Sustainability, Lawn Care and the Chesapeake Bay

Over last winter AgroLawn participated with the 2011 Fertilizer Act which was recently passed by the Maryland General Assembly. We are pleased by the best practices promoted by this legislation and the positive impact it will have on urban horticulture.

Properly maintained turf offers many key environmental benefits. Thick, healthy lawns absorb rainwater runoff and help keep soil and other pollutants from reaching stormdrains, local streams and other pathways to the Chesapeake Bay.

Sustainability in lawn care means encouraging dense turfgrass growth by applying essential nutrients at recommended rates to minimize material inputs while maximizing environmentally beneficial results. You can be part of the solution of cleaning up the bay by following these important sustainable lawn care practices:

  • Use phosphorus free fertilizers.
  • Monitor nutrient levels with periodic soil testing.
  • Control erosion, thicken turf through aeration with seeding.
  • Mow at 3" or higher with sharp blade.
  • Cut no more than 1/3 of grass blade with each mowing.
  • Recycle grass clippings.
  • Water deeply and irregularly, morning watering is best.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Fall 2011
By Patrick Bailey on August 2011
Fertilization

The hot summer of 2011 with nearly 50 days of temperatures at or above 90 has thinned and damaged parts of many lawns and allowed weeds to fill in thin and weakened areas. Areas in full sun and slopes have been especially affected by these extreme conditions. As weather returns to normal, now is the time to bring back your lawn.

We are applying a special blend of slow release fertilizer with iron to help your lawn recover from these stressful conditions. We will also be spot weeding to take care of the weeds that germinated over the summer. We have seen a lot of heat loving weeds like spurge, purslane, and oxalis. They particularly love to grow in compacted soil next to sidewalks and driveways.

Core aeration will relieve soil compaction, allowing air and water into the grass root zone. This process will allow your existing lawn to develop a deeper, more heat tolerant root system which is the foundation of a healthy lawn. Overseeding will introduce new growth that will fill in bare areas and improve the lawns overall appearance. The aeration holes act as growth pockets and help maximize seed germination and establish a new turf. Core Aeration combined with Overseeding is one of the best ways to help your lawn recover from the stress of a hot summer.

Call today at 410-884-0561 for a free written lawn evaluation and let us help you bring back your lawn.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Spring 2011
By Patrick Bailey on March 2011
Fertilization

After a fairly mild winter, in March/April we will be putting down a fine granular turf fertilizer with crabgrass control. This will green up the lawn and put down a pre-emergent that will control crabgrass before it establishes. Ideally, crabgrass control should be done before the soil warms and the crabgrass seeds start to germinate.

This Spring we will also be performing soil profile analysis in order to properly address the nutrient needs of the turf. AgroLawn tests for ph, phosphorus, and potassium to identify and address any nutrient deficiencies.

Profile Soil Analysis

If core aeration and spring seeding is to be done, crabgrass control is postponed and core aeration/overseeding should be done as soon as possible. It is important to provide the longest possible growing season for the young seedlings before the heat and stress of summer arrive. If your lawn has some left over leaves and debris, now is the time to clean it up or the grass beneath could be damaged or killed.

Now is also the time to sharpen lawn mower blades. Dull lawnmower blades will rip grass plants instead of cleanly cutting them. Also check your lawnmower to make sure your machine is set to cut at 3-3.5 inches. Cutting the lawn any shorter will weaken it, shorten the roots and increase the number of weeds.

For a free lawn analysis and estimate for our treatment programs, please call:

410-884-0561

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Fall 2010
By Patrick Bailey on August 2010
Heat & Drought Damage 2010

The sweltering summer of 2010 with its nearly record breaking 50 days of temperatures at or above 90 has thinned and damaged parts of many lawns and allowed weeds to fill in thin and weakened areas. Areas in full sun and slopes have been especially affected by these extreme conditions. As weather returns to normal, now is the time to bring back your lawn.

We are applying a special blend of slow release fertilizer with iron to help your lawn recover from these stressful conditions. We will also be spot weeding to take care of the weeds that germinated over the summer. We have seen a lot of heat loving weeds like spurge, purslane, and oxalis. They particularly love to grow in compacted soil next to sidewalks and driveways.

