Louisville Lawn Care Blog
Fall is here and there is still plenty of lawn work left to be done. Here are a few suggestions to encourage a beautiful lawn now and into next spring!!!
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!
What is that viney-looking weed growing along my driveway and sidewalk edges and creeping into my landscape beds?" you may be asking. That is the troublesome summer, broadleaf weed called Spotted Spurge. Spotted spurge grows outwards from a thick root, staying close to the ground, forming a dense, ugly mat. The leaves have an oval shape with a red spot in the center, thus giving this particular spurge its name. The entire plant can have a hairy appearance. If the stems break apart, they can ooze a milky white sap which can be irritating to the skin.
Spurge loves to grow on the corners and edges of your lawn, against your sidewalks and driveway, where ground temperatures are hottest. The spurge plant goes to seed and spreads quickly and can easily grow several inches in a week. Spurge must be killed on contact. so be sure you are on lawn application plan designed to target this and all other weeds that love the summertime heat . If a spurge is allowed to grow too large or you find the spurge plant growing in your landscape beds, it may become necessary to pull this weed out by hand. When pulling spurge by hand, pull at the stem, taking care to remove the entire root. Take care to wear gloves as a precaution from getting the milky sap onto your hands.
Most lawns in our area seem to be under stress more than is typical for early summer. Why? Simply put – We Had No Spring!! We went from winter to summer, it seemed overnight, and these extremes in our weather conditions are a HUGE factor in the health of our lawns.
As we reflect back to winter, it seemed never-ending. Though February graced us with some pleasant days, March was harsh, even giving us accumulating snows. As we looked forward to warmer temperatures in April, for the most part, we were disappointed, as April 2018 was the coldest April on record. Our lawns were supposed to be coming out of winter's dormancy, yet most barely grew in April. In fact, for most of us, this was the latest we had ever to begin mowing our lawns – they simply were not growing.
Things changed – and quickly! - come May. Overnight, we went from sweater weather to shorts and tee shirts. May was HOT – the hottest May on record. Our lawns just could not quickly adapt to such wide temperature fluctuations. New lawns, seeded last fall or this spring, have especially suffered.
Though we can't do a thing about our temperature extremes, we can continue to baby our lawns as we move through summer by following these 3 tips:
- Mow nice and tall, no shorter than 3".
- Water your lawn early in the morning when we go through dry periods.
- Stay on your regular lawn application treatment schedule.
As your professional lawn care company, feel confident we will customize your program to best fit whatever extremes in temperature our area faces to maximize the benefits to your lawn!
Is this scenario happening to you? It's late spring and it has been 2 or 3 days since you have mowed the lawn. It looks pretty great except you ask yourself… "What is that fuzziness on the top of my lawn? Is my beautiful, green lawn getting some weird weed infestation?"
Most likely, no. Just like we see our trees and shrubs going through their annual reproductive cycle (i.e, seedlings flying around everywhere!) it is the time of year that annual Bluegrass goes to seed. The top of the blade will begin to flower and from a distance, looks like a fuzzy weed has overtaken your lawn. This seed is not viable, just a phase in the life cycle of the plant. Be patient and keep mowing as normal and soon this "flowering" phase will pass.
If you have done a little spot seeding this spring, you may be wondering what is taking your new grass so long to germinate. Due to the exceptionally cool, wet spring we are having, our soil temperatures have remained very cool as we have still experienced frost events well into late April. Soil temperatures must remain steadily at or above 55 degrees before any planted grass seed will begin to germinate. We simply have not had enough warm days in a row to warrant a steady increase in soil temperatures. Your seed, though, will still come up, it is just taking a bit longer due to our cool spring.
If you have not done spring seeding but would like to fill in a few bare spots, use the following guidelines and remember - SAVE YOUR BIG SEEDING PROJECTS FOR FALL!!
- Rake through those bare spots and turn over the dirt to break up the pre-emergent compounds. A garden weasel gardening tool works great for this!
- You can add some top soil to the bare spot to help enrich the soil, but not always required
- Add your seed, preferably turf-type tall fescue, to the top soil/bare spots
- Water your new seed each day until germination
- Baby your new seed throughout the summer with frequent watering, as it's root system is still quite shallow.
Patience is needed as we wait for consistent warm spring temperatures to arrive in our area, but the wait will be worth it as you see that new grass grow!