What Should I Do About the Brown Spots from Fido in My Yard?

The snow has melted and we are finally starting to see green poking through on our lawns. Spring is finally here! But, if you are a dog owner, you may be seeing brown spots like this and wondering what to do.

dog spots

You’re not alone. Dog urine is the leading cause of dead spots in lawn due to the high amounts of soluble salts and nitrogen in the urine. Now that the snow has melted and the grass is starting to turn green, the brown spots are even more noticeable. This is especially true if your dog has a favorite spot in the lawn.

If the brown spot is relatively small – the size of your fist for example – leave it alone. The surrounding turf will fill in thee spots. Rinse them with water to remove any salts and let the lawn take care of it.

You may need to do some repair work in your dog’s favorite spot where the brown spots are larger, or clustered together. Spring is the best time to do this. Start by gently raking the dead grass and removing the top layer of the soil. Water the area for a few days to reduce the soluble salts in the area and then overseed the area, making sure to keep it watered over the next several days.

Using a fertilizer with nitrogen will help green up your lawn, particularly brown spots damaged by dog urine. Don’t fertilize where you have seeded until grass is mature.

While you are repairing the area, discourage your dog from using the spot. In fact, it is ideal to train your dog to use an area with gravel or mulch, or an area with longer grass that isn’t mowed. When that is not possible, thoroughly rinsing the area with water after your dog urinates will reduce the amounts of salts and nitrogen that reach the soil, reducing the damage to the lawn.

We are all looking forward to enjoying the outdoors – including our dogs. These few simple steps should help you all enjoy a green, healthy lawn this season!

Spring Meltdown

We extend our thoughts and sympathies to all of those who are affected by flooding.

Unfortunately, conditions were ideal for significant flooding– mild temperatures, heavy spring rains, saturated soil on top of a frozen ground, snowpack and a thick ice covering rivers and waterways.

The problem is that the ground was still frozen and the melting snow and falling rain had nowhere to go.

You may be looking at your own lawn and wondering how long it will be before it is green, dry and healthy. Don’t worry – it will be soon!

Here are a few tips to help your lawn endure the spring thaw:

  • Stay off your lawn as much as possible. Traffic on the grass while the soil beneath it is still frozen can damage the roots below. Avoid walking on it as much as possible until it dries out.
  • Get rid of any snow mold. If you notice grey patches of grass, particularly where large snow mounds were, it is likely snow mold caused by the snow sitting on the lawn for too long. Gently rake the area to help with the drying process.
  • Aerate your lawn. Call the experts at Turf Care to schedule an aeration of your yard when the ground thaws. This will help speed up the flow of water to the roots of your grass where it can do the most good.
  • Repair damaged spots from salt. As the grass dries, gently rake areas damaged from winter salt. If they are beyond repair, we can help!

There isn’t much we can do right now other than begin clean-up, we just have to wait for Mother Nature to continue to do her job! Eventually the ground will thaw, the water will be gone and we will be enjoying beautiful lawns.

Call Turf Care now to add your lawn to our spring service list.


Don’t Worry About the Snow on Your Lawn!

It feels like we are stuck in a snow globe with all the snow we’ve had – in fact it’s been a record-setting year for snowfall. According to the National Weather Service, Omaha has already received over 40 inches this winter, up from the average 19 inches!

You may be wondering how all this snow affects your lawn. There’s actually a silver lining in this. We have experienced some extreme low temperatures this season, and the heavy blanket of snow on our lawns actually acts as an insulator, protecting our grass from the extreme cold and subzero wind chills. The insulation allows the roots to continue growing and the soil microbes to continue improving your turf.

snow grass

The snow layer serves as a slow-watering method for your yard. As it melts, it slowly feeds your grass underneath, pulling your winter application down to the roots with it. The snow also pulls nitrogen from the atmosphere as it falls, and that nitrogen feeds and fertilizes your lawn as the snow melts.

