The Best Time To Apply Fall Fertilizer in Canton, Michigan

If the stress of this summer resulted in your lawn thinning or developing dead spots,  you’re probably wondering if there is something you can do. Before winter gets here, you’ll need something to encourage your grass to reestablish itself. A fall fertilizer application can help. 

Applying fertilizer in the fall is a vital part of any year-long lawn care program. Fall fertilizer is not about weed and feed. It’s about providing your outdoor space with the nutrients it needs to thrive during the winter months. The cool-season grasses that we see in Michigan (such as bluegrasses, fescues and ryegrasses) will benefit most when you apply fertilizer in autumn.

So, let’s find out when you should apply fall lawn fertilizer in Canton, MI, and the surrounding areas. 

Why Fertilize Your Lawn In The Fall?

The theory behind late fall nitrogen fertilization of cool-season grasses is very simple. Apply low rates of N fertilizer (40 to 50 lbs/thousand square feet) in the late fall. At this time, cool temperatures are reducing top growth, but root growth is still active.

The N is used to “set up the plant” for winter and for healthy early spring growth. Not only does it enhance root growth aid in the uptake of water and nutrients, but carbohydrate buildup in the stem bases also promotes winter survival and spring regrowth.

When To Apply Fall Fertilizer

The end of October or early November is essential. The exact timing to fertilize varies based on weather conditions and climate zone; however, the final fertilizer application should be done sometime in November (at the very latest) in most regions.

An ideal fall fertilizer blend has a nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium (N:P: K) ratio of 24-4-12 with isobutylidene diurea (IBDU). In this formulation, a small amount of nitrogen is immediately available to the grass blades, while the rest is a slow-release nitrogen form that takes longer to break down, which provides an extended feeding to the grass.  

The push of phosphorus will stimulate root growth through November and even into early December. By helping roots grow before winter sets in, you’re ensuring that your lawn will green up quicker in the spring. They’ll spread farther and grow deeper in the ground as a result. 

That’s because of the carbohydrates being produced in leaves and stored in the root system. And a stronger root system helps to provide your lawn with better tolerance to heat and drought stress, and healthy turf is also better able to withstand insect and disease problems.

Let Lush Lawn Help You

To get the rich, green grass you desire each spring, remember that ​fall fertilization holds the key. Lawns fertilized in fall have better green color in winter than those without fertilizer. Lush Lawn can provide you with everything you need to ensure your lawn comes back thriving each spring.

Our fall lawn care program provides a comprehensive 7-step package that takes care of everything from fertilizing to core aeration (which helps if you’re dealing with soil compaction), winterizing, and much more. Contact us today.

Are Leaves Good For Grass?

 If you’re asking yourself “Are leaves good for grass?” chances are, you don’t feel like raking them. The short answer to the question is “Yes.” Leaves are good for your grass, but you probably shouldn’t just ditch clearing them altogether. 

Leaves will decompose, but if you leave them on your lawn and they begin to pile up, they can actually do more harm than good. That’s because when they get wet (from rain or even snow)  wet leaves smother and kill the grass. But there are a number of different ways to approach your leaf harvest. And depending on your particular situation, it doesn’t always involve raking.

So, let’s take a look at why you should avoid raking leaves and talk about a couple of alternatives (composting and mulching) that will help your lawn to thrive.

Why Mulch Or Compost Leaves?

You should compost or mulch your leaf litter to keep them out of landfills. Michigan law requires all yard waste to be composted – it may not be disposed of in a regular landfill.  This started in 1995 because of the many problems caused by yard clippings in landfills. This led to the banning of yard waste from Michigan landfills. leaves good for grass

Why? According to EPA data, yard trimmings, which include leaves, can create as much as 34 million tons of waste each year, which is about 13% of all waste generated. The majority of it comes from composted or mulched in-state programs, but according to the EPA, as much as 11 million tons can still end up in landfills. This accounts for just under 8% of all waste in landfills.

Try Composting

Composting involves scooping leaves into a pile or containing them in a bin and leaving them to naturally decompose.leaves good for grass

It provides rich fertilizer for gardens and landscape plants. You can buy Bins or easily make one out of low-cost materials. You can add veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells, which also helps to cut down on your kitchen waste. Just don’t add items like meat scraps that can smell bad and attract pests. 

You can learn more about composting with this handy info sheet.

