Lawn Q & A:
As lawn experts, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best products, services and information. Below are some of the most common questions regarding lawns followed by a detailed answer. If you have a question for us that is not listed below please feel free to contact us.
Q: WHEN AND HOW LONG SHOULD I WATER?
A: When the temperature is below 90 degrees we recommend watering each area of your lawn every other day for 20-30 minutes per area. Water first thing in the morning having entire lawn watered by 8 AM or by the time the sun gets up in the sky. Water right after mowing the lawn no mater what time of the day and even if you plan to water the next day….stay on schedule.
If it is above 90 degrees plan on adding an extra day of watering if your lawn starts showing brown heat stressed areas.
You can water more often with shorter times per area. Water 6-8 times a week for 10-20 minutes per area. Of course more times when it is above 90 degrees and once right after mowing.
You should be able to push the 6″ shaft of a screw driver in the ground easily if your lawn is getting enough water.
Q: HOW HIGH SHOULD I MOW?
A: Mow no shorter than 3″ high and in if the temperature is above 90 degrees plan on mowing at least 3 1/2″ high.
Q: So, why do I need a lawn care company?
A: While it is true that anyone can apply fertilizer to their own lawn, there are many things that homeowners are unaware of when it comes to all that is involved in the proper care of turf grass. Such things as how much fertilizer should be applied, at what times during the year should they be applied, what rate should these products be applied at, what weed controls work best for which weeds, what is the difference between insect damage and a disease lesions, etc. The list goes on, and some answers can change depending on what type of weather we are encountering during any particular summer. Unfortunately, some people discover this only after they have incurred costly damage to their lawn. Most people find that the cost of having professionals handle their lawn care needs is only slightly higher than the actual cost of purchasing and applying their own products. And it is definitely less expensive than the cost of repairing fertilizer or herbicide damage.
Q: What kind of service does your company provide?
A: At Lamke lawns, we offer professional lawn fertilizing and weed control, without the hassle of annoying sales calls. Our lawn care program consists of a six-step fertilization program including grub control and two weed sprays. Disease control is also available for those that desire it. We use only the best products on the market today, coupled with an exceptional customer service philosophy. With many years of experience in the lawn care field.
Q: How many fertilizer applications do I need for my lawn?
A: There is a fine line between too much and too little fertilizer, but the recommended number of applications is generally 3-6 granular per season, depending on the type of fertilizer we use on your lawn. Due to the various diseases that are out there, proper fertilization can either help or harm your grass. That is why knowing when, what and how much to apply is important. Excessive fertilizer applications and/or applying the wrong type of fertilizer at the wrong time can actually cause problems to develop within your lawn
Q: What is the proper way to mow my lawn?
A: Mowing is one of the most crucial practices done to a homeowner’s lawn, but also the one that is most often done incorrectly. Mowing height is critical to your lawns survival especially during the hot summer months. Most lawns are a combination of bluegrass and fescues, and they should be cut high. Grass blade height should be between 3 to 4 inches high after mowing. The blade height of grass above ground is in direct proportion to root depth below ground. This means taller grass, deeper and healthier roots, short grass, shallow roots and potential for root death. Avoid leaving excess clippings. Too many clippings can lead to thatch problems down the road. Remember the 1/3rd rule—don’t cut more than a third of the grass blade off at one time. This will cause undue stress that can lead to serious problems, such as thinning, disease, etc. Finally, make sure your blade is sharp. Dull blades will tear grass instead of cutting it cleanly. This will cause grass tips to yellow and can give your entire lawn a yellowish look.
Q: What is the proper way to water my lawn?
A: Another important practice that if done incorrectly can lead to problems. Amount, frequency and timing are all important factors that need to be considered when watering your lawn. A lawn should receive ½ to ¾ inch every other day (extreme conditions may call for more). This can be measured with a rain gauge or simple coffee can. Length of watering time should be consistent and should adequately supply ½ to ¾ inch of water during any single watering. Watering for short periods of time can lead to shallow-rooted grass that can stress out during the hot summer months.
Timing is also crucial. Avoid nighttime watering as it can make grass susceptible to disease pathogens. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, setting it to water and be done with all areas/zones by 8am is best.
Those without sprinkler systems and who work all week often face the dilemma of either watering at night when you return home or not watering at all. Try this method instead; it has helped many people caught in this predicament. Set your hose out in the area(s) you want to water the night before. In the morning when you are getting ready for work, turn the sprinklers on and let them run until you are ready to leave. As you leave for work, shut the sprinklers off. That night, move the sprinkler to the next area(s) and repeat this process the following morning. Your lawn will receive the necessary water it needs and you will avoid making conditions more susceptible to disease.
Q: What are lawn diseases?
A: A disease is caused by fungi that are found in a lawn’s soil. When these fungi are presented with optimal conditions, disease lesions will begin to appear within a lawn. There are many different fungi and many different outside factors that work together to bring about a disease. Diseases can develop due to unfavorable growing conditions, poor cultural practices, nutrient deficiencies or excesses, thick thatch layer, extremes in temperature, air humidity, and moisture, etc. This is only a small list of some of the causes. Some of these can be controlled, while others cannot. The best defense against diseases is to practice proper cultural practices (mowing, watering, etc.) and timely fertilization. Together these practices develop healthy turf that can withstand the assault from diseases.
Q: I regularly mow, water and fertilize my lawn while my neighbor does nothing. Yet every year I get grub worms and they do not, why?
A: Quite simply, your lawn is more appealing. White grubs are the larvae of beetles. These beetles need to lay their eggs in the soil in order for their eggs to hatch. When having to choose between burrowing through a hard, dry, compacted soil or a well-cared for, healthy soil, the choice is obvious. Your lawn offers the least amount of work for them and is thus a more appealing environment for laying their eggs.
Q: How can I get rid of wild grasses in my lawn?
A: Depends on the grass. Crabgrass and other annuals can be prevented by applying the proper pre-emergent. A timely spring application will keep their seeds from germinating. However, if not prevented once they come up they are difficult to control. As for undesirable grasses, such as Tall Fescue, and Quack grass, there are few, if any, effective controls. Since these grasses are not annuals, they remain from year to year, making them almost impossible to get rid of. Controlling them often involves damaging surrounding desirable grasses and the cost usually outweighs the results that are yielded. Since these wild grasses are everywhere, chances are they will return the following season as well.
Q: When is the best time to seed?
A: Either during the spring or early fall months. Fall is the best since pre-emergents are put down in the spring and can prevent seed from germinating. Seeding during the wet seasons will usually help ensure that the seed receives enough water to germinate. It is important to choose the correct seed when preparing to reseed an area. For example, shady bluegrass for shady areas or a sunny mixture for exposed areas.
Q: How long after you spray my weeds before they die?
A: Weed control begins working almost immediately, curling and browning the weeds. When this occurs the weeds are dying. However, it usually takes 10-14 days before dead weeds fully disappear from view. This is aided by mowing. (give it about 2-3 mowing’s) After that, if weeds are still present, or new weeds appear, your lawn may need to be re-treated. Some weeds take more than one spray of weed control.