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16 Nov 2022

How Snow Affects Your Lawn

The impact of snow on your lawn might not seem like a big deal. However, snow affects your lawn in some different ways that can be more damaging than you think. Although your lawn will become dormant during winter, abundant snowfall and other weather factors can lead to some potentially negative consequences related to the health of your lawn. As we continue to move further into fall and closer to the winter months, you may be wondering how to best care for your lawn as the first snowfall approaches. With increased awareness about the potential effects of snow on your lawn, you will hopefully be able to avoid any surprising damage once the snow melts. Continue reading to learn more about the different ways snow can impact your lawn.

Snow Mold

Snow mold is a fungal grass disease that is most commonly found in the cool weather grasses of the northeast. Snow mold often begins to appear once the snow begins to melt away in the spring. Its appearance usually consists of gray or white circles around the areas in which grass is trying to grow. Ensuring your lawn has proper drainage, avoiding over fertilization, and mowing the grass right before the first snow can help to prevent snow mold from developing.

Frozen Grass

While snow will only physically tough the blades of the grass, the freezing temperatures and possibly ice can begin to affect the roots beneath the soil. This can damage the root systems of the grass, causing it to die out. Try to keep from excessively walking or stepping on the frozen grass, and also avoid placing heavy objects on it. Doing those things can fracture the grass blades and lead to longer lasting damage into the spring, or even a complete reseed or re-sodding of the grass altogether.

Salt Damage

Salt is used during the winter months as a way to help prevent ice formation, and to help slippery surfaces become easier to navigate. While this is certainly necessary and helpful, sometimes salt can be applied a little too generously, and can begin to spill over into the turf within your lawn. Salt can be incredibly damaging to grass, so do your best to keep it on your sidewalks and walkways. If you do see it begin to reach your grass, try to clean it up or remove it as soon as possible.

If you are having trouble with any of the problems above, or perhaps another issue pertaining to your lawn, you might begin seeking out the help of an expert lawn care service. Blue Grass Lawn Services specializes in lawn care treatment and prevention in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We can work with you to develop a personalized plan so that your lawn remains healthy and looking its best throughout the entire year.

 

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26 Oct 2022
photo of rake laying in leaves

Removing Leaves From Your Lawn

With fall now in full swing, you may be wondering the best ways to get started with removing leaves from your lawn. Many of us enjoy the experiences that come with fall, such as the cooler outdoor temperatures, and the vibrant changing of colors that we see from the foliage surrounding us. While it is certainly visually appealing, the leaves will eventually begin to fall from their trees and scatter themselves across our lawns. Even if you don’t have many trees in your lawn, leaves might still find a way to gather in your lawn anyways due to high winds carrying them over. 

Falling leaves can create a layer over your lawn, preventing sunlight from reaching the grass, causing it to become frail and weak. In addition to making your yard look unkempt, ignoring those fall leaves can also lead to lawn diseases as well. Fortunately, there are some measures that can be taken to properly and effectively remove leaves from your lawn. Continue reading to learn more about our tips when it comes to tackling fall leaf removal. 

Choosing the Right Tools

There are a few different options you can take when physically removing the leaves from your lawn. Depending on the size of your property, or the amount of leaves that you have to deal with, certain tools will be more useful than others when it comes time for removal. There is a good chance that you already have the tools that you need for this operation sitting in your garage. If not, then you shouldn’t have much trouble finding them at your local hardware or home improvement store. 

Leaf Rake - Using a rake is a reliable and commonly chosen method for gathering and removing leaves and twigs. While it's a cheap and sensible option, it can also be the most time consuming and physically demanding way to remove leaves. We suggest using a rake for smaller lawns and for people who are in good physical health.

Leaf Blower - Leaf blowers can be one of the most versatile and efficient tools when it comes to leaf removal and general yard cleanup. They are relatively easy to use and can come in handy for other lawn maintenance tasks as well. The downside to using a leaf blower is that they are noisy, and may require gasoline or a nearby electrical outlet in order for them to operate. 

