In March of last year, Bayer sponsored a webinar called Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow, where associate professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, Cale Bigelow, provided a discussion of current and future trends in management of soil properties for maximum turf health. Watch the full webinar to learn more about the chemical, physical and biological aspects of soil health in turf!
If you think winter means you’re off the hook for lawn care and maintenance, think again. Here are the supplies you’ll need on hand for the coming winter to ensure your lawn not only survives, but is ready to thrive come spring.
If you don’t fertilize your lawn year-round, you’ll want to make sure to give it a good winterizing fertilizer in the fall. That’s a formulation that has a lot of potassium, which will help feed it all winter long.
Fall is also a great time to seed your lawn, so you want to make sure you have grass seed on hand. Alternately, you may want to look into overseeding services, such as those offered by Noon Turf Care.
As winter approaches, you’ll also want to continue mowing your lawn with your trusty mower, but don’t clip it quite as low as you would earlier in the year.
And, finally, you’ll need a rake to gather fallen leaves and other debris. If you leave anything on your lawn throughout the winter, it can suffocate the grass, which means you’ll have a dead lawn come springtime.
The arrival of fall means preparing your lawn for winter with a winterizing fertilizer, aeration, etc. However, once nighttime temperatures drop below freezing, there are other things homeowners need to remember. And, namely, that includes not walking on your grass after a frost. It may mean a longer route to the newspaper in the morning, but it will be well worth it.
That’s because each blade of grass has liquid inside of its cells, which temporarily freezes during nighttime frost. When you then walk on the grass, the ice within those plant cells actually pierces through the cell walls and does great damage to the plant overall. You can sometimes actually see the damage left behind by footprints or tire tracks and yellow, dying grass.
Your best bet, therefore, is to wait until the frost has thawed and the grass has returned to normal. At that point, you can once again walk wherever you want.
Raking leaves off the lawn is good exercise, to be sure, but it’s hard for many of us to work up the oomph to actually go out and do it thanks to painful memories of this back-breaking chore. Leaving the leaves on your lawn all winter, however, is definitely the bigger of two evils. That’s because leaves can actually suffocate your lawn if left piled up on it, blocking out the sun and oxygen. Long-term leaf piles can also lead to fungal diseases.
The good news is that you’re not necessarily stuck with just raking. Many lawn mowers these days come with mulch attachments that can be used to easily remove the leaves and create a thin layer of fertilizer.
Another easy way to remove leaves is with a power blower. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these devices, you can simply lay out a tarp and blow the leaves onto it and carry the tarp away.
And, of course, there’s good old fashioned raking. If you use one of these latter two methods, you can collect the leaves for a compost pile.
Fall is the perfect time to ensure your lawn is ready for the long winter ahead. There are several steps you need to take to prepare and lawn care experts like the pros at Noon Turf Care are happy to help.
You need to find a good winterizing fertilizer, which is high in potassium. This is a more balanced fertilizer than a turf builder and is your best bet if you only fertilize your lawn once a year. However, if you’ve been feeding your lawn all year, you’re less likely to need to worry about winterizing.
And, if you live in New England, you likely have a cool season grass like bluegrass, which has its peak growing season in the fall. This grass in particular benefits from a fall feeding as that’s when it, like you, is preparing itself for winter. This means top growth slows and it begins storing nutrients. Therefore, fertilizing can help a lawn shore up nutrients for the months ahead.
In addition to fertilizing, you should also consider aerating and mowing your lawn as part of the winterizing process. Just make sure you don’t mow your lawn too short as the weather cools. You also want to make sure to rake up any of those beautiful autumn leaves that fall as debris does not break down as quickly in the winter and can actually suffocate your lawn.
Fall is the ideal time of year to enhance and protect your lawn. Find and invest in the right tools to ensure that your fall lawn is prepared for winter’s harsh weather and ready for springtime growth. First, we recommend taking advantage of the fall’s mild weather to aerate, reseed and fertilize your lawn, allowing the new grass to take hold before winter’s frost. Manual aerators are an affordable and easy-to-use tool that will ready your soil for seeding and fertilization. A spreader is a cost-effective tool for seeding and fertilizing your lawn before the leaves begin to fall. Once you are dealing with the presence of falling leaves, invest in a sturdy plastic or steel rake to last for countless seasons of lawn clearing. Pair with wide-mouthed leaf bags to prevent the heavy weight of wet leaves from damaging your lawn in the spring. Another option is to invest in a mulching blade for your lawn mower, which will chop the leaves into a fine mulch that can actually invigorate your grass and soil without the hassle of raking and bagging leaves.
