2021 and last year in review
I would like to begin by saying THANK YOU for your business last season. It is always appreciated, especially during this trying time that we ALL are facing.
As the 2021 season approaches I (along with everyone else) am glad to see the New Year upon us. Let’s hope it turns out to be much better than last, and that the virus eases and finally goes away. Thankfully, I am not stuck inside otherwise I would’ve jumped off a bridge by now.
This upcoming season will mark my 31st year in business. I have been able to enjoy this longevity for the most part by being a one man operation for the last 16 years, while only using subcontractors for the work that I do not perform myself. I provide the type of service that I feel people can relate to.
By not having 3 or 4 people on the lawn knocking the service out in a few minutes and moving on to the next one, I can concentrate and treat every lawn as if it were my own. And, by doing so, hope to achieve the best results possible even if Mother Nature throws me a curveball every now and then. As I say…it may be your lawn, but my name is all over it. This is why I strive to get your lawn in the best shape and to look as good as possible.
So, in order to achieve these results, some work is required on your part. There are 3 things that need to be done in order for this to happen and I only do 1 of them. I call it the “Triangle for Success” and it is as follows…
- Turf care
- Proper Cutting
- Proper watering
Turf care: This is the part that I do, from the fertilizer, soil amendments and lime, to controlling of the weeds, insects and fungus issues. Seeding may also be the needed to improve turf density and core aeration to help control thatch and soil compaction.
Proper Cutting: I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH…if the lawn is not cut at the proper height, or is cut when the lawn is under stress due to excessive heat and/or dry conditions, then the lawn ain’t gonna look good. Yes, I know it’s not grammatically correct, but you will hear it once or twice again. Just re-enforcing a point.
Proper Watering: It is critical for the lawn to be sufficiently hydrated during the season in order for the lawn to look its best. Folks, hear me out. I am talking about a living thing that requires proper care. This is cool season turf in our area consisting mostly of Tall Fescue with some Bluegrass and Perennial Rye Grass mixed in.
This grass type prefers cooler temperatures. It looks and does its best when the temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s. Once the temps hit the mid 80’s and higher, the turf wants to go into dormancy. It is at this time where proper watering needs to be implemented.
Not doing so will allow the lawn to go into dormancy if high temperatures persist for a long period of time. If the lawn is showing some off color, this could be the reason why. Otherwise you should contact me so we can be sure it is not a potential bigger problem.
And because we are dealing with cool season turf, the lawns usually do not look as good in the summer as they do in the spring or fall for this very reason. When people ask why, I tell them this; not to be funny, but to prove a point. Try sitting out in the full sun for 12 hours a day with temperatures in the mid 80’s or higher, high humidity, both day and night, with some food and a little water and let me know how you feel after a day, a few days, a week, etc. You will survive but you ain’t gonna be happy. Heck, we complain just getting out of the car going to the store, house, etc. in these conditions. And while I am speaking of the weather, let’s take a look at last year if you don’t mind…
Last winter was a mild one with just a trace of snow. Temperatures and rainfall were above average for January, February and March. April and May were pretty normal. We did have a couple of nights where a killing frost showed up and we had a hard freeze just as some trees and other plants were leafing out which caused some damage. Some of this damage was short term, but there was also major damage to some evergreens that did not recover.
June started out normal, but by the 3rd week, temperatures were consistently in the mid 80’s. Then, July saw upper 80’s and 90’s consistently most of the month. We did have rain, but it came in bunches; 3-4” at a time. Lawns were either stressed or had severe damage show up if they were not being irrigated on a regular basis or properly cared for prior to the hot and dry conditions. And due to the heavy downpours, disease and fungus showed up in force. Crabgrass once again broke through due to the barrier becoming depleted, again, from all the rain. August turned out to have below average temperatures-mid 80’s with normal rainfall.
September through December was almost perfect. The temperatures and rainfall were pretty much normal. We did have the one snow event in mid December, but the temperatures rebounded back to normal or slightly above by the end of the month and melted the snow.
The point to all of this is to let you know that Mother Nature has a major effect on how well your lawn will do and look during the season. I will try to minimize the issues with the service I provide, but it will be up to you to make sure the lawn is cut and watered properly and to let me know of any issues.
Last, but certainly not least, please make sure that you read and follow all of my recommendations and guidelines that I leave after each application. Doing so will give us the best chance of achieving the lawn we both are looking for. If you are not sure or have a question regarding the application, or just a general question, please reach out to me either by calling or emailing me.
