Summer is here! Although we love the lazy hazy days of summer, homeowners hate how the heat affects the appearance of their yard. Now is the time to lend your lawn some extra love. Here’s how to reduce summertime lawn stress, and keep it green and healthy for warm-weather fun in the sun.
Signs of Summertime Lawn Stress
Excessive heat, scorching sun, and drought conditions leave their mark on even the toughest turfs. Summertime lawn stress appears as brown or matted grass, wilted blades, and bare spots. Even the increased foot traffic during a backyard barbecue or a game of tag gives grass a pounding. This is only the beginning. Once the turf takes a turn for the worse, it becomes an easy target for invasive weeds, destructive pests, and dangerous diseases. But don’t despair, a little extra care helps grass fend off its foes.
Beat the Heat with These Tips
Follow these tips to stop summertime lawn stress from curtailing your home’s curb appeal.
- Clear the clutter. Keep heavy outdoor furniture on the deck or patio so it won’t flatten and damage grass. If you put out chairs or toys for a day outside, remove them before you head back inside.
- Doggie dos and don’ts. When pets do their business on the lawn, hose down the area immediately to dilute urine’s damaging effects. Better yet, train doggies to do their business in a designated area that has gravel or no grass.
- Water wisely. Less frequent but deeper waterings help keep lawns healthy in the heat. The best time to water the grass is early in the morning. This way the sun’s heat won’t evaporate the moisture before the soil is able to absorb it.
- Keep your lawn a cut above the rest. Set your mower’s blade higher during the summer months. Leaving grass a little longer better shields the soil from the sun’s harsh rays, allowing it to maintain moisture as well. The blade should be sharpened each season to ensure a clean cut.
We’re Here to Help
Summer fun feels much better when you don’t have to worry about what’s ailing your lawn. At Free Spray Lawn Care, we offer specialized programs to prevent summertime lawn stress. Call us at [phone]. We’ll do the dirty work so you can enjoy the warm weather and green grass.
Many decisions need to be made when choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn. The packaging alone contains lots of confusing information. In the following article we take a closer look at the dizzying details on lawn fertilizer labels and help decipher them.
Why Feed Your Turf?
Grass gets its healthy green hue and lush thickness from nutrients found in the soil. But sometimes those nutrients are not enough, especially when your turf takes a beating year round from foot traffic, pests, disease, extreme temperatures, invasive weeds, and too much/too little water and sun. Provide your turf with protection against the elements by feeding it additional nutrients, and the results will reveal richer color, thicker density, faster growth, and strength to survive in harsh environments.
The Main Ingredients: Lawn Fertilizer Labels
Understanding lawn fertilizer labels is far from easy, so let’s break down the confusing number ratios on the packaging. First, fertilizer consists of three key ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen helps give grass its green hue, phosphorus stimulates new growth and strong roots, and potassium helps provide strength and good health. There’s a variety of formulas with different ratios available to help you give your grass the nutrition it needs. The three-number ratio represents the percentage of each integral ingredient in the formula.
Tips for Understanding Lawn Fertilizer Labels
How do you know what nutrients your lawn needs? A soil testing kit, available at your local garden center, helps you determine what your lawn lacks, but call in a lawn-care specialist to help you with soil testing if you wish. Here are a few more tips.
- Fertilizers come in quick-release and slow-release formulas. Want a fast green up? Use quick-release granules. For longer lasting results, slow-release formulas feed the grass over an extended period of time.
- Know your grass type. Cool-season and warm-season grasses each require a different formula.
- Most fertilizers feature the square-footage coverage area on the label. If you are treating your entire yard, calculate the footage before you head off to the store.
- Always follow the directions on the label carefully. Too much fertilizer damages the turf, while not enough or improper application is a waste of time, money, and effort.
Don’t let your lawn lose its lush look. If you have any issues understanding lawn fertilizer labels, call Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone]. Our experts can green up your grass with the nourishment it needs.
When it comes to creatures that make a mess of your lawn, moles and voles are two that always come to mind. But how do you know which pest is putting your nerves to the test? Here’s how to tell the difference between mole damage and vole damage.
Moles and voles are both small mammals that dig up dirt. Their names sound similar, however, the damage they do is different. Also, the way to control each pest differs, so it’s important to recognize which creature performed the dirty work.
Moles rarely make appearances above ground, but when they do, it’s easy to identify them by their traits. Small eyes and barely visible ears accompany a pointed hairless snout. The fuzzy body takes the shape of a large potato. What really distinguishes them from other rodents is wide, flat front feet with long claws that make it easy for them to dig and tunnel through the dirt. On the other hand, voles are smaller in size, resembling fuzzier field mice with shorter tails.
Easy to spot, mole damage looks like long rows of raised dirt connecting volcano-shaped mounds. The demon diggers make their mess in search of grubs, worms, and insects to eat. As they tunnel underground the soil gets pushed up to create a strange pattern of raised ridges all over the lawn.
Although voles dig in the dirt to make nests and munch on plant roots, they are less about the mess. The destruction caused by these herbivores with hearty appetites is to plants, bulbs, and young tree bark in your yard. Yes, moles make a mess, but because they eat insects, your plant roots are safe.
Mole Damage Versus Vole Damage
Moles tend to be loners, so when you get rid of one, you usually don’t have to worry about others. Voles, however, are prolific breeders, and quickly populate your yard with more mouths that munch away at plants and flower roots. Consult an expert to curb the mess these pests create. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone] and we’ll protect your home from unwanted pests. We’ll also repair any vole or mole damage and restore your lawn to new.
Are dandelions weeds or wildflowers? Although some claim these showy little balls of sunshine boast a lengthy list of beneficial uses, most property owners categorize them as invasive weeds. Once one appears, many more follow. Getting rid of them takes patience and persistence, but it can be done. In fact, a simple solution to kill dandelions is as close as your kitchen cabinet.
Weeds or Wildflowers?
Not all bad, dandelions are happy harbingers of spring, signalling the end of a long winter. The edible plant’s benefits range from medical to nutritional (try dandelion salad or wine). But beware, these perennials quickly become invasive weeds. The yellow flowers eventually turn into whitish gray puff balls packed with seeds. Dandelions reproduce rapidly by scattering hundreds of seeds near and far into the wind. The weeds grow, taking nutrients and water away from your turf.
It’s hard to kill dandelions once they appear. One reason is because of their long hardy taproots that descend deep in the ground. Yank out a dandelion and chances are some of that long root remains underground, eventually growing back with a vengeance.
Kill Dandelions with this Common Household Item
A warrior against weeds, white vinegar’s acidity makes it an ideal natural herbicide. Although the vinegar in your kitchen has only a 5% acid percentage, it’s possible to boil it down to increase the potency. Adding lemon juice and/or salt to your weed-fighting formula packs even a more powerful punch. Dish soap is an especially helpful additive that helps keep the solution adhered to the weed’s waxy leaves long enough to be effective. If this formula isn’t strong enough, get horticultural vinegar with 20% acetic acid concentration at a garden center.
Kill dandelions before the yellow heads turn into seed-spreading puff balls. Use a spray bottle or brush to apply the solution, but take care to keep it contained and target only the weed. Vinegar kills any plants or grass it comes in contact with, so get up close if spraying. You may need to apply it more than once until you see the leaves wither and die. To ensure the dandelion does not regenerate, dig out the entire taproot once the weed withers. Make sure to perform the task during several days of dry weather so the solution does not wash away before it has a chance to work.
Call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone]. We provide personalized maintenance programs that include weed controland prevention.