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Why is pre-emergent important?

Pre-emergents are used to prevent certain weeds from germinating in your lawn. Our granular pre-emergent treatment is done with our first application. The timing of this application is important because, the application needs to be put down before the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees. Once the soil temperatures reach above 55 degrees, we will apply a pre-emergent with a post-emergent with our second application. This will hinder any new growth and stop the growth of weeds that have already started.

Pre-emergents work by creating a barrier in the soil. Once the soil temperatures start to warm up weed seeds start to germinate. The seeds will hit the barrier and will die. This stops them from being able to emerge through the soil and potentially create more weed seeds. We specifically put down pre-emergent to prevent crab grass and foxtail.

What to do if you want to seed in the Spring?

It is important to know that once a pre-emergent has been put down on your lawn, if you seed the seed will not germinate. By breaking the barrier (roughing up the soil) you can seed an area in your lawn. However, by breaking the barrier, it can cause crab grass and foxtail to be able to germinate and grow in your lawn. Another option would be to seed and then put a post-emergent down later in the spring. By doing this, it give the new seed a chance to start growing.

Post-emergents work different from the pre-emergent. After treated, the plant will absorb the product and it will attack the root system of the plant to kill the weed. This emergent needs to be put down once the soil temperatures are warmer than 55 degrees and the weeds are actively growing.

If you are interested in treating your lawn, give us a call today for a free, no obligations quote. Our lawn care program will help prevent crab grass and other weeds while fertilizing your lawn. We always recommend aeration and seeding in the fall if you have issues with crab grass and weeds. The best prevention against crab grass and weeds is a thick, healthy lawn.

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Seeding in the Spring

With the weather in the Midwest, seeding in the spring can be a gamble. We always recommend to seed in the fall. There are several factors that play the part in getting your new grass seed to germinate and thrive. Germination rate, sunlight, temperature, water and soil pH.

We use a fescue/bluegrass blend. The fescue does well in areas with straight sun whereas bluegrass does better in shaded areas. Seeding early is recommended to make sure there is time to put down a pre-emergent/post emergent to prevent crabgrass. We can adjust our program for new seed by putting fertilizer down with our first application and then putting your pre/post-emergent in with your second application.

Having adequate sunlight is another key factor to making sure your new grass seed will germinate and start growing. If your lawn is heavily shaded, you may consider trimming back tree limbs to allow more light in. Grass needs at least 3-4 hours of sunlight a day.

The soil temperature needs to reach at least 50 degrees F for grass to germinate. Weekly highs need to stay steady in the 60s for a few days in a row to reach those soil temperatures.

Watering the new grass seed in the spring, you want to make sure you are just getting it wet and not soaking it to where water is running off. Since it is still cool in the spring, the grass does not need soaked each time you water it.

If you have issues getting grass to grow in your lawn, a soil sample to test the pH is a good place to start. When your lawn is too acidic, grass will struggle to grow. By getting a soil sample we are able to tell what your soil needs for optimal growth.

If you would like to seed your lawn, please call our office at 816-662-2222 for a quote on seeding.

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Benefits of Aeration and Overseeding

core-aerationAeration is the process of removing a plug or a core of soil and leaving it on the surface to break down. This helps the soil become less compact and allows for air, water and fertilizer to reach the roots of the grass, which will create a thicker and healthier lawn. This can also help reduce the amount of thatch that will build up in your lawn.

Core_Aeration4

 

Overseeding your lawn after aeration will help fill in any bare areas you have in your lawn. This also helps in preventing weeds because new grass will come in and crowd out any weeds.

Overseeding after aerating your lawn

We are currently scheduling for aeration and overseeding. If you would like to get scheduled, please contact our office (816-662-2222) and schedule your aeration today.

 

*must have a lawn program with us to schedule an aeration and/or overseeding.

 

 

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What is Nutsedge?

Have you been told that you have nutsedge growing in your yard? What is Nutsedge exactly?

Nutsedge1

Nutsedge, a perennial sedge weed, that highly resembles grass. It is very hard to control and is very problematic. It is a tad bit more yellow than normal grass and has a distinctive “V” shape to the blade. It can be thicker than most grass and can be arranged in sets of three from the base rather than two like grass.

Nutsedge2

Nutsedge grows from tubers underground. It’s stems are called rhizomes that grow horizontal underground. It likes to grow in areas of the yard that are moist than others. The tubers like to sprout around the later part of May until the middle of July. You want to stay away from pulling the plant due to it having a tubular base, that will cause it to spread. Also, mowing your lawn too short can stimulate growth. Nutsedge needs to be sprayed to be treated.

