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Spring Lawn Care in Chester County, PA

Spring Lawn Care Chester County PA

Spring lawn care starts now. Literally.

If spring was around the corner a few weeks ago, guess what? Spring is now, and you have to get moving. 

For any turf lover, spring lawn care is not part of a long and forceful honey-do list. 

It is quite the opposite.

It is a pleasure. 

Think about it.

You are going to spend some time outside, breathing the fresh air, reconnecting with Mother Earth. You will have that feeling of accomplishing something selfless that your family will love and that will exhilarate your sense of pride.

Beyond a technical difference, lawn aeration is recommended once per year or every other year. 

It depends on the intensity of the activity on your lawn. 

Lawn aeration is a simple process that will benefit your lawn. Most homeowners or property managers do not know this process’s actual effects & benefits because most of the big national brands do not want to mess with it.

That’s what spring lawn care is, in essence. It brings back a smile on your face.

Of course, spring lawn care starts when the temperature gets somewhat warmer. Then, it’s time to get your rake, your blower, and get moving.

Spring Lawn Care Starts Here.

Spring lawn care is like a work of art. Before getting started, there is some preparation to do. 

And the first thing to prepare is the canvas. Therefore, remove the branches, leaves, and rake your lawn surface.

Removing debris and thatch is very important.

Thatch is a layer of dead organic materials. Thatch build-up begins when your lawn produces organic debris faster than it can break it down. 

A build-up of thatch over 1″ can increase pest problems and diseases. So, it is good to remove that layer periodically. You do not want that layer to be over 1”.

How About Lawn Aeration?

Have you built a snowman during the winter or got involved in an epic snowball fight with the family? Have you played ball with the kids and dog on your lawn?

If it is the case, you may consider addressing your soil compaction, and you may want lawn aeration.

Grassroots need air, water, and nutrients to grow thick and strong. Your turf is a living thing, and like any living thing, it needs water, air, and food.

Compaction prevents the penetration of these essential elements in the soil. Even slight compaction can impact the health and beauty of your lawn.

There are two ways to aerate lawns either core aeration or liquid aeration.

Beyond a technical difference, lawn aeration is recommended once per year or every other year. 

It depends on the intensity of the activity on your lawn. 

Lawn aeration is a simple process that will benefit your lawn. Most homeowners or property managers do not know this process’s actual effects & benefits because most of the big national brands do not want to mess with it.

Know Your Soil in Chester County, PA

You are now ready to fertilize. 

Well, not quite. 

So, let us step back here and say that you are almost ready to fertilize.

Of course, how could you possibly prepare your fertilizer without knowing the needs of your soil?

It’s impossible and even potentially harmful to your lawn.

Lawn fertilization is a science to feed a plant with different stuff for that plant to thrive.

First thing first, get a sample of your soil and send it to a third-party lab, and wait for the results.

Your lawn needs three things: Potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.

Nitrogen or “N” is the secret of your green color. Nitrogen promotes the production of chlorophyll that is essential for photosynthesis. 

But, you need to know how much nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus you need to spray over the surface of your yard.

To determine that, you need to know what your turf needs. Therefore, a soil analysis is essential to decide on the nutritional elements required. So, pick up a test kit.

The results you receive back from the lab are fascinating and will inform you of what is going on with your land piece.

Once you know and identify the nutritional deficiencies, you are ready to prepare your fertilizer and get moving.

Your Takeaways!

After some conscious winterization, spring lawn care will revive your lawn. It is also a process, and you need to know the essential steps for having a thriving lawn that you will love.

Here are the steps:

  • Clean your yard, remove debris, and address thatch.
  • Aerate your lawn in case you had any activity on it during the fall and winter.
  • Take a sample of your soil and send it to a lab to understand what your lawn needs.
  • Based on the lab results, prepare your lawn fertilizer.

As always, if you have more questions about spring lawn care or any other topic concerning your lawn, connect with us! We try our best to respond to all of them. 

In the meantime, enjoy the spring with your family and stay safe.

Should You Get Ready For Spring Seeding?

Should You Get Ready For Spring Seeding?

Spring Seeding in Chester County, PA

Spring seeding is undoubtedly something you start slowly considering, especially after all that snow

Perhaps you were busy with other stuff during last fall, and you did not aerate or overseed your lawn. Or, as a great procrastinator, you thought that you could do it later, and later is now approaching. 

No matter the circumstances, you are thinking about spring seeding, and now it is in your mind:

Spring seeding!

Well, before you move to spring seeding, there are a few things you need to know, and here they are.

Spring Seeding vs. Fall Aeration and Overseeding

As with all plants growing in Chester County, PA, there’s a time when they start their growing cycle. 

