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Weed Management and Limitation Tips

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Weed Management and Prevention

Our gardens and lawns are meant to provide a pleasing environment and view, but weeds can ruin the effect. The way you approach weeding can have drastic consequences on how often you see weeds in your lawn and garden. In fact, if you weed incorrectly you can stir up more weeds and damage your plants and grass. Here are some tips to consider when managing the weeds on your property.

Precision

A common mistake while weeding is being indiscriminate with the amount of action you take to pull out a weed. When you dig up too much earth while weeding you inevitably release the seeds that have made it too deep to grow, but are now exposed to the sun and will flourish to your dismay.

Use a narrow tool when pulling weeds to help remove the root. After the offending plant has been removed, cover that spot with a new desirable plant or mulch.

Another aspect of precision that is necessary for preventing weeds is in the way that you water. Try to only water where you need to, avoiding areas without plants or grass that you planted. Stray water can nourish and expose weed seeds, enabling them to grow.

Density and Covering

An effective method for preventing weeds is to make sure they don’t have a place to grow. The easiest way to ensure coverage is to use mulch to cover exposed soil. Mulch will smother the weed seeds that are there and prevent rooting, all the while providing the normal benefits of mulch such as cooling the soil and assisting in moisture retention.

Another consideration is how much space you have between plants. It’s best to cover as much of the ground as possible with grass or plants in order to prevent spaces for the weeds to grow. In combination with mulch, this will make it difficult for weeds to get a foothold.

Vigilance

It’s so much easier to remove weeds when they are young, so it’s important to keep your eyes out for them as they sprout up and pull them quickly. A few good times to look for weeds are while you are mowing or watering. Removing weeds after watering is especially good because wet soil makes the weeds easier to remove. Take note of any new weeds and deal with them before they can become stubborn and develop their seeds. This also prevents the soil from being disturbed too much when pulling, which prevents seeds from being exposed.

If you aren’t able to remove the entire weed, root and all, it’s a good idea to remove the head of the plant (what’s sticking out of the ground). This way it won’t release seeds and cause you even future grief.

Also, when bringing in new plants it is vital that you check that they don’t have any hitchhiking weeds in their soil.

Herbicides and Pre-Emergents

The best way to deal with many weeds is to use pre-emergent herbicides which stop them from growing all together, as it’s so hard to remove them and stop their spreading once they have gained a foothold in your lawn. This is especially true for most types of invasive grass, which is highly problematic to remove.

When you are able to keep up maintenance and only have a few weeds pop up at a time, using a spot sprayer is sufficient and prevents the pesticide from going places you don’t want. If you have a lot of weeds a tank sprayer might be necessary.

Broadleaf weeds tend to be the easiest to remove as their herbicides aren’t going to be as dangerous to your lawn. These herbicides will harm your large leafed plants though, so being precise around your garden is a must.

For perennials, which are often harder to pull and need all purpose plant killer, which can harm your lawn, it’s best to use an even more precise method of application. A popular technique is to use a paintbrush to apply the herbicide. You could also use a glove and rub the chemicals on, but that is clumsier.

Use an Expert

Maintaining a healthy lawn is difficult, hard work; even if you try your best, you may end up with a garden choked by weeds and a lawn riddled with crab grass. To ensure that your lawn looks the best that it can, contact Lawnscape.

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Having a Pet Friendly Lawn

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How to Create a Pet Friendly Lawn

You love your dog and/or cat, but you hate that their urine and behavior can lead to lawn burn and destroyed gardens. The solution is twofold, both in how your care for your lawn and how you train your animal. Here are some tips that will keep your pet happy and your lawn looking good:

Spacing

If you have a wide open space for your pet to run through, they’re going to use it and that’s great. But some of your issues can be limited by how your outdoor area is set up. Planting your garden plants together can prevent your dog or cat from running through and damaging plants. This same technique is good for smothering out weeds, so it serves two functions.

