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Four Best Practices for Late Summer and Early Fall Lawn Care

8/23/2016

As much as you hate to see it go, summer is coming to an end and fall will be here in less than a month. The actions you take now can affect your lawn’s winter survival and how early or late it turns green next spring.
 
Overseeding
This is especially important if your lawn suffered any type of permanent injury due to dry conditions earlier in the year. Overseeding and re-sodding those areas will repair the damage, and mid-August to mid-September is the best time to do it.  To ensure a successful outcome, lightly work the seed into the soil. It should remain damp but not soggy. You can cut down on watering once the seeds begin germinating and emerging from the soil.

Fertilizing
The time right around Labor Day is ideal to apply fertilizer to your lawn. That is because the majority of the fertilizer applied goes straight into your grass. Putting down approximately one pound of nitrogen helps to sustain and support active growth through late fall.
 
Aeration
September is a good time to complete core aeration, particularly if you notice significant compaction problems with your lawn. This process pulls cores from the soil and spreads them onto your lawn or a soil surface. Additional aeration in the soil allows for greater root growth in addition to improving the soil microbial. Your grass will be in better shape to withstand foot traffic and other normal activities for the rest of the season.

Thatch Control
Thatch is a brown fibrous material that builds up between grass plant shoots and the soil surface. It contains both living and non-living materials. It develops from the normal sloughing off process of the plant roots as well as other parts of the grass that have decayed and died. However, it does not contain any grass clippings. Having a thatch build-up of more than half an inch threatens the health of your lawn.
 
The Lawnsmith is Available for These and Other Seasonal Chores
The end of summer is a busy time for most families. Maybe you're still trying to squeeze in a vacation before the kids head back to school in a few weeks or you're just want to enjoy what little free time you have. The Lawnsmith offers all of these lawn care services in addition to several others. When it gets closer to the end of fall, keep us in mind for fall clean-up services as well. 

Photo Credit: Atlantic_Adv / Getty Images


 

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Pull Weeds the Right Way

8/1/2016

Weed pulling is one of those jobs that no one especially enjoys, but it must be done for the health of your lawn and garden. Before you start, we recommend viewing this guide from the University of Minnesota Extension so you don't incorrectly identify something as a weed. Once you're sure about what you want to pull, gather a pair of gardening gloves and a spade or small shovel for the job. You will probably want to have a small bucket or trash bag handy as well.

Some Considerations Before You Get Started
It is important to know your own limitations and to stay safe while completing the task of pulling weeds. To avoid the pain of sunburn and the risk of skin cancer, make sure that you apply sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 15 to all uncovered skin. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with ultraviolet ray protection further insulate you from the damages of the sun.
 
Additionally, it's important to know if you're allergic to toxic plants or insect bites so you can take immediate action if you come in contact with either of these. Pulling weeds can be hard on the back, so be sure to take frequent breaks to avoid an injury. Placing a small pillow underneath your knees helps to make the task more comfortable as well.
 
Ready, Set, Pull
Your task will be much easier if you pull weeds after a good rain when the ground is still damp. With a gloved hand, grab the base of the weed as far down as possible. With a firm grip on the bottom of the weed, pull it sharply out of the ground. If the weed doesn't dislodge easily, loosen the soil around its base with a pointed garden tool. Once you have pulled the last weed, dispose of them promptly to prevent the seeds from being re-introduced to your lawn or garden.
 
Leave the Weed Pulling to The Lawnsmith
If you're not up to this task, no problem. We offer hand weeding as a one-time or ongoing service. Our crew also provides you with useful information to prevent the weeds from returning, such as recommending RoundUp or a similar product. Contact us today to let us know how we can help. 

 

Photo Credit: Jari Hindstrom / Getty Images

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