Why A Fall Lawn Care Plan Is So Important

This time of year, you’re probably thinking more about curling up with a hot cup of apple cider on a cool fall night than you are about your lawn. But a fall lawn care plan is critical if you want your lawn to thrive come spring. 

Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue are commonly used in Michigan for home lawns and are known as “cool-season” grasses. These grasses look very nice in spring and early summer. That’s why it’s ironic that fall is such a great time to provide your turf with the things it needs to stay healthy.

So, let’s take a look at a few fall lawn care tips that you can use before your grass is buried under fallen leaves. 

Make Sure Your Lawn Is Fertilized

Contrary to popular belief, fall in Michigan runs mainly from September through October. And it is the best time to prep your yard for the following season. Applying fertilizer during this time proves to be most effective. That’s because grass and plants are already starting to store their food and energy for the winter. It will ensure a healthy lawn in the spring.fall lawn care

And keep this in mind. Fallen leaves are actually a great fertilizer. If you use a mulching mower to chop them down into tiny particles, they’ll decompose and provide your lawn with nutrients. In fact, most tree leaves are around 2% nitrogen. So, by mulching your tree leaves into your lawn, you are essentially getting a free fertilizer application of nitrogen.

Weed Control

Fall is the ideal time because the weeds are storing carbohydrates in their root system and are more susceptible to herbicide applications. So if your turf has been overtaken by a bevy of broadleaf weeds, applying a herbicide in late September or early October will make a difference in what you battle next year.fall lawn care

And keep this in mind, weeds can disperse thousands of seeds over a wide area in the fall. If you have any weeds in your yard then you have a whole new generation of weeds just waiting for spring to come back. That’s why it’s important to stay out in front of it by applying a pre-emergent weed killer to prevent weeds from invading your turf.

Core Aeration And Overseeding

Aeration reduces soil compaction and allows for vital nutrients and applications to reach your lawn’s roots. A core aerator is a machine with hollow tines that mechanically removes plugs or “cores” of soil and thatch from a lawn.  The “cores” act as a channel through which oxygen, water, and nutrients can penetrate the soil.fall lawn care

If grassroots cannot grow deep, your turf will be less hearty. This can result in grass that is highly susceptible to drought.

In Michigan, early fall is the best time to overseed your lawn. That’s because soil temperatures are still warm, which is necessary for optimum seed germination.  Cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. There are also fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. With adequate sunlight, rainwater and fertilizer, you can expect the new grass seedlings to be well-established before the cooler fall weather arrives.

Let Lush Lawn Help

Our fall lawn care program provides a comprehensive 7-step package. It takes care of everything from fertilizing to aeration, winterizing, and much more. It’s designed to restore and build up your turf at the same time. If you’d like to learn more about how our program works, contact us today.

How To Keep Red Thread Under Control

Red thread is a fungal infection caused by the fungus, laetisaria fuciformis. This disease will cause irregularly shaped patches of tan or red throughout your lawn. But it really only comes down to doing one thing, to ensure you never have to worry about it. 

The truth is, almost any lawn is susceptible to this turf fungus. However, it is not uncommon for some lawns to have more issues than neighboring properties. This is because of different soil conditions, maintenance, and water patterns.

So, let’s take a look at what causes red thread, the negative effects and point out the best way to control it.

What Does It Look Like?

You can identify red thread by the pinkish-red strands that extend from the leaf blade tip. Take a look at your lawn early in the morning, when it’s still moist. You might see what looks like miniature pink cotton balls. 

If you take a look at your turf early in the morning when it is still moist, you might find what looks like miniature balls of pink cotton candy. That’s a tell-tale sign. 

But it can be mistaken for dollar spot or lawn rust. That’s because the grass is usually tan or light brown beneath the growths. To properly identify the disease, you may need to get on your hands and knees to check it out.

What Causes Red Thread?

Red thread is a disease of turfgrass that is often associated with under-fertilized turf and one of the simplest recommendations to alleviate disease pressure is to fertilize. But it goes deeper than that.

Red thread loves Michigan summers. The days get very warm and the nights are cooler. These temperature changes often create a moist environment that fungi love, and it’s a perfect opportunity for it to invade your lawn. Red thread also favors cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass.

How Harmful Is It To Your Lawn?

The good news is that red thread won’t kill your grass. The disease specifically attacks the leaves and stems of the grass plant. It will not harm the crown or root of the grass, but the areas that are infected will cause your turf to appear wilted.

 It’s also not aesthetically pleasing and can make your lawn vulnerable to diseases.  