Mulching Lawn Mower - Mowing over leaves can actually create an organic mulch for your grass that provides natural fertilization during the fall and winter months. Ideally, the leaves should be cut down to dime-sized pieces in order for them to create an effective mulch. If your mower has mulching capabilities, this could mean that you don’t necessarily have to “remove” the leaves at all. 

Proper Disposal 

No matter what method you choose for your fall leaf removal, you are likely going to have a rather large pile of leaves and other foliage that you will need to dispose of. Composting your leaves can be one of the best and easiest ways to get rid of them for good. If you keep your own compost pile, you can simply just add them into the heap. If not, there is likely a low cost or even free local composting site that you can take them to. Do not burn, or throw your leaves into your garbage can. This can be illegal in some areas, and could lead to potential hazards to those around you. 

Fall leaf removal can be quite dirty work. Make sure you take the proper precautions and wear the appropriate clothing and equipment. This could include things like gloves or protective eyewear. By properly removing leaves from your lawn this fall, you can promote better health for your grass as it lies dormant during winter. Come next spring, you will hopefully be greeted with a healthy and good looking lawn. 

Featured Image: “Ayla’s Rake” by Don LaVange, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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26 Oct 2022

Maintaining a Newly Seeded Lawn

Caring for a newly seeded lawn can raise a lot of questions. How are you supposed to begin the watering process? When is a good time to begin mowing? Most of these questions are asked because we want to find out how to get the best final results when seeding our lawns. The first weeks and months require special care in order to achieve a successful seeding. The fast changing weather that we experience in our region can also make seeding quite challenging. Warmer temperatures in the late summer and fall, combined with periods of very wet and very dry conditions, can complicate things even more. Maintaining a newly seeded lawn can be a tricky and intricate task. We have compiled some of our own tips and guidelines to assist you during the seeding process, in hopes that you will achieve the healthiest and best looking lawn that you can.

Watering

It is recommended to water frequently for approximately 10 minutes per area, to keep the newly planted seeds moist. Cut watering back to a maximum of once a day when the grass reaches about one inch in height. It is recommended to water in the morning, so that the leaf blades don’t remain wet overnight. Although water is crucial for seed germination, typical fall moisture will normally provide enough moisture to do the job. If it does not rain for several days, hand watering or sprinkling may be necessary. With watering, you can expect your grass seed to germinate far more quickly than without, usually in about two to three weeks. The goal is to get as much grass to germinate prior to soil temperatures falling. Once soil temperatures dip below a certain level, the lawn will stop growing and “go to sleep” for the winter. 

Mowing

Proper mowing technique is often one of the most overlooked aspects of maintaining a newly seeded lawn. If possible, try to delay mowing for one week or more. Avoid any “deep raking” or aggressive scratching of the soil in any seeded area as this may damage new seedlings. Using a blower or leave vac will typically not have an impact on the growth of the seed. Scattered sticks or leaves on your lawn while the aeration and seeding process is done will not cause any issues for seed growth. 

Patience 

The entire process of caring for a newly seeded lawn takes a lot of time. It is important to be patient during this period so that your lawn can look its best in the long run. Newly seeded areas shouldn’t receive any foot traffic for at least a month after the seeds have begun to germinate. Grass seedlings are also sensitive to chemical injury. Herbicides should not be applied until the lawn has been mowed at least three or four times. Keep an eye out for weeds, and if you begin to notice them it is best to hand pull them before they begin to spread. 

Lawn Care Service

Seeding and maintaining your lawn can be a daunting task for anyone to do on their own. Working with a professional lawn care service can save you the time and hassle, while also ensuring that you get the best intended results. Blue Grass Lawn Service has been providing their fall lawn services to home and property owners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for over 36 years. If you think you need assistance when it comes to seeding your lawn this fall, we highly encourage you to reach out to us.

