Do You Need to Lime the Lawn

Like most things in nature, the soil supporting your lawn (technically called turfgrass) must be in balance. In this case, the balance is a measure of pH or acidity. If your soil is too low on the pH scale, adding lime can help restore the balance and promote a healthier lawn. A quick understanding of the basics of pH, how to test your soil and when and how to apply lime are all you need to get started.

Why Use Lime?

Adding lime is the most common method of changing pH of the soil. Soil pH is a measure of a soil alkalinity or acidity. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Anything below 7.0 is acidic, and anything above is alkaline. Most turf grasses grow best with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If a soil tests lower than 5.5, it likely will benefit from added lime.

Soils can be naturally acidic but can also be acidified over time by natural leaching, the use of some nitrogen fertilizers, excessive rainfall or irrigation, and acidic water sources. Low pH affects microbial activity in soil, making nutrients less available to grass and other plants. As a result, turf declines. Common symptoms of low pH include loss of color, reduced vigor and diminished ability to recover from heat and drought stress.

Types of Lime

The lime you apply to a lawn is limestone or chalk. The main component is calcium carbonate. There are several types of lime, and a good soil test should tell you which type of lime you need.

Lime with a high calcium content is referred to as calcitic lime and has the benefit of adding calcium to the soil. Some limestone contains a significant amount of magnesium and is referred to as dolomitic lime. Dolomitic lime adds magnesium to the soil and could be used if soil tests indicate a magnesium deficiency.

Most types of lime can be applied with a standard lawn spreader.

How to Test Your Soil

You can buy DIY soil test kits at garden centers and hardware stores. A good kit costs about $15 to $20 and tests for pH as well as nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The accuracy of the results is difficult to predict, and the information may not tell you how much lime your lawn needs. For the same amount of money (and a little more time, perhaps 2 to 3 weeks), you can have your soil tested at a local extension service. Most university extensions test soil for about $10 to $20 and usually offer a much more detailed analysis of your soil’s composition and pH level.

Follow the extension’s instructions for gathering the soil sample. It’s usually best to gather multiple samples from each large lawn area and mix the samples for each area together before bagging it for testing. Be sure to let the tester know that you want to learn about liming your lawn Care. They will likely perform an SMP buffer test on your sample(s) to indicate how much lime to add.

When to Apply Lime

Lime can be applied to a lawn any time of year that soil isn’t frozen, but it is typically done during spring or fall. It’s best to apply lime after aerating the Lawn Service Brighton Township.

This aids absorption and allows some of the lime to reach deeper into the soil.

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Level out an Uneven Lawn With Topdressing

Areas of a lawn can become uneven over time, due to “settling” and other factors. In the least extreme cases, you will want to solve the problem by “topdressing,” which allows you to level out your lawn. Is this problem new to you? If you have never experienced it, you may need a brief introduction to it — and its solution — in order to understand what it is all about. The following exchange between a reader of my Landscaping website and a lawn care expert at Timberline Outdoor Services provides a case study that will help bring you up to speed.

The Problem: Low Spots Develop in a Lawn, Making the Surface Uneven

Reader, Springtime writes, “I have a lawn that was put on over a ledge where the house was build in 2006. Now the lawn is very uneven with dips in the surface that can twist your ankle while walking. The grass is in bad shape too and looks dead in places. One side of the lawn is sloping. What should I do?”

The Lawn Care Brighton Township has given answer to this question bellow:

The Solution: How Bad Are Those Low Spots?

Most of us enjoy our turf grass lawns as a great foundation for outdoor activity. Maintaining our lawns properly is very important, in part, to ensure safe and enjoyable outdoor activity. A lawn needs to be smooth to avoid injuries that might be caused from stepping on an uneven surface. Your grass is the “floor” of an outdoor living space, and floors need to provide stability.

A level and even lawn is also easier to maintain. Who wants to mow a lawn with low spots in it, right?

Not only is it uncomfortable (as when you drive your car over potholes), but it can also cause you to scalp the grass (because, as the mower drops down when the tires pass over low spots, the level of the mower blade also drops, plunging into the higher spots and cutting the grass there much too low).

So what is the solution to the problem of low spots? It really depends on the severity: are we talking about some minor depressions, extreme cratering, or something in between? The solution differs accordingly, which is why the response must be broken up into three parts, which we will term Methods 1, 2, and 3: Landscaping Brighton Township.

