Ask the Expert – Should I Be Concerned About the Mild Winter Weather?

It’s early January – but the warmer-than-average temperatures we have been enjoying have us feeling like spring is right around the corner. It’s not! The official start to spring is not until March 20 and we are sure to get hit with cold Midwest temperatures before winter ends.

The National Weather Service and the U.S. Climate Prediction center both say the odds are favoring warmer-than-average temperatures in the area through January 20. While no one is complaining about above-freezing temperatures, it does make you wonder when we do get hit with cold winter temperatures, how will that impact our plants and trees in the spring.

We have received calls from concerned homeowners who have seen bulb plants like hyacinth and crocus popping up. Our advice – don’t panic! Early spring bulb plants are hearty, and they will be fine, even if we do experience extreme cold and snow in the coming weeks. The flowers on these plants require several weeks of warm weather before they will begin to bloom.

early bulbs

We have seen many homeowners raking leaves from yards and beds already. Stop! It may feel like spring is right around the corner, but it isn’t! In late November we cautioned you to leave the leaves in your flower beds so they will serve as a blanket for your plants. It’s too early in the season to expect that we are done with frigid temperatures – it is the Midwest after all. Leave the leaves and mulch on the lawn and in the beds until spring is here. Allow them time to naturally decay and nourish the soil and plants.

So for now, enjoy it while you can because we know the cold will return! Take advantage of the milder temperatures to enjoy an outdoor walk or leisurely stroll from the car to the door. Don’t worry about the lawn care for now – there will be plenty of time in spring for winter clean-up!

Happy Holidays from the Turf Care Team

merry christmas grassThe Holidays are upon us and the New Year is near. The Turf Care team wishes to pause and reflect on the happiness and successes of the last year.

We are grateful for each of our customers. Thank you for your referrals to your neighbors, friends and family. We appreciate your loyalty and your trust in our team. It is our pleasure to serve you and help you enjoy your outdoor space!

Turf Care is fortunate to work with many local businesses and partners. We value the opportunity to be part of the business community in Omaha that is supportive of each other.

We know we owe our success to our team of yard care experts. We are grateful for each member of our team and we appreciate your dedication and loyalty. Thank you for your commitment to providing excellent service to our customers.

We wish you the very best of the season, happiness and prosperity in the New Year and peace year-round. From all of us at Turf Care – Happy Holidays!

Are You Ready for Winter?

The recent cold temperatures can only mean one thing – winter is coming!

snowflake 2018

The experts at Turf Care have a few last-minute reminders for you before winter really settles in:

  • Take Care of the Leaves: It’s ok to leave some leaves on the lawn but take advantage of the next mild day to remove piles of leaves on the lawn or near the foundation of your home, which can trap water later and lead to mold or leaking problems.
  • Protect your Beds: Leave the leaves that have fallen into your flower beds and wait until spring to cut back foliage from summer and fall plants. The nutrients will feed your plants and the payoff will come in the spring in the form of healthy plants.
  • Sprinkler Systems and Hoses: If you haven’t already, don’t forget to drain your sprinklers system and disconnect hoses on the exterior of your home. Water left in pipes will lead to cracked pipes and a big mess in the spring!
  • Leave the Snow to the Professionals: When we get hit with an ice or snowstorm, leave it to the professionals to clear off your roof.
  • Be Careful With Holiday Lights: If you decorate your home with lights for the holidays, remember – safety first! Don’t overload electrical connections and avoid using old or frayed wires that can pose a fire hazard.

The Turf Care team stays busy over the winter, cleaning and repairing our equipment, volunteering at the Food Bank, and preparing for spring. We hope you take advantage of the winter to tackle some projects inside your home and we look forward to seeing you in the spring!

 

Should I Rake, Mulch or Leave the Leaves?

We’ve enjoyed a beautiful fall, but one look at the trees – or your lawn – will tell you that it is quickly coming to an end. The leaves are falling, more than likely into your lawn!

It can feel like an endless chore – you rake the leaves one day, only to have your lawn covered with leaves again by the next day. What should you do with the leaves – leave them on the lawn or remove them all before winter? Before you pull out the rake and leaf blower, here are some things to consider.