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19 Oct 2022

Tips for Preparing Your Lawn This Fall

Preparing your lawn for the long harsh winters can be important when it comes to maintaining a healthy yard come springtime. With cooler temperatures, and more spirited colors around us, the fall season is now in full swing. For lawn owners, now is the time to evaluate the damage caused by the summer months. It is also the time to understand steps that can be taken to repair and prepare your lawn for next year. Luckily, we have some tips and guidance to help you with making these decisions along the way,

Tip #1: Aeration and Overseeding.

Aeration is the process of creating many tiny holes across your lawn. Grass roots need water, air, and nutrients in order to continue growing thicker and stronger. When soil becomes compacted, it becomes harder for these essentials to continue reaching the grass roots. Aeration allows the roots of your grass to receive air and nutrients more efficiently, letting your lawn “breathe” more easily. Overseeding is a method of seeding over the top of an existing lawn, while still maintaining the proper health of the soil. Following aeration with overseeding can help to repair damaged patches of a lawn because it can create a perfect seeding bed while also reducing compaction below the new lawn. 

Tip #2: Mulch Leaves

A quality of fall time that most people seem to enjoy are the vibrant color changes that are present among leaves and other foliage. While being visually appealing, they will begin to fall from trees and begin spreading themselves across your lawn. Even if you don’t have many trees in your lawn, leaves might still find a way to gather in your lawn anyways due to high winds carrying them over. Falling leaves can create a layer over your lawn, preventing sunlight from reaching the grass, causing it to become frail and weak. You can ensure that your lawn gets the proper sunlight that it needs by mulching the leaves. 

Tip #3: Fertilize/Weed Control.

When it comes to controlling the annual and perennial weeds that invade your lawn, the fall season can be a great time to take action. By taking care of weeds such as dandelions during the fall, you can help to prevent them come spring. Fertilizing your lawn during this time can help with weed control, but it can also help your grass receive the additional nutrients it needs to promote healthy growth. This can assist your turf against the harsh conditions of winter, and promote a more plush and weed-free lawn during the springtime. 

Maintaining and preparing your lawn during the fall can take a lot of time and effort, especially when it comes to doing a precise and thorough job. In many cases, one might not have the ability to carry out all of these tasks on their own. This is when the help of a professional lawn care service can be most beneficial. Blue Grass Lawn Service has been providing their fall lawn services to home and property owners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for over 36 years. If you think you need assistance when it comes to fall lawn preparation, we highly encourage you to reach out to us.

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19 Oct 2022
Fall Seeding and Aeration in PA | Bluegrass Lawn Care

Fall Seeding and Aeration

Fall is the most ideal time of the year to begin the seeding and aeration process of your lawn. Spring is often thought to be the best time for aeration and overseeding. Lawn owners will be quick to begin planting new flowers, remove leaves, and touch up their grass. However there are plenty of lawn projects that can be done in the fall as well, often leading to even better results. The summer months can be especially tough on lawns. Higher temperatures, insects, and lawn diseases can all add stress to your turf’s health and the overall look of your lawn

The fall season will bring us warm soil, cool nights, and dying annual weeds. These conditions create an optimal time for activities like aeration, overseeding, and general lawn seeding. Unlike during the fall, spring soils will be cold and compact, with dormant weeds waiting to begin their growth cycle. Conditions will tend to be best between September-October because the cooler temperatures during the days and nights will be ideal for new seeds to retain moisture. Combine that with fewer annual weeds trying to compete for the same space, and you have excellent conditions for seeds to germinate. 

Benefits

Simply put, aeration is the process of creating many tiny holes across your lawn. Grass roots need water, air, and nutrients in order to continue growing thicker and stronger. When soil becomes compacted, it becomes harder for these essentials to continue reaching the grass roots.  Throughout the summer, soil is likely to become compressed from the high temperatures, hard rain, and general increased foot traffic. The holes created from aerating the soil allow it to decompact and restore the proper flow of necessary nutrients back to the grass roots. This makes fall aeration a critical component of achieving the greenest and healthiest lawn possible. 

