Jason's Blog

What Is A Self-Fertilizing Lawn In Norfolk?

self-fertilizing-Lawn.jpgYou care so much about the environment and choosing organic options for yourself and your family members. Did you know that you have the option to go that route with your lawn care as well? Sustainability and limiting chemical exposure to yourself, your family, and your pets are reasons why you should consider a self fertilizing lawn. Your local Norfolk lawn care professional, Distinctive Landscaping, can show you how their organic lawn care program eliminates the need for traditional chemical lawn treatment.

Using fertilizers, weed killers, and insecticides around pets may not kill them, but they can make your animals sick if they get into the bags where those chemicals are stored. Some insecticides for roses have bone meal, blood meal, or fish meal mixed into them that may attract dogs. If the dog eats them, you may be saddled with a large vet bill as the animal could form a hard substance in their body near the pancreas. This will cause diarrhea and vomiting. Snail bait and rodenticides are also very dangerous if animals and children get into them.

Fortunately, there are several options for treating pests without dangerous chemicals. Eco-friendly herbicides contain ingredients such as corn gluten, vinegar, plant oils, and fatty acids. It is relatively simple to make your own insecticides with materials such as liquid soap and water, red pepper, garlic powder, and onion. Another organic option is to use diatomaceous earth to dehydrate and kill crawling insects when you are practicing fertilizing lawn care. For more information on creating homemade pest control, check out Mother Earth Living.

There are a few techniques that you can use on your lawn to make it self fertilizing. The first involves setting your mower blade to the correct height for your grass type, which is generally 3-4 inches. If you cut the lawn too short (known as "scalping,") more light will reach the soil. This damages the lawn and encourages weeds to grow. Watering properly (infrequently and deeply) discourages crab grass. You should consider leaving grass clippings on the lawn because they are full of nutrients and nitrogen that help nourish your lawn. They can help improve the soil, especially if your lawn is low in organic materials or if it is sandy. Mowing when the lawn is dry is important as it eliminates the clumps of clippings that you may be tempted to remove.

Monitoring insects, soil, and turf health and taking appropriate action will help you develop a healthy lawn. If you feel uncomfortable with taking on fertilizing lawn care yourself, then you should get advice from a landscape professional in the Norfolk area.

Jason Scott, MLCP, CSP, is the President of Distinctive Landscaping, Inc. He started his business with a few customers and basic equipment in the 1990's. Today, he holds many accreditations and certifications. The Northeast Organic Farming Association has accredited him as an organic land care provider because of his passion for sustainability. His company has a whole systems approach to their organic lawn care program. He uses cultural programs to grow healthy grass, and builds soil health to eliminate the need for synthetic pesticides. You may visit http://www.redtrucks.net/ for more information and to fill out a request for a quote.

Tags: self-fertilizing lawn

4 Simple Steps To Fix A Yellow Grass Lawn In Wrentham

There is nothing pleasant about a yellow lawn or yellow spots on your turf. They not only look nasty, but a damaged grass lawn just doesn't feel soft and healthy under your feet. Your turf may turn yellow from deficiencies, diseases, pests, over-fertilizing, chemical damage, and pet urine. If you take action immediately when you notice your lawn yellowing, you can soon return it to health. Everyone wants to enjoy a lush grass lawn, and with a little prevention, myellow-grass-lawn.jpgintenance and troubleshooting, you can have a beautiful carpet of turf around your home.

Yellowing Due to Deficiencies

Soil tests can help you determine if the yellowing of your lawn is due to a lack of iron or nitrogen. A good plant food or balanced fertilizer can remedy this problem. If you have an excess of weeds mixed in with your grass, the nutrients may be sucked away from your lawn. Taking action to make sure your lawn is getting enough sunshine and has good drainage can lessen damage from weeds. Living in a winter climate where salt is used to combat icy roads can cause damage and yellowing in your turf. In the spring, you should water heavily to flush away salt from the soil, rake away any dead grass, and re-seed bare or thin areas. If you are going to re-seed, make sure temperatures are above 35 degrees at night, soil is well-drained and warm, and that you've raked away any dead grass.

Dealing with Diseases and Pests

Fungal diseases are the most common culprits in yellowing your grass lawn. Mold and fungus will leave powdery-white, black, or orange spores. If you have active fungus in your lawn, you should collect grass clippings to discourage the growth of this disease. You may choose to apply a fungicide and approach your lawn care with a cultural lawn care program. Pests are another reason why lawns turn yellow. Some common pests that you may find in your yard include:

  • Sod web-worms
  • Chinch bugs
  • Bluegrass billbugs
  • White grubs

Once you have determined which pest or pests are attacking your lawn, you can apply an insecticide that is specially formulated for that particular insect.