Core aeration will relieve soil compaction, allowing air and water into the grass root zone. This process will allow your existing lawn to develop a deeper, more heat tolerant root system which is the foundation of a healthy lawn. Overseeding will introduce new growth that will fill in bare areas and improve the lawns overall appearance. The aeration holes act as growth pockets and help maximize seed germination and establish a new turf. Core Aeration combined with Overseeding is one of the best ways to help your lawn recover from the stress of a hot summer.

Call today at 410-884-0561 for a free written lawn evaluation and let us help you bring back your lawn.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Summer 2010
By Patrick Bailey on May 2010

After a cool spring with plenty of moisture we are heading into the hot summer months. We are applying a special fertilizer that will provide lawns with the nutrients needed for this time of year. Maryland Summers with their heat and humidity can cause drought stress to the grass which is manifest by part or all of the lawn turning brown or dormant. Drought stress can be minimized by cutting the lawn at 3 inches or higher and cutting it with sharp lawn mower blades. If you are able to water your lawn, water deeply and infrequently, once to three times a week. Do not water in the evenings or late afternoon. Nighttime moisture promotes a fungal disease, which is very common in this area called BROWN PATCH. As the name applies, Brown Patch turns the affected grass brown. Once the weather conditions turn against it, the diseased area will grow itself out. Brown Patch will not kill the grass.

Grub Control Recommended
Unlike Brown Patch and other turf diseases, white grubs can cause significant turf damage. Japanese beetles, once they swarm, lay their eggs in the soil. Those eggs become the white grubs, which eat at the roots of the lawn in August and September. We will be applying grub control until mid July to eliminate the possibility of damage to your lawn from these pests. AgroLawn uses Mach 2 which is gentle on the environment, does not kill beneficial insects, but is deadly to white grubs that, as they mature feed on the roots of grass plants, killing the grass in unsightly patches.

Lime
We will also be applying concentrated pelletized lime this summer. Lime naturally sweetens our acidic soil making nutrients more available to the grass. Acidic soils "bind up" soil nutrients making fewer nutrients available to the turf. This prevents the turf look its best. As we move into the heat and environmental stress caused by our Maryland summers, please follow these simple lawn tips to help your lawn look its best.

Summer Lawn Tips

  • Apply Grub Control
  • Mow at 3 ” or higher with a sharp blade. Avoid cutting grass when wet.
  • Cut no more than 1/3 of grass blade with each mowing.
  • Core aeration and overseeding recommended (fall).
There is no need for watering daily. Water deeply every 3-4 days. Morning watering is best.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Spring 2010
By Patrick Bailey on March 2010

With the snow finally gone the grass is starting to come out of winter dormancy. We are seeing some plowing and shoveling damage on the edges of some lawns especially where large equipment was used. Unless the grass is gone most of these areas should bounce back. The ground is also soaked which will help our fertilizers get down into the turf roots helping it to recover.

In March/April we will be putting down a fine granular turf fertilizer with crabgrass control. This will green up the lawn and put down a pre-emergent that will control crabgrass before it establishes.Ideally, crabgrass control should be done before the soil warms and the crabgrass seeds start to germinate.

If core aeration and spring seeding is to be done, crabgrass control is postponed and core aeration/overseeding should be done as soon as possible. It is important to provide the longest possible growing season for the young seedlings before the heat and stress of summer arrive. If your lawn has some left over leaves and debris, now is the time to clean it up or the grass beneath could be damaged or killed.

Now is also the time to sharpen lawn mower blades. Dull lawnmower blades will rip grass plants instead of cleanly cutting them. Also check your lawnmower to make sure your machine is set to cut at 3-3.5 inches. Cutting the lawn any shorter will weaken it, shorten the roots and increase the number of weeds.

