Lawn Care

LAWN

lawn is an area of soil-covered land planted with grasses and other durable plants such as clover which are maintained at a short height with a lawnmower (or sometimes grazing animals) and used for aesthetic and recreational purposes. Common characteristics of a lawn are that it is composed only of grass species, it is subject to weed and pest control, it is subject to practices aimed at maintaining its green color (e.g., watering), and it is regularly mowed to ensure an acceptable length, although these characteristics are not binding as a definition. Lawns are used around houses, apartments, commercial buildings and offices. Many city parks also have large lawn areas. In recreational contexts, the specialized names turfpitchfield or green may be used, depending on the sport and the continent.

Uses

Lawns are a common feature of private gardens, public landscapes and parks in many parts of the world. They are created for aesthetic pleasure, as well as for sports or other outdoor recreational use. Lawns are useful as a playing surface both because they mitigate erosion and dust generated by intensive foot traffic and because they provide a cushion for players in sports such as rugby, football, soccer, cricket, baseball, golf, tennis, hockey and lawn bocce.

Lawns and the resulting lawn clipping waste can be used as an ingredient in making compost and is also viewed as fodder, used in the production of lawn clipping silage which is fed to livestock as a sustainable feed source.

Benefits of Lawns

Because lawns around us every day, people don't think about the fact that a healthy turf generates oxygen for improved air quality. Most homeowners don't realize noise and air pollution are reduced in most suburban areas because the grass ecosystem serves as a natural filter for the environment.

Here are some of lawn important and environmental benefits that often overlooked:

  1. Lawns provide excellent soil erosion control.
  2. They improve recharge and quality protection of groundwater and provide flood control.
  3. They enhance entrapment and biodegradation of synthetic organic compounds.
  4. They absorb and sequester carbon dioxide gases.
  5. They bring substantial urban heat dissipation which results in temperature moderation.
  6. Lawns contribute to home security as well, providing high visibility zones that deter potential intruders and open green spaces that serve as a firebreak to reduce fire hazards.

For these reasons….and so many more…lawns ARE important.

LAWN CARE

Lawn care is taking care of the lawn that has been established already. It may involve mowing, edging, fertilising, weeding, trimming of small trees and shrubs, removal of leaf and other debris from lawn, and watering grass etc.

Contact us today for more information on lawn care.

Mowing Basics

Mowing is the periodic cutting of a turf grass lawn to a specified height. The ability to tolerate mowing is one of the criteria that separate turf grass from the rest of the grass species. Mowing is always a stress on the grass plants. Just because they can tolerate mowing does not mean they like it. Reduce that stress by adopting these practices.

Mow early in the morning or, even better, in the evening. Mowing during the heat of the day can cause the plant to go into shock.

Mow when the grass is dry. Your mower will work better and there is less likelihood that disease will be spread from plant to plant.

Follow the one-third rule. Select a mowing height appropriate for the turfgrass species in your lawn. Then set your mower blade height of cut and mow frequently enough so you cut off no more than the top third of the grass plant. This will encourage stronger roots.

Cutting your lawn too short creates an environment for both weed and disease infestation. It also causes the lawn to lose moisture much quicker.

Keep your mower blades sharp. Sharp blades produce a clean, even cut. Unsharpened blades rip or tear the grass tissue. This often leaves a tan or brown cast to the lawn after mowing. The ripping or tearing can create a breeding ground for disease and other problems.

Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. This is called grasscycling, recycling, or mulching. Clippings are full of nutrients and can actually reduce your need for fertilizers by as much as 25%. Grass clippings readily break down and will only cause an issue if the quantity is excessive.

Mulching (recycling or grasscycling) mowers are great at making the clippings small enough to disperse into the grass canopy. But even standard discharge mowers will not cause a clipping problem if you follow the one-third rule. And, leaving the clippings on the lawn helps the environment by keeping clippings out of our community landfills!

Change directions each time you mow. Mowing causes the grass to lie over slightly. (That is how mowing patterns develop.) When you alternate directions with each mowing, the grass does not lie over excessively. Changing the pattern also reduces wear and compaction by changing the areas traveled.