Curb appeal is a home care essential. While many homeowners focus on maintaining and upgrading their home’s interior, the exterior is often the victim of the bare-minimum approach. Helping your lawn and greenery reach their full potential is a key part of achieving maximum curb appeal. A lush lawn, bold flowers, trimmed shrubs and a weed-free landscape is the perfect way to welcome visitors into your home. Any real estate agent will tell you that curb appeal is one of the most important determinants of a potential buyer’s first and last impression. Whether they pass over your home or schedule a showing can be as simple as asking, “Does this yard look welcoming and well-loved, or does it look like an unkempt hassle?” Your lawn is one of the most affordable ways to increase your home value. You don’t need a construction crew, building permits or expensive equipment. A quick call to your professionals at Noon Turf Care will give you a to-do list for do-it-yourselfers or a complete lawn makeover for those without a green thumb. Tackle any lawn concerns before putting your house on the market, or increase curb appeal on your forever home.
Lawn care may seem complicated, but it’s simple at its core. The fall is the best time of year to seed, water and nourish your yard, with its warm days and cool evenings. At Noon Turf Care, we recommend planning ahead and preparing for the fall as early as August, so that you can take advantage of September and October’s perfect weather. There are three actions we have found most effective in readying your lawn for spring: aeration, over-seeding and fertilizing. Before beginning the planning process, test your lawn’s pH every three to four years. This affordable test will help you determine which nutrients your lawn needs to reach optimal health. Aerate your lawn before seeding and fertilizing. Aeration opens up your lawn, allowing it to accept the newly planted seeds and nutrients you spread during the fall. It will reduce the stress of the summer’s difficult weather and make it easier for oxygen to reach the root zone. From aerated soil comes a denser, stronger lawn, the best way to combat and eliminate weeds. Next, plan ahead to over-seed in September by spraying a weed killer in August, followed by using a power rake in the desired seeding areas to best prepare the ground. As you choose your seed, use the pH-based recommendations from Noon Turf Care to select the best fertilizer to facilitate the growth of new, thicker, greener grass in your yard.
Although red thread disease is most severe in the spring and fall, the pathogen can develop during any time of the year when the weather is cool and wet. The disease leaves irregular patches of tan/yellowing grass. From afar, however, affected areas tend to appear reddish in color due to the growth of stromata, thick red fibers of fungus stemming from infected leaves. After infecting the grass, the stromata can sustain in soil for two years. Once they are fully germinated, the stromata spreads by infecting neighboring grass leaf blades through their stomata, tiny openings typically located on the outer layer of the leaf’s skin. When humidity is high and leaves are wet, Mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus, begins to grow as small, fuzzy pink clusters where the grass blades meet. After extended periods of time, red thread may develop further, and patches may merge to form large areas of diseased grass. If you think your grass may be victim to red thread, contact Noon Turf Care to have a specialist provide you with a personalized action plan. For more information on red thread, check out http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/diseases/Red_Thread.aspx.
The 2014 edition of UMass Extension’s Professional Guide for IPM in Turf for Massachusetts is AVAILABLE NOW in a new electronic, web-based format. The guide is intended for use by professionals as a tool in the management of all types of turf: from roadsides and utility areas, to lawns, to fine playing surfaces.
The freshly revised 2014 edition features the latest techniques critical to environmentally responsible, integrated management of turf pests.The guide contains research-based strategies for turf grass selection, as well as comprehensive pest management guidelines and pesticide regulation compliance information. Alternative and cultural pest control options are highlighted, and advice on pesticide use is based on minimal impact to non-target organisms, natural resources and human health.
While some aspects of discussions such as turfgrass selection, timing of management practices and pesticide regulations are specific to Massachusetts, much of the material presented is pertinent to the management of cool-season grasses throughout the Northeast and beyond. Some of the updated, distinctive pieces of information you will find in the 2014 Professional Guide include:
- latest recommended turfgrass cultivars for MA, based on NTEP data
- cultural management approaches for turf diseases
- revised fungicide listings with resistance management tools
- biological management of turf damaging insects
- efficacy, residual, and optimal timing for turf insecticides
- monitoring and management of turf weeds
- detailed herbicide profile listings
- turf pest damage & cultural practice timing calendars
- updated MA pesticide regulation compliance information
Visit https://extension.umass.edu/turf/proguide to access the guide right now!