Ask the Expert – Late Heat

How should I react to the late heat wave this year?

We experienced a nice later summer break from the heat of summer, and the cooler temps allowed our lawns the opportunity to bounce back and green up, leaving them looking green and healthy. But the recent heat has brought some brown back and left many of us wondering what to do about our lawn as we prepare for Fall and Winter. We’ve been hearing a common question: Should we continue to water, or let the lawn go dormant until Spring?

The answer is yes – continue to water your lawn until the first freeze, it is a good idea to keep the soil beneath your grass moist through the Fall. We have experienced very little precipitation over the last few weeks. In order for your lawn to achieve optimal health, it needs an adequate water supply for proper nutrient uptake during growth periods. While you may have noticed that your grass is growing much less, and it isn’t necessary to mow as often, your grass is still growing! In fact, your grass will continue to grow through Fall, but the growth is happening underground! This underground growth is essential as it is a period of repair from the long, hot summer.

So, if you want a healthy, green lawn in the Spring, keep watering now until the first freeze! Keep it green.

The team at Turf Care is always ready to help. Give us a call.

Time for Seeding

Labor Day is fast approaching. And like many others, you might be eyeing this three–day weekend as an opportunity to get out in the yard and do some work. We don’t blame you—it is a perfect time to take stock of your lawn and take steps to maintain its health through the winter. We’ve compiled a few tips for this time of year.

1. This time of year is perfect for patching any spots on your lawn that are showing signs of wear and tear. Over seeding is highly recommended in the fall months. The cooler temperatures allow the grass to develop a good root, which helps come the post-winter thaws.

2. Aeration can help replenish the health of your lawn. Aerating allows your lawn to recirculate nutrients and helps grass develop stronger roots. The fall is the best time to aerate, and we recommend this service to all of our customers at this time of year.

3. Labor Day is a great time to start fertilizing your lawn. By this point in the summer, any weeds you have are fighting with your grass for nutrients. Helping the grass out with a fertilizer treatment can help prevent the weeds from running amok.

4. Keep the mower blade high. Now isn’t the time to drop your blade lower when mowing. Since grasses need this time of year to help develop strong root growth, you want to avoid damaging that effort by cutting too close to the ground. Keep the blades until the lawn starts to go into its dormant phase.

5. Late Summer, Fall, and Winter months are a good time to take examining areas in your yard that might be helping mosquito’s breed. Finding, and eliminating, any areas with standing water or poorly draining soil can help reduce the amount of mosquito’s in your lawn.

The team at Turf Care is always ready to help. Give us a call.

Ask the Expert — Why is My Lawn Turning Brown?

Why is My Lawn Turning Brown?

If you have been watering your lawn regularly but still seeing dry brown patches, you are not alone. The extended period of hot temperatures, coupled with low precipitation and drought conditions, have taken a toll on lawns throughout the area. The extended periods of heat following a wet Spring have taken a toll on our lawns.

brown_patch

Blue grass, a common grass in the area, thrives when temperatures are in the 70’s. It can tolerate 80 degree days, but when temperatures reach the 90’s, it begins to suffer. Additional conditions such as humidity, drought and weeds cause significant problems for blue grass lawns, and can lead to the dry, brown appearance you may be seeing now. As the ground temperatures increase, bluegrass will prune off some of the root system so consider more frequent watering during these periods.

Fescue varieties of lawn are a little more tolerant to the heat than the blue grasses, but they still need regular watering and mowing. Fescue will not go dormant, but they will die if they are left unattended in these conditions.

But the heat and drought alone are not to blame for the condition of your lawn. The dry brown patches in your lawn indicate a combination of drought and disease has injured your lawn. The disease is brought on by the stress of drought, heat and high humidity for an extended length of time, as we have been experiencing.

brown lawn

The disease needs the perfect environment to thrive – the existence of the pathogen, a susceptible host and the correct environment. When these conditions exist together, the disease, in the form of a fungus, will develop and present problems in your yard.

So what can you do now if your lawn has dry brown patches? You can eliminate further stress on your lawn by maintaining a regular watering schedule until the weather changes and cooler temperatures replace the heat and humidity. It takes a significant amount of attention and care to maintain a flawless lawn in summer conditions like we have been experiencing.

If insects are to blame for the damage to your lawn, they should be treated now in order to prevent further damage. If a disease, or fungus, is the cause, consider adding a fungicide to your lawn treatment for next year. Now is the optimum time to schedule an aeration and seeding for the Fall. The Turf Care team can help return your lawn to a healthy, green condition!

Call the Turf Care team today!

Ask the Expert – Japanese Beetles

I’ve noticed a ton of Japanese Beetles in my yard. Should I be concerned?

