Archive for March, 2013

Importance of a Planned Lawn Maintenance Program

Maintaining a beautiful, well manicured lawn does not have to be back breaking and ruin your summer.  With a planned maintenance program in place, keeping your lawn looking great can be simple and rewarding.  The most important thing to remember is the importance of your plan.  The plan should consist of the height and frequency of mowing.  This is a lot more important than many first think when manicuring their lawn.  Other important factors to consider is the fertilizer.  It is extremely important to know exactly what you are applying to the soil, how much, and how often.  Not preparing yourself with some of this information can even be illegal.  Having a plan in place will prevent unwanted accidents, and give you the beautiful lawn you have always wanted.

The first and most frequent step in a quality lawn maintenance program is mowing.  The main importance of mowing is maintaining the stand of turf by discouraging weed growth and disease.  It is important to keep the mowers clean, in proper working condition, and mow with a sharp blade.  This allows for a clean cut, so the grass does not fray or split at the end.  Frays or splits in grass blades are like open wounds.  These open wounds make your lawn more susceptible to fungus and disease.  Frequent mowing is important, but it is also just as important to know the height and frequency of mowing.  When grass is first planted and sprouting it is important to mow fairly short, around 2-2 1/2 inches.  Once the lawn is established you can continue mowing at your normal height.  Cool season grasses should be mowed at three inches.  Some say it is best to mow grass shorter in the spring, and longer in the summer.  The reason for mowing shorter in the spring is due to baby grass, maintain short turf during rapid growth, and discouraging weed growth.  Mowing turf longer in the summer is generally for drought and heat protection.  These speculations do have good thought behind them, although it is not something that should be stuck in stone.  Mowing consistently at three inches will give you a healthy stand of turf that is resistant to disease, drought, and weeds.


A well planned fertilizing regiment is also very important in maintaining a well groomed lawn.  Fertilizer is essentially nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.  In many cases there are additives to the fertilizer such as iron, calcium, lime; or pest control chemicals for weeds and bugs.  It is important to know the time of year to best treat the soil for these chemicals.  Grass in your lawn uses these elements when growing.  It is important to replenish the soil of these nutrients for the grass to continue growing healthy.  Adding such things as iron, calcium, or lime to the soil is to counteract a chemical or pH imbalance in the soil.  It is important to have your soil tested to ensure proper growing conditions.  Other additives such as chemicals are to kill and repel pests.  Weeds are considered pests as well are bugs, so they are treated as such with chemicals.  It is important to either read the chemical label yourself, or have a trained professional apply chemicals to your lawn.  Improper application of chemicals can be very harmful to the environment and even illegal.


The frequency of fertilizer applications depends on what you want for your lawn.  Fertilizing every month is not out of the question.  For those who want a thick lush stand of turf with zero weeds, this is a good option for you.  Weeds grow actively  so it is important to exterminate them while they are small, before they mature and are more difficult to kill.  Additionally, when the grass is actively growing it uses up more nutrients, so it is important to replenish the soil.  Of course some people do not wish to fertilize this frequently.  In that case, it is even more important to have a well thought out plan.  Spacing out fertilizer applications can be accomplished by properly using pre-emergent additives in the fertilizer.  This will prevent weeds from starting, and maintain nutrient levels in your soil.  The least amount of fertilizing you can get away with, in our opinion, and still encourage growth and a pest free environment is 3-4  applications.  It is important to begin your lawn in the spring with starter fertilizer to bring it out of winter dormancy.  Another application in mid spring will help prevent weeds.  This is when weeds are growing most aggressively, so it is important to treat them before they can begin growing.  Grub control should be applied in the summer  when grubs are young and hatching.  Grubs can turn into a big problem for a lawn no matter how healthy, so it is important to treat for these specific bugs.  Grub control is generally optional, although a small investment once per year can save a lot of money.  The last application is winterizing fertilizer.  It encourages grass into winter dormancy and helps establish deep root growth.


Planning your lawn maintenance program in advance can have many benefits   You will have a more attractive property, and your lawn will be more resistant to disease, drought, and pests.  Additionally, in the following years, the plan will require less work because many issues have already been corrected or prevented.  With a proper planned lawn maintenance program in place you too can have a beautiful lawn.  Nothing else you can just  contact SK Lawn Care and we would be happy to put a plan together for you.