If you have Nutsedge growing in your lawn, call us today to schedule a treatment (must have a lawn care program for us to treat). Since this requires a special treatment, it is not part of our normal lawn care program.

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Grub Worms

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Grubs are “c”-shaped white beetle larvae that hatch in the soil beneath your lawn. When they hatch in June, grubs immediately start feeding on the roots of your grass and the grass itself.

Most people won’t notice the damage to their yard by a grub until late summer. The lawn will become stressed and the grass will begin to die. In the area where the grub have been feeding, you will be able to pull up the dirt by the grass as if it was sod.

grubdamage

Grub also serves as food to other lawn pests such as moles, skunks, racoons, crows and blackbirds, which can also cause irreparable damage to your lawn.

To prevent grub from attacking your lawn you will need to treat your yard with a grub preventative.

Let our technicians take care of your lawn this summer with our top-notch grub control applications.

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Common Pesky Weeds

Have a weed in your yard that you are unsure of? Here is a simple guide to some common weeds that can be found in your yard.

 

Dandelions

dandelion

These are persistent perennial flowers that are hard to get rid of. The yellow flowers can get up to 2 inches in width and then turn to the white puff that children like to blow the seeds off of. These plants can get up to 18 inches tall. They first appear in early spring and continue throughout the summer.  To remove the plant you have to get all of the taproot out when you pull it or it will cause them to spread more.

 

Crabgrass

crabgrassCrabgrass grows in patches and likes bare and weak areas in your lawn. The grass sprouts in the springtime and summer and is very fast growing. It can withstand dry, hot, compacted soil and can crowd out your current grass.

 

Yellow Wood Sorrel

yellow-wood-sorrel

 Yellow Wood Sorrel can be identified easily by the yellow flowers and clover like appearance. The roots are very fibrous and pull up fairly easily. These will grow during a cool season or shady areas in your yard. They also thrive in the thin or weak areas in your lawn.

White Clover

whiteclover

White clover is a highly adaptable perennial weed. It can handle wet soil and dry soil.  It is actually raised as a winter annual in the southern states. It reseeds naturally and can spread progressively due to it being so low to the soil. Clover is extremely hard to get rid of once it has appeared in your lawn.

 

Bindweed

bindweed

This vine weed is also known as creeping Jenny or Morning Glory. This plant is a perennial herbaceous plant and is very hard to get rid of once it has established a root system in your lawn. This plant can also grow on near by flowers or bushes. It is drought tolerant and can grow in full sun or full shade.

 

Nutsedge

Nutsedge1

 

Nutsedge2

 

Nutsedge, a perennial weed, highly resembles grass. It is a tad bit more yellow than normal grass and has a distinctive “V” shape to the blade. It can be thicker than most grass and can be arranged in sets of three from the base rather than two like grass. You want to stay away from pulling the plant due to it having a tubular base, that will cause it to spread. Nutsedge needs to be sprayed to be treated.

 

Wild Violet

Wild-Violets

Wild violet is a difficult to control low-growing perennial weed. It has heart shaped leaves with purple flowers. The leaves are usually waxy. This plant can be found in shaded areas of your lawn and it prefers moist soil. The root system is fibrous and dense. These will grow and spread very quickly.

 

Creeping Charlie

creepingcharlie

Creeping Charlie is a fast growing ground vine that likes to grow in shady places. They are pollinated by bumblebees and flowerflies. If you cut it or mow over it, there will be a different smell to it. You will smell a minty or balsamic smell due to it being part of the mint family. Once they have flowered they start “creeping” and spreading to new areas.

 

Knotweed

knotweedThe knotweed is a weed that has a wiry look to it. It usually has a single taproot that can grow 18 inches down. The stalks grow out along the ground and spread away from the taproot, they have a tendency to look all knotted. This weed is tolerant of compact soil and usually starts growing in high traffic areas or around walkways and paths. Since the taproot grows so deep it can withstand drought.

Johnson Grass

johnsongrass

Johnson grass can grow up to 6 to 8 feet tall. The top part of the plant is covered in little seeds and has wide leaves near the bottom of the plant. A single plant can produce several tens of thousands of seeds in a single season. It was introduced in the United States as a forage crop. The fibrous root system can reach under the ground to 10 inches. It can also handle growing in heavily moist areas to extremely dry areas.

