Lawn Care Q&A

Prof. Blade talks about the science and the magic of Arbor-Nomics® Turf’s miraculous service and reliable results.

Atlanta homeowners ask these questions all the time. But if your concern isn’t listed here, call a human service expert at 770.447.6037 to get the answer you need or send us your question online here.

Prof. Blade Explains

1. What are those brown patches in my fescue lawn?

It’s called brown patch disease, and it occurs during times of high humidity and warm nights. It’s especially fond of new seed plants. A lush green fescue lawn is especially vulnerable, and homeowners with a heavy touch on their sprinkler systems only encourage the problem.

You can control it with weekly fungicide treatments before the disease manifests itself and by not overdoing the fall aerating and overseeding. Also, give your lawn only one inch of water per week – and you should do this in one or two waterings rather than watering every day! Or, on sunny lawns, you can replace the fescue with Bermuda sod.

2. What are the small, coin-sized spots in my yard?

Dollar spot disease is named for the silver dollar-sized spots that occur in Bermuda lawns in early summer. Fungicides could be applied to control this problem, but sometimes a good application of fertilizer is just as effective.

3. Why does my lawn pull up in sections?

Don’t even think about blaming us gnomes! You probably have a grubby little problem. Grubs feed on lawn roots and keep your lawn from “greening up” properly in the spring. Another indication of a grub infestation is the presence of moles, which feed on the grubs; they make tunnels which result in the pulled-up tufts of lawn you’re seeing. At the first sign of tufts or moles, call Arbor-Nomics Turf to kill the grubs, which should also eradicate the moles. Don’t wait until August.

4. Why do I still have weeds on my lawn even after a treatment?

While bi-monthly applications take care of crabgrass and most weeds, there are certain types of weeds and sedge (tufted plants that are different from normal grasses) that require specific herbicides.

One of these “pests” is nutsedge. It’s actually a perennial grass, not a weed. Although it’s most common in Bermuda lawns, it can grow in all grasses. You’ll recognize it growing vertically in single strands during the warm season from April to September.

Once identified, you can get rid of it with an application of a highly specific herbicide. If you think you have a nutsedge infestation, call the experts at Arbor-Nomics Turf. Take advantage of our free lawn analysis.

5. Why can’t my lawn look like a golf course?

You could hire a full-time greenskeeper, an expert who will mow your grass two or three times a week, perfectly regulate the water your lawn gets, apply special treatments whenever needed, etc. But most homeowners do it themselves. You’ve got to know how often to mow. When you mow too infrequently, you risk cutting too much of the grass blade, which can cause the grass to turn yellow. Same with fertilizing: Lawns with too much fertilizer are prone to disease. And the watering thing – let’s talk about water.

6. How much water does my lawn need?

The amount of water your lawn requires and receives will determine its overall health, beauty and ability to withstand use and drought. Keep in mind that too much water can ruin a lawn just as easily as too little.

One inch a week is the standard water requirement established for most lawns, but it will vary depending on your combination of soil and turf. You’ll also need to account for seasonal changes.

Take a good look at your lawn. Grass in need of water will have a grey-blue cast to it, rather than a blue-green or rich green color. Footprints that linger on the lawn 30 minutes or more suggest the need for more water; on well-watered turf, footprints will disappear within minutes.

You can also use a soil probe, like a screwdriver or large spike, to determine how dry your lawn is. If the probe can be pushed into the soil easily, it’s probably moist enough; but if it takes a lot of pressure to push in, it’s time to water.

Use a rain gauge or even a small can to verify how much water your lawn is getting. Since your lawn needs one inch of water each week, consider how much rain you’ve had before watering. Calculate how much water your sprinklers put out. For example, if a 1/4″ collects in 30 minutes, you can easily figure out how much time it will take to achieve the proper hydration. Timers can help provide consistency and even be programmed to turn on and off when no one is awake or at home.

7. What’s the best lawn to have in Atlanta?

According to a survey of the Gnomes, sodded Bermuda is highly recommended for most yards. But it won’t tolerate any shade or grow between houses.

Zoysia and fescue are more shade tolerant but are usually over-fertilized by homeowners.

Prof. Blade welcomes any additional questions or concerns you may have. Please don’t hesitate to call the office at 770.447.6037 to speak to one of our Human Service Representatives or e-mail them at info@arbor-nomics.com.