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Men have had fights over it.  It�s a battle of suburbia that has rocket reviews yet to be won.  They all compete for the coveted prize with the best machines made by man.  Lawn care has actually become a competition these days.  Do you want a lawn to make your neighbors jealous for?

Lawns, yard, and grass: everyone has a name for that green space, but what it really is, is your own little piece of the earth. You own it, you take care of it, and you�re responsible for it. It needs you! And, you need it.

Our lawns have become a major player in our eco-system, after all it covers about 50 million acres in just America (2003 estimate). That means what you do is multiplied thousands of times over, every day in our country. So it's important that you do things right and stop flying by the seat of your pants just because that's the way you've always done it.

Besides keeping your house from sinking into some dark abyss, your lawn is an important part of our environment.  Environmentally, turf grass reduces carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect commonly found in our urban environments.

Lawns also reduce energy consumption through its cooling effects and contribute to efforts to reduce global warming trends. Grass reduces soil erosion by holding the soil in place during heavy flooding. Just 2,500 square feet of lawn not only absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, but it also releases enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe.

It can say volumes about your pride as a homeowner.  It can say volumes about your lack of pride as a homeowner.

 

The truth is that if you live in a community that thrives on the way houses look � ala Stepford � then lawn care is important to you!

But what the experts say is true:  grass and lawns are an important part of the environment.  Let's face it: your turf grass, lawn, yard, or whatever you want to call it, is pretty cool. Not only does grass smell good when you mow it, but grass feels good to walk across. My kids like playing on it, and my dogs definitely like it for entirely different reasons. Grass looks pretty in the early morning with the dew sparkling across it, or in the fall when the first frost settles in.

The only thing all that lovely lawn of green grass asks is a little care, a little patience, and to be fed and groomed occasionally. Pretty much what your kids expect, except you'll never have to set up a college fund for your grass.

Believe it or not, some people feel that a beautifully manicured lawn is a hazard to the environment.  They feel they are unhealthy habitats that consume not only time, but also precious resources

 

In actuality, a well manicured and well taken care of lawn can actually be a thriving eco-system that can help all sorts of living things thrive and grow.  But this book isn�t really about that part of keeping a great lawn.

 

What we hope to do in this book is to help you realize your dream of having a beautifully manicured lawn by using the techniques and tricks that are used by professional landscapers.

 

Many times, there are people who believe that having a beautiful lawn rocket reviews requires the use of harmful fertilizers and other components that can damage the environment.  The reality is that you can have a beautiful lawn without harming the environment.

 

Once you learn all of the particulars, we�re pretty sure that you�ll be amazed how you can achieve a beautiful front yard, back yard, and side yard � a beautiful lawn that your neighbors will be envious of. 

 

What do you really need?  Well, we�re going to show you.  How do you take care of it?  We�ll show you that too.

 

You can have a beautiful lawn and get rid of all the critiques from those natural people.  There are many, many ways to cultivate and take care of your lawn without compromising on environmental concerns or taking up a bunch of your time.

 

Experts agree that a great lawn can be a reality.  How do you achieve that?  Read on, dear friend, read on!

 

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STARTING FROM SCRATCH

Just because it�s easier, let�s assume that you have no grass at all or that your grass is mostly dead and you need to start from square one.  There are many, many people out there who have had their homes built rocket reviews and now are faced with a patch of dirt where grass should be.

 

If you�re like me, however, you may already have a lawn, but there are many, many dead patches all around the yard that need worked on.  Well, we can work on that as well!

 

All you need to start with is a little grass seed and a little know how!

 

There are literally hundreds of grass seeds to choose from when you are trying to figure out what you want your yard to look like.  Believe it or not, all of these various grasses can make your lawn look a different way.

 

What we�re trying to say is that grass isn�t just grass.  There are different colors of green, different ways the grass lays, different ways the grass grows.  Depending on what you�re looking for, choosing the right grass for your lifestyle and preference can make all the difference in having a lawn you can be proud of.

 

The first thing you need to do before choosing a grass seed is to prepare the land.  If you have a bare patch of land, all that entails is to till up the area until you have a fine powder of dirt.  Then till that area rocket reviews again until the powder is even more powdery.  Then you can be assured you have a great place for your grass to grow!

 

What do you do, though, if you have patches that need to be filled in?  Actually, you need to do much the same thing.  Till up each piece of land until you have a very fine powder to work with.

 

In either situation, once you have the land tilled up, you�ll need to add in a little bit of fertilizer to make the ground more receptive to the seed it will be receiving.  We�ll address specific fertilizers a little bit later, but you need to find one that will help you achieve your desired results.

 

Alright, you�ve got the ground prepared.  Now what do you put
in it?

 

GRASS VARIETIES

You can�t just go to your local home improvement store and tell the clerk you need some grass seed.  Sorry, but the process is much more involved than that!

 

How will you know which grass seed you need?  Here are just a few varieties.  How would you make the choice?

 

 

And that�s just a few of the varieties out there.  Would you know which one you�d want to adorn your yard?  Well, certainly not without a little information!

 

As we said before, there are literally hundreds of different varieties out there.  How do you know which one is right for you?  Well, we can�t choose your grass seed, but we can tell you the attributes of different varieties, and then you can choose for yourself!

 

First, though, consider what you�re looking for when it comes to your lawn rocket reviews and how to care for it.  Are you wondering which grass is best for you?  Here are a few considerations:

Not every grass is good for every climate. Some species are good for shade, others are good for cold climates and still others perform better in extremely hot areas. The following is a list of the best readily available grasses for specific adaptations.