Over-Fertilizing, Chemical Damage and Pet Urine

When you are fertilizing your lawn, check to see if the spreader is calibrated to properly distribute the fertilizer. You may also have yellow lawn spots if you do not apply the fertilizer in the correct pattern. When you turn the spreader be careful so you do not over-apply fertilizer in the same area. If you use gasoline, salt, herbicides, oil, or any other chemicals near your lawn, make sure they aren't getting into the turf. This is another situation that will turn your grass lawn yellow. Anyone with a pet, especially a dog, knows that urine creates yellow spots if you let them pee in the grass. The only way to prevent this problem is to train them to eliminate in a specific area that will not damage your yard. Some yellow spot damage to your grass lawn may look like it is caused by dog pee, but you should check for pests and deficiencies if you do not let your dog in those areas or have any dogs roaming the neighborhood.

You may find all this information overwhelming and out of your area of expertise. If you need help with yellowing of your grass lawn in Wrentham, contact Distinctive Landscaping, Inc. Jason Scott, president of the company, holds many certifications and has over 20 years of experience in the industry.

Tags: yellow grass lawn

Mansfield Lawn Fertilizing For The Spring - Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Healthy And Green

One secret to keeping your lawn healthy and green is fertilizing — especially in the springtime. There are several reasons why you should research lawn fertilizing. Even if you choose not to do it yourself, it's wise to understand what fertilizer is anspring-lawn-fertilizing.jpgd the benefits of using it. You can achieve healthy turf by developing a program for lawn fertilizing or by working with a landscape professional who can customize a treatment plan for your yard. When to fertilize and how often are equally important facts to know for the health of your lawn. Organic fertilization is an option if living green and sustainability are important to you. If you feel uncomfortable about treating your lawn with fertilizer yourself, you should seek the help of your local qualified landscape professional.

The Benefits of Using Fertilizer

  • Weed growth is limited when you use fertilizer. If your grass is thick and healthy, it will naturally inhibit weed growth.
  • If you have installed new turf, part of the responsibility of maintaining it and making sure it thrives is to use fertilizer.
  • A tidy yard. When root growth is thick due to healthy grass, your yard has less of a chance of developing muddy puddles.

What a Good Lawn Fertilization Program May Contain

Whether you choose to do it yourself or opt for a lawn care company, a good lawn fertilizing plan may contain the following treatments:

  • Treatments with pelletized lime and granular fertilizing
  • Control of crabgrass
  • Eliminating and preventing grubs
  • Weed control (if needed)
  • Insect control (if needed)

Timing Is Important

During your lawn's active growth period, you should apply lawn fertilizing about once every six to eight weeks. If you are applying fertilizer yourself, then divide the yearly amount of fertilizer needed by the number of applications you plan to do (usually two will be in the spring, and two or three in the late summer to fall.) This will result in lush lawn growth. If you want to reduce the number of times you need to mow, then you should only fertilize once in the spring and once in the fall. If you decide to have a landscape professional take care of your turf, consult with them about the lawn fertilization program that is right for you and your yard.

Organic Lawn Fertilizer Options

A professional landscape company that provides the option to go with organic lawn care options will likely analyze your soil and provide you with custom options. A good program will include an approach to the entire system, building your soil health, eliminating pesticides (synthetic), and growing healthy grass through cultural methods. This creates turf that succeeds against weeds and grubs.

The benefit to going with an organic option is the elimination of chemical pesticides. This removes the need to have the chemical warning flags in your yard and makes it safe for children and pets to play on the grass. Your lawn care professional should have some certification or training to show you that they are familiar with the scientific methods behind organic lawn care and lawn fertilizing.

Tags: Lawn Fertilizing

Franklin Spring Lawn Care - The 3 Things You Need To Do For Your Lawn This Spring

spring-lawn-care.jpgA little planning and maintenance this spring will result in a healthy lawn for you to enjoy during warmer months of the year. Below are three things that are essential to Spring Lawn Care. After Winter is over, it is important to clean up your yard. You should also monitor your lawn for pests may that weaken and damage your lawn. Including a Fertilization program provides you with lawn protection from insects and weeds, and will help kick start your lawn into the Spring.

