Observe your Property
If you do your own landscape maintenance, it’s a good idea to do a weekly walk-around of your property to note any changes that might indicate an issue. Notify us about problems between visits to successfully manage your landscape.
Water your Lawn
This is one of the most important ways that you can maintain the health and color of your lawn. We can assist you in finding a company to install a sprinkler system if you don’t have one. If you already have a system and need advice on how often to run it, we can help you with that, too. Your lawn should get about 1” of water every week. Use a tuna can as a measuring tool. When you water your lawn, place the can on the area being watered. When the can is almost full, you’ve watered enough. This can make a critical difference in the color of your lawn, as well as in its resistance to disease. And if you’re wondering why we continue to treat during a drought, your lawn is a living organism that needs nutrients and weed control even when it is going through a dry period.
Everyone wants their lawn to be green, but trying to achieve this by fertilizing isn’t always best for the lawn. Zoysia and Centipede grasses can be killed back by overfertilizing. Using an organic fertilizer, such as Milorganite, on Bermuda grass between our visits is a great idea. Call us for details on the best products to use for your lawn.
Look for Diseases
All turf is susceptible to disease at any time, so we need your help to detect problems between our visits. Look over your lawn for off-color rings or patches, browning, and dead spots about the size of a silver dollar. Trees and shrubs are similarly vulnerable, and you should look for spots on the leaves and areas of discoloration. If you notice any of these issues, bring them to the attention of your CLS. For photos and descriptions, please visit our website, look for “Questions” in the menu, and visit our “Weeds, Diseases and Pests” page.
Mowing the same day a treatment is performed is no problem as long as any application that goes on wet has dried. It’s also safe to mow after an application that goes on dry, even if you bag your clippings. While we recommend frequent mowing, we also recommend letting the clippings go back into the soil. This provides nutrients, shades the soil and helps maintain the thatch layer.
Be Aware of Winter Kill
In the spring, many customers notice large areas of dead turf or plants. This can be the result of late freezes, fluctuating winter temperatures, grub infestations or other problems. Consult with your CLS or call the office to discuss measures you can take to prevent winter kill.
Look for Pests
Army worms, Japanese beetles, bagworms, Eastern tent caterpillars, euonymus and tea scales, and other pests can work very rapidly. Keep a watchful eye out between our visits to guard against infestation. Call us if you think you have a problem. For photos and descriptions, please visit our website, look for “Questions” in the menu, and visit our “Weeds, Diseases and Pests” page.
Soil amendment is the process of mixing soil with organic materials, such as peat moss, or inorganic material, such as sand. Research performed at the University of Georgia and the University of Oklahoma showed that, except in the cases of roses and bedding plants, amended soils actually do more harm than good. Aerating a lawn is a much better alternative. Contact our office for more information.
Most warm-season turfs must have wide open space and no shade. Zoysia can be more forgiving but still needs plenty of direct sunlight, whereas Fescue is best for more shaded areas. However, the timing and duration of shade can make a difference. For example, a lawn that gets morning shade can still thrive if it gets direct afternoon sun. Six to eight hours of direct sunlight is recommended for warm-season turfs.
Seeding Fescue in the Spring
In the South, most people believe the best time to sow new Fescue seed is in the spring, but spring-seeded Fescue does not have enough time to establish strong roots before high temperatures and drought hit in the summer. Also, the pre-emergent that we apply in the early spring to prevent crabgrass seed from germinating has a similar effect on Fescue seed. We recommend Aeration & Overseeding in September or October. However, if you wish to seed in the spring anyway, please notify our office by December 31, so we can avoid applying the pre-emergent.
Avoid Root Rot
Root rot most often affects junipers, rhododendrons and azaleas. If these plants are not installed in well-drained soils, they can actually drown from too much water. On a rhododendron or azalea, the telltale sign of root rot is the curling up of leaves. Since this is a difficult disease to treat, prevention is key.
Uncommon Grass Types
Most of the lawn types in Atlanta are Fescue, Bermuda or Zoysia. These are the grasses that grow best in our climate, and they respond well to our treatments. Occasionally we are asked about less common grasses, like St. Augustine, Centipede, or Rye grass. We don’t recommend any of these grasses for this area, and they are outside the scope of what we are best equipped to care for.