Best for shady areas

Fine-leaf Fescue:  (cool season) does not tolerate traffic, drought resistant, shade tolerant. Some varieties are more disease resistant.

Tall Fescue: (transition zone) low maintenance that offers good drought resistance and better tolerates light traffic.

Bahia Grass: (warm season) is low-growing, requiring less maintenance, has a coarse texture, makes a thick turf that fends off weeds.

St. Augustine Grass: (warm season) tough, vigorous, thick, weed-blocking. Tolerates some shade, but requires frequent watering, mowing and fertilizing. Standout varieties include Better Blue, Delmar, Raleigh, and Seville.

Best in hot climates

Bahia Grass: (warm season) is low-growing, requiring less maintenance, has a coarse texture, makes a thick turf that fends off weeds.

Bermuda Grass: (warm season) fine texture that tolerates traffic. Vigorous and tolerates drought and salt. Does not do well in shade and tends to build up thatch. Standout varieties include: Cheyenne, Patriot, Tifgreen, and Tifway II.

Seashore Paspalum: (warm season) tolerates sandy soil, salt, and wet conditions. Holds up to drought and tolerates traffic.

St. Augustine Grass: (warm season) tough, vigorous, thick, weed-blocking. Tolerates some shade, but requires frequent watering, mowing and fertilizing. Standout varieties include Better Blue, Delmar, Raleigh, and Seville.

Zoysiagrass: (warm season/transition zone) slow-growing, dense grass, drought tolerant. Does better with frequent watering. Builds up thatch. Standout varieties include: El Toro, Emerald, and Meyer.

Best in cold climates

Fine-leaf Fescue: (cool season) does not tolerate traffic, drought resistant, shade tolerant. Some varieties are more disease resistant (Aurora)

Kentucky Bluegrass: (cool season) most common cool season grass and the hardiest for cold weather. Fine texture, fills in bare spots quickly, requires more mowing, does not do well in shady areas and does not tolerate salt. Standout varieties include Adelphi, Award, Baron, Midnight, Nu Destiny and Touchdown.

Best for drought resistance

Tall Fescue: (transition zone) low maintenance that offers good drought resistance and better tolerates light traffic. Standout varieties include Arid and Jaguar 3.

Bahia Grass: (warm season) is low-growing, requiring less maintenance, has a coarse texture, makes a thick turf that fends off weeds.

Bermuda Grass: (warm season) fine texture that tolerates traffic. Vigorous and tolerates drought and salt. Does not do well in shade and tends to build up thatch. Standout varieties include: Cheyenne, Patriot, Tifgreen, and Tifway II.

Buffalograss: (warm season) one of the few native North American grasses, is drought tolerant, but doesn't hold up to traffic. Turns brown when it gets hot and when it gets cold. Grows slowly.

Seashore Paspalum: (warm season) tolerates sandy soil, salt, and wet conditions. Holds up to drought and tolerates traffic.

Zoysiagrass: (warm season/transition zone) slow-growing, dense grass, drought tolerant. Does better with frequent watering. Builds up thatch. Standout varieties include: El Toro, Emerald, and Meyer.

Best in high-use/traffic areas

Perennial Ryegrass: (cool season and over-seeding in warm season areas) medium texture, handles traffic, handles drought conditions without a lot of additional watering or fertilizer. This grass does not do well in shade. It does mix well with other grass types.

Kentucky Bluegrass: (cool season) most common cool season grass and the hardiest for cold weather. Fine texture, fills in bare spots quickly, requires more mowing, does not do well in shady areas and does not tolerate salt. Standout varieties include Adelphi, Award, Baron, Midnight, Nu Destiny and Touchdown.

Bermuda Grass: (warm season) fine texture that tolerates traffic. Vigorous and tolerates drought and salt. Does not do well in shade and tends to build up thatch. Standout varieties include: Cheyenne, Patriot, Tifgreen, and Tifway II.

Zoysiagrass: (warm season/transition zone) slow-growing, dense grass, drought tolerant. This grass does better with frequent watering, and builds up thatch. Standout varieties include: El Toro, Emerald, and Meyer.

Best for low-maintenance requirements

Fine-leaf Fescue: (cool season) does not tolerate traffic, drought resistant, shade tolerant. Some varieties are more disease resistant (Aurora)

Tall Fescue: (transition zone) low maintenance that offers good drought resistance and better tolerates light traffic. Standout varieties include Arid and Jaguar 3.

Bahia Grass: (warm season) is low-growing, requiring less maintenance, has rocket reviews a coarse texture, makes a thick turf that fends off weeds.

Buffalograss: (warm season) one of the few native North American grasses, is drought tolerant, but doesn't hold up to traffic. Turns brown when it gets hot and when it gets cold. Grows slowly.

Centipedegrass: (warm season) coarse, fast-spreading, low growing and requires little fertilizer. Is not drought resistant and may turn brown in high heat. Outstanding varieties include Centennial, Oaklawn, and Tifblair.

Growing In Shady Areas

What do you do if you have a shady area that needs grass?  Well, don�t fret!  There are some types of grasses that are specifically designed to thrive in shaded portions of your lawn.  Try a fescue in this case.  However, you can still use general grass seeds as well in those shady areas, but you have to care for it properly.