You would not try to grow fruits or veggies outside with freezing temperatures during the winter season, right? 

Why?

Because plants and trees have a growing season, and that principle applies to your turf. Here is the deal: Your grass needs time to establish roots. Typically, you plant your turf at the end of August or the beginning of fall. 

In Chester County, PA, temperatures are somewhat mild during fall. It leaves your turf a chance to germinate and starts the maturing process until colder temperatures hit our county hard.

Ultimately, your grass has three full seasons to grow and strengthen a root system. Therefore, it is best to seed in the fall rather than springtime. If you decide to do some spring seeding, the root system has less time to establish a robust root system before entering the hot season. 

Without robust roots, the plant cannot build a healthy immune system to fight off the diseases and weeds that start appearing in the June-July timeframe. 

With a healthier root system, plants are less susceptible to drought, too, and that helps to reduce your water bill.

Therefore, try to aerate and overseed lawns during the fall before Thanksgiving for better results.

What if I Need to Do Spring Seeding Anyways?

You may fall into one of these three categories here:

  • You were busy last fall and did not have time to aerate and overseed your lawn.
  • You moved or plan to move into your new home in 2021, and you need a beautiful lawn.
  • You are born stubborn, and despite anything you can read here, nothing can help, and you need to move to spring seeding.

Remember that summers in Chester County, PA, can be brutal on lawns. It’s that simple. 

We do not suggest that spring seeding your lawn will not bring results. 

However, be ready to fight more weeds, more diseases, and run the extra mile with the upkeep. 

In other words, make sure you have thorough fertilization, weed, and disease control programs and that you apply the best practices concerning watering and grass cutting heights. 

What Are Your Takeaways?

If you have time, consider aerating and overseeding your lawn during fall. You will give yourself the best chances of success and beautiful results. 

If your turf does not look great as we hit spring 2021 and you decide to do a spring seeding, make sure you have a strategy in place for your lawn because there are no shortcuts.

To maximize your chances to get a healthy lawn more resilient to weeds and disease that will impact your lawn in the June-July timeframe, be sure you know the best practices: Visit our Knowledge Center.

How to Get Rid of Brown Patches on My Lawn?

Brown patches are hideous to see on a lawn. Many causes can be attributed to brown patches. 

Brown patches, as the name suggests, are not the most beautiful thing in the world. It is a dead area of your lawn. It affects different grass varieties and can appear during the cold and hot seasons. 

Typically the blades of your lawn’s plants are affected but not the root system. So, there is hope! Although, you should not wait to get it under control.

How to Get Rid of Brown Patches on My Lawn?

What Are Brown Patches?

Brown patches are irregular circular shapes. No one likes to see them, but if they are there, you should not ignore them.

Multiple things can cause them:

  • Disease caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia
  • Important thatch layer
  • Dog urine
  • Improper mowing height
  • Inappropriate over-fertilization
  • Too much water
  • Excessive heat and humidity

So, if brown patches appear, it is either a disease, environmental aggressions, dogs, or you’ve done something wrong. If it is the latter, blame it on the dog!

You can spot the early signs. For instance, if you see yellow spots appear, there are chances that they will turn brown. Typically, in the affected area of your lawn, the grass is thinning and the inside of the ring gets killed completely.

How to Avoid These Brown Patches?

  • Use a fungicide to disease with the fungus Rhizoctonia. There are hundreds of fungicides out there. Therefore, contact a lawn care company to have it taken care of.
  • Dethatch your lawn periodically. Thatch buildup appears when the microbial life in the soil cannot break down the organic matter as fast as it accumulates. Thatch creates a barrier to nutrients, air, and moisture. If you do not remove the thatch layer, your lawn will die over time.
  • Be careful with your fertilizer and the fertilization process. If nitrogen is adequate, too much nitrogen can be detrimental to your lawn and create brown patches. The simple measure to put in place is to avoid fertilizing when it is too hot and humid. It is also very important to gauge the amount of fertilizer properly. Do you remember the NPK rules and how to calculate how much you need per square foot? If not, here is a useful link.
  • Aerate your lawn. Your lawn needs air, just like you do. Periodic aeration in the early spring or fall will help your lawn thrive and be more resilient to brown patches’ formation. A core or liquid aeration or a combination of the two will fortify the root system.
  • Do not mow your lawn too short. It is detrimental to your grass plants. Make sure the blades of your mowing machine are clean and not dull. Also, do not mow below 4 inches. Remember that time you shaved your head and got a sunburn on your scalp? The same principle applies to your lawn. 
  • Your soil quality is the most important. Try to test your soil periodically. There are great soil testing kits available, and you can send the samples to a third-party lab for analysis. Check the results and spot the deficiencies because you may need to amend the soil. Your soil needs good bacteria to help with the microbial activity.
  • Get that damn dog to pee somewhere else. It is all about awareness and habits. Dogs are great companions, but they are creatures of habits when it comes to marking their territory. Try to take your dog off your lawn, and people as well. Heavy human activity on your lawn can be detrimental too.
  • Make sure you practice great winter lawn care during the winter season. Yes, winter lawn care is a thing, and you should know the do’s, especially the don’ts.
  • Try to understand the grass varieties you have in your yard. Some species have different cycles and turn brown when they are dormant. So if your lawn is composed of different grass types, some yellowish or brown spots may appear before others.

