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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.

When Should You Fertilize Your Lawn, Chester County, PA?

Fertilize your lawn periodically, following and respecting the growth cycle of your turf. 

Does it seem easy to put like that?

It certainly is! 

So, let’s dig deeper now into the subject.

Most people we meet think spring is the season when you have to boost your turf.

They are right. 

However, beyond spring, it is unclear what to do next in most people’s minds. Most questions we receive are: 

  • Should I focus during springtime only?
  • Do I have to fertilize every month?
  • If we have a hot summer, should I increase the number of fertilization?
  • Should I schedule fertilization for spring and fall only?

The truth is that there are multiple applications for a year. In fact, keep three distinct periods in mind:

  • Easter
  • Labor Day
  • Halloween

In other words, fertilize your lawn mid-spring, late summer, and late fall. 

Here’s why.

The Sacred Rules to Fertilize Your Lawn

If you remember the movie Gremlins from 1984, there were a few rules that the hero was supposed to observe to avoid his little mogwai multiplying into many horrible creatures. 

There are rules for lawns too. 

If you observe them, you will avoid wreaking havoc on your property.

So let’s highlight two simple rules to keep in mind:

  • Avoid fertilizing your lawn when it’s too hot or dry to avoid the spread of diseases.

 

  • Never fertilize on frozen ground to avoid your fertilizer to be washed away by rain or wind. Always fertilize on softer ground.

Some of our clients are astonished to see on our fertilization programs that we will be on their yards late fall. Most of them think that lawn care companies start their hibernation around that time. 

Well, not really.

Why Fertilize Your Lawn Late Fall?

So, why should you fertilize your lawn late fall when nature is winding down before the winter?

The reason is straight forward: 

You set yourself up for success for the following year.

If you’ve done fall aeration and late fall fertilization:

  • You prepare your lawn for a great winter. Your fertilization in late fall will offer the energy needed by the roots of your lawn’s plants. During late fall, plants will store anything they can to pass the winter. Do not think that nothing happens underground during these periods. Fall and winter may look quiet on the surface, but there is activity at the root system level. Just like animals preparing for the winter, your turf does the same thing. So give your lawn what it needs to have the extra energy reserve.
  • You ensure that your lawn will just need a kick start in spring to thrive and not an entire makeover. Ultimately, late-fall fertilization can save you some hard-earned dollars the following year.
fertilize your lawn

What Can You Use to Fertilize Your Lawn?

Let’s start with what you should not do.

Do not apply the same fertilizer on Easter, Labor Day, and Halloween.

Although we will discuss the different types of fertilizer and preparations in a separate blog, remember that your lawn does not need the same stuff all the time. 

The rule here is simple: 

Think about yourself. 

Except for bacon, you do not want to eat the same stuff because you need different nutrients at different times of the day, depending on your activity and condition. 

The same needs apply to your turf.

If your turf needs more instant power, use a fast-release fertilizer. If your lawn is preparing for a long winter, try to use a slow-release fertilizer for your late-fall application. For the latter, it’s usually the one with higher nitrogen content. 

As we are approaching the late-fall season, here’s an additional tip.

Your last fertilizer application is an important one. Therefore, approach it with care and attention. 

The type of fertilizer aside, this last application needs to be evenly spread. If you do not use a lawn care company to apply your late-fall fertilizer, try to rent or invest in professional equipment. 

We use a walk-behind spreader, and for a good reason: They have a flow-rate dealer to release a precise amount of fertilizer per square foot. Hence, you spread the right amount of fertilizer on the lawn area you need to cover. 

We’ve seen too often homeowners take a hand full of granules and throw them on the ground or use a flow-rate dealer but using too much fertilizer. 

Remember that an excess of fertilizer is not good and will be detrimental to your lawn.  

By all means, avoid patches of excess fertilizer in one area of your yard. A good practice is to read the instructions on the fertilizer package before starting. Fertilizer producers always offer the volume of fertilizer to be used per square foot. 

If it is the first time you use a flow-rate dealer, get acquainted with the material first and the way it spreads fertilizer. Before hitting your lawn, try to test on your driveway, and once you are ready, you are good to go on your lawn.

What Have We Learned?

