Frequently Asked Questions
One of the most important areas of turfgrass management is mowing. Unfortunately, it is probably the least understood and most abused area of lawn care.
- How often should I mow my lawn?
The key here is to mow when it needs it, instead of every seven to ten days as the average homeowner does. Normally, not more than one-third of the leaf surface should be removed at any one mowing. This means that if you cut your grass at a height of two inches it should be cut when it reaches a height of three inches. Cutting off more leaf surface at one time will shock the plant and may reduce the root system.
- At what height should I mow my lawn?
Not less than two inches. During the summer months this could be raised to two and one-half to three inches. Mowing shorter than two inches can weaken the root system and make grass more prone to damage from heat and disease.
- Should I have the lawn mowed before you spray?
No. The actual height of your lawn when the application is made will not appreciably affect the results.
- How soon after a spray application can I mow?
If weed population is high you should wait at least twenty-four hours, otherwise you can mow anytime.
- Why do the tips of the grass turn brown?
A dull blade can cause this type of damage due to the tearing and shredding of the tip of the grass blades. Have your blade sharpened and balanced regularly.
- Should the clippings be picked up?
If the grass is not too long after a spray application has been made and the lawn is ready to be cut, it would be beneficial to allow the clippings to fall back onto the lawn.
Moisture is a vital element to good developmental and growth of lawn grasses. Although supplemental watering is not essential, it will bring about increased benefits to your lawn. Remember, apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
- How often should I water?
- A good rule of thumb is to water only when the lawn really needs it; every seven to ten days if no rainfall occurs. The cool season types of grasses we have in this area often go into a state of semi. dormancy during periods of high temperatures.
- How much water should be applied to the lawn?
- A thorough watering is essential for deep root development. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of several inches for best results.
Frequent shallow watering will harm your lawn and should be avoided.
- When should I water?
- During the daylight hours. Watering at night will increase the risk of disease.
- Should the lawn be watered after you spray?
- During periods of adequate rainfall, it is not necessary to “water-in” our applications. At times when rainfall is lacking, watering will carry nutrients down into the root zone and will help the lawn respond faster. To obtain the best results we would recommend the following: Watering should be delayed for at least twenty-four hours following an application which contains weed control. After this time, watering will increase weed growth, thus increasing the speed and effectiveness of the weed control. Other applications which do not contain weed control can be watered immediately.
From time to time you may want to do some seeding on your lawn. It is recommended that you do this seeding during the fall when we have the best growing conditions.
When seeding, be sure to put seed in contact with the soil.
We recommend either verti-cutting or core aerification to help prepare seed bed for better germination.
Aeration also allows better penetration of fertilizer and water and helps decompose the thatch layer
- How long will it take for the weeds to die?
- Normally three to four weeks – this will vary depending on time of year, weather conditions, and how actively growing the weeds are when the weed control is applied. An actively growing weed will absorb the herbicide faster and consequently will be eliminated quicker.
- Will rain affect the weed control effectiveness?
- If it rains too soon after the application has been made it may reduce the weed controls effectiveness. The length of “dry” time required between the application and the rainfall depends on how actively growing the weeds are. If after two weeks, the weed control results are poor, we will respray the weed control at no additional charge to you.
- Will the weed control application harm my trees and shrubs?
- We have selected the safest spray materials available and use modern equipment which has been designed to reduce drift. Our technicians are very careful to avoid any damage to your valuable landscape plantings-normally they stay six to eight inches away from the plants to be extra safe.
- Why do weeds keep coming back? I thought you killed them.
- Herbicides control weeds, they do not prevent them.
Weed seeds are present in the soil from many years past, and they will grow when conditions are right. To a lessor extent, weed seeds are always carried into your lawn by wind and rain. Weed control is most effective when the weed is healthy and growing vigorously.
- Will weed control be 100 percent effective?
- No. Some weeds are easily controlled, some may require several applications over a period of time and some weeds are not controllable. Violets and most types of veronica are two that are virtually impossible to control. Control may be achieved by applying herbicides on a weekly basis for several consecutive weeks during certain times of the year.
- I have clumps of grassy weeds. Can you get rid of them?
- Most homeowners expect wide-bladed perennial grasses to be eliminated along with broadleaf weeds, i.e., quackgrass coarse fescue, orchard grass, velvet grass, etc. They cannot be controlled selectively.
They must be spol-treated with a vegetation control, and the area reseeded.
- Why do you call bent grass an undesirable grass? Don’t golf courses use it for putting surfaces?
- Lawn experts agree that bentgrass requires much more special care than most other grass varieties
Most bentgrasses are known to be disease-prone, require mowing heights of less than one-half inch, periodic watering, yearly verticutting, and a well-balanced fertilization program. For these and other reasons, bentgrass is considered a weed in a bluegrass lawn.
- How do you control crabgrass and foxtail?
