Lawn care tips for different seasons:
With years of successful lawn care, we have come across lawn-lovers who are always on the lookout for tips and tricks to take care of their lawns. So to help you in your lawn care efforts through different seasons we have come up with a few useful tips. Beginners will want to consult these lawn care tips before trying to grow grass in their yards. Seasoned lawn aficionados would like to go through these as well, for their effectiveness. If you need more answers to questions please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help.
Tips for a neat and green lawn:
Proper watering is a must to achieve a healthy, lush lawn. Early morning is the best time to water your grass, shrubs and trees allowing more water penetration and less evaporation compared to watering during the day. Steer clear of watering in the evening as it doesn't leave much drying time. As a result diseases may build up in your treasured green patch. But how often should you water your lawn? One inch of water per week is ideal for established lawns. If you want your lawn to look lush with healthy strong grasses one or two deep watering per week is recommended to help grow a healthier root zone. On the other hand, shallow watering causes limited root systems. If you use a sprinkler system you want to make sure proper coverage and proper amounts are being applied. Different amounts and sprinkling patterns are required for different seasons. So, changing the length of running cycles to coincide with seasonal changes is recommended. The best way to tell when your lawn needs watering is when the grass tends to show stress signs such as wilting and color fade to yellow or off green. Other tell-tale signs are marks of mower tracks or footprints staying in the grass without coming back to their normal upright positions.
Core aeration is an essential part of a lawn management program. Aeration or air supply to the roots of the greens is good for the lawn and should be done every fall. Aeration can also be done in the spring but it has its side effects. It may break down crabgrass control barriers already in place. Apart from the obvious benefits of core aeration there are other benefits as well: Thatch management increases activity of microorganisms by bringing them from the soil to the surface. This helps decompose thatch.
- Allows deeper water and nutrients penetration to the roots.
- Works wonders with over seeding by giving the seeds a healthier airier growing environment.
- Makes room for healthy root zone activity
Tree and Shrub Tips
When trees begin to blossom, spring is officially here. Spring is the right time for pruning most types of plants. But before you get into what plants to prune and when to prune them, you should educate yourself on the right techniques of pruning. Always use very sharp pruning equipment that is large enough for the job. This will result in nice clean cuts and keep bark from ripping. Do not leave uneven edges and try to keep the branch collar in one piece so rejuvenation begins immediately. If you have made proper clean pruning cuts you might avoid using wound paint. Flowering plants of spring should be pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth sprouts. Evergreens can be pruned anytime as long as the wood is not frozen. Deciduous trees like maples, dogwoods and elm should be pruned in early fall. This will eliminate sap bleeding that will happen if pruned in the spring.
If you don't know how to mow a lawn, don't be discouraged: It's never too late to learn how to mow a lawn.All you need is knowledge of a few basic law mowing tricks.
Condition of the mower: Before you begin lawn mowing, look for obstructions in the blade area, particularly if the lawnmower was just purchased. Add a little oil to the moving parts if they feel tight. If the lawnmower is over a year old, the blades may need to be sharpened, or your lawn will look ragged after you've mowed it.
Height of the Mower - 2½ - 3" throughout the year is recommended. The last cut of the season should be made at 1⅓" which will help reduce chance of snow mold and matting.
Time for Mowing - For the best possible lawn, mow early in the morning (after dew has dried on grass) and often (once a week is best, every two weeks will do). Like other perennial plants, grasses stay healthy when only 1/3 of new growth is removed at any given time. So mow "high": i.e., don't scalp your grass. Mow frequently especially in the spring when growth is rapid. Try to avoid mowing in extreme wet or hot conditions.
Safety first:When mowing a sloping area, always mow across the slope, not up and down, to prevent accidents. The exception to this is when you're using a riding lawnmower -– then you must mow up and down the slope, to prevent the riding lawnmower from tipping over.
