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.

 

Why is There So Much Crabgrass in My Lawn

Are you noticing patches of crabgrass growing in your lawn? If you are, you are not alone! Homeowners across the Omaha metro area have been contacting us with concerns about the appearance of the weedy grass, despite regular maintenance of their lawn.

Crabgrass is a green clumpy weed with wide, coarse blades. It grows quickly and can spread and take over your lawn by taking nutrients from your healthy lawn.

The conditions we have experienced this summer have been ideal for the growth of the unsightly weed. If you used a preemergent on your lawn this spring, the extended period of rain we experienced in early summer may have washed some of it away or diluted it enough to contribute to its ability to grow now.

The good news is that the crabgrass will die this fall and will not return next spring.

You can pull the weeds by hand but be prepared for a bare spot in its place. It is early enough in the summer that we will undoubtedly have extended periods of extreme heat in the coming weeks, so grass seed would struggle to grow in the bare spots. If the crabgrass has completely taken over your yard, give the expert at Turf Care a call to discuss possible chemical treatments that are safe for the particular type of grass in your yard.

If you are would like to minimize the appearance and prevent further spread of the weed keep your lawn well maintained. Routine mowing at a height of about 3 inches and regular watering will help prevent further growth. Be sure to apply a preemergent in the spring.

As always, our team of lawn care professionals is ready to help address any concerns you might have. Give us a call.

“This is why I work with Turf Care”

A number of clients have noticed an occurrence of brown spots in patches on their lawn. One of our clients recently called and asked us to come out and take a look. Our Tech, Doug, left this note for the happy homeowner who shared the image of his lawn, and the note.

tco-hand-note

TCO-Yard

Other homeowners may be noticing similar issues. POA is a type of bluegrass that often react negatively during the heat, and sun, of the summer months. This fescue typically rebounds and greens up when the temperatures become more temperate.

As always, our team of lawn care professionals is ready to help address any concerns you might have. Give us a call.

Environmental Threats

The Omaha metro area is experiencing two environmental threats that are new to the area in recent years – Japanese beetles and emerald ash borers. Both can wreak havoc on otherwise healthy trees that they attack.
A look around your yard will reveal some tell-tale signs of both nuisances.

Japanese beetles like a variety of trees, including pin oak, linden, birch and many fruit and shade trees. They like several shrubs and bushes as well, including roses, burning bush and boxwood. If you have any of these particular trees or shrubs in your yard, pay close attention around them for the following signs:

  • Look for the bugs themselves. The beetle measures about half an inch and is recognizable by its metallic head and copper back. They will often be in large groups.
  • Leaves that have been eaten, leaving just the veiny spine. The beetles like the meat of the leaves.
  • Eaten flowers and fruit – favorites of the Japanese beetles!
  • A tree where all the leaves are brown, particularly on the canopy, could indicate a heavy infestation of the beetles.
  • Fallen leaves before autumn is another indicator of an infestation.

If left untreated, a plant or tree that has been infested by Japanese beetles will slowly die.

The emerald ash borers only like ash trees but is even more destructive. Look for these signs of an infestation of the insect in your ash tree:

  • The emerald ash borer is bright metallic green, about a half inch long and an eighth of an inch wide.
  • A thinning of the leave in the canopy of the tree. The insect attacks the water vessels of the tree, essentially strangling the water supply from the extremities.
  • Look for sprouts along the trunk. The tree will push these out as the upper canopy is dying.
  • Examine the trunk of the tree for tiny holes where the insect has exited.

A tree that has been infested by the emerald ash borer with die within about two years of the initial symptoms so don’t ignore the signs of either pest. Call the experts at Turf Care today if you are concerned that the Japanese beetles or emerald ash borer have infested one of your trees.

 Call Turf Care today.

Lawn looking a little rough?

The weather conditions in our area are prime for a few diseases. When we move from the cold of winter into the wet spring season, followed by unusually hot temperatures, your lawn can develop brown spots. This is typically from Ascochyta leaf blight.

Ascochyta presents as a browning of some cool-season grass—Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial rye. Asochyta is a fungal infection, and spreads as the turf around the infected area weakens. Mowing your lawn does not cause the disease to spread, although the weight of your mower on pressing on the weakened turf can accelerate the spread of the disease.

