Is your lawn ready for the Winter?

Is your lawn ready for the Winter?

When fall is just around the corner, you need to start thinking about winterizing your lawn for the coming season.

So, what does this involve, you might ask? Well, the good news is that winterizing your grass is rather a simple process that doesn’t involve a lot of money or time. However, winterization is essential if you would like to enjoy a healthy and lush lawn when spring rolls around.

The first step is to fertilize your lawn during the fall. This does your lawn a world of good because when the weather begins to cool, a lawn will respond by growing slower and moving its reserves of food and nutrients from the leaves to the roots. The roots will continue to remain active in the soil and are very receptive to winter fertilizer (which has a high potassium content). This provides additional support and strength to the roots and helps the lawn to survive the cold, winter months.

As long as you give your lawn a good fertilizing treatment in the fall, it will remain healthy as long as possible and will result in beautiful turf in the spring.

Another way in which to winterize your lawn is to aerate it during the fall. This involves using aerating shoes or a manual push aerator. Aeration will allow water and nutrients to penetrate through to the roots effectively and will precent your soil from getting too hard.

If you notice any bare or patchy spots on your lawn, now is an excellent time to reseed these areas! You will be grateful for this when spring arrives.

Finally, as the leaves begin falling, be sure to rake them away as much as possible. Grass that is covered with leaves can become smothered and can become a breeding ground for unwanted insects, fungi and other diseases that could damage the grass. Mowing over the leaves with a mulching attachment is a great idea as this minces them into tiny fragments and provides the lawn with nutrition.

Fall Lawn & Landscaping Tips

Fall Lawn & Landscaping Tips

pinestraw-installation-on-dormant-lawn-in-the-winter

Fall lawn care and maintenance are all about preparation.

Do it right, and it will go a long way toward a nicer lawn in the spring!

 

Even though fall weather is cooler, you should still be mowing and watering the lawn, as needed. As fall comes to an end and you prepare for the last 2 mowings of the season, set your mower blade to the lowest setting as this allows more sunlight to reach to the top of the grass.

Additionally, another important aspect of fall lawn maintenance is aeration. Aerating your lawn allows water, fertilizer, and oxygen to reach the roots and prepares it nicely for the cooler months. This can be done by renting an aerator at your local hardware store.

While leaf raking may seem like an obvious fall activity, it is actually vital to remove as many leaves as possible from your lawn during the fall. Try your best to rake regularly so that the leaves don’t have time to trap moisture and stick together (which forms a sticky mat that is not only difficult to remove but also suffocates the underlying grass and makes it prone to fungal diseases).

Lawnmowers are great tools for removing leaves! Attach a leaf collection bag to your mower and activate the vacuum system (if you have one). Your leaves will be removed in no time and you will have completed one of the most important fall maintenance tasks for your turf!

 

Of course, if you need any help on your lawn, we’re always here to help you out!

Prevent invasive Winter and Spring weeds by acting now!

lawn covered with weeds that needs treatment

Prevent invasive Winter and Spring weeds by acting now!

lawn covered with weeds that needs treatment

Anyone who is proud of their lawn will not be a fan of weeds. So, how can you prevent those unsightly winter and spring weeds from emerging?

Well, the first step to a weed-free yard is to have an effective and tailor-made weed prevention program by using a good pre-emergent herbicide. This will prevent the problem of unwanted weeds, especially winter weeds.

Winter weeds normally germinate in early fall and during the winter months. They also grow abundantly in the spring, will flower and then die during the summer months. The cycle begins again in the fall when germination takes place.

If you do not manage them, your garden’s winter weeds can pose a huge problem when spring arrives. During the spring, you want to concentrate on yard maintenance and having an overwhelming amount of weeds will be very annoying.

A good quality pre-emergent herbicide will prevent the seeds of these weeds from germinating and this should be applied in late summer or in early fall. This product will form a barrier in the uppermost layers of your soil and will stop any weeds from growing above the soil. This results in fewer weeds when the warmer months arrive and a better looking lawn!

It is important to remember that although pre-emergent herbicides are highly effective when it comes to preventing weeds from germinating, the product needs to be used properly to have the desired effect. Always make sure that you mix it correctly so that the right strength is achieved and ensure that your sprayer is calibrated correctly.