To find out which of the above best-of-breed grasses will work for you contact a local lawn care professional or contact your local county extension service. They will be able to tell you through trial and error which ones will work for your situation.

You also want to be careful about mixing different species together. For example, Fine Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass are both recommended for cold areas, but the two don't go well together in the same lawn. Fine Fescue is a bunching grass, while Kentucky Bluegrass is a spreading-type grass. You'll end up with clumps of fine fescue growing up out of your Bluegrass lawn and it will look just bad.

So, make your choice and get ready to start!  How?

 

PLANTING THE SEED

The way you plant your grass seed depends on what shape your current lawn is in.  You need to evaluate your situation and go from there!

 

Seeding an Existing Lawn

 

Let�s say that you already have a lawn, but there are places that need to be filled in and thickened up.  Your best bet with this type of lawn is to aerate it and over-seed.

 

An aerator is a machine that will poke a hole in the ground (thousands of them actually) and remove a core of soil and leave it laying on the surface. These are called core aerators. Some aerators will simply push a spike into the ground creating a hole, this type is not as good.   Check with an equipment rental store to find an aerator that will work for you.

 

To start with, mow your grass as low as you can safely, don't throw rocks and dig dirt with the mower, but get it down to about 1" high.  This will stunt the grass and slow its growth allowing the new grass that you will seed to get started with limited competition from the existing grass.

 

After mowing take an aerator, and go over the entire lawn at least twice. rocket reviews Depending on the model you use, the aerator will poke holes every 2 to 8 inches apart. If you can look down at the lawn at any point and not see spots that don't have holes larger than 6", you are doing fine. If you have a spot larger than 6" without holes in it, you won't have very much grass come up in that spot, so go over the lawn as many times as it takes to be sure you have holes everywhere.

 

Once you�re done aerating, you will start spreading your seed, but you need to accurately measure your lawn first.  Everything you do in lawn care depends on the measurement of your lawn, so do it correctly the first time and write it down so you can refer back to it whenever you need to.

 

The amount of seed you use is important. If you don't use enough you won't get the desired results. Most professionals will use 350 pounds per acre for lawns. Divided out per thousand square feet that is 8 pounds per thousand square feet.

 

Rent, buy, or borrow a seed spreader.  This will make your job much easier!  Do not use your hand and just throw it around, you won't get even coverage.

 

Spread the seed using half of the required amount spreading it in one direction, use the other half spreading the opposite direction creating a cross hatch pattern on the lawn. This way you are assured of getting even coverage.

 

After spreading the seed take a drag of any type, a piece of chain link fence, a board with a rope tied to it, or what ever you can drag behind your mower. Drag the lawn, this will push and drag seed into the holes you created and break up the little plugs of soil that the aerator left on the ground, it will cover up most of the seed giving much better germination and a thicker lawn.

 

Once you complete the dragging, spread a starter fertilizer.  You can actually do this first if you want to, it really doesn't matter. A starter fertilizer has a higher middle number than first and last numbers which means more phosphate.

 

You will need to put down 8 pounds per thousand square feet of a 6-12-12 or 4 pounds per K of a 6-24-24. This will give the ground the nutrients needed to germinate and start a turf lawn, thus the name "starter fertilizer".

 

After about a month the new grass will start to yellow off some or maybe turn pale green, this is showing you that it is time to fertilize again. Apply 6# per K of 15-15-15 this will provide the nitrogen for green and growth and phosphate and potash for root growth and overall vigor.

 

After the grass is about 3 weeks old you should be able to start mowing.  Be sure to cut it high.  Fertilizing will also need to be done on a regular schedule.  We�ll cover these issues in later rocket reviews chapters.

 

Seeding a New Lawn

If you have a new home and this is the first lawn a few things are different. Mainly you will have to do clean up and get the proper grade before working on seeding.

Once this is done you will have to till up the ground to make a soft seed bed. After tilling fertilize, and seed just as described above using the same amount of seed. Then, cover the entire lawn with straw.

Shake out straw to cover approximately 50% of the soil from view. After done you should be able to look down and still see about half of the soil showing through the straw, no more. This equates to about 100 bales per acre.

After you�re done laying down the straw it's time to start watering. Soak the lawn until runoff the first watering, followed by daily watering of sufficient length to keep the soil wet. If it dries out, the seed won't germinate.

Another option for your new lawn is to buy patches of sod.  Sod can be a quick answer to aesthetic beauty, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for this choice. 

 

There are two integral elements of growing and maintaining a lush, green lawn.  Those elements are watering and fertilizing.

 

WATERING YOUR LAWN

This is a very important part of lawn care.  You won�t have rocket reviews that beautiful carpet you desire in your yard if you don�t give it proper watering on a regular basis.  This schedule, of course, depends on the climate in which you live.

 

Do some research on how much rainfall your area has gotten in the past and how much is expected.  The type of weather in your area will determine what type of watering system will be best for you.  If you live in a dry climate, you may need an irrigation system or automatic sprinkler system.

 

       

In fact, underground automatic sprinklers are the recommended way to water lawns.  When you have such a system, watering is done when it needs it on a regular basis.  You won�t have to mess with hoses or wasting water since all watering is done with a time.  However, these types of systems are quite costly and just may not be an option for you.

 

Most people will use commercial sprinklers that can be purchased quite cheaply at any discount or home store.  When you use regular sprinklers, be sure to move them to different places in your yard so that the entire lawn is watered evenly.  If you don�t do this, you will have some spots without water and your lawn will look uneven.

