Why Does My Lawn Look Worse Than My Neighbors?
As a professional lawn service, we only wish that all lawns were created equal. That would make our job so much easier, right?! However, they are not. There are so many variables that play a part in your lawns overall health and beauty. And at the end of the day that’s all we want: a healthy, beautiful lawn.
So why do to lawns side by side look so different? Here are a ingredients that can make all the difference in the world.
Different soil types affect your lawn in different ways. Sandy soils are made of large particles that do not retain water or nutrients very well. Clay soils are made up of smaller particles that are smooth when dry but sticky when wet. Clay soils are rich in nutrients and hold onto water better than Sandy soils. However, it drains the water poorly and thus leads to compaction.
Silty soils are fertile and are made up of tiny particles that retain water well but easily become compacted. Lastly, Loamy soils seem to be “the perfect medium”. Loamy soils retain water, nutrients, and they are more fertile. It is great for growing plants and turf.
Knowing your soil type is very important to know what your lawn may likely need as time goes on. Each soil type has its benefits and downfalls. To know and understand your soil type allows professionals to more accurately predict issues that could affect your lawn.
Mowing and Watering Habits
Normal mowing and watering are vital for your lawns overall health and appearance. Remember these few things:
* Never cut more than one third of the grass blade at each mowing,
* Keep your lawn mower blades short, do not beg your clippings, and
* Change your mowing directions to prevent compaction and tracks.
Also, everything needs water to survive. Do not water your lawn unless the soil is dry or appears to be drought stressed. For warm season grasses, irrigate your lawn at least twice a week and/or get ½” water on it per week.
Compacted soil is another factor with most lawns in our area. Soils can easily become compacted by just their soil types, machine and foot traffic, irrigation or rainfall. Compacted soils can and will choke out your grass. Aerating your soil is a great cultural practice that relieves pressure in the ground and allows air, water, and nutrients to get beneath the soil surface which will allow your roots to grow and expand.
If your lawns thatch layer exceeds ½”, dethatching is recommended. As with compacted sold, excessive thatch can choke out water and nutrients from the plant. Avoid over fertilizing and watering to prevent excessive thatch.
Insects and diseases often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Inspections are key before the aesthetic damage has taken place. With our recent mild winter, it appears that we are seeing an increase in turf insects and diseases. The most common turf pest of turf grass in Tennessee is the white grub, which is a root feeder. The white grow up often times leave the turf splotchy and also attracts moles, due to it being a main food source for them. Other turf pest that have been reported have been bill bugs and mole crickets, which are root feeders as well.
Spring dead spot is a common fungal disease we see on our warm season grasses is such as Bermuda. It shows up as the grass comes out of dormancy and is usually round, depressed areas in the soil that weeds will quickly invade and the grass eventually fills in later in the summer.
The most common disease among our cool season grasses, such as fescue, is brown patch. This disease appears as patches, 3 feet in diameter, with “smoke rings” at the ends. It usually develops in hot, wet weather.
So, we hope to have provided some valuable information about different factors that play key roles in our lawn reaching its full potential. The right weed control and fertilizer strategy will certainly help but may not totally give your lawn the beauty and health it deserves. Remember, if it were easy every lawn would look amazing with the same amount of effort. The little things in lawn care can make the biggest difference.
For more information on what you can do to take your lawn to the next level, please call her office or visit our website to see other recommended services.
Have a Great week,