When spraying your pre-emergent herbicide, try your best to cover the lawn evenly, leaving no spots untreated. It is also of no use to spray only a few spots as open spaces allow weeds to emerge.

Remember that a preventative weed program is essential for a beautiful yard!

A homeowner’s guide for a healthy lawn

Homeowner's Guide for a Healthy Lawn

nice-green-lawn

You don’t need to spend hours every day tending to your lawn to make it healthy, it’s easier than you think! Here is a great guide to obtaining a great-looking lawn.

The way in which you mow your lawn plays a big role in healthy grass. As a rule of thumb, you should cut your grass at a proper shorter height that’s appropriate for your grass type when you mow for the first time in the season. This helps to remove dead grass and allows sufficient sunlight in. For subsequent mowings, the cutting height should be around 2 – 3 inches (based upon the type of grass you have) and always make sure that the mowing blade is sharp.

To look its best, your lawn should receive 1 to 2 inches of water every week. This amount of water will ensure that the roots have enough water to grow and your grass will not dry out. Aim to water your lawn early in the morning as less water will be evaporated and your grass has a chance to dry out before it gets dark.

Aerating your lawn allows oxygen and nutrients to the roots grow healthy. Aerating your lawn involves removing small soil cores and helps improve the interaction between the soil and the surrounding atmosphere. Additionally, aeration helps fertilizer and water to reach deeper levels of the soil and also decreases soil compaction. The best way to aerate your lawn is to use a professional aerator, which is available at most home improvement stores. Aeration should be done in either the spring or fall when there is less of a chance that there will be weed seeds settling in the open spaces.

Finally, using a good fertilizer at the right time can make a huge difference to the health of your lawn. Fertilizing the grass in the fall will help to repair any damage that occurred during the summer and can also help your grass to survive during the colder months. Fertilizing in the early Spring can help “kick-start” growth and green quickly. Extra applications during the year also help your lawn to be in tip-top shape.

Sharper Image Lawns is here if you need help getting your grass strong and healthy. Give us a call and we’ll help you with a customized lawn program that works for you.  

Reasons you should be fertilizing your lawn

Reasons you should be fertilizing your lawn

reasons-to-fertilize-your-lawn

There are many reasons why you should be fertilizing your lawn. For best results, consider using a fertilizer that has been specially formulated for your grass type and any issues that you may be having.

If your lawn is deficient in nitrogen, it will definitely need a fertilizer. When grass is deficient in nitrogen if it looks yellow (or yellow-green), grows slowly and has low density. Other signs that your lawn is nitrogen deficient is if it has been invaded by weeds. Adding nitrogen with the use of fertilizer (especially one with a high ratio of nitrogen compared to other ingredients) should help a lot.

A phosphorus deficiency is also a sign that you need fertilizer. Phosphorus deficient grass can appear dull and have a blue-green color. If the lawn is left untreated, the grass blades can turn a purple color and eventually take on a red tint.

Lawns that have fungus will also benefit from fertilizer. Lawn fungus causes fairy rings which are small, dark and round patches on the grass with light-colored or dead grass in the center of the rings. Your lawn is more likely to contract a fungus if the soil has a high percentage of organic matter. Fungus can be treated by manual aeration and by applying a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Another common fungus is rust, which normally affects rye and blue grass that has been neglected. This problem can be treated by taking more care of your lawn and using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer on a dry lawn. You will then want to mow and irrigate the lawn often.

At Sharper Image Turf, we know lawn care. We use professional grade products to ensure your lawn is weed-free and as green as it can be. Give us a call, we’re here to help!

Reasons you should consider aeration for your lawn

Reasons you should consider aeration for your lawn

lawn-aeration-in-hoover-alabama

If you are debating whether or not aeration would be beneficial to your lawn, then read further because we explain why it is essential for healthy grass!

When your lawn is aerated, small amounts of soil are removed which decreases soil compaction. This is generally known as “core aeration”, a term that your lawn service should be familiar with. This process will help roots to grow properly, giving you great-looking grass.

 

 

In a nutshell, aeration is the natural process of air exchange of your soil and the air around it.