Fertilize your lawn at specific times of the year, and always think about your particular turf needs. 

Depending on the time of the year, you need to vary your fertilizer formulation. Watching weather forecasts is essential. Your soil should not be too hard or weather too hot or dry.

Never miss your late-fall fertilization. If fall is well prepared, you set yourself for success for next spring. Your turf’s plants will need and store energy in the root system. However, it is essential to offer the right fertilizer volume and not spread it over your lawn in excess. 

Stay connected with us if you want to learn more about fertilizer preparation.

How Does Liquid Aeration Work?

Liquid aeration is gaining momentum in the lawn care industry. But, how does it compare to the traditional and well-known core aeration? 

To fight against soil compaction’s harmful effects, lawn aeration is an essential strategy that you should consider implementing in spring and fall to revitalize your lawn. 

Oxygen, water, and nutrients are essential for any form of life to thrive. It’s no different for your lawn. 

Therefore, if you create a healthy environment for your grass to grow, guess what happens?

The plants of your lawn grow stronger and healthier. 

Yep, life on Earth is “that” simple.

That said, you sometimes need to help Mother Nature just a smidge. This is where lawn aeration comes into play.

Why Lawn Aeration?

Folks, we spent more time on our properties this year.

You do not need to be a stud in national statistics to know that.

For many families in Chester County, PA, in 2020, people have spent more time on their properties. 

With the quarantines, social distancing and working remotely from home meant more yard time with the family.

Let’s be honest; there was not much else to do.

Yet, playing ball with the kids, and kids running around playing with the dog is an incredible sight and a fantastic way to build happy memories. 

The only issue in this lovely picture is what happened to your soil.

What happens to your soil, you might ask?

Well, it suffered foot traffic.

Foot traffic! Is that it? Is that why I need lawn aeration?

Actually, not really.

It’s your foot traffic and that ugly thatch layer that was not removed in Spring or for a few years that impact your soil negatively.

The thatch layer is composed of dead layers of grass that can accumulate on your lawn over time.

With soil more compacted than usual, water, nutrients, and air cannot penetrate deep enough. 

If air, water, and nutrients cannot feed the plant, your plant is weaker and more prone to disease and natural aggressions.

What’s Lawn Aeration?

In a nutshell, lawn aeration helps to deal with the above.

In the end, addressing compaction will allow more water and nutrients to reach your soil, where the grassroots will absorb them.

There are two types of lawn aeration: 

Mechanical and liquid. 

Most people are familiar with the mechanical core aeration, where small plugs of dirt are pulled out. These plugs are called “cores,” and they create a small hole of 2 inches deep and ¾ of an inch in diameter in your soil.

After mechanical core aeration, “plugs” or “cores” lay around on the lawn. Although the process works well, it can leave your yard looking messy. 

Many people see the benefit of core aeration, but do not like the sight for the first few weeks after the aeration. It looks like a gang of dogs pooped in your yard. 

With all due respect to centuries of American poetry, there is no better way to describe it.

Also, before running a core aerator on your property, you’d be wise to mark your sprinkler system heads, invisible fences, underground utilities, or cable lines with flags or cones to avoid destroying a costly system.

Typically, a core aerator pushes holes in the ground. So, imagine what that can do to an underground system that costs a fortune?

If you need to get the benefits of lawn aeration but you are unsure if you will like your lawn’s short-term appearance the first few days following your core aeration, you should consider liquid aeration.

What’s Liquid Aeration?

Here’s the difference with your old good mechanical core aeration: 

Liquid aeration does not leave plugs on your yard and offers more even and more in-depth coverage of the area you want to treat. The liquid aerator is sprayed on your turf, and that’s it.

These are the main differentiators.

In essence, liquid aeration offers the same base benefits as core aeration with some attractive advantages:

  • Breaks up the thatch layer.
  • Penetrates clay deeply, which is ideal in Southern PA.
  • Improves water penetration more evenly.
  • Promotes air penetration.
  • Softens soil to allow the plant’s roots to grow better.
  • Improves the absorption of nutrients in a more systematic manner.
  • Can be done anytime during the growing season.
  • Uses bio-degradable materials, safe for kids and pets.
  • Preserves the integrity of all your in-ground systems.

Ultimately, liquid aeration can be more effective than core aeration. 