In some respects, it is a matter of preference. If you prefer a clean lawn with no leaves, removing leaves on a regular basis is recommended. Don’t let them pile up to thick or the job is more difficult. A think layer of leaves can become wet after a rain and can form a mat that becomes impenetrable which can suffocate the grass and breed mold and fungus.

Dry leaves can be mowed into tiny pieces with your lawn mower and left on the lawn. Leaves can serve as mulch for trees, shrubs and gardens, and if left on the lawn they may actually help impede weed growth in your lawn.

leaves front

If you don’t want to rake, pull out the mower. Regular mowing with the bag attached to the mower will make the task more manageable and prevent opportunities for the leaves to become wet from rain or morning dew. If you are going to mow instead of rake, don’t let the leaves pile up too much or they will clog the mower.

Before you get rid of all the leaves, consider this – fill your flower beds with leaves, they will decompose over winter and act as a fertilizer for your perennials. And it will save you a little bit of time raking and bagging leaves now!

It won’t be long before freezing winter weather is here, so get out there now and enjoy the beautiful weather – it makes the raking, mulching or mowing the leaves more enjoyable. Remember to call the experts at Turf Care now if you would like our help with lawn maintenance in the spring.

 

 

Update on the Seed Slicer

A few weeks ago, we showed you the yard of a client who accidentally killed a patch of grass after mixing up his lawn chemicals. The Turf Care repaired the dead patch with a seed slicer which cuts through the soil and drops seeds into the furrows created by the blades. The process ensures that the seeds are placed directly in contact with the soil and is a more reliable method than spreading seeds onto the lawn.

We sectioned the area of the lawn off to prevent foot and pet traffic on the new seed and instructed the homeowner to keep the area adequately watered.

Mark Ryan

We visited the yard about 10 days after the treatment. The weather had been favorable, and we found healthy growth in the patch.

Mark Ryan day 10

We checked back a second time, and just three weeks after the seed slicing treatment, the grass had grown and blended in perfectly with the rest of the yard.

Mary Ryan day 21

Mistakes happen, even with experienced homeowners. It is too late in the season to begin a repair like this now but keep this in mind in spring if you see similar patches in your lawn. If you’d like to leave your

Get Your Yard Ready for Winter Now!

snowflake

Winter is coming! More than likely we have only a few more days to take advantage of warmer weather to get our yards ready for the long, cold winter.

 

Here’s a checklist of things you can do now to make sure you have a beautiful lawn in the spring:

  • Watering: As we have said before, you should continue to water your lawn, plants and shrubs until the first freeze. After the first freeze, let Mother Nature take over and you can stop watering until spring.
  • Sprinkler System: Call our friends at Millard Sprinkler to schedule a time to flush out and turn off your sprinkler system. Avoid a costly repair from frozen pipes that burst.
  • Raking: It is ok to leave some leaves on your lawn, but thick piles of wet leaves can trap water and create a perfect environment for mold. Rake up thick layers or piles of leaves, particularly around the foundation of your home, to avoid problems.
  • Fertilize: If you haven’t applied a winter fertilizer, do it now before the first freeze!
  • Mowing: With all the rain we have had recently it’s been difficult to find a dry day to mow. Take advantage of the next dry day to mow your lawn one last time but raise the height so it’s kept a little longer.

Take advantage of the last few nice days to give your yard a little attention – the payoff will be a beautiful lawn and healthy plants, trees and shrubs next spring! Call Turf Care if you have any questions or you’d like to get on our spring schedule!

 

Ask The Expert – What Can I Do When I Accidentally Kill My Grass?

You know the old saying – we all make mistakes? Mistakes happen all the time when it comes to lawn care, and we can all relate!

Mark Ryan

We were recently contacted by a homeowner who was frustrated by the weeds in his backyard and tried to take care of himself. Unfortunately, he confused his lawn chemicals and ended up killing a large patch in the middle of the lawn.

