Author Archives: Calli Knudsen

Watering – Are You Doing it Right?

It seems to have (finally) stopped raining and snowing, and that means it’s time to start watering. Lawn’s can’t survive on rainfall alone, at least around here so we have to help them out. But did you realize there is more to properly watering a lawn than simply turning on a hose? While that technically would work, you run the risk of over watering, which can lead to sickly grass, shallow roots, and disease, or under watering, which leads to dry, brittle grass, and even potentially death. So, we’re here to help! Below we at VIRIDIS Lawn Care will explain the best method for watering your lawn to help it reach it’s potential.


Lawns don’t need watered as often as many people think. Grass is very hardy and watering less frequently actually improves its root system. Watering less frequently will also help prevent diseases and mold from growing in your lawn, which can be difficult to eradicate. Anytime you have water running or pooling, you’ve gone overboard.

But don’t neglect it either! If the lawn is beginning to look wilted, brittle, or is turning color such as yellow or brown, water it! This is your grass begging for a drink. If areas of your lawn get more sunlight or dry more quickly, water only those areas to avoid over watering the areas that aren’t in need.


The biggest key to watering well is to water deeply. The deeper the water sinks into the soil, the better the root system of your lawn. But along with this, don’t try to water it deeply every day or you will drown the lawn. Infrequent, deep watering is the key to happy grass.

If you struggle to know how deep the water has seeped, try inserting a stick or screwdriver into the ground. It should poke into the dirt easily where it is wet and stop when it hits harder dry dirt. (Disclaimer: This does not work on all soil types.) Shoot for watering 6 inches deep and allow several days of drying before the next watering.


The time of day you choose to water your lawn also matters. During hot, dry weather, night waterings are preferable but during the other times of year when watering is necessary, opt for early morning instead. This will help prevent mildew. Avoid afternoon waterings whenever possible as much of the water is wasted due to evaporation.

Also, space your waterings based on appearance of the grass rather than a calendar. Watering weekly may be too much during some seasons and too little during others. Instead look for signs your lawn needs a drink such as:

  • Curling leaves
  • Color changes such as brown or dry yellow
  • Footprints lasting longer


Following these guidelines will help you keep your grass  stronger, healthier, and more drought resistant. It will also help you save time, money, and protect the environment.

Dethatching – Excellent Spring Lawn Care

Dethatching is an important step to take when trying to achieve a show quality lawn. It helps lawns look better but also helps them grow better. Below well explain what thatch is and how removing some of it (dethatching) can benefit your lawn.

Thatch is the part of the grass below the green blades but just above the soil. It is composed mostly of dead grass,but also contains other organic materials. Thatch is a good and needful aspect of a lawn. It provides nutrients as it decomposes and, perhaps more importantly, it protects against temperature changes, both hot and cold. It also helps decrease water needs as it can act as a “holding tank” to absorb water and release it as needed. .

Sounds like a pretty great part of the lawn. So why would we encourage you to remove it?? While some thatch is helpful in promoting a healthy lawn, too much can be detrimental. When thatch builds up to over 1/2 inch, it begins working almost opposite. Rather than protecting the grass from hot temperatures, it can start to smother the roots. Instead of holding the water, it can begin blocking it from ever getting to the root system. This can cause the roots to begin trying to grow in the thatch area rather than underground to get the water and air they need to live.

Thatch also makes for an amazing habitat for many types of insects and diseases. And while we may have just used the word “amazing,” that is far from a good thing. Insects and disease can spread rapidly, causing real harm to your lawn.

Thatch builds up naturally over time but it builds up quickly in lawns that are watered too much, mowed too high or not often enough, or over fertilized. In order to reverse this, dethatching is necessary. Dethatching means using raking to remove some of this buildup. There are power rakes that work best but if you feel ambitious, hand rakes also work.

Spring is an excellent time to dethatch. It works best on a damp lawn. Begin by mowing grass around 1 inch high, and remove clippings. (This should not be your common mowing practice!) Then rake  over the area. Piles of thatch will soon emerge and should be removed from the lawn area.

At VIRIDIS Lawn Care, we want to help you have the most beautiful lawn possible and dethatching is one way to get there. After completing your dethatching, your lawn will immediately look greener (as you just removed much of the dead yellow grass) but will continue to get healthier and more beautiful as the roots are able to thrive. And as always, please call us anytime for a consultation!

Are Lawn’s Really Worth It?

With warm weather arriving, some of you may be wondering, is it really worth the time and effort to have a lawn? While desert landscaping does have advantages, we at VIRIDIS Lawn Care believe lawns are beneficial. Below we’d like to talk about some reasons lawns are worth having.