If you are more a DIY person and you do not plan to contact a lawn care company, a good tip is to pay attention to the ingredients of the products you can find at your nearby retail store.

Always check out the wetting agent, preferably made from a natural organic compound. 

Then, make sure there is food in the ingredient list like enzymes, humates, and bacteria. It is essential for microbial life development that will attack the thatch layer. You may have to buy a separate product to add the missing elements in the formula.

Heck, What Should I Choose? Core or Liquid Aeration?

Your liquid aeration will not have an immediate impact on your lawn like core aeration. So, you will need to be a little more patient.

That said, the choice between core and liquid aeration will depend on the lawn condition. So, you need to do some assessment first.

Is your lawn heavily compacted?

How thick is your thatch layer?

For instance, if you’ve never taken care of the thatch layer of your lawn, and if that layer is over ½ inch thick, you might consider the following strategy:

  • Go for core aeration in spring.
  • Add liquid aeration during the summer season.
  • Finalize the season with core aeration before mid-October.

If you think the above is overkill, then always do core aeration first. The core aeration will help the liquid aeration and fast-forward the process.

What’s Your Choice? Core or Liquid Aeration?

Core or liquid aeration is effective in helping achieve a beautiful lawn. 

Both have advantages, and it sometimes comes to preferences based on the elements we have described. 

Before forming an opinion about the subject, we would recommend anyone to:

  • Assess your lawn condition while specifically focusing on the thatch layer.
  • Determine if “cores” or “plugs” are visual nuisances that you want to avoid, knowing that cores disintegrate naturally after a few weeks.
  • Know that core and liquid aeration can team up and play a beneficial role conjointly. You can have the best of both worlds. 

Have you ever thought about combining core and liquid aerations before?

How to aerate lawns?

Aerate your lawn if you need to set yourself up for success in 2021, Chester County!

If you want a beautiful lawn in 2021, then aerate your lawn. 

It’s that simple.

Many homeowners never aerate their lawns and live happily ever after. 

Many do not even know what lawn aeration is. 

Yet, it is the best way to ensure the long-term health of your lawn and prolific growth.

But, let’s face it.

It’s not a fun process if you are not used to it. So, why the heck should you spend time to aerate your lawn?

If you are not clear why you should aerate your lawn and are still debating because the process is a pain, consider the following points.

Lawn Aerations Have Multiple Benefits

If you aerate lawns periodically, you will notice tremendous improvements over time. 

So, yes indeed, there are different factors that lawn aerations combine that help get a greener and thicker, healthy-looking turf.

What do lawn aerations do to your lawn?

There is no better way to reduce soil compaction. 

When you reduce compaction, it improves the penetration of water and air through the soil close to the root system to increase the grass plant’s vitality and strength.

It also makes watering and seeding more effective, which is an excellent way to reduce your bills.

Ultimately, your lawn is more resilient to heat, drought, and cold.

So, let’s check how to aerate lawns.

First Things first, Protect Your Watering System

If you proceed to core aeration, you need to pay attention to where you are going to punch holes. 

Otherwise, you will destroy your sprinklers or water line if they are not deep enough.

If you have sprinkler heads scattered around that you cannot remove, try to place a little flag or cone next to each sprinkler head. You will avoid costly mistakes.

Of course, you will not have this problem if you opt for liquid aeration.

We covered the difference between core and liquid aerations in a previous article. If you need to learn more about that subject, read our article Lawn Aeration: Wake Up Your Lawn, Chester County!

Don’t Aerate Your Lawn During the Heat of The Summer

When should you aerate your lawn? 

The short answer is spring and fall. 

If you decide not to go through this process twice a year and miss spring, shoot for the end of August up to late fall.

The biggest mistake is to aerate your lawn during the summer’s hottest days.

Although it is excellent for your lawn wellness, the aeration process is stressful – not in a detrimental way, but mechanical or chemical processes are involved. 

Therefore, avoid catching up with aerations during the peak of summer. That said, they are beneficial before major growth seasons or to prepare for the colder winter season. 

Besides, if you thought it is too late to aerate your lawn, a core or liquid aeration performed between the end of August and late fall is essential to prevent damage from freezes or snow.

