Time to aerate your lawn

Time to aerate your lawn. Run your irrigation system first and mark any heads that could be damaged by aeration. Then aerate & overseed your lawn. This opens up the root zone for air, water and nutrients to penetrate and stimulate growth.  The best time to aerate is August 15th to September 20th to allow plenty of time for seed germination and establishment before the weather cools and the grass hardens off for winter.  Water several days prior to aerating to open up the soil.  After aerating and seeding continue to water enough to keep the seed wet.

Fairy Ring Fungus in lawn

To the right is fairy ring fungus in a lawn.  This is the least severe or Type III Fairy Ring.  Making sure the lawn is fertilized regularly, aerate and overseed, and irrigate lawn to maintain soil moisture.  This fungus gets is name from the circle of mushrooms (children were told they appeared because fairies danced there).  A fungicide application may be appropriate and is best applied in subsequent years as a prevention for impacted lawns.

Thatch and dethatch

Thatch is living material that is part of the growth of bluegrass in lawns.  An amount of thatch is normal in a lawn.  In the photo above, my finger is pressed down on the thatch layer that is growing over the top of the soil.  If soil is compacted or if the natural process of the lawn to consume thatch is compromised excessive thatch may build up.  If excessive that builds up, up to 1/2 or 3/4 inch or more, the best solution is to core aerate the area that has excessive thatch.  Regularly dethatching a lawn each spring usually is not necessary and will lead to other issues like increased summer annual weeds and will force the lawn to repair itself in the spring instead of tillering and building density.  Follow this link to UMASS on thatch management.

Leave the lawn clippings!

Why is the Boston area obsessed with removing lawn clippings?  No, granular fertilizer cannot be removed by mowing it.  You should always leave your clippings on your lawn.  Lawn clippings are mostly nitrogen and water and should be left to make your lawn healthier.  Don’t bag the clippings, don’t let your landscaper bag the clippings.  Clippings don’t lead to thatch and are not thatch.  If you have clumps of clippings in the lawn after mowing hit them with a rake or blower to disburse them.

Don’t take my word for it, follow this link to the UMASS fact sheet on good turf care.

Springing up! Time for soil tests, first lawn applications and planning maintenance.

Spring temperatures are here in eastern Massachusetts. We are pulling soil tests and putting down the first applications of the year. Hold off on seeding until temperatures get warmer, usually mid – May is a good time is you must seed in the spring. Only seed bare dirt, salt or plow damaged areas. Any disruptive seeding to existing lawn and turf areas should wait until August. When mowing starts – Sharp blades, Cut high and frequently (not on hot afternoons), always leave the clippings, clippings are not thatch. Water deeply and infreqently when the soil needs it.

Bulbs rise up.

Pestcast – Lawn, Mice & Horror Stories

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Finally a chance to put our knowledge out in an audio only format.  For people that like to learn new things on the move, our Pestcast podcast may be the ticket to learning something about pest control and lawn care.

Springtails! Snow Fleas!

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A favorite spring insect, snow fleas or springtails, are making themselves known outside right now.  These ground pepper sized insects flick their tails and jump to amazing heights.  This jumping action is what gets them confused with fleas.  This insect, pictured here from under a microscope, loves the cool wet conditions of spring.  They are often seen most clearly jumping over a patch of snow in a sunny lawn.  Don’t worry, these tiny insects will not bite.

Plan for spring – Get ready to test your soil.

Plan for spring! Get ready to test your soil and plan your garden. Here in New England you may see your grass and garden again soon as the snow melts over the next two weeks. Plan on running a soil test if you haven’t in the past 2 years, or ever. Pulling and preparing a sample for shipment to the soil test laboratory is easy or call us and we will be happy to handle it for you. For do it yourselfers-start with a clean bucket and clean small garden spade to take samples 3 to 6 inches deep for turf or 6 to 8 inches deep for gardens and ornamental beds. Use a random walk around the sample area to pull around 12 samples, mix them up, let them dry on a plain piece of paper, then mix them again and put a cup into a sandwich bag to mark with your sample id and send to the lab.

Your feedback and reviews are appreciated!

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Thank you Mindy for the great review.  We appreciate your taking the time to give us feedback.  Our only purpose is to have satisfied customers.  We want to hear from you if you are not happy and always stand behind our work with our money back guarantee on our service.  Review us on Google+ if you haven’t already!

Lawn & Plant Health Care Renewals

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Organic Lawn Care Service

Spring is coming.  Lawn and plant health care renewal notifications are now in your mailbox or email box.  Prepay discounts continue this year with a 5% off for full season prepayment made by March 21st.  For customers with aeration that prepay for the season by January 31st take another $50 off the aeration service.  If you want to update your program or have any questions just call us or email renewals@greenhow.com.