In addition to aeration, overseeding can play a beneficial role in improving the health of your lawn. Overseeding is a method of seeding over the top of an existing lawn, while still maintaining the proper health of the soil. Overseeding during the fall can help create a thicker outer layer of grass, reduce weed growth, and enhance your lawn's ability to protect itself. Due to the previously mentioned stresses of the summer months, your lawn may begin to look thin, patchy, and generally worn down. Combining seeding and aeration can help to repair damaged patches of a lawn because it can create a perfect seeding bed while also reducing compaction below the new lawn. 

Lawn Service Maintenance

Seeding and aerating your lawn can be a daunting task for anyone to do on their own. Working with a professional lawn care service can save you the time and hassle, while also ensuring that you get the best results. With the stress put on lawns due to this Summer’s lack of rain and extremely high temperatures, many lawns have suffered greatly. When done professionally and with care, seeding and aeration can give your lawn a more vibrant, brand-new look. 

Blue Grass Lawn Service has specialized in seeding and aeration services within Pennsylvania and New Jersey for 36 years. Our unique method of core aeration involves using extra heavy core aerators to perforate the soil with thousands of small holes which will allow grass seeds to grow in the soil instead of on top of it. This helps the new grass germinate quickly and allows roots to grow deep while producing a stronger, more vigorous lawn.

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17 Aug 2022

Tips for Recovering a Dormant Lawn

A dormant lawn can be one of the more unsightly attractions for homeowners. Everyone wants their lawn to look healthy and vibrant. However when dealing with a dormant lawn, the grass is going to look brown and withered. This is a stark contrast to the green and lush appearance of a healthy lawn that every homeowner attempts to maintain. In many instances, lawn dormancy is caused by outside factors that are out of the lawn keeper’s control. Grass entering the dormancy phase essentially means that your lawn is going to sleep for an extended period of time. 

Dormancy is a naturally occurring cycle that all types of grasses will employ, in an effort to conserve water and nutrients. Oftentimes this cycle will occur during the winter, but it can also happen during longer periods of drought in the warmer months as well. When a lawn goes dormant, one might think that there is no way of bringing it back to a healthy state. However, there are measures that can be taken to revive the dormant grass and return to its natural green appearance. Continue reading to learn more about our tips for recovering a dormant lawn. 

Water deeply and infrequently. If you’re going to water your lawn, then deep, infrequent watering will go a long way to help lawns cope with dry conditions. Early morning watering (5 a.m. to 9 a.m.) is ideal. This ensures the grass gets the moisture it needs and reduces evaporation. Watering your lawn late in the day or a night causes fungus and disease to attack your lawn. A  weakened lawn most certainly does not need more stress by keeping your lawn wet while it is dark.

Mow high. Set your mower height to three to four inches. Mowing high gives the lawn a deeper and larger root system, keeps moisture in, defends against weeds, and keeps the soil cooler. Mowing too short during dry conditions can injure or wear out dormant grasses to the point where they may not come back during cooler conditions. It will also further stress your lawn causing it to be more susceptible to fungus and disease damage. ∙

Remove grass carefully. Just as a reminder, never remove more than one-third of the grass at one time. It will cause too much stress on the grass.

Mulch instead of bagging. Mulch your lawn instead of bagging the clippings.  Mulching keeps more moisture and nutrients in the soil. 

Maintain your lawn equipment. Sharpen your lawn mower blades twice a  year. A dull blade tears at the grass, forcing it to use 40–60% more water to recover. 

If you can’t water regularly, let your lawn go dormant when the weather turns hot. Dormancy means active shoot growth will stop. Grasses may turn brown, and some may die, but the crown, rhizomes, and roots are still alive.  During this time, you want to apply just enough water to keep the turf alive until conditions improve. The best recommendation when the lawn is in dormancy is to provide a ¼ to ½ inch of water every two to four weeks. Keep an eye on the weather conditions, because you do not want to bring the turf out of dormancy too early. Breaking dormancy early actually will drain reserves within the plant if conditions remain dry. Once it cools down or rain starts to fall, shoot growth will begin again, and the lawn will green up.

