How to Get the Most from Your
Lawn Care Experience
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We know you want your yard to be beautiful and well cared for. We also understand that you want to feel that you are getting the most from our service. To achieve both goals, it’s helpful to describe our role in caring for your property and how we can work together to ensure you have the landscape you’ve always wanted.
At Arbor-Nomics® Turf, our focus is on the proper care of your lawns, tree and shrubs.
Customers often encounter problems that are due to factors beyond our control. A very high percentage of landscape issues emanate from how the plants and lawn were put in (e.g., Bermuda sod laid in the shade, azaleas planted in full sun, or plants put in too deep). As we care for your landscape, we will address these issues. Having said that, here are a few things to keep in mind:
We have received many calls from customers asking about the effectiveness of their treatment when it is applied right before the rain. Most of our applications need to dry on the plant – which can take only a few minutes in the spring, summer and fall – and then be watered in. So rain right after an application is a good thing. Weather is still often unpredictable in our area. Given this, we must sometimes shift the times or dates of appointments to allow for successful treatments.
The pre-emergents that we use in the spring and fall control primarily grassy weeds, such as crabgrass and annual bluegrass. We cannot, however, prevent aggressive, unsightly broadleaf weeds from emerging. If these appear, simply notify our office, and we will visit promptly to spray them.
Length of Visit
Our treatments can be applied quickly. Their value lies in the results that they bring to your lawn rather than the length of our visit. Our rotary spreaders and spray guns typically cover an eight-foot-wide swath, so three or four trips across the lawn usually provides 100% coverage.
Intervals between Applications
We try to space our applications about seven weeks apart. Although weather can affect timing, you should expect no fewer than four weeks and no more than eight weeks between treatments.
Service Calls Between Treatments
We are available for service calls between scheduled treatments if you are having issues with your landscape. If you have an urgent matter, our Certified Landscape Specialist (CLS) or a Manager will come out as soon as possible, free of charge, to check out the situation and develop a plan to get your landscape back on track. For non-urgent requests, we will address the problem within 3 – 4 days.
Certified Landscape Specialist Rotation
We try to assign the same Certified Landscape Specialist (CLS) team to each route annually. When a route becomes very large, it may be necessary to divide it between two teams to ensure timely service.
Treating Foreign Grasses
A foreign grass is any grass growing in your lawn that is different from the type that makes up the majority of your lawn. For example, if you have a Bermuda lawn and see Fescue coming up, we call that a foreign grass. We will treat a small area of foreign grasses free but must charge for an extensive infestation.
Unfortunately, after more than 30 years in this business, we have learned that there is very little that can be done to control moss. In the past, we have tried tilling the soil down a foot deep, installing sod, planting seed, aerating, adding lime, removing trees, etc. None of these methods have yielded satisfying results.
Our policy is to leave your bill at the front door. If it’s not there, please contact us. We’ll be glad to reprint it. If you prefer that we leave it in a different spot, just let us know and we’ll note it on your account. We appreciate your timely attention to the bill so that we can keep your treatments on schedule.
If you would like your gate closed after an application to safeguard pets and children, you can expect your CLS to respect your wishes.
If you would like to have advance notice of our visits, you can request that we call or email you before we come out to treat your property.
Advice For Property Owners
In order to help us maintain your yard in the best condition possible, we have a few tips that you can follow throughout the year:
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.