Always Use The Best of The Best

We are not referring to us here. Although…

We refer to tools, machines, and products.

Like anything else in this world, quality is critical, and spending some time to do your due diligence about which tools, machines, or products – in the case of liquid aeration – is the secret of qualitative lawn aeration.

Visit your favorite retail shop, spend some time talking to professionals, ask questions, and gain helpful insights.

If your budget allows you to buy a machine, go for a professional aerator. 

Manual aeration of a broad surface is overwhelming labor. If you value your sanity and want to preserve your lower back, reduce the manual labor, and stay away from any cheap tools.

Now, a professional core aerator can be expensive. Therefore, try to rent the equipment if you are only going to aerate once or twice per year.

Alternatively, investigate liquid aeration. 

Depending on your budget, liquid aeration might be a wise choice. 

Although liquid aerators are not all made equal, you will need to learn a bit about science. Not to worry, we will cover this topic in another article soon. So, if you are interested to learn more about it, stay tuned.

Check Out the Weather Forecast

Weather should be considered before deciding on the day you need to aerate your lawn. 

Remember that the soil should not be too hard or too soft, especially if you plan to do core aeration.

You should not aerate your lawn if your soil is ultra-dry, or if the area where you live was flooded the day before. 

Again, adjusting your aeration schedule with feel and finesse is the difference between a process that runs smoothly and a nightmare.

Therefore, check the weather forecast regularly once you approach the aeration’s date, knowing that you might need to change that schedule at the last minute.

And Finally!

Even if no one ever had fun during lawn aerations, they are the central piece of your lawn wellness strategy. 

Aerations strengthen your lawn by bringing the nutrients and air to the roots. Therefore, they should be performed before the growing season starts.

If you plan to do aeration yourself, either buy or rent professional equipment. Usually, tools used for manual aerations should be reserved for very small surfaces only. 

If the big bulk of the market considers core aeration, liquid aerations have come a long way and have proven to be more efficient than core ones. 

In the professional world, liquid aerations start to intrigue and convert more and more lawn care businesses trying to deliver a differentiated approach to lawn care.

Liquid aeration is best used when a lawn is already healthy and there is no need for seeding. The product works very well and improves the soil, essentially aerating on a microscopic level. After treatment, we have noted a visible color increase in the lawn, due to the chelating effect of the liquid aeration. 

So, it’s time to aerate lawns, Chester County!

Tips For Your Summer Lawn Care in PA

Summer lawn care is a hot topic in Chester County. If you were wondering what to do and how to care for that lawn in the summer, there are a few things you need to know.

Summer lawn care is an art that you need to dominate this year. It’s the right time to make your lawn look great and also prepare for the colder season.

Keeping your lawn healthy and lush during the summer requires attention and basic knowledge of what to observe. 

Because what you do and observe today will help you over time.

Once the basics of summer lawn care are understood, you will enjoy a beautiful lawn that you and your family will love. 

So, if you want to create beautiful and happy memories, read on to learn our tips for summer lawn care.

Mowing height is important.

Do not give a buzz cut to your lawn!

Try to maintain a decent mowing height as part of your summer lawn care plan.

What does “decent” mean?

We encourage you not to mow under 4”. 

Does it seem high to you?

Even though it may seem high, a mowing height between 4” to 4.5” is your best height. It will keep your lawn roots strong and increase your plant’s heat tolerance. 

Besides, a turf between 4’ to 4.5” helps prevent weeds from germinating and keeps more shade which helps to keep your soil moist. 

Also, 80% of the moisture in the grass is held in the leaf blade. 

So mowing your lawn too short may stress the plant too much. 

So, it’s okay to allow your lawn to get a little shaggy when the weather is hot and dry for a few days. It won’t get out of control, we promise!

Ready to start mowing?

Hold on to that idea, we are not done here!

Before starting to mow your lawn, check your mower’s blades. It is important that your blades are sharp to offer an optimal cut. So, sharpen them if they seem dull. Most brands have blades that can sustain anything between 8 to 12 mowing cycles. So check out your blades on a regular base.

Why is it important?

You want to give a clean-cut and not tear the plant. It could have a disastrous impact to your lawn, by helping fungi and disease spread.

Know how to water your lawn.