For a free lawn analysis and estimate for our treatment programs, please call:

410-884-0561

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Winter 2010
By Patrick Bailey on February 2010

Winter is here and most lawns are dormant and straw colored. Our winters here in Maryland can be very unpredictable and may put your lawn in some extreme conditions. Winterizer treatment applied last fall will help maintain a healthy root system during this period and allow a quick green-up when warmer temperatures return. It is extremely important not to leave debris, leaves, or toys on the lawn during these months. These things can smother and damage the grass.

Now is a good time to sharpen mower blades and make sure you are up to date on other basic maintenance such as changing the oil and replacing the air filter. A properly maintained mower is an important part of helping your lawn look its best.

We will begin applying our first round of lawn treatments in March. This granular fertilizer treatment will promote thick grass and a vigorous root system. In addition we will also control crabgrass at this time before it becomes a problem.

For a free lawn analysis and estimate for our treatment programs, please call 410-884-0561

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Fall 2009
By Steven Bailey on August 2009

Welcome to our fall update!

For a free estimate and lawn analysis call (410) 997-1742

With temperatures coming down, the grass is getting a chance to recover from the heat and stress that caused parts of lawns to “brown out” and go dormant. We are now applying a fertilizer blend (24-0-11) that has 50% slow release fertilizer and also 2% iron that will help the grass recover. We will also be spot weeding to take care of the weeds that germinated over the summer. We have seen a lot of heat loving weeds like spurge, purslane, and oxalis. They particularly love to grow in compacted soil next to sidewalks and driveways.

The heat has caused outbreaks of a fungal disease Brown Patch that, as its name implies, turns patches of lawn, especially in the full sun, brown. As soon as temperatures drop into the 70’s the Brown Patch will disappear. Keep the grass cut at 3.5” or higher with sharp mower blades.

Fall is the time for core aeration with overseeding. Core aeration will relieve soil compaction, allowing air and water into the grass root zone. Core aeration also prepares the soil to wonderfully protect and help germinate grass seed. We will be aerating and seeding through October. Fall is for seeding!

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - June 2009
By Steven Bailey on June 2009

The grass has received ample rain this spring and has been looking really good. We have had to treat more weeds than usual because the rain causes weed populations to explode. All this moisture is also very good for insects. We are recommending that if you have not signed up for grub control yet, to do so. We will be applying grub control until early July. AgroLawn uses Mach 2 which is gentle on the environment, does not kill beneficial insects, but is deadly to white grubs that, as they mature feed on the roots of grass plants, killing the grass in unsightly patches.

We will also be applying concentrated pelletized lime this summer. Lime naturally sweetens our acidic soil making nutrients more available to the grass. Acidic soils "bind up" soil nutrients making fewer nutrients available to the turf. This prevents the turf look its best. As we move into the heat and environmental stress caused by our Maryland summers, please follow these simple lawn tips to help your lawn look its best.

Summer Lawn Tips

  • Mow at 3” or higher with a sharp blade. Avoid cutting grass when wet.
  • Cut no more than 1/3 of grass blade with each mowing.
  • Core aeration and overseeding recommended.
  • Keep lawn free of debris and leaves.
  • There is no need for watering daily. Water deeply every 3-4 days. Morning watering is best.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Winter 2009
By Steven Bailey on January 2009

Winter is here and most lawns are dormant and straw colored. Our winters here in Maryland can be very unpredictable and may put your lawn in some extreme conditions. Winterizer treatment applied last fall will help maintain a healthy root system during this period and allow a quick green-up when warmer temperatures return. It is extremely important not to leave debris, leaves, or toys on the lawn during these months. These things can smother and damage the grass.

We will begin applying our first round of lawn treatments in March. This granular fertilizer treatment will promote thick grass and a vigorous root system. In addition we will also control crabgrass at this time before it becomes a problem.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Spring 2009
By Patrick Bailey on February 2009

The grass is transitioning out of dormancy and will begin actively growing soon. The early March snowfall provided our lawns with beneficial moisture after a very dry February. We are seeing some weed activity mainly chickweed, henbit and thistle which germinate very early in the spring.

