How To Control Lawn Thatch

On the surface, lawn thatch sounds like something you don’t want any part of when it comes to taking care of your yard. If you have it, it’s not the end of the world, but you will want to take some steps to get rid of it. By doing so, you’ll help your lawn thrive.

Dethatching your lawn is an important part of your lawn care regimen because it improves its overall health. When you dethatch, you actually cut through the thatch with knife-like blades and then remove the debris.  It is a combine-like operation in which you comb out the bad stuff (thatch) that’s keeping your lawn from looking its best. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can remove and/or control lawn thatch in your yard, and what we consider works best.

Mechanical Dethatching

One way to remove thatch is by raking, typically with gasoline-powered equipment. While effective, this technique can damage your lawn by tearing up healthy grass along with the thatch.

Dethatching Rakes

Manual dethatching rakes are heavy, short-tined rakes with curved blades designed to dig into your lawn and pull up thatch as you rake. It’s surprising just how much thatch can come out of a small patch of grass. The seeds better embed into the soil rather than simply remain on top.

Dethatcher (Equipment)

Dethatching equipment goes by many names including but not limited to power rake, dethatcher, and lawn comber.

A dethatching machine uses metal blades or tines to comb across the grass and pull thatch up to the surface of the lawn. After the thatch is pulled to the surface, it can be bagged up or turned into compost.

 

Core Aeration

Lawn aeration is another way to get rid of excessive thatch. But there is a difference between aerating your lawn and dethatching it.

core-aeration

Our lawn experts feel core aeration works the best because core aeration helps loosen compacted soil, which allows the grassroots to grow and spread. Loosening the soil also helps get the water and nutrients your lawn needs deeper into the ground.

Keep Lawn Thatch From Building

Too many fertilizer applications and not watering your lawn enough can encourage thatch buildup. So, be sure to keep a good record of your treatments and watering schedule.

It also helps to know what type of grass you have. Grass-type influences how often you should be dethatching your lawn. Creeping grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and bentgrass accumulate thatch quickly and generally require at least annual dethatching while clumping grasses such as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass need dethatching no more than once every few years.

Let Lush Lawn Help

Fall is a great time to dethatch (if you haven’t already done it in the spring). Lush Lawn will be happy to core aerate your lawn and add our Soil Sweetener program. It’s designed to increase the PH level of your soil, balancing it up into a more fertile range. We also offer a Fall Lawn Care and Restoration program designed to build up your grass so it will come back stronger than ever next spring.

Lawn Care: Different Types of Grass In Michigan

If you’re looking to set up a healthy and beautiful loan in your home in Michigan, you need to know the different types of grass that are available, and how you can care for your lawn. Whichever grass you choose, it’s important to keep your lawn neat to give your home a touch of class and tranquility. Your search for the best grass type will yield many results, but we want to make things easier for you.

Here are the different types of grass available in Michigan:

Perennial Ryegrass

This grass species posts the fastest germination rate among other types of grass. Both types of ryegrass — perennial and Italian — work well as lawns. Ryegrass grows best in cool climates but not too cold since it is temperature-sensitive. It is wider than other northern grass species, with a signature white tinge on a dominant green background. It needs minimal hydration compared to other types of lawn grass.

A field sown with ryegrass

Ryegrass works best when incorporated with other species of lawn grass since it improves turf qualities, extreme temperature resistance, and makes the lawn easy to mow. The grass germinates better and increases the soil coverage.

Kentucky Blue Grass

This is the most popular type of lawn grass in Michigan. It features thick blades and a signature deep green hue with a slight blue touch. It spreads thick and soft on the ground, giving a soothing feel when you step on it barefoot. It is ideal for all family outdoor events, including letting your kids play on the lawn with their friends. Kentucky Blue Grass is durable, with incredible root penetration, suitable as seed or sod.

Kentucky bluegrass 

It thrives in well-drained soils under moderate to bright sunlight and requires at least 4 fertilizer applications per season. You’ll need to irrigate your Kentucky Blue Grass lawn often during dry weather and mow it to two or two and a half inches in height.

Fine Fescue

Fine Fescue thrives in areas where Blue Grass doesn’t. Featuring a signature soft feel, it grows where the Blue Grass counterpart can’t. This grass can also thrive under minimal moisture conditions.