Are you a morning person?

Well, during the summer, you should be. 

Heavy watering of your lawn one or two times per week is best and preferably early morning. 

Keep a watering schedule part of your summer lawn care plan to avoid watering too frequently.

Water thoroughly in the morning and avoid evenings if you can. 

Why?

Evening watering leaves grass blades wet all night. And that’s bad. It can create many detrimental effects on your lawn.

During the evening, water continues to rest on the entire plant’s ecosystem. 

What does it mean?

It means that if water remains on the plant or near the roots for too long, it will cause the lawn to rot, develop diseases, and attract insects. 

When that happens, people usually try to cure the problem caused by adding more pesticides and more fertilizer, which creates more imbalances. 

So, the bottom line is that watering in the evenings is bad. Just as overwatering your lawn can be bad.

Indeed, a question we often get is what to do if rainfall is expected?

It is important that you check the weather forecast regularly and try to understand if rainfall is expected and what it will be like.

If heavy rains are expected, do not water your lawn. It would be an overkill.

In case the rainfall is light or just a sprinkle, remember that this might not be enough for your lawn. Hence, you should stick to your summer lawn care watering plan.

Assess your lawn density and soil compaction

Always check your soil compaction

The easiest way to do it is to use a stick or screwdriver and check how hard it is to push it through. 

If you get a lot of resistance, especially if the weather is dry, this might indicate that you may need to water your lawn more or use a soil enhancer liquid aeration type product. 

Soil compaction is a bad thing. 

When compaction increases soil density, roots cannot thrive. If the root system cannot develop, your lawn may not be able to survive the summer season.

Compaction is a surface issue. It affects the top of the soil of just a few inches. It is not much, but it can be detrimental to your summer lawn care plan.

The problem of compacted soil is that it does not allow rapid water penetration. It means that you need to water your lawn a lot more to get the water to reach the feeding area of your lawn’s roots. The danger is to water your lawn too much, which leads to other problems as we mentioned earlier.

Verify your soil compaction regularly and do not hesitate to go for core aeration or liquid aeration and add a little seeding if needed as soon as fall weather arrives.

Keep your lawn clean

Let’s be real. 

A backyard looking like a junkyard is not ideal for a beautiful lawn. We all know that. But, you do not need to reach the “junkyard” level to impact your lawn negatively.

Therefore, do not leave “stuff” on your lawn.

What does “stuff” mean?

  • Tarps
  • Trashcans
  • Chairs & tables
  • Swimming pools & toys
  • Tents

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. 

Why should you remove all items from your lawn?

Because heat transfers through objects and can burn grass blades, heat can cause stress to your lawn and impact its health. 

It’s that simple.

Also, try to avoid too much traffic on your lawn. That’s a tricky part too. 

Always try to remember the rule of the 2P’s: 

People & Pets.

During summertime, you might ask yourself: 

How to avoid having kids running on your lawn or pets playing or sleeping on it if not worse? 

That might simply be one of the mysteries of the universe or the Holy Grail of summer lawn care. Realistically, try to manage human and pet traffic to the best of your ability and offer periods of rest to your lawn to let it heal.

Therefore, ask people to use walkways, try to host parties on your deck, and get the dog off your turf.

And what now?

Summer lawn care is about a few things to know and observations to make. 

It’s not rocket science, but there is some work involved to remain consistent and agile to adjust your plan.

Therefore, try to keep a summer lawn care plan during the summer months to help you out. Here’s a summary of what you should keep in mind:

  • Verify the mowing height of your mowing machine.
  • Check the blades of your mowing machine and sharpen them when needed.
  • Remember to be consistent with the watering time and frequency of your lawn.
  • Check the weather forecast for rainfall.
  • Observe and measure the rainfall and adjust your watering plan.
  • Reduce people and pet traffic on your lawn.
  • Keep your lawn area clean of any objects.

Are you ready to implement a great summer lawn care plan this year?

How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternflies in Chester County?

Around 2014, Spotted Lanternflies were observed in Chester County for the first time. Since then, these insects have begun to spread far and wide.

Honestly, the rapid spread of Spotted Lanternflies has been alarming to scientists and common homeowners alike. 

They can ruin certain types of trees and create an unpleasant environment wherever they propagate.