Here are a few ways to minimize the damage from the harsh effects of winter:

  • Keep ice melt off your lawn. After the ice has melted, sweep it up so it doesn’t wash into your yard.
  • If your yard is damaged by a snowplow or other vehicle, don’t worry! It will bounce back in the spring, and if the damage is more significant the experts at Turf Care can repair it in Spring.
  • Avoid walking on the lawn when it is bitterly cold as it can damage brittle cold grass blades.
  • When you are snow blowing or shoveling, keep the snow on your yard and out of the street. Your lawn will thank you – and so will drivers!
  • While you’re shoveling the snow don’t forget to clear around a fire hydrant that is in your yard. It’s your responsibility as a homeowner.

And finally, here is some really good news – the heavy snow fall, coupled with extreme low temperatures we have experienced, have likely reduced the insect population. So come Spring, we should have fewer insects to deal with.

So don’t get too upset about more snowfall – the benefits will pay off in the spring with a beautiful, healthy lawn. And spring will be here soon!

New features, same great service.

Once again we would like to thank our customers for your continued business! We sincerely appreciate your confidence in choosing Turf Care as your lawn care provider and all the referrals over the years.

We are currently transitioning to new software. You might notice some changes to our spring customer letter and should also expect our invoices to have similar changes. In addition your customer number will likely change with the new software. Turf Care continues to make every effort to give you the best possible lawn at a reasonable price. As we head into 2019, we would like to present a few recommendations to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TurfCareInc for an opportunity to win free lawn services and other useful information throughout the season.

Turf Care was established in 1982 by Ed Arnsperger and has proudly remained a family owed business ever since. When Ed’s son Jay took over full management of the company in 1987, Jay’s focus was twofold: retain elite customer satisfaction and maintain a healthy lawn while being a steward for the environment. This continues to be achieved with strategic agronomic decisions, using fewer chemicals, with lower rates when they are used. This is good for both our customers and the environment, so rest assured that lawn care is only getting safer!


Use Ice Melt in Moderation

Recent snow storms in the area have started with a period of freezing rain, followed by snow. The freezing rain leaves a layer of ice on surfaces outside, making sidewalks and roads icy and unsafe. Deicing agents that we use make sidewalks and driveways safe, but they can have lingering effects that are damaging to grass and plants.

Deicing products contain salt which can be toxic to grass and plants when it dissolves in water. The rock salt absorbs the water that the roots of plants and grass need, leaving them dehydrated and stressed.

This is kind of an out-of-sight out-of-mind problem right now, but we will see the impact in spring. As the snow melts, you may notice a brown strip or patches in the lawn along the driveway, sidewalk or street where the deicer met the grass.


There are some steps you can take to minimize the damage of deicers on your lawn and plants:

  • Follow the label direction carefully and don’t over-salt. Use only as much as you need!
  • Consider a barrier, covering or fencing to protect sensitive plants or your lawn, particularly along the street to protect against the street deicing used by the city crews.
  • Shovel ice and snow as soon as possible in order to avoid unnecessary reapplication of an ice melt product.
  • Sweep ice melt or rock salt off grass and plants as soon as possible.
  • Avoid using agents that contain salt in extreme cold as they function best when temperatures are just below freezing.
  • Avoid pushing or shoveling snow that may contain a deicing product onto the lawn when possible.
  • Sweep up rock salt that is visible when the snow melts. Some products that are designed to work best in extreme temperatures can be hard on cement so sweeping it up as soon as you can is a good idea.

Despite these precautions, you may still notice damage to your lawn in the Spring. In most cases, the lawn should recover. Rain and adequate precipitation should flush the salt from your lawn. You may need to reseed the damaged areas if they don’t bounce back within a few weeks.

We can’t control the weather, but we can take steps to keep our plants and yards safe from chemical damage. As always, our team of lawn care professionals is ready to help address any concerns you might have. Give us a call.


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