1. Spring Clean up for Your Yard

You may want to have a checklist for Spring maintenance and care. Your plant beds and yard should be raked of debris and dead leaves. Doing this helps your turf receive needed air and sunshine; it may also prevent disease and insects from invading. You may have plants that need to be cut back. Your turf should be examined for sand contamination and winter debris. If snow plows have caused damage to your yard, you should repair the turf as soon as possible. Weeds may infiltrate the grooves if you leave the damage, downgrading the look of your yard. If any or all these tasks are more than you are able or willing to take on, then you should contact a landscape professional for help with your Spring lawn care.

2. Monitoring Your Lawn: Insects and Weeds

Grubs can weaken and damage your lawn. White grubs (including: Japanese beetle grubs, Asiatic garden beetles, European chafers, and Oriental beetles,) are active during April, May, and late summer into fall. Grubs are usually shaped like a letter C, and have a brown head with a cream colored body. They will have three pairs of legs. If you want to sample your yard for grubs, dig a square out of your turf that is about six inches on the side and around four to six inches deep. You should then place the piece of sod upside down, breaking up soil and roots. Pull grubs out of the soil and count them. Grubs should be easy to find as they are about a half inch long. Healthy turf can manage with 8-10 grubs per square foot without weakening.

There is an old saying that goes: "Weeds are the result of a poor turf, not the cause of a poor turf." If you have an infestation, it is showing that you have one or more issues contributing to turf health and vigor doing poorly. There are a few different techniques you can use to minimize weeds aside from fertilizer chemicals. Increasing the height of your mowing blades so that less light gets to the weeds will discourage growth. Aeration and over-seeding with desirable grasses are two other ways to eliminate weeds. Proper irrigation techniques also keep weeds under control as some grow best in hot and dry conditions. You should be careful not to over water as this encourages weed encroachment with other weed types.

3. Implement a Fertilization Program

It is important to understand fertilizer labels if you are going to treat your lawn yourself as a part of your spring lawn care. A proper fertilizer should have a combination of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. To treat your turf, you should have the following information: the square footage of the turf you want to treat, the rate of recommended application, and the analysis of the fertilizer. If you do not feel qualified or confident about using fertilizer on your lawn, a qualified lawn care professional can help you create a lush and healthy turf.

Tags: Spring Lawn Care

Get Your North Attleboro Yard Ready for Spring With These Valuable Landscape Maintenance Services

Spring cleaning is not just for your indoor living spaces. Landscape maintenance is important to get your 100_00251-resized-166.jpgyard ready for spring. Debris and leaves should be cleared out from under bushes and trees to give your yard a tidy look. Flower beds and gardens need to be raked as well. Certain plants such as perennials and roses should be cut back. Lawns and mulch should be cleaned of winter debris. Sand contamination should be managed, and your yard may need turf repair because of plow damage. A landscape maintenance professional has the skills to help you complete these tasks so your yard is ready for spring.

Dead foliage and leaves can smother your plants and encourage disease. If you have dead annuals in your flower beds, those need to be pulled up and discarded to make room for new plants. Sometimes, old mulch may need to be removed and new mulch placed in plant beds. Hand raking is usually done in smaller beds. It is usually a good idea to put down a fertilizer that is designed for your current plantings. When bulbs flower, a special formula of fertilizer should be applied to extend the bloom time and encourage growth for the following year.

This is also a good time to secure any drip irrigation lines that may have come loose, and to have the borders of your plant beds maintained so grass won't grow into them — and they will have a clean edge.

If you have any of the following plants, you should wait to prune them until late spring (after they have bloomed): rhododendron, forsythia, and lilac. The reason why you want to prune (or cut) perennials and roses is that dead, diseased, and damaged stems can attract insects. They also invite diseases to develop or spread, which can kill the plant.

Sand, salt, and ash are some of the materials used by road crews during the winter to battle snow and ice on the roads. Some of this material migrates into your lawn and can cause problems. Spring is a perfect time to have a landscape maintenance professional look at your yard and evaluate its health. They should be able to remove sand contamination from your yard.

Snow plow operators generally try not to do damage to homeowners yards. Sometimes the damage just happens as a part of these important individuals doing their job. Damage to your turf is not difficult to repair, usually. One option for fixing this issue is to contact your local town government office and find out if they can come to repair the damage. If the maintenance crews have a long list of things they have to do, your yard may not be repaired for a while. Weeds may start to develop while you are waiting, and this makes the repair more difficult and time-consuming. Depending on the damage, those areas of your lawn may need re-seeding or new sod placed.

Getting your yard ready for spring is an important part of presenting your home at its best. Landscape maintenance professionals can help you with all the tasks that have to be done when you are "spring cleaning" your plant beds and lawn. They also have the knowledge and expertise to keep the turf and plants on your property healthy for years to come.