 

Henbit

henbit

Henbit is a winter annual that has a tendency to grow during any warm spurts in the winter time. It will continue growing during the spring and will produce seed. When summer hits and the temperatures get warm the plant will die. This plant can grow up to 16 inches and has a fibrous root system. It will take over thin areas in your lawn with soil that has good moisture and shade.

Chickweed

Chickweed

Chickweed, a relation to many wildflowers, is an annual weed. It can handle cold weather and can survive in mild climate areas. The fibrous root system is shallow and this plant reproduces by seeds. A plant can produce several thousands of seeds. It can grow clumped together in a weaved manner.

 

Thistle

thistle

There are several types of thistles, the one pictured above is a bull thistle. It has a purple flower that blooms in the first year of its growth. It is covered in sharp spines (or thorns) to protect the plant from being eaten. This plant can grow up to 2 to 5 feet tall. It reproduces by seed only and can produce thousands of seeds per plant. It can withstand dry conditions and will continue to grow into the late summer months.

 

Stinging Nettle

nettle

Stinging nettle is a perennial broadleaf weed that can sting when you touch it. The plant is covered in stinging hairs that when come in contact with skin break off and can cause skin irritation. These plants grow in colonies and can live for several years. They can reach over 10 feet tall.

 

Poison Ivy

poisonivy

Poison ivy usually grows as a vine and pretty much grows every where. It has clusters of three leaves (which the famous saying “Leaves of three, let it be” comes from). The poisonous oil is called Urushiol. It will irritate the skin causing an itchy rash and can spread easily. The leaves are smooth and can have tiny grooves on them. They usually have a shiny texture to them. It likes to grow in moist areas and will grow low to the ground unless it has a chance to grow up things.

 

Interesting fact:

Seeds that are produced from most weeds can become dormant in the ground for up to 50 years. Once the soil is disturbed they have a chance to germinate and start growing.

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The Difference Between Moles and Voles.

Seeing tunnels in your yard? There are two types of varmints that can be lurking under your lawn. Knowing the difference between the two will increase your ability to treat for these pesky creatures.

mole-vole

The mole (pictured on the left) is a insectivore. This means their primary diet is consuming earthworms, grubs, and some other insects. The vole (pictured on the right) is a plant eater. He will feed on grass, seeds, perennial-flower roots, and bulbs.

Moles have a tendency to be “loners”. You will only see one or two active moles in a yard at a time. Their paddle shaped feet are perfect for digging. These mammals can eat up to their weight every day and are able to dig tunnels at 1 foot per minute causing close to 100 feet of tunnel in one day. A mole’s life span is about 2 to 3 years.

There are several ways to prevent moles. To help keep them away from your lawn you can treat for their favorite food, the grub. By putting a grub control application on your lawn in June or July it will decrease the amount or completely deplete the amount of grub you have in your lawn. However, the main diet for the mole is earthworms. If your lawn is saturated with earthworms, the mole will see it as a continuous buffet and keep returning.

Voles on the other hand, are rodents. They look a lot like mice but have shorter tails. The voles create surface tunnels near walls, mulch, flower beds. Their life span is short, it consists of only 16 months or less.

To prevent voles from tunneling into existing flower beds, you can make a channel a few inches out from the bed and make a mixture of soil and a tiny bit of gravel to discourage the vole from traveling through the channel. To keep them away from young trees and shrubs you can wrap a hardware cloth around the base of the tree or shrub to keep them from chewing the bark.

 

If you have issues with a mole(s), please contact us and we can help treat your active moles. We can put you on our Mole Patrol and our technicians will actively treat for active moles every time we are servicing your lawn by putting mole bait down in active runs. To treat for moles, we must be currently servicing your lawn with our lawn care program.

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Mowing Tip

It’s that time of year to start mowing again.

Make sure you keep your mower blades sharp. Mowing with dull blades can damage turf and add stress to your lawn. Mow regularly and do not cut off more than 1/3rd of the grass on one cutting. Minimum mowing height should be 3.5 inches. If you are not mowing frequent enough and are leaving excessive clippings on the turf it can cause damage and disease to your lawn.happygrass

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Late Winter Seeding Tips

Now is a great time to address those thin and bare spots in your lawn. Using a good quality seed will insure a better result.

grassraking

Good seed to soil contact should allow for a better germination rate. Simply rough the ground with a leaf or metal garden rake, apply your seed, and then rake one more time.

Contact us for a free, no hassle lawn care proposal.

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