Sod would normally be a solution for a dead patch this large, but not this late in the season. We used a machine called a slice seeder on the dead patch. The blades of the slice seeder cut through the soil and the seeds are dropped into the furrows created by the blades. The process ensures that the seeds are placed directly in contact with the soil and is a more reliable method than spreading seeds onto the lawn.

slice seeder 2      slice seeder

We aerated and over seeded the rest of the lawn, which is recommended at this point in the season. (link to last blog) We recommended that the homeowner keep the repaired patch adequately watered until the first freeze – and that he leaves weed killing to the experts at Turf Care!

 

Importance of Fall Seeding and Aerating

The first day of Fall brings the promise of cooler temperatures, and less lawn care!

Summer is hard on your lawn. Intense heat, drought conditions and insects take their toll, not to mention the overuse from traffic on the lawn. It can be stressful for your lawn but Fall offers a time for repair and regrowth.

Fall offers warm days and cool nights, creating an optimal time for new seedlings to establish their place and begin healthy growth. Over seed your lawn now and provide some TLC for the next several weeks, and you will be rewarded with a healthy lawn in the spring.

aerator

You will have the best luck with fall seeding if you first rake to dethatch your lawn, followed by aerating to loosen compacted soil. This process will create a perfect growing environment and ensure the seeds will make direct contact with the soil.

Apply a fertilizer with the seeds and lightly rake to ensure good contact with the soil. Maintain regular watering, be careful to avoid overwatering, until the first freeze of the season.

Large patches of dead or diseased of grass may require a different approach.  Depending on how large the area is, you may need to remove the dead grass and replace with sod. The experts at Turf Care can diagnose and repair these areas.

Don’t give up on your lawn just yet. You will be rewarded in spring for the extra effort now!

Ask the Expert – When Can I Be Done Watering My Lawn?

With all the rain we have had in recent weeks, you may be thinking you can be done watering your lawn for the season. That may not necessarily be true. As a general rule, you should consider watering your lawn until the first freeze!

rain on grass

Late summer/early fall is an important period of growth for your lawn and proper irrigation during this time is crucial. Much of the growth during this time of year takes place underground as the roots grow and strengthen after a hot and dry summer. An adequate water supply is necessary for grass roots to absorb enough nutrients and aid recovery from the summer.

While watering is important right now, be careful not to overwater. Keep an eye on the rainfall. As the temperature continue to cool, your lawn will need less and less water than it did during the hot, dry days of summer. Overwatering during early fall can lead to significant problems, so scale back to watering no more than twice a week. If rainfall amounts are high, hold off until we have an extended period of dryness.

Growth during early fall will be significantly slower than during the summer, but as long as your grow is growing, you need to continue mowing. A sharp blade will ensure a clean cut and prevent the mower from pulling at the grass blades.

Don’t give up on your lawn maintenance just yet. This is an important period of growth for your lawn so continue watering and mowing – the reward will be a healthy lawn next spring!

 

Ask the Expert – What Can I Do About This Brown Spot in My Yard?

If you are noticing patches of brown, dead grass in your yard, don’t worry – you have options!

brown patch Aug. 2018

It’s not uncommon after a long, hot and dry summer to find brown patches in your lawn. Heat, drought conditions that are characteristic of summer, and diseases often combine in areas of your lawn and the result is a patch of dead grass.

If the rest of your lawn looks pretty good, as it does here, you’re in luck. You can address the problem area with one of these options:

  • Do Nothing: This is the obviously the easiest and least expensive option, but it will also take a longest. If the surrounding area of the lawn is green and healthy, rake the dead grass out and wait for spring for the patch to fill in with healthy grass.
  • Grass Seed: Now is a good time to repair the patch with grass seed – but the window for this to be effective is now through the end of September, so don’t wait too long. Clear the dead grass away, keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering. And be patient – grass seed take times!
  • Sod: If you would like instant results, sod is the way to go! Just be sure the sod well-watered, and don’t neglect watering next spring!

Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy a healthy, beautiful lawn! Call the experts at Turf Care Inc. if you have questions, or to learn more about our regular lawn maintenance.