Take care that you don�t over water.  Over watering your lawn causes more damage than a lack of water. That's because most turf grasses can handle dry spells, but not flooding.

Most grasses require 1 - 1.5" of water per week. This is enough water to moisten the soil to 4 - 6" below the surface for clay soils and 8 - 10" for sandy soils. Of course, natural rain will provide some of your watering needs.

        Don't guess at how much water your lawn is getting. For measuring Mother Nature's contribution, invest in a rain gauge. If at the end of the week she's contributed enough, hold off adding more. If she comes up short, you'll want to add some supplemental watering. Again, measure how much water your sprinkler is putting down.
 
        You'll have to follow local regulations when there are watering bans, but just remember that less water is acceptable and grass is a very resilient plant. When the rains do return your lawn will come back with a little encouragement on your part.

        As a note, you can make a type of irrigation system on your own for lawn watering by taking a simple garden hose and poking holes in it at consistent intervals.  Remember, though, that you�ll need to move the hose periodically to insure consistent watering.

 

FERTILIZERS

Your lawn consists of thousands and thousands of tiny little plants that group together closely to form patches of grass.  Plants need fertilizer to grow healthy.  We know we need to fertilize our garden and house plants, but often, the lawn is overlooked.  A green lawn needs food to grow and thrive.

 

Fertilizer is any material supplying one or more essential plant rocket reviews nutrients. Most common turf grass fertilizers include nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, but they may also include other essential mineral elements for turf grass growth.

 

Fertilizers do more than make your lawn green.  They help the grass grow too, but there�s a little more involved.  Fertilizer will help grass seed germinate quicker and get started out of the ground.  After the plants have established, fertilizer will make the grass thicker and healthier.

 

The most common questions asked by homeowners regarding fertilizers is how much and when.  Generally speaking, most lawns will need four applications of fertilizer per year.

Spread fertilizing out 60 days apart starting in early spring approximately 30 days before the growing season starts in your area.  Continue fertilization through the growing season until fall. Spring fertilizing gets the grass off to a fast start giving you that rich green color everyone wants.

As in watering, you should avoid using too much fertilizer.  General guidelines should be included on the bag.  Too much fertilizer will cause excess growth, lead to fungus growth and weaken the grass.

What type of fertilizer should you use?  Well, the answer depends on your and your needs.  However, there are two basic types:  complete and balanced.

Complete fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, but they may also include other essential minerals elements for turf grass growth.

Complete fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the same product. If a fertilizer contains less than all three elements it is referred to as an incomplete fertilizer. If urea, a 46-0-0 incomplete fertilizer, is used for every application through the season, lower turf quality may result if other essential elements are not being supplied by the soil.

Balanced fertilizers provide nutrients in a predetermined ratio that best meets the plant's requirements for those elements. Turf grasses require nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the approximate ratio of 3-1-2, 4-1-2, or 8-1-3.

Remember that the right balanced fertilizer ratio will differ with grass type, and is also influenced by soil levels of certain elements

You may want to get a slow-release fertilizer that lets their nutrients out slowly over a period of time.  These fertilizers are commercially produced and available at most home stores.

Because these lawn fertilizers release their nutrients over time, rather than all at once, you're essentially stretching out the feeding. As nutrients are released, the root system of your grass fills in any bare patches. This in itself promotes lawn weed control, depriving weed seeds of a place to germinate.

Before buying these or any other lawn fertilizers, read the instructions on the bag carefully (or ask someone at the store for details). A particular product may not be suitable for your type of grass. Likewise, when applying lawn fertilizers, follow directions explicitly, concerning how much to apply, how often they should be applied, and under what conditions they should be applied.

Lawn fertilizers are best applied with spreaders. Be advised not to fill the applicator with the spreader parked on the lawn. Doing so invites grass-burn, as you may accidentally discharge too much while loading. Instead, fill the applicator somewhere else, then wheel the spreader onto the lawn.

Many people are going green with their growing using chemical free fertilizers and weed control.  However, they don�t necessarily provide you with an advantage when fertilizing your lawn and garden.

Plants absorb nutrients in the same way, whether the source be organic or a conventional fertilizer. Turf grass roots will only absorb dissolved nutrients found in the soil water. Organic fertilizers do not offer any advantages to the care of your lawn. The choice is strictly personal preference.

In addition, there are lawn fertilizers that promote lawn weed control at the same time. Effective lawn weed control should, after all, go hand-in-hand with the application of lawn fertilizers: if the weeds suck up some of the nutrients that you're supplying, those are nutrients being wasted, as they are not going to your grass.

Fortunately, applying lawn fertilizers and practicing weed control can be integrated into the same chore � if you play your cards right!

 

WEED CONTROL

Unfortunately, there�s a lot more growing in your lawn than just grass.  Controlling weeds in a new or existing lawn is vital to the health and overall appearance of the lawn.

A beautiful smooth lawn gets most of its good looks from the fact that it is smooth and level with no weeds sticking up above the turf. You have probably mowed your lawn before only to have dandelions popping up above the grass a day later making it look like you need to mow already.

A weed free lawn holds its good looks for several days if the grass is a monoculture with uniform growing heights.

Weeds are really just one type of plant that we have decided shouldn't be growing in one particular place. It's your point of view as to what makes a weed a weed.

Some weed-type plants are invasive and fast growing. Their growth habit overtakes our cultivated turf plants, depriving them of food and water. Other weeds are extremely noxious and cause problems for humans if they get close them.