Maintaining a lawn during a drought takes a bit more care than usual. When you implement these tips, you will help keep the turf healthy during the worst periods of any extended dry spell. If you need further assistance with maintaining your lawn, reach out to a professional lawn care service. Blue Grass Lawn Service has been providing their lawn services to home and property owners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for over 36 years. 

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03 Aug 2022
image of bittercress

Bittercress Treatment in PA & NJ

Bittercress treatment is one of the more frequent year-annual services that lawn care teams will be asked to work on. With the winter months wrapping up, we are beginning to enter the spring season which signals the growth of all things green. While some of our favorite plants and flowers may begin to bloom, so too will many of the various weeds that lawn owners and growers will have to battle throughout the long lasting summer months. 

A small flowering plant that you might begin to see in your lawn during this time of year is bittercress, a winter annual weed that can grow while soil conditions are still quite cold. Bittercress has a few defining characteristics, but is most recognizable for the small white flowers that grow along the vertical stems of the plant. It can be one of the most difficult winter lawn weeds to deal with, but luckily there are some steps that can be taken to effectively treat it and control its growth.

Understanding and Identifying Bittercress

As we jump into spring, some of us may begin to notice small plants with little white flowers beginning to emerge along the edges of our lawns, flowerbeds, and walkways. These newly visible weeds are likely growing populations of bittercress, a winter annual that forms during April and May. Bittercress is part of the group of winter annual weeds that are found amongst lawns and gardens primarily throughout the eastern portion of the United States. This means that lawns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are especially prone to supporting the growth of bittercress. 

A further unique trait of bittercress weeds is that they tend to prefer cooler soil, allowing it to spread quickly throughout yards, gardens, and flower beds, most prolific after early spring rains. The tiny flowers that develop along the stems of the plant eventually turn into long seed pods. Later once ripe, the pods will rapidly split open and begin to cast seeds throughout its surrounding environment, further adding to its ability to seemingly grow swiftly and with ease.

How to Effectively Treat and Control Bittercress

Despite some of the benefits that bittercress offers, such as its edibility, most property owners are going to seek to eliminate it before seed dispersal takes place. Handling bittercress can prove to be quite a difficult task to handle, as there are many different factors that must be considered when building a plan to treat it. Since bittercress is considered a winter annual, it grows during times when soil conditions are still relatively cold.

This makes it especially hard to treat because typical early season weed control methods are not effective because temperatures are typically too cold for them to achieve any real results. With ordinary temperature spikes, many plants such as bittercress will begin to grow but then quickly return to not growing once temperatures begin returning to normal. In order for conventional weed control products to work, the plants must still be growing. Effectively controlling bittercress takes very specific timing, and an advanced chemical treatment formula. 

This is where the help of experienced lawn care professionals can help. Blue Grass Lawn Service specializes in treating early season bittercress, and can work with you to develop a plan to keep it away after your first lawn cutting. Our team has over 36 years of lawn care experience serving the many different needs of folks across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Featured Image: "Hairy bittercress," by Melissa McMasters, licensed under CC BY 2.0

27 Jul 2022
Image of mosquito on fingertip

Mosquito Prevention

Mosquito prevention can be one of the most annoying challenges that we all face during the warmer months. While we are now able to get outside more and partake in our favorite summer activities, we are often pestered by mosquitos and other bugs while doing so. Rather than receiving the full level of enjoyment that we are owed from our summer lifestyles, in many instances we endure an added feeling of irritation and discomfort, oftentimes right in our very own backyards. 

Mosquitoes are one of the most persistent, widespread, and especially unwelcome pests that we deal with. Although the classic image of a mosquito habitat may be a tropical swamp, they can be found almost anywhere, even in barren and dry locations. Mosquito bites produce itchy reactions that can be maddening and become worse when scratched. Even when they don't bite, their buzzing and swarming are irritating on their own. On top of all that, mosquitos can be harmful to humans all over the planet as they have the ability to transmit disease.