You may have spotted Japanese beetles in recent weeks. If you have the beetles in your yard, you already know how destructive they can be to your yard, trees and plants. The beetle measures about half an inch and is recognizable by its metallic head and copper back.

japanese-beetle

There is no preventative treatment for Japanese beetles, which are relatively new to this area, having arrived within the last five years. When an insect is new to a geographic area, the population typically soars within the first few years, but steadily declines after reaching its peak.

There are many misconceptions about the best options for getting rid of the Japanese beetle, and unfortunately there is no option to eliminate them completely. Japanese beetles lay eggs in the summer months, which overwinter as larvae. Completely eliminating the larvae, which appear as a white grub, is an unrealistic goal. However, the grubs can be controlled to the point that they don’t destroy the turf in your yard.

japanese beetle life cycle

Controlling the Japanese beetle after you see an adult population is more realistic, but takes time and diligence. An adult female Japanese beetle emits an odor that attracts males, who can fly in from as far as 6 miles away. Eliminating the beetles in your yard is a temporary fix as more are likely to continue to arrive. Using traps with synthetic hormones to attract and capture the beetle is ineffective as they generally only capture about 10% of the beetles in the vicinity, and may actually attract more beetles to your yard.

japanese beetle trap

The most effective treatment is to spray your plants and trees with a registered insecticide. You can spray smaller plants and shrubs with a hand sprayer, but multiple applications within a period of a few weeks will be necessary to reduce the population. If you have larger trees such as a birch or linden, which are favorites of the Japanese beetle, you will need the help of a professional, and multiple applications will be necessary.

Japanese beetles attack plants in groups, and can be extremely destructive to turf, trees, crops and plants, particularly those in the rose species. But with diligence you can control them to the point where they are no longer destructive. And there is more good news. Within the next few weeks, the Japanese beetles will lay their eggs and die soon after. Of course, the egg-larva-pupa-adult cycle will perpetuate, but you will be free of destructive pest for the remainder of the summer!

Call the Turf Care team to help eliminate the Japanese beetles in your large trees today!

Ask the Expert – Emerald Ash Borer

Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert

I’ve heard a lot about the Emerald Ash Borer—should I be concerned?

Experts have been warning the community about an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer insect making its way to the Omaha area, and the insects have in fact been found in trees around the metro. The leaves are back on the trees, so now is a good time to consider the best treatment option for your tree.

Look for signs of infection, such as die-back from the top, or tiny exit holes in the trunk, which can be difficult to see. These are signs that your tree may be infected and it should be evaluated by a professional.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Once a branch has been infected, it may be too late to save the branch, but not necessarily too late to save the rest of the tree.
  • If the vascular system of the tree has been infected, it will be difficult to save the tree.
  • A soil drench is a possible treatment. This is where the soil is drenched with the treatment, and the chemical travel up the vascular system of the tree. This is may not be effective now that the insects are in the area.
  • The most effective treatment for the emerald ash borer is annual injections done by a professional.

Injections have been effective in saving some trees in other cities that have been infested with the emerald ash borer insect, but there is no guarantee that it will work on all trees. Here are some things to consider before choosing this form of treatment:

  • Injections are effective at providing protection from the bore and preventing them from spreading to other trees.
  • Annual injections are needed in order for this form of treatment to be effective.
  • Cost should be a consideration. Cost of removal as well as cost of the treatment. Also consider the relative value of the tree. Consider removing a young or an old tree, but middle-aged and healthy trees are good candidates for injection treatments.

The window for treatment is relatively wide as long as it is treated annually. So don’t rush into any decisions. The professionals at Turf Care can evaluate and treat your tree if treatment is warranted. Call our office!

Enjoy a mosquito free 4th

We all know how much fun it is to host a cookout on the 4th of July. We take great pride in making sure your outdoor space is enjoyable. As family and friends gather to celebrate, we want to make sure your yard is in tip-top shape for your guests. This often goes beyond typical grass treatment—we can also help keep your yard bug free.

With longer breeding seasons, mosquito populations are on the rise—but we are here to help.

Our team can come and apply a mosquito treatment that will help keep your guests bite-free. Treatments typically last at least a few weeks—excessive rain can shorten the long-term effectiveness. This means you and your family can not only enjoy a bug-free-4th, but can also enjoy a mosquito free lawn in the following weeks.

We do our best to make sure you can enjoy every ounce of Green Season.  Call our office today and ask about our mosquito treatment options.

 

 

Looking for work? Drop us a line

TCO-FacebookAdHiring

Our summer months generally see an uptick in need, so once again we are looking to add the best of the best to our team.

Turf Care is one of Omaha’s premier provider of lawn care services. Since 1982 we have been treating Nebraska lawns as if they were our own. We believe every yard deserves a Golf Course Green lawn.

