Consumer Information Bulletins

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Each year we mail and email the Massachusetts Consumer Information Bulletins for pest control, termite control, lawn care and plant health care to all our active customers.
If you did not receive one, or would like another copy, please follow this link to the Pesticide Consumer Information Bulletin web page.

Sean Greenhow
Greenhow, Inc

Snow Mold

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These photos were from a customer site from Thursday, March 3rd. You can see snow mold in this photo where half the yard on the south side of the home was still covered in snow. This area was uncovered and green, but heavily marked with snow mold. Check out this fact sheet on snow mold from UMASS for further information.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

As leaves start to fall, consider composting them

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In small urban lots, it can be difficult, but try to compost as many leaves as possible. Two primary ways to compost is either pile composting at a composter or for leaves on the lawn area, mow the leaves every few days to keep up with them and mulch the leaves into the lawn. This mowing, combined with fall fertilization will have the benefits of adding organic matter to your lawn. Michigan State has great information on mulching leaves, available online here.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Soil Test for Lawn Success

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Use a soil test to determine what deficiencies may exist in the soil. Soil is made up of a combination of sand, silt, clay, air, water and organic matter. Organic matter is the universal soil improver, helping the soil hold moisture and nutrients. Key results we look at are the soil pH, the ratio of calcium to magnesium and level of calcium and the the important Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). The CEC is a measure of the soil’s ability to hold and exchange cations such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Also important, the Percent Base Saturation (next to the CEC on the UMASS Soil Test Report) shows values for potassium (target 2 to 5%), magnesium (target 10 to 15%) and calcium (target 65 to 75%).
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Soil Conditioner

Aerations are underway at many customer lawns. If you are considering aerating your lawn, make sure you also overseed at the same time. An additional step that can vastly improve your lawn is the addition of soil conditioner. A soil conditioner can be many different types, and is used to improve drainage while improving water retention. We use the Turface brand soil conditioner, specifically Emerald Field and Fairway to permanently improve soil conditions at customer sites.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Aerate for Healthy Soil

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We are approaching the time of year for core aeration and overseeding. Core aeration is a process using a machine to remove core plugs from a lawn area. Removing the plugs of soil relieves compaction and allows air to circulate into the root system. Usually the lawn is overseeded at the same time. Seeds will achieve soil contact in the holes opened up by the aerator. The plugs are left on the lawn and break down quickly. In very compact areas a double pass with the aerator at perpendicular angles will provide additional compaction relief. Core aeration on a residential lawn is critical to a healthy lawn care program (especially organic lawn care) and should be done each year or every other year, usually in the fall.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Calculating rain for the rain barrels…

When speaking to a customer today, I was reminded that a common question is, ‘how much water can I collect in a rain barrel?’ Here is a simple formula that will get you close to the amount. Generally each inch of rain yields a half a gallon per square foot. So a 20×30 Cape style home has 600 square feet of catchable area, or 300 gallons in a 1 inch storm. Divide that by the number of downspouts to get approximate yield at the downspout, or 75 gallons in this example per downspout. In the Boston market, we recieve around 40 to 55 inches of rain each year, with around 30 to 40 inches occuring during the catchment time of year (spring to fall). Remember, rain water is a great addition to an organic lawn care or plant health program.

Green pest control in the news…., look at this article from the Lowell Sun on Green Pest Control.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

GreenHow, Mexico.

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Occasionally we recieve a call for the unrelated business of GreenHow, Mexico, which offers high quality fertilizers and technical service for customers in Mexico from their facility in Guadalajara. Visit the link above for commercial and agricultural applications south of the Rio Grande. This business is not related to our Boston, Massachusetts based lawn care, pest control and termite control company.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Leave the clippings.

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For quality lawn care, as summer begins, finally, it is time to raise mowing heights to 3″ or higher, and try to leave the clippings on the lawn or turf. It is important to leave the clippings to reduce fertilizer use by returning nitrogen back to the soil. Leaving clippings can add as much as one lb of nitrogen per year. Contrary to popular belief, it does not increase thatch.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Fungus

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Many Boston Area lawns have brown or yellow splotches and circles on them, after a week of mostly wet weather including rain days and cool nights in the upper 40’s and low 50’s. The suspects? Many customers rightly say the grass looks stressed or burned but they know water is not the issue. Other customers have said they suspects insects, but grubs probably haven’t caused that kind of damage yet, more toward July and August. In most cases we have inspected, the cause is fungus. There are many lawns with brown patch or yellow patch and red thread. Against intuition, these areas affected tend to be the sunnier parts of the lawn. The reason, according to Craig Heffron from John Deere Landscapes, the temperature in these areas is high enough to incubate the fungus. Cultural controls are critical for fungi, illustrating the importance of balanced lawn fertility, and proper maintenance practices.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.