Here Are Your Takeaways

What is very important to fight brown patches is to know what causes them.

If you cannot identify the root cause or are unsure, applying these rules will help you maintain a healthy lawn. Remember that a lawn is a living thing that requires a balanced approach and to contact us for any questions.

Why Winter Lawn Care is a Thing?

Why Winter Lawn Care is a Thing?

winter lawn care

“Winter lawn care! Come on! Is that the new marketing trick?” you may think.

No, we are not kidding. Winter lawn care is real. You may have prepared for the winter by blowing the dead leaves away from your lawn. That’s a good start.

Perhaps you have even aerated your turf and fertilized it by the end of November. That’s even better; and, if you have asked people not to walk on your lawn, then we should pay you lunch!

That said, are you completely done for the winter season? 

The short answer is “NO,” and here is why.

Why on Earth Winter Lawn Care?

It’s not because it’s winter that nature is dead. You would be wrong thinking that you can forget your lawn until Spring because things shift during winter.

A lot is going on in your soil. 

All the energy and good microbial life that the plant needs are concentrated in the root system. Your lawn is dormant but undoubtedly not dead. It has merely adapted to colder temperatures and shorter days in Chester County, PA. 

Although you probably noticed that your lawn changed its color, it is a natural phenomenon during winter. There is nothing you can do against Mother Nature on that one.

That said, there are a few things we encourage you to do to make sure the dormancy period is optimized for a vivid springtime.

Winter Lawn Care & Snow?

In our latitudes, you can expect snowfalls during winter. Most people think that you should remove snow from your yard, mostly if snow covers lawns for a few consecutive days.

Wrong.

It is quite the opposite. Leave snow cover your lawn. By all means, do not touch it. 

Why?

Snow coverage acts as a blanket. It protects and insulates the plants and their roots from cold winds or ice. When cold winds blow in Chester County, PA, they can be dry and cold, and that can impact your lawn and cause dehydration, and that is for sure, not desirable. A few inches of snow protect your lawn from that effect.

If you want to remove snow, just remove it on your walkway or driveway. Try to avoid touching your turf at all times. If you know that Chester County will get a few inches of snow, try to mark your walkway or driveway borders at the junction of your lawn.

If you throw salt, keep it for your driveway and walkway only. Try to avoid your turf as well. Salt will burn your lawn. During the colder season, a handful of salt thrown inadvertently on your lawn will have catastrophic consequences for the plant’s wellness.

Ultimately, do not walk on your lawn. Compacted snow can compress the plants, which will be detrimental to your lawn’s wellness. So if you want to play with the kids, avoid your lawn area as much as possible, which is easier said than done, very obviously!

What to Do In Case We Do Not Get Snow?

If your interaction with your lawn is limited during snow episodes, things are different when the snow melts. 

When your lawn is not covered by snow, you may consider the never-ending process of removing dead leaves, branches, and other debris that wind blew on your property.

If your soil is frozen, avoid walking on it. In case you need to remove leaves, branches, and other debris from your yard, hold on until frost has melted.

Walking on a frosted lawn will damage it and create pockets of dead spots. Typically, the plant is frozen and breaks under pressure, and that’s bad.

As you will have to de-ice your walkways and driveway, the same comment applies: Do not throw salt on your lawn; otherwise, it will create a physiological drought that the plant will not tolerate. 

So, if you want to avoid dead spots, try to avoid throwing salt on the border or your walkway or driveway. Be extra careful during the entire operation. If there is a lateral wind, try to factor that constraint in the overall process.

Your Winter Lawn Care Takeaways!

Here are your key points to remember and apply:

  • Leave the snow cover your lawn. Snow will protect your lawn. Do not throw salt on your lawn or remove snow with a shovel. If you can, minimize transit on your lawn area. Compacted snow can be detrimental to your lawn’s wellness.
  • Remove debris, branches, and leaves from your lawn. Avoid doing it if there is frost on your lawn. Walking on a frosted lawn can be detrimental and create dead spots.
  • If you want to de-ice your walkways and driveway, avoid throwing salt on your lawn. Salt can create a physiological drought that will kill your lawn during the colder season.
  • Ask people to use your walkways and driveway. Walking on snowed or iced turf can create dead spots.

