Fertilizer, Weed Control, Grubs, and General Application Questions

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1 Lawn Care FAQ s Fertilizer, Weed Control, Grubs, and General Application Questions Why do we have so many weeds? Dandelions in particular, weeds in general, do not seem concerned about how long lawn has been under good care. Airborne seed (and seed which has been in the soil for years) will seek the opportunity to grow in any area of weakness in turf density. Weather extremes usually create these kinds of weak areas, even in the best lawns. Should we dig up our weeds? No. This common activity is extremely harmful to any lawn, since the vacant space left from the weed removal can open up opportunity for new weed seeds and undesirable vegetation to grow. Don't weeds choke out the good grass? It is actually the opposite. Properly maintained lawns will prevent weeds from growing. Rare instances of this occurring from knotweed, hawkweed and chickweed have been observed in this area. Will you get rid of all our weeds? No, since nature is continually interfering. However, the majority will eventually be controlled. Should weed control be applied on newly seeded areas? No, not without substantial risk of damage to the seed, it is advised that the newly seeded areas are allowed to grow for 6-8 weeks prior to any weed control is used. Why do we get crabgrass? Since most soils are abundant with the seeds of annual weeds, they will germinate when the conditions are favorable. Ground temperatures of 75 to 80, thin turf areas, water runoff areas, and disturbed pre-emergent barriers are favorable conditions. Why does crabgrass seem to take over? The rapid lateral growth of the leaves on each mature plant makes it appear that the plants are multiplying. This false appearance usually occurs in August. Crabgrass thrives in hot dry conditions, and this is why you tend to see it more in late summer. Shouldn't crabgrass be killed or pulled out? No. Physical removal promotes other annual grasses and even worse, perennial weeds. Crabgrass will die with the first frost, and it provides an ideal seedbed for seeding desirable grass, with which turf can be thickened and future crabgrass prevented. Pre-emergent applications in the spring is the best way to control crabgrass, however post emergent applications are available for heavy infestations.

2 What is the right way to control crabgrass? Thick turf (no shorter than 3 ) and proper applications of an effective granular pre-emergent will discourage annual grasses, such as crabgrass. I have moles in my lawn. Does this mean I have grubs? The presence of moles does not necessarily mean there are grubs in the turfgrass. The moles main food source is earthworms. The grubs are active only at certain times of the year and the moles will feed on them if they are an available food source. How do I get rid of moles? There are numerous methods of trying to control moles. Traps, baits and repellants are currently being used. Traps are the most effective; however there are other baits out such as Moletox and Talprid. Both of these baits are easy to use by placing into the tunnels and the mole will ingest the bait and die. Another great way is by using Predascent Mole and Vole, which does not kill the Mole, however is a natural way to deter them from your location by using a predator scent in the tunnels. What are grubs and is grub control needed on a yearly basis? Grubs are the larvae stage in the life cycle of a beetle. This could be the Japanese Beetle or the European Chafer Bug. Damage occurs when the grubs feed on the root system of the turfgrass, causing the grass to die. A preventive grub control applied yearly will protect your investment in your lawn from the damage these insects cause. Curative grub control applied in the spring will kill the active beetles feeding on the root systems of the grass Be sure to follow up your curative application with a preventative to lessen the chances of beetle damage! Do I need to be home when an application is applied to my yard? No. When the application is complete, our fertilizer technician will place a flag in your yard notifying you that we have been there. There will also be a notification placed in your door outlining what was applied, by who, and any special instructions you may need. What is the time frame between applications? Generally speaking, there are typically 4-6 weeks depending on the weather conditions and application being applied between our visits. After you apply weed control, how long before I will notice my weeds begin to die? Once your application of weed control has been applied, you should begin to see the weeds wilt and die within 7-10 days. Some weed control products are absorbed by the leaf of the plant, while others require the root system to take in the herbicide before you will notice your weeds beginning to die. How safe are the lawn applications?