In the lawn, the most common weeds are just a nuisance. Most don't cause skin reactions or breathing difficulties, they just don't look good.

What they're also telling us is that the lawn isn't as healthy as it should be. Turf grasses today are so adept at growing into thick masses, that if maintained properly, weeds are not a problem. It is when the lawn isn't as healthy as it could be that we see weeds becoming a problem for the lawn.

There are three basic types of lawn weeds:

1.   Grass Type Weeds

2.   Grass-Like Weeds

3.   Broad Leaf Weeds

Each of these requires a different method in order to control.  Experts agree that the best way to control weeds to to prevent them from showing up in the first place.  There are certain weed control products on the market right now that can accomplish this.

They are called pre-emergent controls and should ideally be applied in the spring. The soil's surface is covered with a microscopic protective layer that prevents any germinating seeds from taking hold, including crabgrass.

If left undisturbed, this protective layer will maintain its defensive qualities throughout the prime germinating period. This is when most weed seeds will normally start developing. Of course, there is no 100% guarantee that additional seeds won't be carried in by winds, birds, or any number of other methods.

Thoroughly read, understand, and follow all information on herbicide labels. Avoid windy days, as these materials can damage many landscape and garden plants if they drift (spray droplets land off the lawn). Also avoid hot days (over 85 degrees F).

It's best to have adequate soil moisture, but no rain for 24 hours after application. Don't mow for a few days before and after application. Consider spot treating weeds rather than broadcasting weed killer over the entire area.

Use caution on newly seeded areas; wait four mowings before treating newly seeded lawns and 30 days before seeding areas treated with broadleaf herbicides. Read the label regarding potential tree damage when used on lawns growing over tree root zones.

To treat for weeds in your lawn, you have to understand the type of weed that you have. Since different type weeds require different types of treatment.  We�ll go through some of the more common types of weeds and give you some advice how to control them.

 

LAWN CARE

BY YOU!

Crabgrass

 

Crabgrass is the most common type of weed in lawns and it�s nearly impossible to completely control this weed.  Crabgrass is a warm season annual grass which grows best in the heat of midsummer when desirable lawn grasses are often semi-dormant and offer little or no competition. Crabgrass over winters as seed, comes up about mid-May or later, and is killed by the first hard frost in fall.

Crabgrass grows best in full sun. It does not grow in shady places. It will come up in clumps and look markedly different from the rest of the grass.  As it grows older, it�s �arms� will flop over and radiate out from the center rocket reviews covering the ground.

Crabgrass can be controlled in a number of ways, but the best defense against crabgrass is a thick vigorously growing lawn that is mowed no closer than 2-1/2" for cool season grasses. Use a bagger to collect grass clippings while the weed�s seed heads are present.

However, you don�t want to have unsightly crab grass in your lawn, so to gain control, do not apply fertilizer in summer and get a post-emergent herbicide. This type of herbicide is applied after the crabgrass has already sprouted.

Bentgrass

 

Bentgrass is a cool season perennial spreading grass that is commonly used for golf course greens, tees, and fairways.  For the lawn owner, bentgrass is often considered a weed.

Bentgrass is not a viable option for a home lawn because it is very expensive and difficult to cultivate and care for.  It is characterized as a very fine-textured, bright green grass with flat, narrow leaves.

Unfortunately, there is no herbicide you can use to get rid of bentgrass that won�t damage the lawn you are meaning to grow.  Patches of bentgrass will appear as fluffy, fine-textured clumps that you can remove with a spade or by just pulling.  When removing bentgrass, do so about 1� into the ground and re-seed.

You can try a herbicide with glyphosate to remove bentgrass, but be aware that it will kill the wanted grass along with the unwanted grass.  apply the herbicide to an area about six inches or so outside the patch of Bentgrass to kill the individual stems which are creeping outwards from the patch, otherwise, these patches will reemerge.

Apply glyphosate in spring or fall when the grasses are actively growing. Wait approximately seven days, then reseed or sod the area. If you decide to till the soil prior to establishment, and see bits of Quackgrass rhizomes coming to the surface, remove these. Or wait two weeks or so until enough new Quackgrass leaves emerge and kill the new plants with a second application of glyphosate.

Dandelions 

 

Most people are familiar with dandelions.  They are a broad leaf weed that begins with bright yellow flowers that eventually change into a globe of fine filaments which are seeds that are distributed by the wind.  Who hasn�t blown a dandelion into the air?

Even though dandelions are considered a weed, they actually do have some uses in both food and medicine.  They are close in character to mustard greens and are sometimes used in soups or salads.

Dandelion root is a registered drug in Canada and is used as a diuretic.  It can also be used to treat anemia, jaundice, or to sooth nervousness.  And, of course, who hasn�t heard of dandelion wine?

If not effectively controlled, dandelions can quickly take over your yard and kill off patches of grass as they rob the soil of water and nutrients meant for the lawn.  Simply picking or mowing over the flowers won�t get rid of them.

Dandelions are best treated during active growing cycle with a spot treatment. If you use a dry granular form of weed killer or a weed and feed type of fertilizer, apply it to wet grass and weeds. The weed control material must stick to the leaves of the weed plants to be effective. If you spray a liquid, apply it only on a calm day so material will not drift onto desirable plants.

Remember, broadleaf weed killers are broadleaf plant killers. They do not, for example, differentiate between dandelions and tomato plants. Apply them only to weeds in the lawn. Be careful not to get the material onto desirable plants in your yard. Read and follow all label directions.