Mosquitoes are a surefire way to ruin a nice afternoon, keep you inside on pleasant evenings, and generally diminish the satisfaction you get from being outdoors. Luckily there are measures that can be taken to reduce the presence of mosquitos, so that you can get back to indulging in the joys of summer more comfortably and peacefully. In order to prevent their presence, it is important to first understand the mosquito ecosystem and how your lawn or property might play a role. Continue reading for more information and some of our general guidelines when it comes to mosquito prevention

The Mosquito Breeding Cycle

The biology and mating patterns of mosquitoes allow them the ability to reproduce abundantly and rapidly. When humans want to reproduce, it can require several attempts before success. A female mosquito, on the other hand, needs to only encounter a male once to breed. Female mosquitoes can produce anywhere between 100 and 300 eggs at one time, and the eggs can hatch into mosquito larvae within 48 hours. For about a week to 10 days, the larva will grow before changing into a pupa until finally emerging as an adult mosquito about two days later. Now within just 14 days, you have an entirely new formed generation of mosquitoes ready to start the reproduction cycle all over again.

Quickly, you can see why natural predators can never keep up with the mosquito population and why your yard will never be free of them unless you take other measures. Fortunately, mosquitoes do not have the ability to reproduce year round. You might have noticed that they – along with many other bugs and insects – aren’t around much during the colder months. Mosquitoes only become active and begin their breeding cycle when temperatures begin to stay at or above 50°. Depending on the species, mosquitos will either hibernate or die off when temperatures drop back below that mark. 

Mosquito species have different breeding habits, but most want to lay their eggs near water – usually in vegetation or in still water. You might notice that mosquitoes seem to be more pervasive in areas containing lakes, swamps, or marshes. These types of environments are mosquito breeding hotbeds. However, mosquitoes are not just limited to breeding in these areas, most will only need a very small amount of still water.

Control and Prevention

There's some relatively simple approaches one can take to control their breeding grounds and reduce the mosquito population in a certain area. For many homeowners, this would include the areas in which they spend the most time outdoors, such as yards or patios. The best approach to mosquito control is to keep them from showing up in the first place. You can accomplish this by removing the areas where they breed, which as discussed earlier is anywhere there is still or standing water. This can include spots as small as a quarter, so do a careful inspection of your outdoor area to find any vessels of water.

This can include:

  • Ponds
  • Puddles
  • Bird Baths
  • Flower Pots
  • Garbage Cans
  • Gutters
  • Heavily Shaded Areas

Standing water on your lawn can also prove to be an issue when trying to keep away mosquitoes. After rainstorms or long periods of rainfall, check for areas where water seems to pool and not entirely drain. If this is a regular occurrence then extra work might have to be applied to that area to ensure proper drainage in order to prevent pooling and becoming a continued breeding ground for insects. In addition to water and moist areas, mosquitoes also tend to gravitate towards cool and shaded spots as well. Bushes, tall grass, and shady areas near trees are other places that a person might look to tend to when tackling their mosquito problem. 

Summary

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to completely get rid of mosquitoes. These efforts listed above still might not be enough, especially for those dealing with a particularly bad mosquito problem. People who live next to lakes, ponds, or other water sources that produce large amounts of mosquitoes might not have much success with these do-it-yourself methods. It can take a lot of time and energy to deal with a mosquito problem on your own, for that reason mosquito control is one of the most popular services clients request from lawn care companies. Blue Grass Lawn Care Services offers a mosquito control program in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to help protect you, your family, and your pets.

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Featured Image: "Dengue mosquito," by Oregon State University, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

06 Jul 2022
image of yellow nutsedge

Nutsedge: Identification and Treatment

Nutsedge can be one of the most challenging lawn weeds to manage. There are two primary classifications of nutsedge: yellow nutsedge and purple nutsedge. Yellow nutsedge is the more common form of the weed that folks in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas will deal with, and will be the primary focus of this article.