Mulching

If a compost pile isn’t ideal—try this. You can also use a lawnmower to shred leaves and compost them in a place where they will fertilize the grass. All you do is roll your mulching mower over the fallen leaves. Dried leaves are easier to mulch than wet ones, but mulching leaves (and your grass) and leaving them to decompose can become an important part of your lawn care regimen.leaves good for grass

Mulched leaves keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The nutrients provided by mulching also reduces the amount and expense of fertilizer need to achieve green-up in the spring. You can also mulch perennial flower beds with shredded leaves or till them right into garden soil.

And if that’s not enough, research was done at Michigan State University actually shows that leaving the leaves on your yard in such a manner not only does your lawn no harm, but it can actually suppress weed growth.

Let Lush Lawn Help

The Lush Lawn Fall Lawn Care and Restoration package will provide your grass with all of the protection it needs to survive the winter and thrive come spring. Contact us today.

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.

Why You Should Be Overseeding Lawn In Fall

There are many benefits to overseeding your lawn, especially in the fall. After the long, hot summer and all of the foot traffic your lawn endured from those backyard barbecues and pool parties, your turf may need a pick-me-up. If you overseed your lawn, you’ll be doing just that.

So, let’s take a closer look at this important part of your lawn care regimen.

What Is Overseeding?

Overseeding is planting grass seed directly over your existing lawn after core aeration. The aeration holes create more room for new seeds to get under your grass blades and increase the chance for seed germination.

overseeding-lawn-in-fall

You may also need to dethatch your existing lawn so the seed and soil can make better contact. This will result in new grass and better root growth for your already existing lawn. 

The Benefits Of Overseeding Lawn In Fall

Fill in Bare Spots

overseed-lawn-in-fallOverseeding will help fill in any thin areas that are smaller than the size of a basketball. Larger areas will require a more detailed approach (actual seeding). 

Incorporate New Grass Into Existing Turf

Overseeding is also the best way to incorporate improved turf types into your lawn. At Lush Lawn, we’ve selected a blend of grass that includes perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and tall fescue.  This combination can typically improve the color of lawns in Michigan, as well as improve drought and insect resistance.  This blend works well in both full sun and partial shade environments.

Improves The Density Of Your Turf

overseed-lawn-in-fallOverseeding helps maintain the long-term health and vibrancy of your lawn area. Also, it saves you from the effort of removing weeds! If there are no thin or bare spots, then weeds can’t make their way through. This strengthens your lawn and thickens the grass. It increases the insect resistance ability of the lawn.

What is Slit Seeding?

If you’re putting in a new lawn or rehabbing a yard that is out of control, one of the most effective ways to guarantee a lush, green lawn is through slit seeding.

overseeding-lawn-in-fallAs the name suggests, slit seeding is done with a machine by cutting the ground and putting slits in it. The slit seeding machine is called a slit seeder. As the slit seeder goes along slicing the ground, it drops seeds in the slice it has created.

Lush Lawn’s slit seeding machines have discs that slice the ground, drop the seeds directly into and cover them back up.

The Time To Overseed Your Lawn Is Now

In Michigan, early fall is the best time to overseed — typically between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15. That’s because soil temperatures are still warm, which is necessary for optimum seed germination, and 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. 

Although mid-August through September is the ideal time to repair or seed your lawn, if the weather is favorable, it may be possible to seed into early October. 

Lush Lawn’s seeding services can help breathe new life into your tired, worn-out lawn. In addition to our overseeding program options, we offer a Fall Lawn Care and Restoration program that’s designed to build up your grass, so it will come back stronger than ever next spring.

Don’t wait. Give your lawn the care it deserves. Contact us today.

How To Alleviate Soil Compaction In Your Yard

Soil compaction is a primary cause of an unhealthy lawn. If your soil is too tight to penetrate, the water and nutrients it needs can’t get deep enough. But there are a few things you can do to keep your soil loose and your grass thriving. 

So, let’s take a look at what causes soil compaction and how you can alleviate it to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. 

What Causes Soil Compaction?

what-causes-soil-compactionAccording to Michigan State University, soil compaction occurs when soil particles are packed closely together, and it tends to be more common with heavier soils like clay and loam. However, if you’re using heavy equipment on your lawn or in the garden, sandy soils are compacted. Even wheel tracks from a riding lawn mower are enough to compact your soil.

The problem may also be compounded by events that are happening to your soil year over year. The pore spaces can be reduced to the point that air and water cannot move freely and plant roots cannot grow easily into the surrounding soil. The soil could remain overly wet longer than is healthy for the plants growing there.

