Keeping Your Lawn Looking “Up To Par”
Turf grass is one of the hardest plants to maintain. It requires a lot of work to keep healthy to todays standards. These days everyone wants a “golf course” lawn where there is absolutely no weeds, no disease, and every blade of grass grows perfectly and evenly. Keeping a lawn that healthy is not a job for an armature. It takes a professional who understands soil composition, proper fertilizer practices, and watering routines to name a few. We have compiled a list of ways to keep your lawn looking “up to par” with the golf courses.
All good lawns start at the roots. In order to have a healthy root system, you must have good soil. In a world with new construction everywhere, soil gets damaged by moving around from place to place. It took millions of years for our few inches of New England soil to become what it is. Residential and commercial properties are stripped of this soil, and although the soil is often replaced, the intricate layers of soil are all uneven, making way for improper drainage and improper soil depth.
There are hundreds of varieties of seed we can plant in New England. Depending on the type of soil you have, you may need certain types of seed that will grow best in the conditions you already have. Drought, disease, and insect resistant grasses are the most used today. The best way to figure out what type of grass to plant is to have your soil tested at the local university.
Watering is perhaps the most misunderstood practice in maintaining a lawn. There are irrigation systems that run every day, sometimes twice a day weather the lawn needs it or not. This is simply not necessary. Turf grass needs approximately 1-2 inches of rainfall per week to keep thick and lush. The secret to keeping those grass roots quenched is to actually water just 2-3 times per week. On days where the lawn does not get watered, the roots grow down, searching for water. The larger the root system of your lawn, the healthier it becomes. Watering every day does not allow roots to grow downward, since the water is always at the top of the soil. This same idea goes with trees and shrubs as well. This can save you hundreds of dollars per year on watering costs.
Fertilizers and weed controls are sold at every hardware store around. These stores carry products with predetermined amounts of chemicals which may or may not be the right amounts your lawn needs. In new england, we tend to have a more sandy, acidic soil. This soil drains very well so that when you apply the product, it often drains right past the root layer and into the deep. We tailor fertilizer and weed control programs to the individual property. We are commercially licensed to apply chemicals that you cant get at your local hardware store. We can select the exact fertilizer and weed control combination, and apply it at the perfect amount so there is no waste.
Pelletized limestone is a natural, very affordable product that provides a soil with a more neutral pH. pH is the measure of acidity in your soil. New England soils have a very acidic pH. Your turf grass wants to grow in a more neutral pH, so we apply A LOT of lime to all properties we service. Since this is a stone product, it takes a while to break down in the soil so we spread applications over the growing season. One application in early spring, and another in the fall. This should be done regularly every year. With acid rain falling, and the natural breakdown of pine needles and oak leaves, the soil can become acid again very quickly.
Believe it or not, weekly lawn mowing can be more complicated than you think. Our commercial mowers are perfect cutting machines. They may look bulky and heavy, but their weight distribution is actually quite low. We keep our blades super sharp every day so your turf gets the perfect cut every week. Blades that are not sharp enough can actually tear grass blades up making disease and insect problems occur quite easily. Grass is always collected in our catchers and disposed of so thatch layers don't build up. Lastly, we talk about thatch. Thatch is that awful layer of dead and decomposing turf on the surface of your soil. Look closely one day at your lawn and you will see that brownish layer. It is okay to have a little thatch, as its slow breakdown naturally adds nutrients to the grass, but thick thatch causes major problems by preventing water, nutrients, and air from getting to the root system. It also attracts insects! Every spring we de thatch lawns to easily prevent this problem. De thatching is basically a very heavy raking of turf grass, and should be done every spring.
In conclusion, having a beautiful, healthy lawn requires quite a bit of time and effort, but in the end, its well worth it. We are more than happy to give you a quote on the above services. Our before and after photos speak for themselves. Let us get your lawn looking “up to par”.