Nutsedge can spell trouble for a lot of lawn owners because of its aggressive growth and reproduction patterns. Its physical characteristics make it look a lot like regular grass, which can make it hard to identify in its early stages before it starts to spread and invade lawns. However, with proper identification and the correct control methods, nutsedge can be more effectively managed. In order to treat and control these difficult lawn weeds, it is important to first learn about what nutsedge really is, and how it functions. 

How to Identify Nutsedge

Nutsedge, also commonly called nutgrass, is a grass-like weed in the sedge family. Yellow nutsedge is easily identified by its yellow to light green glossy leaves and the triangular shape of the stem. In contrast, the stems of regular turfgrass are more round. Nutsedge weeds form dense colonies and grow faster than turfgrass, becoming noticeable again just two to three days after mowing. If left untouched and allowed to grow tall enough, the weeds will begin to develop seedheads. 

Nutsedge grows most actively during the warm spring and summer months. Yellow nutsedge thrives under warm, wet conditions and can often be found in low, damp areas of lawns. This weed will often peak during or after seasons with above normal amounts of rainfall. Nutsedge outbreaks often start in moist, poorly drained lawn areas, where they quickly develop into large colonies. Their extensive root systems may reach up to four feet deep. Once established, these weeds can tolerate drought.

Nutsedge Growth

Nutsedges can spread and reproduce in many different ways. These weeds are able to spread via underground stems, known as rhizomes, which send up shoots that become new plants. The most prevailing way that nutsedge will reproduce is through underground tubers known as “nutlets”. If you were to uproot nutsedge you would find a tangled root system made up of these rhizomes and nutlets. 

Nutsedge roots extend deep into the soil of your lawn or garden beds, reaching up to 14 inches down into the soil. Those depths protect nutlets from the effects of many common herbicides and cold winter weather that might otherwise kill them. When the perennial weed dies in fall, its rhizomes and tubers survive the winter and sprout new plants in spring. One yellow nutsedge plant can produce thousands of nutlets each year, which can each eventually produce nutsedge patches several feet wide.

Tips For Treatment

With so much time and effort put forth towards caring for our lawns, we are going to do whatever it takes to keep them looking their best. Nutsedges are a problem in lawns because they grow faster, have a more upright growth habit, and are a lighter green color than most grass species, causing the turf to look non-uniform. 

Now that we have a better idea of how it operates, there are some steps that can be taken in an effort to control nutsedge in your lawn. The best approach for avoiding Nutsedge problems is to prevent establishment of the weed in the first place. With a more clear picture of what nutsedge looks like, you might be able to identify the plant in its early stages before they start to develop tubers. This can help prevent the weeds from becoming established and able to spread in the first place. 

Eliminating oversaturated conditions that favor nutsedge growth can also help as well. Take steps to correct low-lying, poorly drained areas and avoid overwatering. By practicing good lawn care basics, you can protect against nutsedge invasions and give your grass an advantage over these aggressive weed pests. Healthy, vigorous grass is also an excellent defense against yellow nutsedge. 

Seek the Professionals

Perhaps you already are dealing with a nutsedge invasion and are looking to use a chemical treatment on your lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides are effective in eliminating plants that have not developed tubers. Unfortunately this herbicide may be detrimental to turf grass. Post-emergent selective herbicide applied at the appropriate time of the plant's life cycle can be an effective means of elimination, but again this herbicide may be detrimental to turf grass. 

Effective treatment and control of nutsedge calls for products designed to overcome the unique challenges of these difficult weeds. This is where a professional lawn care service can step in and provide assistance. At Blue Grass Lawn Service, we use a product specifically designed for this issue, and can work with you to develop a plan to keep nutsedge away from your lawn for good.