Fine fescue

Fine Fescue grass spots a subtle green color, giving your lawn look soft and velvety appearance. Not to seed Fine Fescue in pure stands is recommended because it may clump together and ruin your lawn’s turf quality. You can mix it with Blue Grass to give you a low-maintenance, shaded lawn.

Tall Fescue

Like Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue is also a low-maintenance lawn grass variety. It features high insect and disease-resistant qualities. This grass thrives in well-drained soils and has high drought tolerance. Requiring very little maintenance to grow, Tall Fescue should be your best choice if water conservation is a major concern.

To take care of it, you’ll need to be seeded purely and not mixed with other types of grass. You’ll need to water your lawn, but you won’t need much water since it’s drought-resistant.

How to choose the best kind of grass:

The type of grass for your lawn will depend on the following factors:

  • Climate: Encompasses everything from temperature, average local rainfall, humidity, and sunshine.
  • Soil water retention capacity
  • Future activities on the lawn: Some grass varieties cannot tolerate vigorous activity.

Proper lawn maintenance can increase your property’s resale value, and give you the confidence to host visitors and take pictures on it. A poorly kept lawn is not only unsightly, but it’s also dangerous since it can harbor pests, and put you in trouble with your local homeowners’ association.

To ensure that your lawn stays neat and fresh all year round, choose Lush Lawn’s lawn care service to take the stress out of lawn care. Our fall aeration service and overseeding will keep your lawn thriving.  Contact us today for more information on the best grass types for your lawn.

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”

Why You Should Invest in a Flea and Tick Yard Treatment

Fleas and ticks can be incredibly harmful to dogs, cats and humans, too. But it’s only part of the reason you should consider a flea and tick yard treatment. From the diseases they transmit to the allergic reactions they can cause for you and your pets alike, fleas and ticks need to be kept out of yards, as this is often where infestations start.

With warming temps approaching, summer is prime time for flea and tick infestations. They thrive in warm, humid climates and can find their way to your pets in the most common environments — on a walk, a trip to the park, and in your own backyard.

Let’s take a look at some flea and tick yard treatments that can help protect you and your pets all summer long.

Where Flea And Tick Control Starts

flea and tick control

If you see an occasional mouse running through your yard, you should be on alert. Rodents are big carriers, and it’s not just mice. Rats and those cute little chipmunks are carriers, too. Their passengers will attach themselves to you and your pet, and then they’re inside your home.

You’ll want to pay attention to your dog and outdoor cats. If you see them scratching constantly, there’s a good chance you’ll start finding fleas and you’ll need to treat your yard. Remember that very few flea and tick infestations will come directly from your pet. The vast majority of them usually start outside your home. This is why it’s critical to not only treat your pet for fleas but also your yard.

Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Like anything in your yard, you can chose a DIY solution or go with a professional.  If you chose to do it yourself, one of the first things you might want to try to curb your tick and flea infestation is an over-the-counter yard spray. This ready-to-spray, hose-end treatment kills fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other listed insects. Manufacturers claim they can kill adult fleas outdoors for up to 12 weeks.

 

Another options is cinnamon oil, which is a highly concentrated essential oil that kills ticks on contact by smothering them. For best results, you should apply it in early spring. You spray the diluted solution and spray it on your lawn, but beware. While cinnamon oil is a safe, non-toxic choice for tick control in your yard, always use caution when working with or mixing this product. In some cases, humans and pets who come in contact with cinnamon oil experience contact dermatitis.

You also have to make sure that your lawn is properly hydrated and not under water stress before applying cinnamon oil. If you don’t, you could damage your turf.

While both of these solutions do work, the treatments can be challenging to apply correctly to achieve good results, and they do not last as long as treatments professionally applied.

This is why the safest, most effective route to take is a professional flea and tick yard treatment, like a dormant oil spray. It can be applied to trees around your yard, they don’t leave behind a toxic residue and dissipate quickly.

Professional Flea And Tick Yard Treatments Are Best

Flea and tick control in Southeast Michigan can be challenging. That’s why investing in a professional flea and tick yard treatment works best. This integrated pest management approach involves inspection, then targeting eggs, tick and flea larvae and adults with the appropriate insecticides.

If you’re a pet owner, you need to be extra vigilant about flea and tick control for both yourself and your pets. A professional treatment will help keep your family and pets safe from these harmful insects and help you to feel more comfortable in your outdoor space.

Safari Tree flea and tick treatments attack your infestation at the source. And without the onslaught of bugs, you’ll be able to use your yard regularly, instead of running for cover.