Jason's Blog

Are you seeing this weed?: North Attleboro Landscaper

Lawn Care Tip: Bittercress in lawns and Landscapes


Have you noticed this unusual plant populating your lawns and Landscapes this spring?  I have noticed a significant amount this year over years past.  Weather playing a part?  I think so.  This unusual weather pattern has triggered different pests this spring that we are not used to working with.


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This winter annual weed is called bittercress.   Most prolific from late fall through early spring.  This weed is most problematic in propagation and overwintering. Despite being a winter annual, bittercress will germinate and grow throughout the year due to the cool environment provided by daily overhead irrigation. Plants form a small mounded clump generally 4 to 8 inches tall and wide.  However, during warm summer months, bittercress generally grow much smaller.  Often, many seedlings germinate in a small area so that they appear as a large, dense mat.


How to manage:  A typical season bittercress is hardly noticeable and fades away with the warm temperatures.  I would recommend mowing, hoeing or hand pulling these plants.  This will prevent the plant from spreading its seeds (catch it before it flowers) and becoming a larger problem.  This will control the plant without the need of chemical interference.


Ultimately, having a thick lush turf will be control enough for this weed and should consider aerating, topdressing and seeding these areas heavily later this summer.


As if the presence of bittercress weren't enough by itself, it also is a home for aphid


To read earlier Blog Posts click here Jason’s Blog 


Thank you for reading.  Distinctive Landscaping, Inc. is a North Attleboro Landscaper specializing in full service landscape care.  Please subscribe to our blog to ensure you don’t miss out!  

Tags: Landscape Maintenance, North Attleboro Landscape Maintenance, lawn care, Aeration, overseeding, lawn maintenance, Organic lawn care

Lawn Dethatching: Do You Really Need It?

Thatch as defined by Dr. James B. Beard is “a tightly intermingled layer of dead and living stems and roots that develops between the zone of green vegetation and the soil surface.”

Dethatching is an aggressive approach to removing thatch and should be done correctly and at the right time of year so that the lawn can recover.  Dethatching is not recommended annually.  If your thatch layer consistently needs to be addressed there are cultural practices that need to be changed i.e. fertilization, mowing practices.

A proper evaluation from a professional on whether or not your lawn needs dethatching is a pre-requisite.  We commonly field calls for dethatching from clients that simply want it done because they think it is the right thing to do.  A professional should follow the following criteria to determine whether or not you are indeed in need of Lawn Dethatching.

Your lawn evaluation should involve:

  1. Asking you about your current and historical lawn care practices i.e. watering, mowing, fertilization
  2. Providing a site visit to visual analyze the thickness of the thatch layer and the condition of your lawn.
  3. Bringing you on the lawn and report/show you what they have found.

Encouraging a natural process of breaking down thatch to provide organic matter to the soil is a recommended organic practice.  Healthy organic lawns have natural mechanisms in place to manage the thatch.  I read a great article from Phil Nauta encouraging organic practices to manage thatch

A good rule of thumb is ½” thatch layer.  Maintaining the correct thatch layer is key ingredient to a healthy lawn.  When the thatch layer exceeds that amount it can restricts the flow of water, nutrients, and air from moving from the soil to the air.

Tags: lawn care, Landscaping, Organic lawn care

Fall Mowing Service

North Attleboro LandscaperIf you are in an area where the onset of heavy leaves and a potential for snow accumulation is on the seasons agenda you'll want to mow low to about 2.5-2.75 inches.

Mowing low for fall will reduce the impact of snow mold and or matting.  A nice tight mowing will also help to keep the leaves from embedding themselves into your lawn and will likely blow right over.  Your neighbors may not appreciate this effort but could save you some raking...

Mowing low is a process and should never be accomplished in one cutting.  Take the height of your grass down in increments.  3.5", 3", 2.75" over the last few weeks. 

Avoid scalping and removing more than 1/3rd of the blade in any one mowing.



Tags: lawn care, Mowing Service, Lawn Mowing, Organic lawn care

North Attleboro Lawn Fertilization

Identifying and controlling White Clover in residential lawns.

White Clover is very apparent in lawns in late spring and early summer when they are producing their white blooms.  

The appearance of white clover is a low growing; mat forming; round, dark green leaves in groups of three; multiple white and pink-tinged flowers in late spring and early summer; soft stems and fleshy roots.

White clover will flourish in soils that are low in nitrogen and pH.  So a good Lawn Fertilization program will help control infestation.

Control: In an Organic Lawn Care Program you can just let it grow or add nitrogen, lime, compost.

Benefits: fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere; good nectar source 

In residential lawns white clover is easily controlled with some sound Lawn Mowing practices and lawn fertilization techniques.


Tags: lawn care, Organic lawn care