Spotted Lanternflies

Realistically, in the wake of COVID-19, an infestation of Spotted Lanternflies is not the best selling argument if you plan to sell your home. Therefore, take care of them before it’s too late.

Increasingly, more and more property owners in Chester County have had to deal with Spotted Lanternflies infestations. 

Whether you’re in Pennsylvania or not, these tips could prove useful in the near future. 

Are you ready to learn how to take on the Spotted Lanternflies? Let’s get to it.

What are these Spotted Lanterflies?

These insects, approximately one-inch long, can wreak havoc on the local greenery. They are covered with black spots, with signature red-colored wings. Younger Spotted Lanternflies in the nymph stage will black and red 

Although it has two pairs of wings, the Spotted Lanternfly is more a jumper and it uses its wings to assist these jumps rather than making sustained flights.

Spotted Lanternflies come from Asia where they create issues in local rural areas. However, the spotted lanternfly can find the perfect host over 70 plant species, including ornamental trees, grapevines, fruit trees, and woody plants. 

The list gets longer and can include many agricultural crops and common forest plants. In our area, it was found on birch and maple. In other words, these little guys need to be taken seriously.

Ultimately, Spotted Lanternflies feed on primarily hardwood trees and they excrete a sticky, “honeydew” substance that can destroy any and all vegetables, flowers or shrubbery nearby

Luckily, the danger associated with these bugs is relatively small to humans directly. They will not bite you, nor sting you. 

They can be obnoxious since they live in colonies and are not scared to land on people. Ultimately, they are more disgusting-looking than dangerous. 

Finally, Spotted Lanternflies Have Met Their Match

So, Spotted Lanternflies have laid claim to your property. Well, it’s time to contain them!

In just a few steps, you can be prepared to deal with an infestation.

 

1- Eliminate the Eggs

First of all, it is necessary to contain the spread of any Spotted Lanternflies. 

When clearing out a given area, always check for their eggs, typically a mass with a mud-brown coloration.

These egg masses typically appear from late September through May. 

The egg masses can then be removed from the tree with a knife or similar tool into a bag. 

Alternatively, they can be directly sprayed with insecticide or killed with hand sanitizer or a similar alcohol-based solution.

If you bag their eggs, you are requested to report them online to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Follow this link to fill a report.

2- Address the Nymphs

Once the eggs are taken care of, you can start worrying about the nymphs, or the pre-adult Spotted Lanternflies. 

From late April to early November, the nymphs and adults climb the trunks of trees to feed.

At this time, the trees can be sprayed with insecticides. Otherwise, some people prefer using sticky-paper to trap the nymphs as they climb the tree’s trunk. Beware when taping trees-birds, rodents or bats can get caught in the tape.

However, it is necessary to be careful when carrying out this step. If not done with great care, you could harm beneficial insects or wildlife.

3- Tackling the Adults

Now, the final step. How do you take care of the fully-grown Spotted Lanterflies? Well, there are a few options here.

The first option is to use an approved insecticide which kills the adults on contact. Alternatively, the adults can be captured in a bottle or similar container. 

Manually kill any active nymphs or adults with tennis rackets, swatting and stomping them.

Another option is to plant Milkweed on the property amongst your present vegetation. 

Spotted Lanterflies tend to eat Milkweed, although it is poisonous. 

This can kill the insects or slow them down substantially, leaving them vulnerable to other methods. 

The last option and by far the most effective one is to use systemic treatment.

What is a systemic treatment?

It is a special insecticide applied to the bark of the tree that gets transferred throughout the plant. Any insect that feeds on the tree will die. Be aware to wait until a flowering tree has finished flowering before applying a systemic-this ensures no honey bees will die inadvertently.

If any Tree of Heaven trees is growing on your property, use them as bait by treating them with a systemic insecticide.

Once You Reclaim Your Yard, Then What?

Once the invaders are taken care of, you need to be vigilant and check the development of a new colony. 

It is still recommended that you continue monitoring your outdoor areas. Therefore, continue to keep an eye on the trees if there was a previous infestation. 

Cleared of Spotted Lanternflies, enjoy your ability to landscape and take advantage of your outdoor areas once again! 

Have you already tried one of the above options?