 

Ground Ivy

 

This weed is a perennial with creeping stems that root at the nodes and has foliage that emits a mint-like odor when mowed.  Ground ivy is primarily a weed of turf grass and landscapes

Ground ivy is hard to control because you can't pull it out easily in lawns and many commercial broadleaf lawn weed killers have little or no effect on it. The most common active ingredient in granular and liquid broadleaf lawn weed killers is 2,4-D, but 2,4-D has little effect on ground ivy.

Another common active ingredient, MCPP, or, mecoprop, also rocket reviews has little effect on ground ivy. Dicamba is an active ingredient that does control ground ivy. Dicamba is also called Banvel.

There are several lawn weed killer products available that contain dicamba. Most of them also contain 2,4-D and MCPP. However, you may still need to make repeat applications with dicamba-containing products to completely control ground ivy. Ground ivy spreads via creeping stems that propagate new plants.

 

Moss

Moss in a lawn is an indication that the turf is not growing well. Moss doesn�t grow in healthy lawns. Lack of fertility, soil compaction, poor drainage, shade and poor soil aeration are the most common cause of moss in lawns. 

It is important to consider that moss does not kill the grass; it simply creates unfavorable growing conditions such as shade, poor drainage, poor fertility or compacted soil.  These conditions, not the moss, ultimately cause the grass to die out. 

If you want to eliminate moss from a lawn, focus on improving conditions for growing grass, and don't worry about the moss -- it will disappear on its own as the grass gains vigor.

Herbicides and chemical control have only short term effects on moss. If herbicide use is not accompanied by proper environmental and physical controls, then the initial effect will be bare dirt or mud. Mosses will eventually return because the lawn deficiency, which led to the moss invasion, still exists.

When herbicides alone are used, the symptoms, not the cause, of a weedy lawn are being treated. Furthermore, many of the common herbicides, such as glyphosate, are ineffective against mosses, at least in some conditions.  Therefore, if you perceive of the moss in your lawn as a problem, improve conditions for growing grass, rather than using herbicides.

Lime has often been suggested for moss control. Lime will raise the soil pH but will do little or nothing to prevent moss growth. The fact that the soil is acidic has little to do with the growth of moss. In fact, you can see moss growing on limestone and concrete.

If your lawn area is moist and shady, you will have difficulty controlling moss because you have an ideal environment for moss growth. Moss is often troublesome in spring when temperatures are cool and soil moisture high.

Mushrooms

 

Mushrooms, also called toadstools or puffballs, are fruiting bodies of soil fungi. They appear in lawns during wet weather in spring and summer. Mushrooms live on organic matter such as roots, stumps and boards in the soil.

Most don't harm the lawn but are unsightly. Mushrooms that grow in arcs or circles of dark green grass are called fairy rings. The arcs or rings enlarge from 3" � 2' each season as the fungi grows outward. The fairy ring fungus may interfere with water flow through the soil and stress the lawn.

There is no chemical control for mushrooms. Time is the best cure. Once the buried wood has completely decayed the mushrooms will disappear. Break mushrooms with a garden rake or lawn mower for temporary control. This helps to dry the mushrooms and reduces the risk of children eating them. Control individual mushrooms by removing the organic matter. Dig up and remove the wood. Fill and reseed, or sod, as needed.

Bermuda

Bermuda grass is an annual, fine textured "creeping grass" that grows and spreads rapidly during warm summer months.  Similar to bent grass, this type of seed is commonly used on golf courses and sports fields.

Due to its rapid and sometimes widespread growth during warm months, Bermuda can quickly take over cool-season grasses while dormant. Herbicides are usually not as effective as simply hand-picking these weeds before they grow out of control.

To help prevent this, you can apply a pre-emergence just prior to its growing season (usually spring time) to prevent the seeds from germinating. However, the other extreme is to apply fluazifopbutyl or glyphosate to kill all of the grass, then reseed over it. This is only suggested if you plan on replanting or renovating your lawn afterwards.

Chickweed

Common chickweed (Stellaria media) is a matted, herbaceous, winter annual broadleaf plant. Chickweed is a prolific spring weed as it thrives under cool, wet conditions. It rarely tolerates hot, dry conditions that occur in late spring or early summer. Other common names for chickweed include starweed, winterweed, satin flower and tongue grass.

Chickweed is more regarded as a weed than as a useful plant, but rocket reviews has a place in folk medicine as a remedy for asthma, constipation, cough, fever and various other ailments. The seed of chickweed is a source of food for birds.

To remove chickweed, you�ll need to hoe or hand-pull the plants.  The top-growth is brittle and the roots are tenacious, so this will take some effort.

Trace the stems back to the growing point and loosen the roots - though being an annual these do not have to be completely removed, just the growing point. Dispose of uprooted plants if flowers and seed heads are present. Regular hoeing of the seedlings for a few seasons reduces the frequency of germination.

As far as weed killers you can use, a residual herbicide can be applied to suppress germination in non-cultivated areas.  Look for the ingredients Paraquat or Diquat, with contact action killing top growth.  Apply before flowering begins.

Dallis Grass

Dallis Grass is a broadleaf weed that closely resembles crab grass.  It is one of the most difficult to control weeds for lawn care. Patches will appear in clumps with leaves that extend upright.  Some patches can grow quite large if left untended and can appear unsightly in an otherwise beautiful lawn.