When your dog is young, teaching them to urinate in a specific designated spot will prevent widespread damage from urine. It’s a good idea to leave a patch of dirt, mulch, or gravel for them to relieve themselves in, as this will be the least work.

Speaking of designated areas, fences can be your friend. Creating a dog run can be a great solution to the problem; either leaving that area as only mulch or planting urine resistant grass can prevent a lot of stress. If your dog loves to dig, leaving them a place to do it is a good way to prevent them from digging where you don’t want. Fencing off your garden can also help. It doesn’t need to be too high as to be an impediment for you, unless your pet is a jumper that is.

While your pet still has behaviors that you want to curtail, it’s best not to leave them outside alone. This way you can correct any undesirable behavior and reward them for the behavior you want, training them to live in harmony with your lawn.

Dilution

Sometimes it’s not realistic to prevent your pet from urinating where you don’t want it to. The best solution to this is to immediately water the area they relieved themselves on. This spreads out the nitrate, which is what kills the grass, so that no one area is saturated and damaged.

Another key to dilution is to make sure that your pet is getting enough water. If they aren’t then their urine is more concentrated and will cause more damage to the lawn. The type of food they eat will also contribute to their nitrate levels. Consider switching your pet to high quality pet food as lower quality food contains protein that is harder to digest, which ends up as nitrates in their excrement. The food should also be within line of their protein requirement; excess protein will again increase nitrate concentration.

For Your Pet

Avoid anti-lawn burn pills for your pets as most of them have negative effects on the animal and some won’t even solve the problem. These pills either reduce the pH of the animal’s urine or just pump them full of salt, which makes them thirsty so they drink more and dilute their urine. Both of these have negative effects on the health of your pet and can lead to kidney stones, which will be a whole new lawn problem.

Whenever you spray herbicides or pesticides, it’s best to keep your pet away from your lawn as these can make your pet ill. Weeding and keeping your lawn healthy will prevent any kind of poisonous invasive plant from taking root in your yard, as pets will eat plants when they have upset stomachs, which is normally nothing to worry over unless they are eating strange plants.

Repair

Ultimately, you will need to repair any damaged spots by replanting. There are products that can neutralize the urinated areas, but this requires the same attention as diluting. If you really want a great looking lawn, it’s best to use the professionals.

Lawnscape will make sure to use the right amount of fertilizer. Regularly feeding and aerating your lawn will keep it healthy so that it can resist damage. Contact Lawnscape today to get started on your perfect pet friendly lawn.

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The Benefits of Using Organic Biostimulants

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How Organic Biostimulants Can Help Your Lawn This Summer

In the world of lawn care, there are thousands of products that can help you get and keep a healthy lawn. Each one has a specific purpose, targeting key areas of plants to either help growth (fertilizers) or deter growth (weed killers).

This article will focus on one of the types of products that help with growth: organic biostimulants.

What is a Biostimulant?

A biostimulant is a substance or mixture that promotes the natural processes of plant growth. To put it simply, biostimulants act as a natural boost to the plant, without changing the nutrient content in the soil or plants. They work by promoting growth and enhancing the nutrients already available. Biostimulants work gradually to improve the health of the plants/grass with what is available.

Biostimulants do not provide nutrients that are lacking, nor do they drastically change the composition of the soil or plant. If the soil or turf is missing nutrients, then the biostimulant will not help and a fertilizer should be used.

When using a biostimulant, especially an organic one, it helps to minimize the use of chemicals in the lawn. It provides the grass with boost, while removing any potential risks of chemical damage to the grass.

Biostimulant vs. Fertilizer

If biostimulants and fertilizers both promote lawn health and growth, what’s the difference?

When looking to treat a lawn, it is important to understand the issue affecting the grass. If there is a lack of nutrients or key elements, then a fertilizer is the better option as it will introduce the nutrients to the soil and help with growth that way. For biostimulants, it uses the nutrients that are already in the soil and boosts them, without introducing other elements to the soil.

