Louisville Lawn Care Blog
Mulching Leaves versus Raking Leaves?
It's the heart of our fall season, and all of those lovely, colorful leaves are now falling like crazy! We all know, whole leaves left on the lawn over the winter can do a lot of damage to the turf, as it will inhibit the turf's ability to photosynthesize and can cause snow mold. So what is the best and easiest way to get rid of them? Spend hours raking, blowing and bagging? Actually the best way to rid your lawn of leaves is to mulch them with your mower. Studies conducted by Purdue University and Michigan State University have found that mulching the leaves regularly with your mower is a very effective way to remove heavy leaf coverage and causes no harm to the turf at all. Some even suggest the tiny leaf pieces left behind can actually improve the soil quality as they break down over time.
The key to effectively utilizing leaf mulching is to mow on a regular basis. Obviously, allowing several inches of leaves to accumulate on the lawn will deter effective mulching, so mow as often as needed to effectively mulch a thin layer of leaves each time. You may have to mow over the same area several times if the leaves are especially thick in certain spots. Also, be sure the leaves are dry when trying to mow, as wet leaves will not mulch properly and could do damage to your mower.
Mulching your leaves is a wonderful option in lieu of labor-intensive raking, blowing, vacuuming and bagging of your leaves. Plus it's greener for our environment, as there is no need to dispose of all those leaf bags! Happy mulching!
As we move through our autumn season, we have been fortunate to have many days of beautiful fall weather here in Kentuckiana. Those warm, dry conditions though have caused our lawns a lot of stress. We have seen little to no rainfall during these past few weeks so keep those sprinklers and irrigation systems running regularly!
Here are a few more things that can be done now for your lawn:
Seeding: If your lawn has spots of dead, matted bluegrass or ryegrass that did not survive through this past summer, these spots must be raked and seeded to allow desirable grass to grow. Simply rake the spots clean, add some fresh topsoil or compost and then sprinkle with grass seed. Always use a turf-type tall fescue blend, the best choice for our area. Read any seed package carefully prior to purchase, as many seeds that claim to be fescue have additives like bluegrass or ryegrass. Avoid this problem by purchasing the highest quality turf-type tall fescue grass seed available by calling Lawn Cure at 812-246-8800.
Be sure to let your lawn care company know if you have seeded so your applications can be adjusted to best support your new seed!
Mowing: When mowing, always set your highest settings, one that leaves at least a 3" blade. Leaving the grass blade taller helps promotes a deeper and stronger root. Cutting the grass too short will stress out the blade/roots and cause the grass to brown out and in some cases die out. Make sure your mower blades are sharp, as a dull blade can tear the grass and lead to browning out and health issues with your turf.
Lawn Nutrients: Be sure your lawn is scheduled for at least two fall applications, one in early-mid fall and one in late fall. Fall is the most important time to provide the proper nutrients to your lawn as you prepare the lawn to entire the dormant conditions of winter.
Wishing you all the best in your fall lawn endeavors!
We are quickly approaching the early fall season which means it’s prime time for lawn seeding. We LOVE to hear that our clients are planning fall seeding!! Seeding is the most successful when done in the early fall and is just what your lawn needs to help fill in any bare areas that may be present in your lawn.
We will be seeding many of our clients’ lawns this fall with our two popular seeding service: traditional aeration and overseeding and our organic aeration and overseeding services. If we are seeding for you, know that we have already made the adjustments necessary to your remaining lawn applications to best enhance your new seed.
For those clients of ours who choose to do their own fall seeding, we are so happy you have made this wonderful decision for your lawn. You MUST, however, tell us about it!! Once we know you will be seeding, we will make the necessary adjustments to your program to accommodate your new seed. Please let us know your plans by either calling our office or logging into your account from this website and sending us a message.
Don’t wait! Make your fall seeding plans now! Your lawn will thank you with a thick, lush stand of turf next spring!!
Summertime has arrived and with it the onset of hot, summer days. It's time to put our lawn sprinklers and irrigation systems to work! This begs the questions.... When do I water? How much do I water? What if I don't water? Let's review the answers below:
When is the best time to water my lawn?
MORNING!! (Approximately 5-9 a.m.) Morning is the best time to water for maximum benefit. The soil will become nicely saturated with morning watering, but the turf blade will be allowed to dry more quickly, helping to prevent lawn disease. Watering in the evening is not recommended as it will keep the grass blade wet overnight, causing a major breeding ground for fungi.
How much water should I apply?
Water deeply and infrequently, with the goal of adding 1-inch of water to the lawn at each session. This should be done 2-3 times/week, more if we are in drought conditions. Water pressure and irrigation heads may alter water output, so set out a shallow bucket (or a tuna can works great for this!) while watering the first few times and allow an inch of water to collect. Note the time the sprinkler/irrigation was running in order to accumulate the inch of water and then you will know for a certainty how long to let your sprinklers/irrigation system run at each session.
What will happen if I decide not to water my lawn and my area is in a drought?
If we experience drought conditions and you choose not to irrigate, the turf will go dormant to protect the root system of the plant. The grass will green right back up with adequate water following a mild to moderate drought BUT if our area experiences an extended drought, some areas of the turf may be thinned or even completely die off if the lawn does not receive water (BEWARE of what happened in late summer of 2019!). If this occurs, plan to seed (and water!) in the fall.
Remeber, a few extra dollars spent on watering your lawn to keep it healthy in the summer is much more cost effective then trying to seed and a water a brand-new lawn in the fall!!
Following a lush and verdant spring green-up, late spring now brings with it certain undesirable conditions that directly affect our turf. For the most part, lawns in our area fall under the category of “cool-season” turf. This includes tall fescue, bluegrass and rye grass varieties. These turf grasses tend to thrive in spring and fall. However, once 80-90 degree temperatures arrive, along with higher humidity levels and the occasional late-evening thunderstorm, our lawns and plantings become susceptible to diseases.
Lawns specifically see such problems as:
- Red thread - this is the most prevalent fungus we are seeing now!
- Dollar spot
- Brown patch
- Necrotic ring spot
- Slime molds
- Fairy ring
To minimize disease outbreak, follow these guidelines:
- Mow at a 3”-4” cutting height
- Keep your blade sharp! A dull blade tears the grass and makes the plant more open to disease entry
- If you irrigate, water your lawn in the morning. Evening/nighttime watering keeps the leaf surface wet and more prone to the spread of disease during the active overnight hours.
- Consider a fungicide application. While the product can be costly and the control limited, it is an option and may be especially recommended for newer stands of turf that can suffer permanent damage from disease.
In most cases, the brown spots disease can cause are more of a visual nuisance that the lawn will grow out of as weather patterns change.