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Featured Image: "Yellow Nutsedge," by NY State IPM Program at Cornell University, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

06 Jul 2022

Summer Lawn Care Problems

The summer months can create a lot of problems and obstacles when it comes to maintaining a healthy and good looking lawn. While it’s the most exciting time of year for home owners and lawn experts to appreciate their months of hard work, it can also prove to be one of the most frustrating periods of time as well. Summer is when our lawns will begin to flourish and look most vibrant, but it’s also a time where they can be most vulnerable and prone to developing unforeseen problems. After so much time spent carefully manicuring and preparing your lawn, the last thing you want to see are defects.

Summer lawn diseases can be some of the most damaging issues that we encounter. Being mindful about how we maintain our lawns leading up to the summer months is important when it comes to preventing lawn diseases. Even with taking the proper precautions providing the right care leading up, summer lawn diseases can still find a way to invade healthy and well kept lawns. When this happens, it can be hard to identify the diseases and their root causes, which in turn causes frustration when trying to treat it. 

A turfgrass disease is any infectious disease caused by microscopic fungi that invade the grass. These fungi need a “host” in order to survive and reproduce whether it is dead or alive. In the case of infectious lawn disease, the host plant in this case is the grass. The fungi also need favorable conditions, such as moisture level and temperature, in order to thrive. We have compiled a list below of the more common summer lawn diseases that property owners will often deal with in the areas of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Summer Patch

Appearing in irregular or circular shapes of yellowish colors, summer patch is frequently found in lawns that have areas of hot and compacted soil with poor drainage. Oftentimes summer patch occurs in lawns that have been mowed too low. Most likely there is a center or surrounding area of healthy grass in or around what we call a doughnut style patch. Therefore, this allows those dead spots to become full of many forms of weeds. You may see this during mid-summer, after heavy rainfall, or consistent rain.

Brown Patch

Brown patch is one of the most common lawn diseases you’ll see among cool-season grasses, but it can also affect many warm-season grasses too. This fungal lawn disease is causing your grass leaves to thin and wilt, triggering brown colored dead spots to develop within your lawn. Brown patch shows itself as large spots of grass that appear dry or dead. The patches are generally circular or are in an irregular circle that can be up to three feet wide. The outside of the patch is often darker than the inside.

Dollar Patch

Long periods of high humidity or frequent rainfall may cause the most severe outbreaks of dollar patch. A dollar spot is relatively simple to spot with its roughly 1-inch-diameter circles of tan colored grass. You’ll often observe these spots in small clusters. In the early morning, you may notice cottonlike mycelia in the tan spots. Watering your lawn at the wrong time may extend or increase the incidence of this disease. The most common outbreaks occur when temperatures are moderately warm and change rapidly.

Red Thread

Red thread thrives in climates that offer warm days and cool, moist evenings, making yards in northern states frequent victims of this disease. The symptoms and signs of red thread are distinctive, most common among morning dew, water from rain, or irrigation. While red thread generally doesn’t harm your lawn directly, it does make it susceptible to other diseases and pests, so eliminating it will help keep things more green.

Tips For Summer Lawn Care

Timing fertilizer applications can be critical when it comes to avoiding lawn disease. To keep your lawn healthy and robust, follow a fertilization schedule that fits your grass type and growth cycle. Lawns that are watered deeply and less frequently usually have fewer disease problems. Water during early parts of the day to ensure that grass blades aren’t staying wet for extended periods. Warm and wet grass in poorly drained soil promotes many lawn diseases by activating fungus spores.

Lawn diseases are very complex and can be tricky to identify. Every lawn is different, and in many cases it will take the assistance of a professional lawn care service to accurately determine the issues that are affecting one's lawn. When a disease does compromise your lawn, you may need to use a control, such as lawn fungus control or lawn disease control. 

If you are having trouble with any of the problems above, or perhaps another issue pertaining to your lawn, you might begin seeking out the help of an expert lawn care service. Blue Grass Lawn Services specializes in summer lawn care treatment and prevention in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We can work with you to develop a personalized plan so that your lawn remains healthy and looking its best throughout the summer.

Featured Image: "green grass, lawn, summer, grass," by Adrian Pelletier

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