How To Protect Your Lawn From Red Thread

The fungus that infects the turf lives in the thatch and soil and can be spread by dead infected plant material and by mowing and other mechanical maintenance. Be sure to clean your lawnmower after cutting your grass to decrease the chances of spreading the disease.

Fungicide applications are usually not necessary in dealing with red thread. The basic treatment for red thread is to fertilize the lawn with the proper amount of nitrogen as part of an ongoing feeding program. 

A fertilizer application will often help your turf outgrow the damage and protect it from other potential diseases. But keep this in mind, some turf diseases are aggravated by excessive fertilization, so be sure to have an expert diagnose which disease your lawn is facing before fertilizing begins.

Don’t hesitate to connect with the Lush Lawn team for treatment options if you come across it on your lawn. Contact your local Lush Lawn branch to request our services.

How to Choose the Best Summer Fertilizer for Grass

Choosing the best summer fertilizer for grass isn’t easy. But an important part of any lawn care program is fertilizer.

Many times you hear lawn care referred to as “weed and feed”, as we are working to remove the weeds and feed the grass. That fertilizer component is vital to keeping your turf tip-top, no matter the grass type. But is it the best summer fertilizer for grass?

Continue reading “How to Choose the Best Summer Fertilizer for Grass”

What Causes Rust-Colored Dust On Lawns?

If you’re walking around your neighborhood and notice rust-colored dust on lawns (including your own), don’t fret. Lawn rust (also called grass rust) is a common problem many homeowners experience at one point or another. But understanding what it is and how it develops will help you keep those small yellow patches from developing around your home.

What Is Lawn Rust?

Lawn rust does not develop like the rust you find on your car or an old swing set. In this case, the rust is caused by a common lawn fungus. 

lawn rust
Rust-colored lawn dust is also known as lawn rust.

Lawn rust typically starts showing up in the late summer or early fall. It is a fungal lawn disease that is often triggered by the stress of shorter days and periods of cool, wet weather.  

What Causes Lawn Rust?

In conjunction with these conditions, lawn rust is often a result of several additional factors. They include:

  • Overwatering your lawn
  • Thatch build-up 
  • Deficient nutrient levels 

Watering your lawn is important to keep it thriving, but too much water can lead to trouble because warm, moist, humid weather creates the perfect environment for rust fungus to develop.

Thatch is a common and quite unsightly lawn problem. Thatch occurs when a layer of partially decomposed grass parts (roots and stems) build up into what looks like a thick mat on the surface of the ground. Gra

An important part of lawn care is fertilizing. Lawn fertilization ensures that your grass and soil are getting all of the nutrients they need to thrive. In the case of lawn rust, your lawn will most likely need nitrogen added.

What Types of Grass Are Affected?

Lawn rust infections can occur with almost any type of grass, including: 

  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Tall Fescue

If you’re not sure what type of lawn you have, you’ll find that treatments are generally the same for all types, but it is best to check with a local lawn care company to ensure you are using the right product for your lawn.

How To Control Lawn Rust

If you’ve spotted what looks like rust-colored dust on your lawn, you should consider treating it right away. Our lawn care technicians are some of the best in the business. They can help you to confirm the signs and symptoms of lawn rust and prevent it from ever coming back.

Our team will not only properly fertilize your lawn, but they will also perform services like:

  • Aeration
  • Fungicides
  • Watering recommendations

We’ll identify a proper watering schedule for your lawn, to ensure you never over water again. 

Don’t hesitate to connect with the Lush Lawn team for treatment options if you come across lawn rust on your lawn. Contact your local Lush Lawn branch to request our services.

Avoid Summer Lawn Diseases!

 

Lawn Disease: What You Need To Know

  • Don’t cut it too short – One common mistake made by both homeowners and some commercial summer lawn maintenance companies is cutting a lawn too short. If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants’ ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the proper height, however, grass develops stronger roots that support more vigorous plants that are able to handle stress better.
  • Limit the Water Intake – While it is important to be adequate on hydration, do not water the grass daily. Lawns need only one-inch of water per week, including rainfall.
  • Drought Scenario – Avoid mowing the lawn during drought stress. Lawns under such stress are limited in their ability to recover from mowing and can be damaged even more. Instead, mow the grass after a rainfall or after irrigation day. Also, resist mowing wet grass to avoid clumping.
  • Maintain Sharp Blades –When grass is cut with a sharp mower blade, the plant will heal faster than when cut with a dull blade. Dull blades will actually tear the plant tissue, not cut it. This torn grass tissue will develop a brown appearance at the surface and may become more susceptible to stress and disease. Sharper blades will prevent a brown appearance and help to prevent further harm to the plant.

To have a Lush Lawn expert give you a free estimate on your lawn, just click here!