Lawn Care

Stiped Cuts

Stiped Cuts

Ever wonder how golf courses and athletic fields achieve the striped cuts? By simply cutting in a back and forth pattern the grass will tend to lay in the direction of the sun. By constantly repeating this you can “train” the grass to achieve this effect. Cool season grasses stripe better than warm season grasses.

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Stiped Cuts

Clean Cut

Mowing when the grass is wet or with a dull blade can cause the tip of the grass to shred, giving the lawn a brown appearance as the tips dry out, and making the grass more susceptible to disease. Cutting the grass in the intense heat can cause stress to the plant.

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Stiped Cuts

Hydroseeding

For fast results, try hydroseeding your lawn. Hydroseed is prepared in a mixing tank. As the tank is filling with water, a cellulose fiber is added, as well as the seed mixture. Once the tank is full, a growth stimulant and fertilizer are added and then mixed for about ten minutes. Once it’s ready, the mixture is sprayed evenly across the soil.

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Stiped Cuts

Fertilizer Rules

The general rule of thumb is to fertilize cool season turf grasses, e.g., bluegrass, fescue or ryegrass in the fall months and warm season grasses, e.g., bermuda, zoysia and St Augustine in the summer months. Combination products of fertilizer with pesticides can provide excellent results. However, care must be taken to use the right product for the intended situation and to follow the directions on the label. With fertilizer, more is never better.

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Stiped Cuts

Blower Basics

If you dread the tedious task of raking leaves each fall, you’ll be amazed at the ease of using a leaf blower. These gasoline or electric-powered machines force a stream of fast-moving air through a handheld nozzle. The air stream quickly propels into neat piles of leaves and debris from your lawn, driveway, walkway or patio. Some models also vacuum and deposit leaves into attached bags or shred them into small “mulch” particles, which protect your plants and soil from the winter cold.

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Stiped Cuts

Lawn Watering

If you don’t have a soil moisture probe, some simple guidelines can help you decide when to water. Water when grass changes from a green to a grayish blue color, when grass leaves begin to roll, when the grass stays down after being walked on, or when you can’t easily push a screwdriver down into the soil a half foot or so. Apply 1/4 in. of water and then check to see if the soil is wet down to 6 in. If it isn’t, make another application just so the soil is moist, but not wet or sticky.

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Stiped Cuts

Mowing Rules

A general rule of thumb is to never mow more than 1/3 of the leaf blade off at any one mowing. Secondly, it is better to mow twice a week (during the active growing period) and always try to mow during the coolest part of the day. Lastly, the new mulching deck mowers are terrific as they return the grass clippings and nutrients back to the soil. By doing this you can help the land fills by reducing lawn waste and you can even save an extra fertilizer applications.

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Stiped Cuts

Fertilizer Facts

It is best to apply fertilizer when the soil is moist and then water lightly. This will help the fertilizer move into the root zone where it is available to the plants, rather than stay on top of the soil where it can be blown or washed away. Watch the weather. Avoid applying it immediately before a heavy rain system is predicted to arrive. Too much rain (or sprinkler water) will take the nutrients away from the lawn’s root zone. Use the minimal amount of fertilizer necessary and apply it in small, frequent applications. An application of 2 pounds of fertilizer five times per year is better than 5 pounds of fertilizer twice a year. Calibrate your fertilizer spreader to be sure you know exactly how much material is being discharged in a given space. Follow instructions accompanying your spreader. When spreading fertilizer, cover ends of the lawn first, ten go back and forth across the rest of the lawn, using half of the recommended amount. Shut the spreader off before reaching the ends to avoik over-application. Apply the other half of the fertilizer going back and forth perpendicular to the first pattern. Dispose of fertilizer bags or containers in a safe and state-approved manner.

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Stiped Cuts

Laying Sod

If you want an instant lawn, sod’s the only way to go. First, prepare your soil with lime and fertilizer, just as you would for a seeded lawn. Lay the strips of sod in a staggered pattern so that the joints overlap. Make sure the seams are tight so that when the roots knit, the seams will be invisible. Make sure you roll it all out in one day. Even overnight, rolled sod will burn yellow. Keep your new lawn well watered for several weeks until new roots have penetrated the soil.

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Stiped Cuts

Trees vs Turf

If you have a heavily shaded area that you just simply can’t grow grass, ground covers look and work great. However, if you simply must have grass, than there are a couple of grass species that will do moderately well in shaded environments. In the Northern climates Creeping Red Fescue is the best shade tolerant turf and in the Southern climate St. Augustine performs the best. For CRF to survive it is important to quickly remove tree leaves in the fall. This is the only time of the year that the plant will see the full sun and you will want to maximize this. Keep the fertility low, the soil acidic and the turf as dry as possible. Also, neither of these turf species will handle traffic very well.

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