As always, if you have more questions about winter lawn care or any other topic concerning your lawn, leave us a comment! In the meantime, enjoy the season with your family and stay safe.

How to Get the Right Amount of Lawn Fertilizer?

Lawn fertilizer and science. 

If you start your day with a headache, by all means, do not read what follows unless you are one of those hardcore turf lovers that we love so much.

Yes, it’s all going to be a whole lot more sciency from this point. 

We always swore not to be like that, but we will try to appeal to the turf nerds for once. So, dear brothers and sisters from Chester County, PA, here is the secret recipe for lawn fertilization.

Lawn Fertilizer 1:1

Typically, you need to feed a plant with different stuff for that plant to thrive. This is why your turf needs lawn fertilizers to nourish the plants.

So far, it’s quite simple, right?

If you go to any retail shop to buy lawn fertilizers and read the recommendation on the packaging, you will see that values are given in pounds of nitrogen (N) per 1,000 square feet.

What does that mean?

It means that you need to calculate your surface area first. 

Yep. You read that well.

If you do not know the surface area you have to cover, you will struggle to calculate the right amount of lawn fertilizer.

If you have no clue how to do that, try to measure your yard’s length and width without the walkways or driveway, and multiply them together. 

Unless you live on a property shaped like a circle, that simple rule should do it. What is important is to measure only the areas covered with turf. 

Now that you have determined your lawn’s surface area, it’s time to push the second gear.

Nutrition is the Key, Baby!

Your lawn needs three things: Potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.

Although you need to make sure your lawn is not deficient in one of the three values – we recommend a soil analysis for that – Nitrogen or “N” is the secret of your green color. 

Nitrogen promotes the production of chlorophyll that is essential for photosynthesis. 

It is what you need to gauge in your fertilizer. If you give too much nitrogen to your lawn, you risk burning it. In other words, you need to pay attention to what you do.

Essentially, what you need to determine is the percentage of nitrogen (N) in your lawn fertilizer.

Here is the deal: 

The standard rate of nitrogen in your fertilizer that your lawn needs should be one pound of N per 1,000 square feet. That’s the general rule.

If you check the lawn fertilizer bag, you will see the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

If you buy lawn fertilizers from retail stores, they are usually high in nitrogen content because people like green turfs.

The critical value to check is your NPK value: 

  • N (nitrogen)
  • P (phosphorus)
  • K (potassium)

If you want to determine the percentage of nitrogen in a bag, take the first number (N) appearing in your NPK values and divide by 100. 

For instance, if your NPK values are 18-8-10:

Take 18 and divide by 100. 

The result is 0.18 nitrogen (or 18%) 

You are now ready to determine how much lawn fertilizer you will need to apply.

Lawn Fertilizer Application

All you need to do is take the amount of lawn fertilizer you need to achieve the right volume of nitrogen required and multiply by the surface area you have calculated previously.

It’s not rocket science. 

To determine how many pounds of lawn fertilizer you need for 1,000 square feet. 

If we go back to our example above, then take 1 pound and divide by 0.18 N. 

The result is 5.55 lbs of 18-8-10. 

In other words, 5.55 lbs of that bag should be applied on 1,000 square feet.

Assume you have a 4,000 square feet surface area, take 5.55 lbs divided by 1,000 and multiply by your surface area of 4,000 square feet. 

Ultimately, you need 22 lbs of your lawn fertilizer for your surface area,

The best way to apply lawn fertilizer is to split applications. We usually make three split applications to ensure adequate feeding. Do not overfeed your lawn to avoid killing it.

Always keep the last fertilization later in the year – It’s usually before we reach Thanksgiving in Chester county, Pa. 

It will help your lawn during the winter.

More Food for Thought

Congratulations if you read this and did not fell asleep.

Before we go, as you are now part of the inner circle of those who know more now than others, we want you to remember a few things.

Before applying a lawn fertilizer, check what your soil needs. Do a soil analysis is essential to determine the nutritional elements needed. So, pick up a test kit.

If nitrogen is good for your green color, phosphorus will promote your lawn plant’s root development. Potassium will help your lawn resist disease and natural environmental aggressions. Therefore, look at those values too.

There are different ways to apply lawn fertilizer, either with granules or liquid applications. Both have benefits and drawbacks. If you are unsure, subscribe to our newsletter or Contact Us to learn more.