In March/April we will be putting down 13-2-5 balanced fertilizer with crabgrass control. This will green up the lawn and put down a pre-emergent that will control crabgrass before it establishes.Ideally, crabgrass control should be done before the soil warms and the crabgrass seeds start to germinate. If core aeration and spring seeding is to be done, crabgrass control is postponed and core aeration/overseeding should be done as soon as possible. It is important to provide the longest possible growing season for the young seedlings before the heat and stress of summer arrive. If your lawn has some left over leaves and debris, now is the time to clean it up or the grass beneath could be damaged or killed.

Now is also the time to sharpen lawn mower blades. Dull lawnmower blades will rip grass plants instead of cleanly cutting them. Also check your lawnmower to make sure your machine is set to cut at 3-3.5 inches. Cutting the lawn any shorter will weaken it, shorten the roots and increase the number of weeds.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - Fall 2008
By Patrick Bailey on October 2008

Summer heat and dry weather weaken even the most pampered lawns. Fall is a great time to revitalize the lawn and prepare it for next year. Now is the time to fertilize the turf and control weeds that have germinated over the summer. Cooler temperatures also create the ideal conditions for Aeration and Seeding. Aeration is the process of relieving compacted soil by mechanically pulling small cores of soil from the entire lawn area. This benefits your existing lawn by allowing it to grow a deeper root system and creates the ideal environment for overseeding. The aeration holes act as growth pockets and help maximize seed germination and establishment of new turf. Aeration is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lawn and should be performed annually. Call today at (410) 884-0561, for a free lawn evaluation and let us help you maximize your lawns potential

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - July 2008
By Patrick Bailey on July 2008

After a wet cool Spring, Summer heat and humidity have arrived. Maryland Summers with their heat and humidity can cause drought stress to the grass which is manifest by part or all of the lawn turning brown or dormant. Drought stress can be minimized by cutting the lawn at 3 inches or higher and cutting it with sharp lawn mower blades. If you are able to watter your lawn, water deeply and infrequently, once to three times a week. Do not water in the evenings or late afternoon. Nighttime moisture promotes a a fungal disease, which is very common in this area called, BROWN PATCH. As the name applies, Brown Patch turns the affected grass brown. Brown Patch will not kill the grass. Once the weather conditions turn against it, the diseased area will grow itself out. Right now we are seeing a lot of heat stress on lawns and some Brown Patch activity. To reduce the chance of Brown Patch thriving, morning watering is the best.

We are currently putting down grub control to treat the lawns for white grub infestations that will start as soon as the Japanese beetles swarm. Japanese beetles, once they swarm, lay their eggs in the soil. Those eggs become the white grubs, which eat at the roots of the lawn in August and September. During the month of July we will continue doing Grub Control, for our customers who have requested it.

We will also be doing maintenance lime applications. Lime will “sweeten” the soil, while also adding calcium and magnesium, important micro-nutrients. Because of the tremendous amount of clay in our soils here, yearly liming is an important strategy that helps maintain the soil pH, reducing the acid levels in the soil. Reducing the acid particles in the soil allows for easier nutrient uptake for grass and landscape plants.

 
On the Lawn, What's going on - April 2008
By Steven Bailey on April 2008

Chickweed, dandelions, clovers and other broadleaf weeds are now actively growing. The cooler temperatures we are having have slightly delayed the first lawn mowing, but now the grass is starting to grow. The cool weather has helped the grass recuperate somewhat from the fall drought and proper spring fertilization will help it recuperate even further.

Crabgrass is not up yet and the window of application to control it with a pre-emergent is still open. It is important to put down the pre-emergent before crabgrass germinates. There are still a few weeks of viable overseeding weather left. What you want to avoid in spring seeding is an unexpected heat spell that can stress or even kill the emerging grass seedlings. Do no overseed on a lawn treated with a pre-emergent because you will find that many of the grass seeds will be ”controlled” by the pre-emergent.

We are spraying our lawns with Chaser 2, a premium weed control product that while gentle on grass, knocks out clover, chickweed, dandelions, henbit and other broadleaf weeds. We will be on round 2, Broadleaf Weed Control, until early May. Cut the lawn at 3” or higher, keep the mower blades sharp. Enjoy! Lawns usually look their best in the cool weather of Spring and Fall.

 
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