Best known for pretty purplish-blue flowers, wild violet (Viola papilionacea, Viola sororia) may appear to be just a colorful plant, but it can quickly become a bothersome weed in your yard or garden. If you consider yourself someone who is not so “wild” about violets, you’ve probably already discovered how determined they are to rapidly spread across your lawn. So what can be done to control wild violet in Ohio lawns?
These persistent perennials make their first appearance in mid-May and are typically found in moist, shady places, but occasionally take root in sunny, arid areas. The low-growing plants get their name from their colorful flowers, but shades can range from deep blue all the way to white. The plant has waxy, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges, and leafless stalks shoot up from the center of the plant, each holding only one small flower.
Combating Wild Violet in Ohio Lawns
Many people try to solve their wild violet invasion by pulling them out. However, these plants have a dense, fibrous root system below ground, called a rhizome, which makes eliminating the weed very difficult. If you try to pull one out of the ground and you don’t get the entire root, it will easily produce new shoots.
As always, the best defense is a healthy, well-maintained lawn. Lush, green lawns tend to keep the roots of wild violets from spreading, so start a regimen of regular watering, mowing, and fertilizing right away.
Treating these persistent pests with herbicide may be your best bet. The most suitable time to wage war on wild violet weeds is during the fall. The plants are preparing themselves for winter, so they’ll be sure to take food or herbicides into their root system. Using an herbicide requires great care so you don’t kill grasses or plants you wish to keep, therefore be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully. Repeated applications are often necessary. One of the reasons some chemicals are not effective at killing wild violets is because their waxy leaves make it difficult for anything to stick to the surface. In order to help the herbicide to stay put on the plant, you can mix in dish detergent—about one tablespoon per gallon of spray.
To find out more on how to keep wild violets and other weeds from taking over your lawn, contact us today at [phone].
April 22, 2016 is Earth Day, so it’s a great time to think about how to keep our lawns—and the planet—healthy and green. Here are some eco-friendly, healthy lawn care tips to help your yard look its best without harming the Earth.
Conserving water. Did you know that many lawns only need an inch of water each week? It’s easy to be wasteful when we water the yard, so the first rule of thumb is to water only when necessary. Other ways to water wisely:
- Water the lawn in the early morning when it’s cooler and less likely to evaporate.
- Adjust your sprinklers carefully so they are aimed at the grass and not watering sidewalks or driveways.
- A great way to save water—and money—is to make use of rainwater. Direct rain from your gutters and downspouts directly onto the lawn or garden—or collect it in rain barrels that can be found at your local gardening stores.
- Choose plants and grasses that are drought and heat tolerant.
Mow high. Mowing high is much better for your lawn and the planet. And since taller grass crowds out unwanted weeds and gives the appearance of a thick, lush lawn, it looks better as well! Leaving your grass longer also helps it retain moisture by keeping the soil shaded from the drying sun. Setting your lawn mower at 2.5” to 3” should do the trick.
Mower maintenance. Earth Day is a good time to give your lawn mower a once-over. Are the blades sharp? Keeping the blades at their sharpest helps the grass heal quicker, and therefore helps avoid common diseases, insect infestations, and molds. Also check the mower for leaks. If it’s leaking gas or oil, it is damaging your grass and plants—and our planet. Or, better yet, get rid of the gas mower and get one that is battery powered, electric, or hand-powered.
Make the most out of compost. Leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps are great for composting, which is a natural way of recycling decaying organic resources into fertile soil. This soil can then be used to fertilize plants, trees, and gardens. You can also use a mower with a mulching blade that returns clippings to the yard where they will break down and feed your lawn with nutrients.
Plant more trees. Yards that have large grassy areas require more maintenance. Adding more trees and plants to your landscaping provides shade for these grassy areas. The more shade, the less watering your lawn will need.
Want More Healthy Lawn Care Tips?
To learn more about keeping your lawn healthy while helping preserve our planet, call us at [phone] today.
Every homeowner dreams of a green, lush, weed-free lawn. Maintaining a pristine property can be quite an undertaking, though. Weeds will rapidly take over a healthy lawn if left untreated, so it is best to avoid letting them take root at all. Grass that is well fed and regularly watered and mowed helps create a habitat that will inhibit the growth of weeds. Read on to learn more about how to control weeds in your lawn.
Pull by Hand
Pull large weeds by the root before they can bloom and reseed themselves throughout your lawn. Weed prevention is easier if you pull them at the beginning of their growing process.
Apply a weed-specific granular or liquid herbicide to the weeds on your lawn. Refrain from applying too much, as herbicides can potentially kill your grass, too. Read the information on the package for instructions and to ensure that the product is right for your grass type.
Mowing your grass on a regular basis can help prevent weeds. It is best to leave the grass approximately 2.5 inches high. Cutting grass too high is preferable to cutting too low, as cutting too low scalps it, which makes it more vulnerable to disease and death and leaves room for weeds to take over.
Follow a regular watering schedule. Give your lawn deep waterings in order to allow water to penetrate the soil’s surface and reach the turf’s root system. Try to water your lawn two to three times a week, depending on your area’s rainfall and temperatures.
Fertilizing your lawn regularly is an important part of fighting off weeds. Select a fertilizer designed for your grass type and apply 3 to 4 times a year, regardless of the kind you use.
Call for Help
Any additional questions about ridding your lawn of weeds? Call our friendly lawn professionals at [phone] and find out how we can help make your lawn look its best!
Liming your lawn is an important–and often overlooked–part of keeping your grass in good condition. Lime can help bring back your lawn’s vibrance if the soil has dropped out of its ideal pH zone. Used to neutralize acidic soil, lime is not always necessary for healthy lawns. Read on to learn how to tell when to lime your lawn.
Do You Need to Lime your Lawn?
The best way to determine whether your lawn needs liming is by performing a soil test. Once your lawn’s pH levels are revealed, treating your soil to help it reach its ideal levels will help the turf absorb nutrients more effectively.
Applying lime to your lawn is a common tactic for changing the soil’s pH level. Soil pH measures its alkalinity or acidity. Acidic, sour soil has a pH below the desired range. Lime may be necessary if your test reveals pH levels below the optimum levels of 6.0 to 7.0. If your pH is below 6.0, your soil is preventing important nutrients from being absorbed by the grass roots, causing turf to lose color and limiting its ability to recover from stresses like heat and drought conditions.
Some soil is naturally acidic, but others can be acidified gradually because of natural leaching. The most common causes of leaching are excessive rainfall, irrigating with acidic water, and certain fertilizers.
What is Lime?
Agricultural lime’s main component is calcium carbonate. Commonly available in pellet or powder form, it is made of ground limestone or chalk. There are several types of lime on the market, so a soil test is necessary to determine which kind will benefit your lawn. Calcitic lime adds calcium to the soil while dolomitic lime boosts your lawn’s magnesium content.
When to Apply Lime
Lime is ideally applied to lawns in spring or fall, but can be applied to your lawn at any time of the year, as long as the soil isn’t frozen.
How Much Lime is Necessary?
The soil test you administer will indicate how many pounds of calcium carbonate you should apply per square foot. Read the instructions for use on the bag and apply the lime to your grass with a lawn spreader. Pelletized lime comes in the form of dust-free pellets that dissolve with precipitation while pulverized lime can be powdery and messy, but less expensive.
Still unsure about whether you need to lime your lawn? Call our qualified experts today at [phone]. We’re here to help make your lawn look its best.