There are no treatments that drastically improve this conditions. However, it is not all bad news. The disease does not effect the roots or crown of the grass—only the blades are effected. This means that with proper turf care, your lawn will rebound.

If you think your lawn is showing signs of Ascochyta, contact the pro’s at Turf Care, Inc.

Ask the Expert: Caring for Lawn in Early Summer Heat

If you’re confused by the weather, you’re not alone! It was just a few weeks ago that the cooler temperatures were making us wonder if spring and summer would ever come, and now we’re experiencing a heat wave!

We enjoyed a few weeks of growth for our lawns when the spring-like temperatures arrived. If your lawn had been fertilized, and you were adequately watering, you probably noticed significant growth in your lawn and you more than likely had to mow it more than once a week. Spring and early summer, before the extreme heat arrives, usually provide ideal conditions for the start of a healthy lawn. In the Midwest we typically ease into the extreme heat of summer, but that didn’t happen this year.

Temperatures last week hit the upper 90’s – even reaching 100 one day, breaking a 100+ year-old record. Add that to drought-like conditions caused by a lower-than-average rainfall for the year, and now your lawn may be confused!

When summer heat arrives, and temperatures reach above 80 degrees, your lawn stops growing at the rate it had been. You may notice that the lush green color is starting to fade, and your lawn is showing signs of wear and tear. Don’t worry – you can still enjoy a beautiful lawn by keeping a few things in mind:

  • Use wise water practices!Water your lawn regularly, especially with the lack of rain. It is best to water in the morning to reduce evaporation in the heat or fungal growth.
  • Maintain regular mowing. Establish a schedule of regular mowing. We recommend raising the blade and leaving grass a little longer when it is hot.
  • Refrain from fertilizing. Applying fertilizer in the summer heat can burn your lawn and encourage the growth of young grass that will struggle in the heat.
  • Control weeds. While lawns struggle in the heat, weeds flourish. The experts at Turf Care know the appropriate amount of herbicide to use to control the growth of weeds without damaging your lawn.
  • Watch for signs of damage. Insects and disease can wreak havoc on your lawn. If you notice signs of damage –brown patches or powdery mildew – it could be grubs or a fungus. Call Turf Care to treat your lawn before the problem worsens.

We all hope to enjoy a beautiful lawn this summer, and with a little extra care and precaution, you can despite the heat!  Call Turf Care today to help keep your lawn healthy and beautiful all summer!

Why choose Turf Care?

If you are thinking of hiring a lawn care company this year to keep your yard healthy and beautiful, here are a few reasons to choose Turf Care!

  • At Turf Care, customer service is our top priority. Our team is dedicated to making each customer happy and we will do what it takes to keep your yard healthy and looking great all season!
  • If you call Turf Care, we won’t keep you waiting – we will respond to your call within 24 hours!
  • If you have questions about your lawn, our experts will come answer your questions, diagnose the situation and recommend a solution for your lawn.
  • At Turf Care, we use only the highest quality products on every lawn.
  • Turf Care technicians attend on-going trainings making us experts in lawn care!

If you would like to spend this summer enjoying your lawn instead of working in it, give the professionals at Turf Care a call.

The Time to Treat the Japanese Beetle is Now

We are so excited about the return of warmer temperatures. Signs of Spring are everywhere you look – green grass, trees blooming and flowers growing!

But with the good comes some things we wish we could avoid – dandelions, weeds and the Japanese beetle! This destructive pest is relatively new to our area and unfortunately difficult to eliminate.

Soil drenches, followed by systemic foliar sprays, is one option for managing Japanese beetles in your yard. Right now is the optimal time for soil drenches, but the effects won’t but be fully realized until next year. If you have seen Japanese beetles in your yard, give Turf Care a call now to schedule a soil drench within the next few weeks.

Foliar systemic sprays can be done later in the season. Turf Care will follow both options with contact treatments once you see the beetles in your yard this season to further control the pest.

Treating Japanese beetles should be left to the professionals because they are difficult to adequately manage, and because the same treatments that can control the beetles can kill bees. The insecticides used to control the beetles can move into the flower pollens of various flowers, which can be picked up by honey bees and bumble bees. Bees are vital to the pollination of plants and flowers, and the control of other insects, so special care needs to be taken to protect the bee population.

You can learn more treating Japanese beetles here, or by calling the experts at Turf Care!