If grass clogs the blades or discharge chute of a power lawnmower and the engine starts to sputter, turn off the engine and make sure the blades have stopped rotating before carefully raising the lawnmower to remove the debris.
Winter Stress Tips
Desiccation or Winter Burn
Desiccation - Desiccation means dehydration of the plants. The process occurs when leaves continue to lose water due to severe living conditions. This is also known as "winter burn". This process usually occurs when the soil is frozen or dry. Younger plants and recent transplants are more likely to get winter burns. So when do you know if your lovely plants have been hit by this condition? If you witness wilting of leaves, tip burn, leaf browning or blackening, leaf drop, or in severe cases death of branches or part of the plant, you know its desiccation and your plants need immediate care.
Retention of soil moisture needs to be ensured. Mulching around plants at a 2" - 3" depth will help.
Use burlap or other wind breaks to shield your plants when these are in very exposed "wind tunnels"
Treat the plants with nutrients to keep them as healthy and vigorous as possible. Our root fertilization program in the fall is ideal for this.
Plant strong, hardy trees and shrubs in areas conducive to their conditions.
Prune wounded or dead branches in the spring.
Frost damage in plants results from the liquid inside individual cells freezing and forming ice crystals. The crystals then rupture the tough cell walls. When the cell walls open the fluid inside will not be contained so when the ice melts the fluids simply drain out. This can cause blackening, curling and leaf drop of leaves and twigs. In worse cases, frost can result in sudden death of flowers, buds, or foliage.
- Pay attention to the micro climates within your own yard.
- The coldest spots in a yard are large areas of open ground that are exposed to the sky, and low spots like hollows where cold air will sink. Try avoiding planting anything tender in these areas, or, be ready to cover them on really cold nights.
- The warmest spots are on the south side of the house.
- Overhangs, lath structures and evergreen branches provide nice cover from frost. If you can, move your plants to these sheltered areas.
- If plants are in rolling containers, move them indoors during really cold nights.
- If your plants are permanent, or too large to be moved, cover them with a cardboard box, sheets, or burlap, but don't allow the material covers to rest on leaves, they will the burn foliage. To keep materials off the plant's foliate, drive stakes in around the plant to create a temporary shelter that the material can be draped over. Remember to remove the covers during the day.
- Don't use plastic covers as they can smother a plant.
- Broad-leafed evergreens do better if they are watered well before the ground freezes, and then apply a thick mulch to protect plant's roots. Remove the mulch in the spring when temperatures begin to increase.
Sun scald is the freezing of bark following high temperatures in the winter season, resulting in permanent visible damage to bark. Fruits may also be damaged. Symptoms of sun scald include bark splitting, leaves browning, or blackening, dieback or general plant decline.
The treatment of sun scalding is fundamentally simple: reduce the intensity of the sun, or block the sun completely.
The most common method used to prevent sun scalding on the trunks of trees is to wrap the tree up to the first branch with white paper overlapping approximately thirty three percent each time around the tree. The paper should be applied after the tree has gone dormant for the winter and taken off before it becomes active again. If the paper is left on too long it can interfere with the growth of the tree and harbor insects that may damage the tree.
Painting the tree white has the same effect as wrapping, although it is a permanent change to the color of the tree. Tree paint can be found at your local hardware or garden center.
The amount of light a tree receives on its southwest side is correlated with the amount of sun scald the tree endures. You might want to reduce the amount of light the tree is exposed to by planting a shrub or bush strategically to shade the southwest side.
General Winter Stress Tips
- Remove annuals before first hard frost.
- Wrap young thin barked trees to protect against problems with animals and sun scald.
- Cover evergreens with burlap to prevent sun scald.
- Adequately water all the trees, shrubs and evergreens, especially the new plants, before the ground becomes frozen.
- Fertilize the trees and shrubs in the fall to help maintain good plant vigor and health.
- Maintain soil moisture by mulching at a 2 to 3" depth.
- Prune damaged or dead wood in spring after plants break dormancy.