Other Contributing Factors

There are a few additional factors that contribute to soil compaction. They include:

Soil Tillage: Tilling your soil is actually supposed to help break it up. But if you do it too much, it actually increases soil compaction. How? By breaking the soil structure down into aggregates that are too small, which leads to fewer pore spaces. It’s soil science. 

Tilling Wet Soil: Avoid tilling in wet soil as soil compaction can occur and lead to poor root penetration in the growing season. If it rains, it’s best to wait a few days to allow the soil to become semi-dry. Always check your soil moisture before tilling.

Adding Sand: Adding sand to clay creates a compact mass that’s like concrete. 

How To Tell If Your Soil Is Compacted

soil-compactionAny plant (or grass) without proper access to nutrients, water, and air will eventually lose color, wither and die. If you’re seeing brown spots in your lawn, or if water is ponding in your yard after rainfall, your soil may be compacted.

Another sign of soil compaction is thatch. A thick layer of thatch can starve your grass — even in the best conditions. If the nutrients can’t reach the plant, it will turn brown. Thatch buildup happens if there is poor soil aeration and drainage. 

A way to find out if your soil is compacted is by determining its bulk density. Bulk density is an indicator of soil compaction. It’s calculated as the dry weight of soil divided by its volume. This volume includes the volume of soil particles and the volume of pores among soil particles.

If you find out that the density of the soil is not where it should be, you’ll have to take steps to loosen it.  

Lawn Aeration For Soil Compaction

One of the best ways to alleviate soil compaction is to aerate your lawn. A core aerator comes equipped with tines that will pull out plugs of soil and leave holes in your lawn. This will loosen the soil, and in turn, compaction decreases. 

avoid-soil-compactionLooser soil will help get air to the roots of your grass and promote root growth. Deep tine equipment is more effective at reducing soil compaction at depths below 2.5 inches. And with some equipment, there is the additional benefit of a small amount of thatch control, as the slicing or core removal also removes some thatch.

Warm-season grasses can be aerified starting in late spring through late summer. Cool-season grasses are best aerified in early fall or early spring.

At Lush Lawn, our core aeration service helps lawns stay lush and healthy year-round. We’ll use our state-of-the-art equipment to ensure optimal results. We give lawns the room they need to absorb nutrients — all while eliminating areas of standing water that can lead to lawn diseases. We recommend at least one core aeration service in the spring or fall, and even better if you’re able to aerate twice per season.

If you’re interested to see how aerating can help relieve soil compaction in your yard, contact us today.

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.

What To Do When Preparing Your Lawn For Summer

Preparing your lawn for summer sounds like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking the time to complete three simple steps, you will be on your way to a luscious lawn in no time.

Continue reading “What To Do When Preparing Your Lawn For Summer”

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!

Happy Holidays from Lush Lawn!

To our customers, their families and everyone of our readers, we hope that your holidays are peaceful and joyful.

There are a lot of exciting new things that we are doing for the 2014 season.  While many of our competitors find time to rest in the winter, we at Lush Lawn believe in working hard year ’round. Lush Lawn has instituted special winter training programs for your lawn technicians so that they have the tools and abilities to better treat your lawn. Our office staff is busy fighting the snow on their way to work in order to make sure your accounts are setup right in the computer and we are ready to service you in the spring.

Lush Lawn will be adding lawn paint to our service line. During the drought season, late fall or for a special occasion we can paint your lawn the darkest green or make it stand out with fashionable blue or red. Who says you need a green lawn?

As always I love challenging the conventional wisdom of lawn care and next year Lush Lawn, thanks to you, is poised to become the number 3 lawn care company in the state of Michigan and the number one non-national lawn care company in the state.

Last year our company formed a group called the Tree Brotherhood. This group is comprised of our own certified arborist Travis Wagner and our tree technicians led by Erik Hutson. The Tree Brotherhood regularly meets and discusses improvements to our tree services. As a result Lush Lawn will be adding products to better take care of mites and the use of organic microbes that will stimulate tree root development and allow your trees to better absorb nutrients and fertilizers.

Lush Lawn is also committed to our local communities in southeast Michigan by supporting little league and travel league baseball programs from Troy to Grand Blanc. We also support Michigan Youth Leadership in Plymouth and are always welcome to customer’s suggestions on local charities and community activities. It is our goal to grow together with the communities that we service and make our homes a better place to live and enjoy the ‘Lush Lawn Experience’.

Our sincerest wishes of Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones,

Aaron, Alex, Athena & Sophia Samson