Monthly Archives: May 2018

Don’t Make These Common Spring Lawn Care Mistakes

Sometimes homeowners find it hard to get back into the swing-of-things when it comes to caring for their lawn each spring. After all, it has been a few months and all those things you thought you would do or, at least, remember to do with your lawn have gone by the wayside. Did you remember to drain the gas and oil out of the lawn mower? Did you plant bulbs last year or agree to wait? Hmmm. Well, while you adjust to your spring lawn care chores again, let us remind you about some of the more common mistakes homeowners make every year so you can avoid them yourself.

 

  • Forgetting to Sharpen the Mower Blade – Yep, this is an easy one to forget about. The mower blade should be sharpened regularly and over the winter was a great time to do it while you don’t need the mower. If you still need to do this, now is as good a time as any.
  • Failing to Test the Soil – Too many homeowners skip this step of finding out how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Without this, you really don’t have any idea about the needs of your lawn.
  • Failing to Remove Items from the Grass – Lots of homeowners allow lawn ornaments, grills, and even cars to stay on the lawn over the winter months, thinking that they will not do any harm. Anything left on the grass can almost ensure that the grass underneath will be long dead and leave a large bare spot on your lawn. To fix this, you may need to reseed completely in this area.
  • Bagging the Lawn Clippings – Research has shown that, while it doesn’t look as clean and tidy and lawns that have every cut blade removed, the results can be astounding. By leaving clippings in the grass after mowing you are adding much needed nitrogen and organic matter to the grass.
  • Over/Under Watering – This mistake is fairly common. Do you see dry dead patches on your lawn or possibly the opposite – puddling? These two conditions are an indicator that you are either watering too little or too much, respectively. Water several times a week deeply. Check with a screwdriver to see how easily the tool sides in to the grass or if it is met with resistance, thus indicating dry ground.

 

Do you need help avoiding lawn care mistakes? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Fungus, Mold, and Mildew… Oh My!

There are many things that can ruin our lawns, from pests to Mother Nature, but trifecta of destruction can be done by fungus, mold, and mildew! Yuck. Lawn fungal diseases can take on a variety of forms, from dark brown patches to slimy moldy looking areas. None of it is healthy and should be dealt with to get your lawn back to a healthy state. Let’s take a look at some common fungal diseases that can harm your lawn, as well as what could be the root cause of them.

 

Common Fungal Diseases

 

  • Brown Patch is a turfgrass disease that is caused by the Rhizoctonia species of fungus and tends to strike during hot, humid weather. It is one of the most destructive lawn diseases as it can destroy large areas of turf virtually overnight when the weather conditions are just right. The disease begins to show growth when temperatures reach 65°, but the most active growth of brown patch lawn disease occurs at temperatures of 80-85° when humidity levels are very high. The appearance of large swaths of brown patches are usually the first sign of the disease that homeowners notice.
  • Fusarium Blight is also known as Necrotic Ring Spot and is a devastating, soil-bound disease that is most noticeable and damaging during the prolonged hot, dry conditions of summer. This disease first appears near sidewalks, driveways, and on areas with direct sunlight. This disease may appear as a round area of dead grass with a small area of thriving grass in the middle.
  • Dollar Spot develops in a distinct circle about the size of a silver dollar. This disease tends to occur when nights are cool and the dew is heavy. Excessive thatch and high humidity also gives rise to this disease.

Causes of Lawn Fungus

Your lawn is naturally full of mold, spores, and fungi of all different types. Most of this is harmless unless conditions become ripe for disease growth. Conditions that can cause this include:

  • High levels of thatch and soil compaction
  • Drought
  • Overwatering
  • High humidity for extended periods of time
  • The wrong amount or type of fertilizer

 

Do you suspect that the rings, brown spots, thin patches, or slimy areas may be fungus, mold, or mildew growing in your lawn? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

What’s Up with the Ladybugs?

Ladybugs may be one of the more beloved pests, (if there is such a thing). They have cute songs written about them, children love drawing them, and dog-gone-it they are cute. Well that is unless they and hundreds of their closest friends have become your housemates! Why is it that in the fall, and again in the spring these critters find themselves crawling all over your home, sometimes even inside your home? It may be enough to ask, “What’s Up with the Ladybugs?”