3 The materials which are used for lawn applications are of a very low toxicity and are registered and used in strict compliance to labeled instructions. They are applied by licensed technicians in accordance with state and local regulations. Should I mow the same day as a treatment? It is recommended that you wait to mow 24 to 48 hours after any liquid treatment. You can mow immediately after a granular treatment is applied. Should I water my lawn after a lawn treatment? In most cases when using liquid weed control, crabgrass control or insect control it is not recommended to water immediately afterwards. This will allow the material to be absorbed into the grass plant. When using a granular grub control it is recommended that the material be watered in. Watering within the first few days will enhance the effectiveness of the product. When can my children and pets go on the lawn? If granular fertilizer is used you may go on the lawn immediately after the application. If liquid weed control is used, allow the material to dry on the grass before children and pets are allowed on it. Drying time will vary with weather conditions. What does lime do for my lawn? Lime helps modify the acidity in the soil and allows the grass to absorb and use fertilizers more efficiently. It also supplies calcium to the grass which is an important nutrient for the photosynthesis process. What is a Dormant Oil and when is it applied? Dormant oil is applied in spring or fall of the year, and it creates a coating on the branches and trunks of the plant material which suffocates insects and eggs that live in the bark of the plant. This leads to less insect damage the following season. Horticultural oils are available for use during the season to smother insects that you may see actively feeding on the leaves of your plant material. Seeding, Mowing, Watering, and Aeration What could prevent seed from germinating? The following are required for seed to germinate: 1. Live seed 2. Non-dormant seed 3. Temperature 4. Oxygen 5. Light 6. Moisture There are no other requirements. Federal inspectors ensure numbers 1 and 2 above, while nature provides numbers 3, 4, 5 and part of 6. Only one thing could prevent our seed from

4 germinating, inadequate moisture. Once you have seeded an area, it is very important to keep it moist to ensure proper germination. Why did the seed in our shade areas germinate faster than in the sun areas? Deep or moderate shade areas tend to react different than areas in full sun. A shaded area retains moisture easily which is the key to germination. Also ryegrasses planted in shaded areas germinate more quickly than the bluegrasses planted in the sun areas. Can you establish a lawn in my shady areas? Yes and no. The deep shaded areas are impossible to establish permanent turf due to the lack of sunlight and air circulation. These areas will need to be constantly reseeded to rebuild the density of the turf. The roots of the trees are competing with the grass for water and nutrients, leaving the grass with an inadequate supply of each. Also, the grass requires a period of direct sunlight in order to grow properly. You may consider an alternative such as the use of a groundcover (pachysandra or ivy) in these areas, or proper pruning or thinning of tree canopies to allow for more sunlight and air circulation. Should we stay off newly seeded areas? No, however heavy foot traffic could increase seedling mortality. It is advised that foot traffic remain minimum throughout the germination process, however once the grass plant has emerged from the soil, light foot traffic is okay. Why didn t the seed we planted last year grow? It most likely began to germinate, dried out and died. Proper moisture must be maintained in order for your seed to germinate. How much water is enough to get seed to germinate? Very little volume is necessary. The seeds and seedlings do need to remain moist (not saturated) until they are tall enough to cut with a mower. If they dry out during this period, they will die. How should we mow? The lawn should be mowed at least once per week. Right after this mowing is a good time to water, giving the plants a chance to recover the stress of being cut. It is almost always true that the greenest, healthiest, most weed-free lawns are the ones which are regularly maintained at the longest cut lengths. You should keep your lawn at a length of 3 or higher throughout the year. When mowing, never remove more than 1/3 rd of the leaf blade with each cut. This may require multiple cuttings to achieve the height you desire, remembering to alter your mowing pattern with each cut to alleviate compaction from mower and pedestrian traffic. Mow down to a height of 2" to 2 1/2" (no shorter), for the final mowing of the year which should be as short as possible.

5 ALWAYS use a sharp blade. A dull mower rips and shreds the tissues of the plants, causing them to become brown from a rapid escape of internal moisture and from the diseases caused by the fungal spores which easily enter the wounds. How should we water? Most lawns should receive between 1" and 1 1/2" water per week. This amount of moisture should be delivered in 2 or 3 waterings or rainfalls per week (daily, infrequent, light watering can encourage weak root systems.) If possible, do not water after 4:00 PM or before 4:00 AM (fungal and disease activity is encouraged in dark & wet conditions). Is it possible to water too much? Yes, it is possible, although very rare. Deep, established root systems could be destroyed by too frequent or overabundance of water. Proper watering procedures prevent any danger. Remember to adjust your irrigation system based on weather changes throughout the season. What will aeration do for my lawn? Aeration opens up the soil, allowing air and water penetration into the root zone of the grass. This can be accomplished by core (removal of a plug) or spike aeration. This process loosens compacted soil and improves root development thereby helping develop a stronger more stress resistant plant and improved thickness in the lawn. What is the best time of year for aeration? Because the process of aeration actually damages the lawn by disturbing the root system, it is recommended that it is completed in the fall, and is not necessary every year. This allows for less stress on the lawn and also there are fewer weed seeds that can fall into the soil layer. If timed with a winterizer application of fertilizer, this allows for the root system to expand and grow prior to winter dormancy taking place.

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