Fertilizer Basics

Fertilizers are organic or inorganic materials that are applied to the soil or the plant to improve its health and provide sufficient mineral nutrient elements. Plants obtain three of the essential elements they need for growth - carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - from water and the carbon dioxide in the air. The other essential elements plants need, often classified as mineral nutrient elements, are found in the soil and absorbed by the plant’s root system. The mineral nutrient elements are grouped into two categories, macronutrients and micronutrients, based on how much of each is needed by the plant. There are three main macronutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).

Nitrogen promotes rapid growth, leaf development, chlorophyll formation and protein synthesis. Phosphorus plays a key role in early root growth, hastens maturity, stimulates blooming and aids seed formation.Potassium increases resistance to drought and disease and also plays a part in root growth as well as in stem development. You will find the NPK content in the description printed on the front of bags of fertilizer. The description may not expressly say "NPK" (it may simply be implied), but you will at least see a series of three numbers, which correspond, respectively, to the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content of the fertilizer. They are always listed in that order.

You’ll find a more detailed breakdown of the fertilizer’s contents on the fertilizer label. The two most important pieces of information here are the guaranteed analysis and the type(s) of nitrogen the fertilizer contains. The type of nitrogen source will be listed, which determines if it is a quick-release or slow-release form of N. Along with N, P and K, any of the other nutrients contained will be listed on the fertilizer label. The numbers shown for each nutrient give the percentage, by weight, of that nutrient compared to the total contents of the bag. As with all fertilizer or control products, the label must be read, understood and followed explicitly.

Not all plants have the same nutrient requirements, and you can sometimes do more harm than good when applying chemical fertilizers arbitrarily. A soil test is recommended to identify the precise needs of your lawn. The soil test will include your soil P and K and other nutrient levels, along with other factors important to the health of your lawn, such as acidity or alkalinity (pH) and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Though soil testing for N levels is possible, such testing is seldom conducted as those levels change quickly. A soil test also can provide an N, P and K fertilization recommendation based on your turfgrass species.

Overseeding

Overseeding is the practice of putting more turfgrass seeds on an existing lawn. This may be done only in spots where bare areas have occurred, or over a larger expanse of lawn to improve the density of turfgrass that has become thin. Within the transition zone, overseeding a cool-season turfgrass into an existing warm-season turfgrass lawn will provide color and active growth during the cold-weather-related dormant period of the warm-season turfgrass. The same preparation and application procedures are used in this type of overseeding. The seed selection will be based on the species and varieties of cool-season turfgrass that will establish quickly and then transition out easily when temperatures become warmer and re-energize the warm-season turfgrass.

Typically, with bare or thinning turfgrass, if 50 percent or more of the existing lawn is in good condition, overseeding can be a workable solution. If more than 50 percent of the area is in poor condition, you will want to consider starting again with a new lawn installation. Bare or thinning problems may be due to damage from heat, drought, disease, weeds, insects, overuse, poor management practices or other factors. It’s best to identify the source of the problem and correct it prior to overseeding, so the lawn’s condition doesn’t continue to deteriorate. Take steps to rejuvenate the turfgrass to help it weather drought or excess heat. Review your long-term maintenance program and make adjustments if needed in how you mow, fertilize, and irrigate your lawn. You want to reduce competition from the existing turfgrass prior to overseeding. Reduce the height of cut to the lowest appropriate height for the variety or varieties of your turfgrass species. Do this gradually, if necessary, always following the one-third rule when you mow.

Select the seed varieties and species that will be compatible with your existing turfgrass, but have specific performance and/or aesthetic qualities that will improve it. This may be cold, heat or drought tolerance, disease or shade resistance, or simply a deeper shade of green. Make sure you understand how to read a turfgrass seed analysis label, so you can make the best choice of high-quality seed for your specific lawn conditions. You will need good seed to soil contact for the new seed to germinate. Prepare small bare areas for overseeding by hand raking with a leaf rake. Use a light touch, so you break up the soil surface without raking out the existing turfgrass. You can apply seed to these spots by hand or with a drop spreader. Use the recommended rate for your selected seed when overseeding. Rake the area again with the same light touch after you overseed to improve the seed to soil contact.

Source: https://www.thelawninstitute.org/pages/education/lawn-maintenance/

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