Useful tips from the lawn care experts at Power Equipment Warehouse!
Warren, OH -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/13/2012 --Power Equipment Warehouse, a global supplier of power equipment and lawn care products wants your lawn to be healthy, beautiful and lush so you can enjoy it! Winter is still upon us, but now is the perfect time to prepare your lawn and garden.
Winter Watering: Your lawn can be adversely affected by winter desiccation which commonly occurs in heavy, clay compacted soils. Desiccation occurs when snow remains atop the lawn for an extended period of time. Winter watering can minimize the damaging effects of dry conditions. Check the forecast and only water your lawn when the soil is unfrozen and the air temperature is above 40 degrees F. Do not water before a sudden temperature drop because this can permanently harm your plants and lawn. It is best to apply water at mid-day so it can gravitate into the soil before colder nighttime temperatures and potential freezing. Try to moisten the top 6 inches of soil for turf-grasses, and the top 12 inches for trees and shrubs. Do not use root feeders or other deep root watering devices in the winter. Water slowly so it soaks in and does not run off or freeze. If dry conditions persist, one or two careful irrigations per month may be needed.
Got the dirt on your dirt? Are you happy with the appearance of your lawn? How about your flower beds or vegetable garden? If you are not happy, have you ever considered having your soil tested? Most of us haven’t but let’s face it, happy plants grow in good soil and plants plagued by pests and disease do not. Most soil problems start with pH problems, or the acidity and alkalinity of the soil. Check with your local Cooperative Extension agent, (simply Google “Cooperative Extensions” in your State) and ask them to check the soil as well as the percentages of sand, silt and clay. It may take a year or two to get the levels where you want them. Lime is not an instant fix; it takes time for lime to combine with soil particles before improvement can be seen. January and February is the time to do this.
Seeding and Fertilizing: Do you plan to re-plant your lawn or patch some spots? Be sure to check the soil as advised above. Grass seed can be applied in March, or when the soil begins to warm (depending on your climate). Keep in mind there are many types of grass seed to choose from; quick germination, sun, shade and even play areas. Crabgrass control can be used until the end of April or when the soil temperatures reach 70 to 80 degrees. Weed killers need to be applied while the weeds are growing actively and can be applied until growth stops in the fall. Grub controls can be applied from May thru August, depending on the type of chemicals they contain. Remember to start grub control treatment from the foundation of your home outward because grubs infest flower beds as well as lawns. Grubs attract skunks too!
Aerating, Dethatching and Over Seeding: These turf management practices will keep your yard healthy and lush. Aeration is the process of mechanically removing cores of turf to improve the flow of air, water and nutrients in dense, compacted soil. Soil compaction occurs due to foot traffic and mowing. Compacted soil forces particles together thus reducing the area where roots can grow. Aeration relieves this and allows air, water and nutrients to reach the grass roots. Aeration should be performed at least once a year in the spring between March and May, or in the fall between August and November. Cool season grasses such as perennial Rye grass and Kentucky bluegrass benefit from fall aeration while warm season grasses such as Zoysia and Bermuda benefit most from spring or summer aeration. To prepare your yard for aeration, map out any obstructions such as sprinkler heads and drains. Water the area the night before to soften the soil and go over high traffic areas more than Water and apply fertilizer after aeration.
Dethatching – Thatch is a layer of accumulated roots, crowns and grass clipping that act as an insulator to keep soil temperatures low and retain moisture. A build up of thatch thicker than ½ inch will prevent the exchange of water and nutrients in the soil. This decreases the turf’s ability to thrive and fight disease and dehydration. Dethatching, also known as combing or power raking, removes unwanted thatch. Dethatching is recommended to be done in early spring or late fall and can be done with flail blades, delta reel blades or spring tines. Be sure the blades on the dethatcher are not set too deeply.
Over Seeding – Revive your tired, thin lawn by over seeding it. Rotating knives slice the turf and seeds are deposited into the slits. As the seeder moves forward, the soil covers the seeds and aids germination. We recommend over seeding in two applications with the second application made at a 45 degree angle to the first. You will notice a distinct pattern that will grow- in after the turf gets thicker. Water thoroughly as soon as over seeding is complete and continue to water lightly each day until the seeds germinate. Water regularly once the grass has sprouted to encourage deeper root growth.