Method 1 — Leveling Out a Mildly Uneven Lawn by Topdressing

Topdressing the low spots works well for leveling mildly uneven areas; it is the least invasive approach. Here is what to do:

  1. According to the Lawn Mowing Brighton Township, in a wheelbarrow or similar container, mix up a batch of topsoil, sand, and compost — basically, a soil medium that can support turfgrass growth.
  2. Apply 1/2 inch of this soil mixture on top of the low areas. Do not make it deeper than that, because this approach must be gradual, so that you do not smother the grass.
  3. Rake the topdressing to spread it out evenly.
  4. With a push-broom, work the soil mixture in between the blades of grass as thoroughly as possible.
  5. Monitor the progress in the area. Eventually, you should see just grass, no dirt (assuming there were no bare spots before you began the process of topdressing). If it is still uneven, keep repeating these steps until it is level. If the spot is level now, then you are done.

But if you had bare spots in the area before you started topdressing it, you will have to overseed for the Lawn Service Cumming.

Method 2 — Leveling Out a Moderately Uneven Lawn: “Sweeping the Dirt Under the Carpet”

The topdressing process described above takes time to work. What if you have a few really low spots in your lawn? Obviously, topdressing would not be very effective, because (since you have to proceed 1/2 inch at a time) you would be waiting forever. Yet, since, it is only a few low spots that we are talking about, there would be no need to take the kinds of drastic measures described in Method 3. Fortunately, there is an Lawn Service Brighton Township intermediate method. I call it “sweeping the dirt under the carpet,” because you are essentially picking up sod (the carpet) and putting dirt under it. This method works as follows:

  1. Remove the sod over the low spot (if the area is bigger than 1 foot square, cut out multiple chunks, since a piece of sod greater than 1 foot square is hard to move around without breaking) and set it aside.
  2. Shovel enough topsoil into the hole that, once you replace the sod, the area will be even.
  3. As you shovel the soil into the hole, add water. This will remove air pockets. The last thing you want is for the sod to settle after you have finished — which would defeat the whole purpose of the project.
  4. Replace the sod and water the grass.

Method 3 — How to Level Out a Lawn That Looks Like a Moonscape

Finally, we come to the most extreme end of the spectrum. Is your lawn so littered with craters that it looks like the surface of the moon? If the uneven areas are substantial enough and numerous enough that neither topdressing nor the sweep-the-dirt-under-the-carpet method will solve the problem, then you may need to do a more major renovation by regrading the area and establishing a new stand of turfgrass. To accomplish this, you need to take the same steps that you would take to establish a new lawn, except that you are applying these steps to a smaller area.

7 Lawn Care Tips to Do Right Now

It’s a well-known fact that the best way to ensure a thick, green, and healthy lawn in the spring is to give it some well-timed care in the fall—in other words, right now. But according to Lawn Care Brighton Township, a lawn care company with more than 200 franchises around the country, many homeowners make the same basic mistakes before grass goes dormant, and then wonder why their grass isn’t doing better the following year. Wonder no more. Here are seven-step program to getting a beautiful lawn next year.

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1. Remove the leaves.

A carpet of colorful autumn leaves may look nice and be fun to play in, but they’re no good for grass. They block the light and trap moisture, potentially fatal knockout punches for the unlucky turf underneath. So when the leaves are falling, blow or rake them away as often as you can. Even after the trees are bare, continue raking out the corners where the wind piles leaves up. If you don’t, come spring the grass under that soggy, decaying mat will be dead.

2. Keep cutting, but to the correct height.

Don’t put that mower away yet. Grass continues to grown up to the first hard frost, and so will need regular cuts to keep it at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height. If you let it get too long, it will mat and be vulnerable to fungi like snow mold. Cutting grass too short is just as bad, because it curtails the root system—root depth is proportional to cutting height—and impedes the lawn’s ability to withstand winter cold and dryness. Regular mowing also gets rid of those pesky leaves, chopping them up and leaving behind a soil-enhancing mulch.

3. Continue watering.

Professionals of Lawn Mowing Brighton Township, say that people tend to let up on watering in the fall as the weather gets cooler. “They figure that nature will take care of things for them,” he says. While it’s true that there’s more rain, more dew, and less evaporation at this time of year, that may not be enough to keep the grass roots well hydrated and healthy going into the winter. If your lawn isn’t getting at least an inch of water a week—a simple rain gauge is a useful way to keep track—then keep the sprinklers or irrigation system running until the end of October. By that time, you’ll want to disconnect hoses and flush the irrigation system to avoid frozen pipes and spigots.

