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25 Mar 2022
Imaage of dormant grass

Recovering Dormant Grass After Winter in PA & NJ

As the weather begins to warm up, and the snow that might be covering your lawn starts to melt, we will once again be able to see the many blades of grass that make up our entire lawns. However, the grass that you’re seeing during this period of time is not going to look very pleasant. It’s likely going to look brown and withered, a stark contrast from the green and healthy appearance that it will hopefully have later on during the summer months. This is because the grass has entered the dormant stage.

What Is Dormant Grass?

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 that won’t be available to the grassroots over the length of the winter months. The most noticeable aspect of dormancy is the grass blades turning a brownish color, which often occurs during droughts or the fall months leading into winter. Northern grasses can endure colder weather better and typically begin to go dormant in the fall once soil temperatures begin to drop below 50⁰F. As spring comes around and the soil temperatures begin to rise again, the roots of the grass are able to receive the proper amount of nourishment needed in order to grow and stay healthy.

Coming Out of Dormancy: 

Dormant grass recovery after a long and brown winter is certainly a welcome sight for sore eyes. However there are certain considerations one should take into account to ensure that they get the best results for growing a greener and healthier lawn. The first and most important step when it comes to treating dormant grass is waiting until the right time. Dormancy is a totally natural and necessary cycle for grass to go through, so it is crucial to wait for the soil temperatures to rise. Just because the snow has completely melted away on the surface, doesn’t mean that ground and soil below has become warm enough to encourage growth as well. Make sure that you are waiting until the soil temperatures have risen enough before irrigating and fertilizing your lawn for the first time. 

There are some additional steps that you can also take as spring approaches and you begin to mow your grass for the first time. Consider raking and bagging all of the dead grass after your first few trips around with the mower. This will help with not only removing all of the brown grass that makes the lawn look dormant, but it will also allow for more direct sunlight to warm the soil and speed up growth. While you can naturally wait for your grass to exit the dormancy stage and let it grow on its own, working with an experienced lawn care professional to fertilize your lawn at the right time can help it grow to the best of its ability. At Blue Grass Lawn Service we have a specialized fertilizer formula for earlier and healthier growth, while also encouraging a darker, greener growth throughout the summer. 

Learn more about our treatment plans or give us a call at (215) 364-7000 for a FREE quote!

 

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18 Mar 2022
Image of Dandelions

Managing and Controlling Dandelion Growth in PA & NJ

Spring is just around the corner, which means warmer temperatures and the beginning of the growing season will be upon us. After a long and dark winter it will be refreshing to see the first flowers of spring begin to rise through the ground. We might see the likes of colorful tulips and wallflowers, or hydrangeas and primroses which all might help lift our spirits as we begin to spend more time outside in the spring weather. However, April showers will bring a lot more than just flowers and plants. Along with it we will see the likes of one of the most notorious and invasive lawn weeds: dandelions. These yellow growing weeds can seemingly begin to sprout out of nowhere, and in large quantities. While it can seem tricky to manage dandelion growth in your yard, understanding when and how they grow can help you better prepare and even prevent dandelion growth altogether.

What Exactly Are Dandelions?

Dandelions are a broad-leaf perennial weed that begins growing in early spring. They can grow in almost any type of soil, and have the ability to grow rapidly in areas with a lot of sunlight. This allows dandelions the ability to grow in almost any type of lawn, making them one of the most common lawn weeds that homeowners will often have to deal with. Dandelions grow into yellow looking flowers, which might be appealing to some, but for the majority of people it is an unwanted eyesore. Even worse, when dandelions mature they turn from a yellow flower to a white fuzzy mess, and the seeds of the dandelions can be blown easily by the wind causing them to spread around your lawn. They may seem to actually die out in the fall, the taproots of the dandelions stay intact deep under the soil and begin to sprout once again the following spring.

Dandelion Maintenance 

With the proper care and attention, dandelion growth can be easily treated or prevented. Mowing your lawn at a higher clip can actually choke out the dandelions by preventing them from getting the proper sunlight and nutrients that they need to grow. The most effective way in preventing dandelion growth entirely is by completely removing the taproot. Before winter arrives, spraying your lawn with a preventative herbicide can fully eliminate the taproots of the dandelions and keep them from growing again the following spring. If you haven't taken preventative measures, dandelions can still be easily treated as they begin to grow. Instead of hand-pulling every dandelion you can seek the help of a professional lawn care service to come and spray them with a specific weed killing herbicide. Blue Grass Lawn Service specializes in dandelion lawn care that will effectively remove dandelions while still maintaining the health of your lawn.

Learn more about our treatment plans or give us a call at (215) 364-7000 for a FREE quote!

 

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20 Feb 2022
Image of crabgrass

Crabgrass Weed Removal in PA & NJ

Once crabgrass begins growing in your yard, it can seem difficult to get rid of that pesky lawn weed for good. Every new growing year you may try different ways to combat your crabgrass issues. You might cut your grass extremely short, or use certain weed killers that are simply ineffective at eliminating crabgrass completely from your lawn. No matter what you try to do, crabgrass seems to continue growing and invading your lawn. Most conventional weeds live for several years, but unlike most weeds crabgrass plants only live for one year. However, what those plants are capable of doing in that one year of life can have long-standing consequences on the quality of your yard. Understanding how crabgrass behaves, and how to break its growth cycle can help you completely purge it from your lawn for good. 

Understanding the Crabgrass Growth Cycle

The first step to effectively treating your crabgrass problem is by understanding how it grows. Crabgrass is an annual weed whose seeds germinate during spring and summer. Crabgrass most commonly grows in sandy, compressed soil where the grass is in a weakened and thinned state. These delicate lawns allow sunlight to directly strike the soil, which is an ideal condition for crabgrass germination. Crabgrass self-seeds easily and a single plant can produce 150,000 seeds during the growing season, which is one of the primary reasons that it can be so difficult to treat and control. The many ungerminated seeds that are produced can stick around until the next spring and future growing seasons waiting to fully germinate and start the cycle all over again. This is why it is important to prevent crabgrass seeds from ever becoming seed-producing plants, as this is the most effective way to prevent it from growing in the first place. 

Crabgrass Pre-Emergence Treatment 

With all of these potential crabgrass seeds waiting to grow in your lawn, the best way to handle crabgrass is by using a pre-emergence treatment. The first and most critical step to this treatment is ensuring that it gets applied in the spring before the crabgrass seeds are allowed to germinate. Having an experienced lawn care professional apply pre-emergent herbicides to your lawn can keep the crabgrass away, while also ensuring that the other areas of your lawn remain healthy. If crabgrass has already begun to sprout, it can also be treated with a post-emergent herbicide that targets the actual plants instead of the seeds. If you think your lawn can benefit from pre or post-emergent care to treat your crabgrass problems, Blue Grass Lawn Service may be able to help. Our team has over 36 years of experience with various lawn care services and can work with you to decide what kind of lawn treatment best meets your needs.

Learn more about our treatment plans or give us a call at (215) 364-7000 for a FREE quote!

 

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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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