Another difference between the two is the fact that typically fertilizers are synthetic-based and biostimulants are more readily available in organic form. While fertilizers can be found in organic form, they prove to be not as effective as the synthetic types and, as a result, using synthetic fertilizers brings chemicals into the lawn. These chemicals can have a long lasting effect on the soil and lawn, slowly damaging the composition of the soil.

The other major difference between the two products is the fact that the rate and amount of change varies between fertilizers and biostimulants. Since you are introducing nutrients and other elements to the lawn with fertilizers, the effect that they have on the lawn is a lot larger than the effect that a biostimulant will have. Biostimulants work slower because they are working with the natural processes without changing soil structure.

The Benefits of Using Biostimulants

While biostimulants may not be as effective as fertilizers in terms of promoting lawn growth, there are still many benefits to using biostimulants. As stated above, typically biostimulants are organic and so they help to keep a natural lawn. It cuts down on the risk of chemical issues in the soil or grass that can lead to problems down the road.

Another benefit is that it can help to temper the use of fertilizers in the lawn. While there are times that fertilizers may be necessary for the health of the lawn, using a biostimulant as a replacement for fertilizers when appropriate will help to cut down on the change to the soil and grass. It will help the lawn to grow more naturally than using fertilizers numerous times.

There are some things to remember with organic biostimulants. It is an organic product so it will be a gradual change and not an aggressive one, unlike fertilizers. It is also important to remember that every lawn is different and while various products may promise many things, it may not always work in the desired way for a variety of reasons.

How to Find Out More

If you are unsure about whether your lawn will benefit from organic biostimulants, then call the experts at Lawnscape. Their comprehensive lawn care program includes biostimulant treatment and their licenced technicians know exactly what your lawn needs to stay healthy all summer long.

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Keeping Your Lawn Healthy This Summer

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How to Keep Your Lawn Healthy During Summer

We’re still in summer at the moment, and while the warmer weather is great for BBQs and time at the beach, it isn’t always so good for your lawn. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your lawn stays healthy all year long.

Step 1. Water Appropriately

It might sound strange, but how you water your lawn could make the difference between a lush, healthy lawn, and dead, patchy grass.

For best results, water your lawn between 3 am and 9 am; or late in the evening, after the sun starts to set and the temperature has dropped. This ensures that more of the water is absorbed by the root system, instead of evaporating into the air.

How often you water your lawn is just as important as when you water. Although it might be tempting to water your lawn for 5 or 10 minutes every day, the best way to ensure a lush, healthy lawn is to water less frequently for longer periods.

You should ideally water your lawn for half an hour, three to four times a week, to ensure that the water is able to reach the root system of the lawn.

Step 2. Don’t Mow Excessively

If you want a healthy lawn that will last all summer long, it is important to mow your lawn properly. In cooler weather, it is advised that you keep grass short to prevent disease. But in the warmer summer months, the opposite is true. Longer grass during the summer creates shade for the soil, which encourages growth. Grass that is cut too short can lead to soil that is exposed to the elements, causing it to dry out and lose nutrients, leading to burnt, brown looking grass.

Step 3. Look for Pests and Fungus

One of the things you have to be worried about if you want to keep your lawn healthy and green is fungus. Excess watering can increase the chances of your lawn developing fungus, which can cause burns and brown patches.

Another issue is the grubs from the Japanese Beetles and European chafers that hatch in the late summer. The insects lay eggs that bury into the ground and eat the root system of plants. Unfortunately, homeowners don’t usually know they have a grub problem until brown patches appear. However, you can look for grub by pulling back the top layer of turf. If it separates easily from the soil, and you see small white bumps, you may have a grub problem.

A lawn afflicted with fungus or a grub problem will not go away on its own. Lawnscape offers numerous services including aeration, fertilization, and pest treatment services to keep your lawn healthy all summer long.