As always, should you need to make any changes to your program from last year; you changed lawn mowing companies or decided to hire one, increased/decreased turf areas, etc, please let me know. It would also be helpful to know what day your mowing company has you scheduled to be cut. You could also give me their name and phone number if you wish.
In closing, once again, I would like to thank you for your business in 2020 and the trust that you have in me caring for your lawn. I am looking forward to the upcoming season as well as the challenges that it may will present.
“GIVE A WEED AN INCH”, “IT WILL TAKE A YARD”
EARLY SPRING TURF TALK
Today’s service consisted of the following:
- A light rate of slow release nitrogen fertilizer along with organic nutrients was applied to help bring your lawn out of winter dormancy. By applying light rates of fertilizer, the lawn receives the nutrients it needs without over-stimulating top growth, which could cause the turf to become susceptible to insects and diseases.
- Pre-emergent crabgrass control was applied and under normal conditions, the barrier it creates will last all season. Heavy raking, digging or cutting too short needs to be avoided at all times, as doing so will break the barrier, while cutting short will allow the soil to heat up and let weed seeds germinate.
- A liquid broadleaf weed control was applied today on a spot spray basis only. Broadcast applications are only done if the lawn has heavy weed pressure present. A sticking agent is added so the product adheres to the weed. This allows the weed control to still be effective should rainfall come after the treatment has been applied.
- If needed, seeding and/or aeration were performed today on small areas using certified seed for sun and shade conditions. An additional charge may have been applied on larger sections if not part of your program.
- __ Soil sample was taken and sent out for analysis. You will receive a copy of the analysis.
__Clumps of grass-disperse, remove or cut more frequently. __Cut short. Raise height to______”
__Grass is shredded. Sharpen blade, increase blade speed or cut more frequently.
__Lawn needs cutting. __Soil is too dry. __Soil is too wet. __Seeding needed-__Spring __Fall
__Lawn compacted-needs core aeration __Excess thatch-needs spring and fall core aeration
__Disease present and treatment was performed __Disease present-no treatment necessary as it is cosmetic and will grow out on its own.
To avoid possible skin or eye irritation, do not walk without shoes or allow children or pets to play on your lawn until the products just applied have been watered in. A sign has been placed by the curb to caution people that an application has been made. Please remove the sign after the lawn products have been watered in or after 72 hours, whichever occurs first.
- Should we be experiencing dry weather, watering in the application needs to be done to move the products down into the soil profile. Give the lawn a good soaking for approximately an hour per area being watered. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you may need to reduce those times.
- If seeding was done, lightly water once or twice daily for the first month to increase germination results and allow the seed to fill in as quickly as possible. The key is to keep the soil damp. Lack of moisture will reduce results or even cause the young grass to die. Depending on weather conditions, you may need to water more or less frequently. Watering during hot and/or dry periods is critical for the new grass to survive through the summer.
- Established turf requires an inch of water per week – either from Mother Nature or you. If you have an automatic irrigation system, this will usually take 20 to 30 minutes per zone twice a week. Otherwise, mechanical sprinklers will need to run for about an hour or two per area being watered depending on your water pressure.
- Wait at least 24 hours after your lawn application was completed before the lawn is cut. It normally takes that long for the weeds to take up the application depending on the product used.
- Make sure the blade is sharp…PLEASE
- Continue to cut the lawn on a regular schedule, except in bare or thin areas that were reseeded. These areas should be left untouched for 3 to 4 weeks before cutting to help the new seedlings establish themselves. Make sure to cut only when the grass is dry so you avoid shredding the tips of the grass or pulling it out of the ground. Be sure to make your mowing contractor aware of any seeding that was done.
- Mow at the proper height…no shorter than 3.5” during the early spring growing period. My applications are SEVERELY reduced by cutting to short. Cutting short causes poor results and will damage or even kill the turf. During dry periods, raise the cutting height to 4 inches…MINIMUM. Mowing at the proper height will increase root depth and retain moisture, while helping to reduce weed and disease pressures. If you have a mowing contractor, please tell them about these procedures.
- Recycle or mulch grass clippings as they return nutrients and moisture back to the soil. Clumps of grass should be removed so as not to cause damage to the turf. Unfortunately, I see this all too often.
- Try to mow your lawn only when it is completely dry and alternate the direction. This helps prevent ruts in the lawn and also makes it easier on your grass, your lawn mower and especially you.
As always, I appreciate your business and the opportunity to take care of your lawn. The next application will be approximately 6-8 weeks from today and will include grub and weed controls along with another feeding of slow release fertilizer with organic nutrients.
Any questions or comments you may have are very important to me. Should you have either, please let me know.
“GIVE A WEED AN INCH”, “IT WILL TAKE A YARD”