We need to fill a Certified Lawn Technician position, applicant needs past experience in a field related to turf, landscaping and/or as an applicator.

We are looking for general laborers; grass cutting, edging, aeration and other basic lawn maintenance work.

Valid driver’s license, a great attitude and self-motivation is required.

If you think you qualify, send us your resume—
info@turfcareomaha.com

Ask the Expert

Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert

With every change in season and temperatures, our office receives a flurry of calls from homeowners who are concerned about their changing lawn. Most of the changes causing concerns for homeowners are normal for lawns in our region. We hope to answer your questions and alleviate these concerns with a new blog series we are launching– Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert.

My grass looks like wheat on the end, with a rough, thick stalk? Is my lawn full of weeds?

In early Spring, your lawn goes through many changes. When the tops of your lawn look like wheat, it is in the seeding process, and what you are seeing are seed heads. This is a natural part of the seasonal growing pattern for grass. Different varieties of grass may seed at different times during a season, but every lawn is an ecosystem and it will undergo various changes throughout the season, depending on the environment. The seeding process can occur over a few weeks, surging and waning, depending on temperatures and moisture.

The grass will form a thick, rigid stalk to support the seed head, and the stalk may turn brown after mowing. This is due to the stalk decomposing, and it is normal. The grass will green up again. It is not uncommon for a lawn to look blotchy, because the grass may not seed at the same time. We recommend normal watering and mowing at this stage. Don’t cut your lawn too close, and water when the soil appears dry.

With regular maintenance, watering and mowing, your lawn should stay healthy and beautiful through the season.

How often should I be watering and mowing my lawn right now?

This is a question we get often in the Spring, and the answer depends on the weather! Mother Nature typically takes care of the watering for us in April and May, and this year has been no exception. We have had a healthy amount of rain in recent weeks and your lawn is likely conditioned to the cooler, moist weather. As dryer weather moves in, your grass will need to harden off. When we have temperature swings of 60’s one day, to 90’s the next, the grass is not allowed to harden off, and it will become distressed. This does not necessarily mean that the lawn needs to be watered, so hold off on the sprinkler until the soil appears dry. The grass will eventually harden off as the temperatures gradually rise.

Regular mowing at this time of year is important for the long-term health of your lawn. Mowing a wet lawn is not ideal, but it is better than not mowing at all and letting it grow too long, which is hard on the plant. We recommend taking no more than a third of the blade with each mowing, so it is OK to set the mower height a little higher now, and mow about once a week.

Do I need a fungicidal treatment?

This is the time of year to treat your lawn with a fungicide if it has been a chronic problem for your lawn. We are treating lawns now as a preventative measure because once the lawn is infected, it is impossible to bring it back without seeding and a lot of time and care. It is much easier to prevent than to cure, so if you have concerns about fungus, don’t delay treatment. Call us today with questions.

Call us today if you would like the Turf Care team to help keep your lawn healthy and beautiful all season.

Need Mulch?

With summer creeping up, its time to address your beds. At this time of year, we recommend homeowners consider adding mulch to your beds. You might ask why? Well, mulch helps your beds in a number of ways.

Mulch helps control weeds.
And for many homeowners, this is reason enough to get the mulch down.

Mulch helps control water usage. Some mulch, counterintuitively, can act as a sponge and absorb high quantities of water, which can help keep your plants safe and cool in warmer conditions. Holding more water means you have to water your bed’s less.

Mulch replenishes nutrients. Fresh organic material helps keep soil happy and healthy.

Mulch gives a polished look. Adding mulch to your beds helps give your yard a nice polished look.

The pro’s at Turf Care are happy to deliver mulch to your yard. For a limited time get $35/per yard for regular, or $50/per yard for dyed delivered to your home. 2 yard minimum.

Omaha Lawn Care

Finally, after months of dreary, cold-weather, lawns are coming back to life. It might be an over-statement, but we love this time of year. And, it is not only because headquarters is bustling with excitement every morning. We at Turf Care have a unique perspective on the work we do—we help people, individuals and families, kids and pets, enjoy the outdoors. We believe there is something magical and reassuring about seeing a well-kept, green lawn everyday.

And we want our customers to enjoy that sensation every time they pull up to their house, or every time they look out the window.

Knowing that you have Turf Care on your side can help ease your mind — you don’t have to worry about taking care of your lawn. You can spend your time with other things.

It is easy to tell that our customers appreciate all we do. We’ve won Best of Omaha 6 years in a row, and have been voted best of Sarpy County multiple times.

We encourage you to take a look at our services. We offer a variety of lawn programs. If you aren’t sure what you need, give us a call. We are always happy to take a look at your property and let you know our thoughts.