4. Loosen the soil.

Regular aeration—once every couple of years, according to We—prevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch, a thick layer of roots, stems, and debris that blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil. A core aerator corrects both problems by punching holes through that thatch and pulling up plugs of soil. It’s a good idea to aerate a lawn right before fertilizing. All those holes in your turf will let the fertilizer reach right to the roots, where it can do the most good.

5. Add fertilizer.

Just as grass roots need water to last the winter, they also benefit from a shot of the plant sugars that protect roots from freezing and give the entire plant the energy to bounce back in the spring. Those sugars are produced by chlorophyll, which grass produces in abundance when there’s enough nitrogen. That’s why Lawn Maintenance Brighton Township recommends a late-fall application of a slow-release granular 24-0-10 fertilizer. The numbers indicate the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Potassium is also important at this time because it aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. (A soil test can tell you how much of each nutrient your lawn actually needs.) The cautions against spreading fertilizer close to waterways, however; they are vulnerable to contamination from runoff. Lawn Doctor’s company policy is to maintain a 5-foot buffer wherever water is present.

6. Spread seed.

A dense lawn also is good protection against weeds, which is why it’s important to overseed existing turf. Not only does that fill in thin spots or bare patches, it allows you to introduce the latest in resilient, drought-tolerant grasses. Fall is the best time to overseed because the ground is still warm, moisture is more plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day. But even then, “overseeding is one of the most challenging lawn-care chores. You can’t simply broadcast seeds over an established lawn and expect them to take hold. They need to be in full contact with the soil, kept moist until they germinate, and be well enough established before it gets too cold. Renting a slit seeder is a better option than broadcasting, but those machines are notorious for tearing up turf and leaving your lawn looking like a harrowed field.

7. Stay on schedule.

According to the Landscaping Brighton Township each of the steps above has to be done at the right time for best results. Otherwise, it’s wasted effort. For instance, overseed too late and the seedlings will be too tender to survive. Fertilize too early and the grass will send up tender blades that will get hammered by the cold. Fertilize too late and the grass roots won’t be able to absorb all those nutrients you’re feeding them. Thinking about aerating in the spring because you can’t get around to it this fall? Don’t bother. Spring aeration just makes it easier for weed seeds to get established.

If sticking to the schedule during the fall is proving too difficult, a lawn care service can handle the jobs that aren’t getting done. Most often, those are the ones that require renting heavy machinery like core aerators and slit seeders, which are hard to transport, a bear to operate, and often in short supply at the rental yards at this time of year. Delegating one or two of those chores to a pro during this busy season will ensure the work gets done when it should—and that you will be enjoying a thick carpet of green grass next year.

WINTER LAWN CARE TIPS

Chicago has now reached the winter months which for many of us means that our routine lawn care is on hold until the spring. While it may seem like winter lawn care would be largely ineffective, there are actually several things you can do for your Lawn Mowing Brighton Township during even the coldest winters to help it grow back strong in the spring. This article includes the most effective winter lawn care tips that will benefit your lawn’s early season growth.

One effective strategy for winter Lawn Maintenance Brighton Township is fertilization. The lawns in Illinois and most of the Midwest are mostly comprised of cool season grasses and the best time to fertilize these grasses is in the late fall or early winter. During the summer, the soil loses plenty of nutrients which can be replaced with thorough fertilizer applications. It is best to apply fertilizer before the first freeze so that the nutrients in the fertilizer remain in the soil after the ground freezes and snow begins to fall. The roots will feed on these nutrients throughout the winter and grow back thicker in the spring.

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Another way to help your lawn through the winter months is with proper mowing strategies late in the season. As the summer winds down, it is wise to gradually mow your lawn shorter and shorter by lowering the mower blade before each time you mow. Lawns keep better in the winter if the grass is shorter but cutting it all off at once could shock your lawn which is why it should be done gradually and also if you use Lawn Service Brighton Township. Keeping short grass at the end of the season protects new growth and also discourages pest infestations as field mice and other burrowing animals dig themselves into lawns with longer grass during the winter.