There are countless benefits to aerating your grass but the main ones are that your lawn will become healthier, reducing the amount of maintenance it needs. This is because the soil is able to absorb more water and fertilizer, the air exchange between your soil and the surrounding air is improved, so stronger grass roots develop. There is also a reduction in soil compaction, puddling and water runoff. The lawn will be able to withstand heat and droughts better, and will become more resilient.

A non-aerated lawn has more compact soil which often does not allow it to establish a good root system, and prevents fertilizer and water from getting to the roots.

With aeration you can prevent soil compaction and enjoy a lush and healthy lawn. 

 

Give us a call and we’ll get you an immediate quote on aeration for your lawn.

Tips to wake up your grass after winter!

Tips to wake up your grass after winter

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During the winter months, your grass is dormant but there are many things you can do to have healthy-looking grass once spring arrives.

Fertilizing your grass is essential to keep it healthy. Be sure to use a product for your specific grass type and read the instructions. Apply only the recommended amount of fertilizer as too much could burn the grass.

Another crucial part of maintaining your lawn during the winter months is to aerate. This process provides additional space for grass to create a healthier root system. Aerating can be done by removing spikes of soil throughout the lawn which leaves holes in the ground for air, water, and nutrients. If your yard is on the large side, you could always rent a manual or motorized aerator to make the job easier.

During the winter, it can be tempting to do less garden work. However, if you regularly tend to your lawn, your efforts will definitely pay off! Be sure to water and rake the grass so that any soil clumps are broken up and seeds can be covered. Watering your grass can be done with a regular garden hose (which should be done often so that the soil does not dry out).

Finally, sprinkling your lawn with cool-weather grass seed can make a huge difference! Ensure that the grass seed you buy indicates that it is for “cool weather or season”. Most fescues are good for cool weather. The seed should then be spread over your grass with a spreader (it can be the same one you used for fertilizing). Spreading the grass seed evenly will prevent you from having clumps of grass later on.

If you want a greener lawn, give us a call. We’re here to help!

Identifying Alabama’s most common weeds

lawn covered with weeds that needs treatment

Identifying Alabama's most common weeds and how to get rid of them

lawn covered with weeds that needs treatment

Ever walk around your lawn wondering if you have more weeds than grass? This guide should help you defined and track some of the most common weeds and how to cope with them throughout the season. It is important to know that weeds in your lawn compete for water, nutrients, and sunlight reducing the quality of a healthy lawn.

Here’s a list of the most common weeds in Birmingham

invasive weed to birmingham

Annual Bluegrass

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) is a cool-season, annual grass that spreads by seed. Annual bluegrass has a tufted habit with a bright green leaf color and fine texture.

a weed that grows locally here in the Birmingham area

Broadleaf Plantain

Leaves are broadly lance shaped to egg shaped, hairless or sparsely short haired. Roughly 2 to 7 inches (5–18 cm) long, leaves have five to seven prominent parallel veins from the base.

dandelions in the yard

Dandelion

Dandelions have a toothy, deeply-notched, basal leaves that are hairless. They are 2 to 9 inches or longer and they form a rosette above the central taproot.

clovers in grass

Clover

One of the best ways to control clover is to feed your lawn regularly, which provides grass with the nutrients it needs to grow thick and strong and prevent clover from growing.

an invasive weed in the birmingham area

Chickweed

Chickweed is a creeping winter annual lawn weed. Seeds germinates in cool temperatures. It takes root where they contact the soil, allowing it to completely overgrow large patches of lawns.

weeds in the birmingham alabama area

Lambsquarters

Common lambsquarters do not tolerate routine mowing and will usually disappear after a month or two of maintenance. The leaves are somewhat variable in shape & tend to be wider in the middle and tapering at the ends and covered with a gray-mealy coating.

The best way to control weeds is to make your lawn difficult for them to thrive. Things like keeping your lawn mowed at the appropriate height and proper feeding of grassy areas. There are also pre and post emergents for preventing germination and killing weeds that pop up in the lawn. 

A well-maintained lawn can help naturally control weeds. If you need assistance, we’re here to help. Just give us a call and we’ll get you an instant quote on your property for any of your lawn maintenance needs!