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11 Dec 2020

Why You Should Test Your Lawn’s Soil | Home Soil Testing Explained

Home lawn soil testing is the best way to find out exactly what is going on with your soil. Soil tests are used to measure the nutrients that your soil provides to plants and recommend corrective steps for any problems. Performing a soil test will provide you with helpful information and insights into establishing lawn fertility goals. Testing should be done regularly as part of your lawn maintenance schedule.

How to Sample Your Soil for Testing

To perform a home lawn soil test, you will need several soil samples from your lawn. You can either test several spots independently or mix soil from around the lawn to get a general idea of how the whole lawn is doing.

Soil samples should be collected about two to three inches below the surface of the soil. Use a trowel or a spoon to collect the sample. You should not touch it with your hands as residue from your body could affect the results.

Put each sample in a separate container and label it with where it came from. For home lawn soil testing, we recommend taking a sample from every corner of the lawn. You should also collect a sample from the center as well as any place that is different from the rest of the lawn, such as a sunny spot or a spot that does not drain very well.

What a Soil Test Measures

Home lawn soil tests measure a variety of nutrients that are essential for your lawn. Most commonly, results found in testing kits include the pH level of the soil, as well as levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash or potassium.

pH Levels

The pH level of your lawn is essential because all plants grow best at a specific pH level. If the pH level is too high or too low, your grass will not be able to use the nutrients in the soil and thus will not grow as strongly as it could.

The ideal pH for different kinds of grass varies, but most grasses like acidic soil. If your pH needs to be higher (more alkaline) you can add hydrated lime or even ashes from your fireplace. To lower pH (more acidic), ground rock sulfur is a popular additive. However, sawdust, composted leaves, and leaf mold are also beneficial for lowering the pH of your soil.

Nitrogen

Your soil needs to have the correct amount of nitrogen because nitrogen will make your grass leafy and full. If there's not enough nitrogen in your soil, your lawn will be more susceptible to pest infestation and disease. However, if there is too much nitrogen, the focus is on green growth at the expense of flowers and seeds. While this is not really a problem for lawns, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is especially useful if you are planning to sod your lawn because it stimulates root growth, gives plants a healthy start, and makes them mature faster. Phosphorus also helps plants to bloom and form seeds. While this is not so vital in the lawn, it is useful in other parts of the garden.

Potassium

Potassium or potash helps achieve early root formation, which is vital when growing grass from seed. Potassium also helps to protect your plants from drought and frost and will help make your grass stronger.

Using Home Soil Test Results

Understanding the nutrients in your lawn is only half the battle. Correctly applying the necessary corrective action based on the test results can be the deciding factor of your lawn’s health. With over 35 years of experience transforming lawns, our eight-treatment lawn plan is the best way to achieve a stronger, healthier lawn year-round! Learn more about our treatment plans or give us a call at (215) 364-7000 for a FREE quote!

 

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07 May 2020
Get Rid of Weeds the Right Way!

Get Rid of Weeds the Right Way!

Sick of seeing weeds pop up on your lawn? You’re not alone, homeowners everywhere are watching dandelions, crabgrass, and clumps of clover mess up their beautiful yard. Luckily there are several simple ways you can get rid of weeds in your yard…

What Are Weeds?

A weed is basically any unwanted plants sprouting up in your yard. These troublesome plants fall under one of three categories: broadleaf, grassy, or grass-like weeds.

Getting rid of broadleef weeds

Broadleaf Weeds

The leaves are broad and flat as opposed to needle-like or grassy. These plants could be dandelions, clover, ground ivy, oxalis, chickweed, dollarweed, henbit, plantain, or thistle.


Getting rid of grassy weeds

Grassy Weeds

Grassy weeds look similar to grass and grow one leaf at a time. The leaves closely resemble grass blades. However, these could be crabgrass, foxtail, annual bluegrass, or quackgrass.

 

 

 

 


Getting rid of grass-like weeds in your yard

Grass-Like Weeds

These may look like grass blades from a distance. However, a closer look shows the leaves are triangular or tube-like and hollow, not flat like a grass blade. These weeds could be nutsedge, wild onion, or wild garlic.

 

 


How to Get Rid of Weeds in Your Yard

The best way to control weeds in your yard is with a proper lawn care schedule. Our eight treatment plan is perfect for ensuring your lawn is uninterrupted by pesky weeds. If you only have a few weeds, hand-pulling may be an option. Crabgrass, chickweed, and other annual weeds tend to have shallow roots making them easily controlled with hand-pulling. However, perennial weeds, such as dandelion and thistle, have deep roots. If you miss even a small part of the root while hand-pulling, the weed will grow back.

 

Preventing Weeds From Growing in Your Hard

Keeping your yard weed-free is can be a battle. However, with a proper lawn care schedule and these simple tips, you can keep your yard beautiful year-round!

Treat at the Right Time

Your lawn care schedule should include treatment for annual grassy weeds in the spring. In the spring, the seedlings are tiny and vulnerable. This makes it a great time to treat so they don’t become a problem in the summer.

Keep Your Yard Healthy Year-Round

Proper lawn care is the best defense against weeds. We have a variety of lawn care treatments backed by over 35 years of experience to keep your yard beautiful year-round. A thick and luscious lawn leaves little space for weeds to grow.

Mow Higher

Any great landscaping company will tell you: when you mow, raise the mower height. Weeds require sunlight to sprout, just like any other plant. Mowing at a taller height allows the grass to grow higher and shade the soil. As a result, the weeds are less able to sprout.

Water Your Lawn Deeper

Frequent and shallow watering encourages shallow root growth in your yard. The periods of heat and drought can cause thin, bare spots in your yard that weeds will happily sprout up in. Watering deeper, less frequently, encourages deeper grassroots. This allows the grass to grow thicker and occupy more of the space weeds normally would.

Leave it to the Experts!

With over 35 years of experience, our experts will treat your lawn regularly to ensure your lawn stays beautiful all year! Explore our lawn care programs or call us today and get rid of weeds the right way!

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15 May 2018
What You Can Grow In Shady Spaces

Article: What You Can Grow In Shady Spaces

All shade is not equal. knowing what you can grow in shady spaces is important. Some shady conditions will yield more produce than others will, while some areas are better left for hostas and moss. Gardeners should be familiar with the different types of shade, but should also keep in mind that measuring how much shade your garden gets isn’t always easy.

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28 Feb 2018
Ideas for Landscaping Property Lines

Ideas for Landscaping Property Lines

What is it that you’re hoping to accomplish in landscaping your property line? Once you answer that over-arching question, many of the details will fall into place (with a little aid from the ideas we present here). As you’ll see from reading the information below, deciding on how to landscape a boundary largely comes down to sifting through your various options.

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