Dallis grass is a perennial grass with light-green color. Dallis is easily identified by its long seed-heads that protrude from the top. Dallis tends to thrive in wet areas with lots of heat, and grows in circles out from the center of the weed.

Try to improve the drainage of your lawn to take dampness away from the areas were they grow. Additionally, allow the top of the soil to partially dry between each watering to help retain the water only in the root area.

Apply pre-emergence fertilizers (usually in the late-spring ) to prevent seed germination and growth. Once weeds are established, pull them by hand and make sure you get the roots as well. After pulling, reseed the area with the desired grass.


Plantain

 

Broadleaf plantain is a common broadleaf weed in lawns.  It is identified by oval leaf blades 2 � 6 inches long with 5 to 7 ribs that that parallel the leaf margins.  In turf grass they form dense clumps

No single procedure has been successful in controlling plantain in turf grass. Early removal of new seedlings has been successful when practiced diligently.

Digging out perennial plantain plants must be done regularly for several years to be successful. Repeated applications to perennial plants with products containing 2,4-D or triclopyr can be helpful. Once these weeds are killed in open sites, these areas should be over-seeded to establish a vigorous turf grass sod.

Pre-emergent turf grass herbicides commonly used for crabgrass control have not been successful in limiting germination of plantain. Isoxaben, a relatively new broadleaf pre-emergent herbicide, has been effective in limiting germination of plantain in turf grass.

Post-emergent broadleaf herbicides (2,4-D, triclopyr, MCPA, and mecoprop) can control plantain seedlings, but control of established plantain plants with post-emergent treatment is much more difficult.

For established plants, 2,4-D works best while triclopyr, MCPA, and mecoprop will only reduce its vigor. Best control is achieved from a fall application. Repeat applications are needed to kill weakened perennial weeds and new germinating seedlings.

See also removal instructions for dandelions as the removal of the two are similar.

Establishing and maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn can be a daunting task, but if you are committed to making your home look good, it is essential that you pay attention to the quality of your lawn.

Certain types of grasses � the most commonly used, in fact � are prone to patch diseases that can devastate the most carefully groomed lawn.

 

PATCH DISEASES

Patch diseases will occasionally occur in bluegrass lawns. Areas of turf die in patches, hence the name. Advanced stages of the disease appear as rings of dead turf surrounding living turf that resembles a "frog's eye". Researchers have identified several fungi that cause patch-like symptoms.

Some of the more common patches include summer patch, yellow patch and necrotic ring spot.

Necrotic ring spot and yellow patch are active during cool weather in the spring and the fall, but patches may remain into the summer months. Summer patch is active during the summer period. Once established, these diseases are extremely difficult to control, and tend to occur in following years.

Red thread and pink patch are diseases that attack Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, rye grass, and bent grass. These diseases are active during the cool, moist periods of the year, causing distinct-to-irregular discolored patches to develop in lawns.

The leaves often become covered with a pink, fibrous growth. In the final stage, reddish fungal threads are found at the leaf tips. In a lawn infested with red thread or pink patch, pink areas from two to fifteen inches in diameter become readily apparent.

These spots may join to form large areas of damaged turf. Areas may turn brown and dry out. These diseases are most common under the combination of prolonged periods of high humidity, temperatures between 60?F to 75?F, and slow-growing, nitrogen-deficient turf.

To control red thread and pink patch,

  • Mow and water correctly

  • Maintain a sound fertilization program.

  • For persistent problems, the lawn can be over-seeded with a rocket reviews more resistant turf grass variety or species.

  • If detected soon enough, fungicides can be applied for temporary control of the disease.

Patch diseases can be very damaging to most cool-season turf grasses. These diseases cause circular patches of dead turf, which may surround turf that is still green. This "frog eye" symptom often occurs with this group of diseases.

Patch diseases generally occur on sodded lawns, especially within the first 5 years of establishment. However, older lawns either established from seed or sod can also develop patch diseases.

Several fungi cause patch diseases. The actual fungal pathogen will depend on the specific patch disease. The more commonly occurring patch disease includes the following:

  • Necrotic Ring Spot (Leptosphaeria Patch) - Leptosphaeria korrae.

  • Summer Patch - Magnaporthe poae.

  • Yellow Patch - Rhizoctonia cerealis.

These diseases can occur on several turf grasses, but are more damaging to Kentucky Bluegrass. In the past, some of these diseases may have been referred to as Fusarium Blight, but today are referred to by their current names.

Initial symptoms appear as small spots (2 - 4" diameter) of light green turf. Spots enlarge to form light straw colored circles, irregular patches, and crescent patterns that are 1-2 feet in diameter.

Centers of the patches may contain grass that is alive or dead. When dead, the patches of grass appear crater like or sunken. Patches may overlap to form large areas of blighted turf. Symptoms may also appear as diffused patterns of yellow or brown turf. Blackening of the infected crowns, rhizomes, and roots is also characteristic. Yellow patch on bent grass generally occurs as yellow rings that often recover.

  • Necrotic Ring Spot and Yellow Patch are favored by cool, wet conditions, occurring primarily in the spring and fall.
     
  • Summer Patch is favored by hot, humid conditions and occurs in the summer.

  • Identifying these diseases is difficult because the symptoms of Necrotic Ring Spot and Yellow Patch are still present during the summer, when Summer Patch is active.

Control of patch diseases is very difficult, and often unsuccessful. Patch diseases are more damaging if the lawn is improperly mowed and watered. Properly maintaining the turf will reduce damage and help in control.