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Best Practices for a Healthy Lawn

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Summer brings a welcome warmth and many hot days. It’s important to ensure that your lawn survives the hot summer days and cool nights.

There are three best practices that you can use to help your lawn stay lush and green even in the heat. Aeration, watering the right way, and proper mowing are the keys to the success of a lawn when the summer heat arrives.

Healthy Lawn Best Practice | Lawn Aeration

Aeration is the practice of digging little pockets of dirt throughout the lawn. This creates pockets which allow air, moisture, and fertilizers to penetrate the soil and helps the grass to grow. The process leaves little dirt pellets on the top surface which will melt back into the lawn after a couple rainfalls or aggressive watering.

Depending on the type of grass you have, it is suggested to aerate in late spring/early summer for warm season grasses, or in the fall for cool season grasses. It is important to aerate while the weather is relatively cool and moist, as to avoid causing stress on the turf and potentially damaging it.

This process should be done prior to fertilizing and watering, so that it can create the pockets for the seeds and water, which will produce a better yield for the turf. Remember to remove all weeds in the grass prior to aerating, as the process will help to spread the seeds throughout the lawn and cause more problem areas to deal with.

Healthy Lawn Best Practice | Lawn Watered the Right Way

The next important practice for a healthy lawn is proper watering technique. It may sound simple, but watering the turf properly may be the difference between a lawn that lasts and one that burns out before the summer is over.

There are a few key things to remember when watering your turf. Firstly, the time that the grass is watered can make a huge difference. Optimal times are either early in the morning, or early in the evening. These are the best times for watering because the temperature is relatively cool and the sun isn’t hitting the lawn directly. As a result it allows most of the moisture to get absorbed into the soil, instead of evaporating due to the sun or wind during the day.

Secondly, the amount of watering that is being done is also important to the lawn’s success. The optimal method is to water the lawns deeply a few times a week. The lawns need to be watered deeply so that the moisture is absorbed into the soil. If you only water the grass for five to ten minutes a day, the water will not penetrate the soil and the lawn will burn out.

In moderate summer temperatures, allowing the sprinklers or irrigation system to run for 20-30 minutes three to four times a week will provide the turf with the necessary water. Now the amount can vary depending on the severity of the heat and watering system. If you are not sure the proper amount, check out the watering table on Lawnscape’s seasonal tips page, which tells you the ideal schedule depending on the temperature and watering system.

And finally, ensure that the lawn is being watered equally. If there are only key areas receiving water, then burnt/brown patches will appear in the lawn. If using a hose or sprinkler, make sure that it is moved throughout the lawn every 20-30 minutes so that each part of the lawn gets the necessary moisture.

Healthy Lawn Best Practice | Proper Lawn Mowing

The final important practice for a healthy lawn is cutting the grass properly. It doesn’t seem difficult on the surface but small changes can make or break a lawn. The mower height should be adjusted depending on the season and conditions. In the cooler months having the mower height lowered will help to prevent disease and provide benefits in the warmer months. Alternatively, during the warmer months, the mower height should be raised so that the grass stays longer, which provides shade for the soil, as well as promoting grown in the turf itself.

If the grass is cut too short in the hot months, it may leave the soil exposed, causing the ground to dry out, as well as stunting the growth of the grass, leading to burned patches. It is also important to alternate mowing patterns to ensure that the grass gets an even cut. If the lawn is mowed in the same direction consistently, it will cause the grass to angle will lead to uneven heights.

Your Healthy Lawn Experts | Lawnscape

By utilizing these healthy lawn best practices, the lifespan of your lawn will outlast your neighbors’ lawns.
If you are unsure of what your lawn needs to maintain healthy growth, contact Lawnscape, the lawn experts who can provide these services and more to ensure your lawn survives hot summer days.

Related Links: https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/lawn-and-garden
http://lawnscape.com/seasonal-tips/

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