- We use pre-emergent herbicide which places a barrier over the soil before the crabgrass and foxtail germinate As long as this barrier Is not broken, the control should remain throughout the crabgrass growing
- Why do I still have crabgrass?
- The very best control against crabgrass germination is a thick stand of turf maintained at three inches. There are so many variables involved in the control of crabgrass that 100 percent control is not probable. If the infestation is serious, it could easily take two or more years to bring crabgrass to manageable limits. The barrier can be broken by edging, digging, rolling, raking, ants, moles, dogs, wearing golf shoes on your lawn, and very heavy rains. Lawns with heavy thatch will accept wind-blown seeds that will germinate above the chemical barrier. Finally, unusually wet weather conditions can cause the chemical to breakdown faster than normal allowing crabgrass breaks in middle and late summer. Considerable research is being devoted to better crabgrass control.
Turf insects are becoming more of a problem for the homeowner because of the widely varied life cycles and the limitations of various control products.
- What are grubs and what do they do to the lawn?
- White grubs, those commonly found in the lawn, are the larval stage of a number of different belles. The grub stage feeds on the root system of the grass plants. Damage can be anything from minor discoloration to total death of the affected turf area.
- Does your program take care of grubs?
- Grub control is an optional treatment which can be added to your program if it becomes necessary.
- Why do I have moles in my lawn?
- Moles primarily consume earthworms but can also consume other insects and plant tissues. Moles are best controlled in lawns by trapping.
- What are Chinch Bugs and Sod Webworms, and how do I get rid of them?
- Chinch Bugs are small insects which suck the juice out of the grass plants. They develop quickly during dry, hot weather. Sod Webworms are often present in two stages of growth: the adults are small grayish white moths which fly above the lawn when disturbed; however, it is the larval and caterpillar stages that actually eat the grass blades. Our lawn care program takes care of both these problems for you.
- What causes a lawn disease?
- Like all plants, lawn grasses are subject to several diseases. Not all lawns are affected by the same disease; some areas are more disease-prone than others. When a lawn is under stress, disease can manifest itself. Several factors cause stress, i.e., prolonged adverse weather conditions, improper mowing, and heavy thatch are the major ones.
- What will a disease do to my lawn?
- Depending on weather conditions it may have very minor effect, or it may literally wipe your lawn out.
- How can I tell if my problem is caused by a disease?
- The easiest way is to call the office and we will send a technician out to make the diagnosis.
- Does CUSTOM LAWN CARE, INC. include disease control in its lawn spraying program?
- No. It is an optional treatment that can be added if it becomes necessary. There is such a wide variety of diseases and possible control materials to be used it is impossible to spray everyone’s lawn with the same material. Therefore, if a problem develops, we will diagnose it and tell you what an additional application will cost.
Thatch is an accumulation of partially decomposed grass blades, stems, roots, and other organic matter which has built up over a period of years. Everyone has some thatch in their lawn; but when that thatch becomes thicker than one inch, it can create problems.
- Why does thatch hurt a lawn?
- A heavy layer of thatch prevents the movement of water, air, fertilizer, and pesticides down into the soi thereby causing a loss of vigor and increasing the chances of other problems. It also serves as an excellent breeding ground for turf disease and insect
- How can I get rid of the thatch?
- Thatch accumulations can be reduced with core aeration in early fall when the grass is actively growing. We recommend core aeration at least every other year, every year is even more beneficial.
IF AT ANY TIME YOU OBSERVE ANY UNUSUAL CONDITIONS ON YOUR LAWN, PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.
- Will applications be harmful to my children or pets?
- We recommend that children and pets be kept off the treated areas until thoroughly dry.
- How long does it take to spray a lawn?
- Because of the method we use it should take our technician no longer than one minute for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.
- Why should I sign up for five services a year instead of just two or three services, particularly if my lawn looks great?
- An attractive lawn is one that has good color and is thick with highly desirable grasses. Thick lawns help choke out weeds and undesirable grasses. Periodic sprays are not as effective, because weed seeds, disease and insects are ever present awaiting the proper conditions to cause a problem. Fertilizing your lawn regularly helps develop your turf, thus reducing the opportunity for problems.
- I’ve been a regular customer of yours for three years. My lawn looks great. Why shouldn’t I discontinue the service?
- Lawns require continuous care. Proper watering and mowing practices help, but crabgrass, dandelions, foxtail and other weeds will continue to return. Your soil cannot provide sufficient nutrients for your lawn to continue to grow vigorously and maintain its healthy appearance.
- Why does my neighbor’s lawn look so green, he doesn’t do a darned thing to it?
- The type of grass and mowing and watering practices are major factors contributing to grass color. Also, because weeds are hardier, they maintain their color longer than grass.
- Will my lawn look like a golf green this fall?
- Not unless it’s well on the way already. We promise good satisfying results. We never promise miracles.