During turf establishment, good soil preparation and selection of quality sod or seed are preventative measures. Core aeration to assist in better turf grass rooting will help in preventing disease and aid in recovery. Renovation of the diseased turf often is necessary.

Tips to help avoid patch diseases:

  • Mow frequently at 2 1/2 to 3 inches in height.

  • Irrigate properly.

  • Keep thatch to a minimum.

  • Reduce soil compaction by core aeration. (Wear golf shoes while mowing!)

  • Fungicides generally do not provide satisfactory control of patch diseases.

Another good lawn practice is to have your lawn aerated periodically.

 

The basic idea behind lawn aeration is that, like you, your lawn and the soil under it need to breathe. Providing much-needed lawn aeration for your grass entails dealing with thatch. Soils can become compacted in high-traffic areas or in areas that have mostly clay soils. This can kill off grass very quickly.

Lawn thatch is the layer of dead turf grass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface that must be removed (a process known as "de-thatching") to maintain lawn health. Lawn thatch is derived from stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes and roots.

The build-up of lawn thatch makes it difficult for your lawn to breathe. Lawn aeration performed in spring or fall helps control lawn thatch. You should have your lawn aerated once a year.

The process of lawn aeration can be as simple as poking holes in the soil throughout the lawn by walking rocket reviews over the lawn with spiked shoes such as golf shoes.  You should also faithfully remove as much lawn rocket reviews thatch as you can in fall by raking deeply, rather than just skimming the autumn leaves off the top of the lawn.

          Lawn aeration also reduces soil compaction, allowing water and fertilizer to permeate into the root zone. Grassy areas submitted to constant foot traffic require lawn aeration more frequently.

          Lawn aeration may be undertaken in the spring, as soon as the soil has thawed. But for Northern lawns, the fall season is better suited to lawn aeration. The ideal air temperature is around 60 degrees to perform lawn aeration.

 

          If the soil is severely compacted, simple lawn aeration methods such as that mentioned above may not be sufficient. In such cases, go to a rental center and rent a piece of equipment especially for lawn aeration, called the "lawn aerator." This lawn aeration equipment will pull "cores� or plugs of soil out of the ground, letting air in.

These plugs should be 2"-3" in depth. Such a plug should be pulled out of the lawn at about every 3". The plug-removal process is facilitated by watering the lawn the day before, but don't water to the point of muddying the soil.

          Likewise, if your thatch problem is severe (say, 3/4" thick or more), rent a vertical mower from a rental center. If you don�t think you can do this job yourself, there�s nothing wrong with hiring a lawn service to aerate your lawn. 

You also need to take care of your lawn properly when it gets too long.  Start with the right equipment.

You might think that lawn mowing would be a simple subject, and basically it is. However, there are some things you need to know about how to mow, when to mow, and what kind of lawn equipment you�ll need. There are all sorts of different lawn mowers on the market, you might be a little confused as to which one you should get. Well, let�s see! Reel Mowers The type of lawn mower that has become the standard is the rotary lawn mower. But the first lawn mowers were not rotary mowers, but rather reel lawn mowers. Edwin Budding invented the reel lawn mower in 1830. Unlike the rotary mowers you�re used to, reel lawn mowers don�t have an engine, relying instead merely on sharp blades and the muscle-power of the operator. Their blades also spin differently than those of a rotary mower. While a rotary mower�s blades spin on a plane parallel to the ground, the blades of a reel lawn mower spin at an angle perpendicular to the ground. � The environmentally conscious extol reel lawn mowers as a pollution-free alternative to rocket reviews gas-powered rotary mowers. Reel lawn mowers offer many benefits in addition to being easy on the environment, including benefits in safety, noise-level, maintenance and cost. Today�s reel lawn mowers are easier to use than older models, because lightweight plastics and alloys incorporated into their construction have made them easier to maneuver. There are, however, some drawbacks to using reel lawn mowers. Reel lawn mowers don�t chop up twigs as do rotary mowers. In fact, twigs get stuck in the blades and you�ll have to remove them by hand. Nor can reel lawn mowers be used in fall to shred leaves for the compost pile. Rotary mowers are also better at cutting tall grass, an important consideration for those who don�t mow the lawn religiously. These limitations argue that, for all but the most industrious and idealistic, reel mowers may be most suitable for those who tend small urban lots.
With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, many are turning to electric mowers for trimming their lawns. � Dragging around the cords of corded electric lawn mowers is a nuisance. It�s also potentially hazardous, with the potential of accidentally running over the cord with the mower. Fortunately, electric lawn mowers are no longer synonymous with cumbersome cords. � The new cordless electric lawn mowers are safer and more flexible. An added benefit is that they start with a switch, not a pull-cord, facilitating startup. Cordless electric lawn mowers run on rechargeable batteries. Not as quiet as reel lawn mowers, cordless electric lawn mowers are still less noisy than gas-powered mowers. Cordless mowers work best if your lawn is 1/3 of an acre or less, and if you keep your lawn mowed regularly. They�re not effective for larger lawns or for tall grass, since either condition puts a lot of strain on the battery. And pushing them up hills can put a lot of strain on the operator, so make rocket reviews sure you purchase a self-propelled model. Cutting moist grass also strains battery-powered mowers, although, technically, you shouldn�t be mowing at all if your lawn isn�t dry. .

PROFESSIONAL LAWN CARE.

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