The final effective winter lawn care method is keeping your lawn free of debris and excessive foot traffic. After mowing your lawn for the last time of the season, you should clear your lawn of any and all debris. Objects that are left sitting on the grass for extended periods will stunt the growth of the grass with its weight and cause dead spots. This same thing can also happen with extensive foot traffic over areas of your lawn. Constant walking over the same areas of a lawn will beat down the soil and kill the grass, making it much more difficult for it to recover come spring. By simply keeping your lawn free of debris and excess foot traffic you can also try landscaping brighton township services to make your lawn beautiful., you give your lawn a much better chance of making a full recovery.

While lawn care tends to be forgotten about as lawns lay dormant in the winter, taking these simple steps can go a long way towards a full spring recovery. These tips are easy to do and are even more effective with extra fall preparation such as aeration and seeding. Performing these tasks effectively will allow you to spend much of the winter indoors as you wait for your lawn to recover in the spring.

Tips For Lawn Care & Landscaping

Short cutting a common mistake

A common mistake made by homeowners and commercial landscape maintenance companies is that they cut a lawn too short. If an herb is cut too short, it reduces the ability of plants to produce energy for growth. However, by cutting at the right height, the grass develops stronger roots that support more potent plants that withstand more stress. Keep in mind that different varieties of grass have different growth habits that are directly related to cutting heights. Lawn Care Howell is serving professional services for years so we have a lot of experience to deal with any type of lawn needs.

Useful rule

When setting the proper height for lawn mowing, it is also important to remember this one-third rule: never remove more than one-third of the lawn height at a time. As a result, the lawn is kept colder because less plant tissue has been removed. In fact, fresh season herbs actually benefit in the summer heat by putting the blade higher. If a grass is often cut to 2.5 centimeters, for example, it will increase to 3 centimeters in the summer heat with many advantages.

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Limitation of water

A common misconception about keeping grass in extreme heat is the need for over water. An obvious problem is that after precipitation people still spray their lawn. A general rule to keep in mind is that grass graves are best managed on the dry rather than wet side; When the soil is constantly wet, it creates too many physiological problems for plants and soil organisms. The bases are stolen from oxygen and may be more susceptible to disease because diseases in moist conditions bloom. In general, the dryer of the grass and soil, the less disease there will be.

You can also use this technique suggested by Howell Landscaping to give water deep to wet the entire root and then do not re-water until the grass is dry. While it is important to be suitable in hydration, do not water the grass daily. Lawns need only an inch of water per week, including rain. When you see that the grass root is dry, then you can soak them as mentioned. Drying time may vary, so you should make a schedule after checking for a few hours or days.

Clumping

Avoid mowing during drought stress. Grasses under such stress are limited in their ability to recover from mowing and may be further damaged. Instead, the grass short after a rain or after the day of watering. It also resists mowing wet grass to avoid agglomerations.

Sharp Blades

According to Howell Lawn Care experienced team you should use the sharp blades whenever you start cutting the grass, the plant will heal faster than when cut with a boring knife. The dead leaves will actually tear off the plant tissue, they will not cut it off; This broken grass tissue will develop a brownish appearance on the surface and may be more susceptible to stress and disease. Sharp leaves prevent brown appearance and help further damage the plant.

Avoid Clippings

Return to the lawn with a lawn mower. Cuttings are actually beneficial to the lawn because they act as slow release fertilizer for the plant as they decompose. It is important to concentrate the cuts of streets, storms and bodies of water. Place cutters near one or two widths of the mower from the water’s edge to reduce contamination of streams and lakes from the nutrients derived from decompose leaf tissue.

Avoid Fertilization In Summer

Homeowners and landscape companies alike will do what it takes to keep their lawn healthy and growing right. Although the idea of fertilizing might sound like a good idea to maintain a vigorous lawn, do not consider it during the heat of mid-summer. During the hot summer months, the cool season grasses are consuming more than they can produce. Fertilizing stimulates more growth, which consumes even more energy further stressing lawns during periods of high temperatures.

Year around health

A two-track general approach will make maintaining a healthy lawn an easier process. The first step is to maintain health throughout the year. The herb will tolerate heat more easily if it is in a healthy state throughout the year. Care throughout the season includes proper fertilization, irrigation, cutting and pest control that help produce a consistently healthy lawn that is better able to withstand summer (and other) strains. In terms of your own health, think of the first step as eating well, regular exercise and good sleep to ensure your best health in the long run.

Step two of the two-pronged approach is to use best management practices during the summer stress period. Again, in terms of your own health, Step Two is analogous to the things your doctor prescribes when you are sick to get well in the short term, but we are the Landscaping Howell doctors and we will suggest you the best from our experiance.