast climate. Now…with that being said, we do live in a “transition” zone. Sometimes, southern grasses can survive and thrive in our climate. Some examples of these grasses are zoysia, bent and Bermuda. Fortunately, not having a monoculture is a good thing. You want different types of grasses in your lawn at all times. This will prevent a total loss if something effects one type of grass.

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