 

Ladybugs, while somewhat adorable, are cluster hibernators, which means that every fall they secrete a pheromone that attracts hundreds of their friends and family in search of a place to spend their winter hibernating. Unfortunately, this location may be the walls, eaves, and other hidden places inside your home! This event usually occurs on sunny days in late October or early November. You may notice them right around trick-or-treating time. They are most attracted to homes with natural wood siding and ample sun exposure. They’re also attracted to houses in wooded areas, light-colored houses warmed in sunlight, and especially older houses with lots of crevices to find their way in.

 

In the spring these same Ladybugs are beginning to awaken, which means we repeat the process except in reverse. At first you may notice one or two crawling out from their hibernation into the light, confused but ready for the spring. Then as the days and weeks progress you may see many more working their way back to the outdoors. Help them along their journey or leave them be. Unfortunately, Ladybugs can leave stains and may be seen as a nuisance. The good news with Ladybugs is that these pests are really just an annoyance since they do not pose a health threat and do not damage structures. Do you have questions about the pests in and around your house? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

 

Spring Lawn Care – Where to Start?

Welcome to spring! Are you ready to hit the ground running in regard to caring for your lawn and garden? If the answer is yes, then you may be wondering where to start. Should you start aerating, fertilizing, or treating for pests? The answer may be different for each homeowner, but there are some commonalities in what should be done. Here is a quick guide of where to start when it comes to spring lawn care. 

 

  • Clean Up – Start your spring lawn care with a comprehensive clean up of your yard. That means all leaves, debris, and yard items should be removed from the grassy areas. If you see accumulations of rock salt along hardscapes, clean those up as well. If any dead plantings are in the garden still, remove those as well.
  • Dethatch – Once every little stick, branch, and garden gnome has been removed from the yard, begin dethatching your grass. Thatch is that dead grass built up around your yard. Raking the thatch out allows for new seed to grow and for much needed sunlight, water, oxygen, and nutrients to get down to the grassroots.
  • Soil Testing – When was the last time you tested your soil to find out the pH level? Knowing if your soil is too acidic or alkaline can help you grow a lush, green lawn this year.
  • Aerate – After a fall and winter of soil compaction, your lawn may need to be loosened up a bit. Aerating the lawn either by using a machine or a hand held tool can allow for the high traffic areas and areas that are matted down to to be loosened.
  • Weed/Pest Control – Believe it or not, you may already have weeds or pests finding their way into your lawn. Treatments for both may need to be determined by examining what kinds of weeds or what kinds of pests are invading your grass. Pro-Tech Lawn Care can evaluate your lawn for invaders and plan an appropriate course of treatment.
  • Seed/Hydroseed – Once you have dethatched and aerated, you may notice that some of your lawn is bare or thinning. Ask our specialists about our seeding/over seeding or hydroseeding options to get your grass looking thicker and healthier.

 

Need help getting started this spring? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

5 Benefits of Mulching in your Yard

Every spring homeowners across the nation spend hours and hours preparing their yards, planting flowers, trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and gardening. For some it is the aesthetic beauty of the yard that motivates them, for others it is the prospect of entertaining outdoors that gets them mowing, clipping, and planting. No matter the reason, it is always good to have a strategy to make your property look the best that it can. Mulching is one such strategy that has many benefits, from weed and pest control to preventing soil erosion. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 main benefits of mulching your yard.

 

  1. Pest Control – Many types of mulches have oils, fragrances, and organic matter that repel many different kinds of pests. Unfortunately, some mulches do attract pests, so be sure to talk to a lawn care specialist before laying down any mulch this spring. Choosing the right type of mulch can add one more layer of protection against the pests that tend to invade at this time of year.
  2. Weed Control – Mulch acts as a barrier that limits sunlight to the weeds beneath. By limiting that sunlight, weeds have less of a chance to prosper under your plantings, bushes, and trees.
  3. Moisture and Nutrient Retention – A layer of mulch (2 inches or so) can retain moisture and limit the effects of evaporation. This moisture retention can be especially important during the heat of the summer when plants need all the nutrients and moisture they can get. Mulch also has the ability to release nutrients into the soil as the organic compounds decay.
  4. Prevent Erosion – As rain water and sprinkler systems accumulate water around your yard, erosion can occur. This is especially true when the steepness of the grade causes water to run or drain out. Mulch has the ability to protect soil and slopes from the erosive power of water.
  5. A Finished Look – While mulch has the ability to prevent weeds, pests, and erosion, it also has the ability to give your lawn and garden a finished look. Mulch is an easy filler that can give your yard a bit of much needed “punch”.

 

Pro-Tech Lawn Care can help get your lawn and garden looking good and growing healthy. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.