Environmental Health

Having a healthy, well maintained lawn can actually benefit the environment. They can prevent erosion and water runoff. They decrease dust by increasing soil stability. While this may seem like a trivial matter of a little less dust in your home, think about the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Without the water to grow crops and without a grass root structure to hold the soil in place, the area turned into a desolate, dusty wasteland. Animals died, people had to relocate, and the area went through extensive rehabilitation to become livable again. Grass is an important part of the ecosystem and growing it around your home helps to insure that the area will remain intact.

Lawns can also act as a buffer to the soil. They can catch some of the pollutants that could easily leach through the ground into water sources. Grass can hold water and moisture to keep the ground from over drying or baking.

Home Barrier

Lawns act as nature’s coolant. Homes without surrounding lawns get considerably hotter during the summer months which can increase cooling costs. Growing grass helps to regulate the air and increases oxygen.

Another important way your lawn can act as a home barrier is by offering a buffer during fire season. With wildfires seeming to get larger and closer every year, growing grass surrounding your home can help create a defensible space to protect your home.

They also act as a sound buffer. The noises of the outdoors are absorbed in the grass rather than bouncing off the rocks of desert landscaping.


Having a lawn rather than desert landscaping is simply more fun. BBQs, touch football, picnics, playing with the kids – all of these things are more fun (and comfortable!) on grass than rocks. Entertaining during the summer or just relaxing as a family is way more enjoyable when you have a soft comfortable place to do it.


So for those of you wondering if the work is really worth it, our answer to you is YES! And don’t forget our motto is “We’ll do the work. You relax and enjoy the results!” So call us today for a consultation so you can get back to enjoying the great outdoors in comfort.





Aeration – DIY or Hire a Professional?

Spring is here and with it comes a chance to heal your lawn from the damages of winter. The heavy snowfalls from this last winter may have caused serious soil compaction. This leads to your grass struggling to get back in the growing mode. Its roots may not be able to grow and absorb nutrients and this can lead to pathetic looking grass for months. This is why now might be a good time to consider lawn aeration! And we are just the company to help you out.

Aeration can save you money in the long run by decreasing water needs and fertilizer applications to get beautiful grass but it’s not something that is necessarily easy to accomplish. DIY methods of aeration are, at best, difficult and time consuming. At worst, they are a complete waste of time and energy.

Doing it Yourself

Some common do it yourself methods include using a pitchfork or similar tool to “punch” holes into the ground. There are even shoes made for this with spikes on the soles. The problem herein is that nothing is actually being pulled out of the ground. When a professional aerates your lawn, it will be covered in little cylinders or plugs. This is lawn, roots, and soil that has been pulled out of the ground. Removing this plug is the point of aeration. It creates areas for the ground to loosen and spread and the roots of your lawn to begin to grow again. When you simply poke holes in the ground, it quickly closes back up. Time wasted.

Another method, which is slightly more effective, is to buy a small aeration tool that has a few hole punches along a metal bar. This does essentially the same thing that a professional aerator does but requires substantially more work and time and effort. These tools are only well suited to very small areas and even then, they take a long time.

The last DIY method is the most effective but often the biggest pain. Renting an aerator works wonderfully, if you can find a way to get it to your home, figure out how to operate it, hope you use it correctly, hope nothing breaks down, keep from injuring or fatiguing yourself, and figure out a way to return it before the due date.

Hiring a Professional

Hiring a lawn care service such as VIRIDIS Lawn Care insures it will be completed efficiently and professionally with absolutely no work required by you other than a phone call. Our professionals know when to aerate for different grass types to give it the biggest benefit. They know how frequently to aerate and when the weather conditions are ideal. They know how to avoid damage to your lawn and its roots – a real concern when doing it yourself.

While aerating your lawn is possible by yourself, we really recommend hiring VIRIDIS Lawn Care to save you the most time, effort, and guesswork. Call us today to schedule your consultation.

Organic vs Chemical Fertilizer

Fertilizer is important for your lawn’s health. Without the proper nutrients, grass can’t grow well or produce adequate green. But there are different types of fertilizers – organic (decomposing materials) and chemical (synthetic mixtures of the necessary nutrients). Below, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each to help you make an educated decision about which will work best for you and your lifestyle.



Organic fertilizers provide more than just the “essential” nutrients required for healthy growth. They are filled with various other micro nutrients that help to maintain long-term effects. These often last longer than chemical fertilizers because they take longer to break down, therefore providing a slow release of nutrients over several months. This also means it’s much more difficult to over fertilize.

This type of fertilizer also contributes to the soil’s health as well as the inhabitants of the soil such as worms. Over time, continued use of organic fertilizer will actually improve soil. This is especially noticeable in clay or sand soils.


This type of fertilization is considerably slower and less noticeable. Because the nutrients aren’t immediately available, the plants can’t absorb and use them all as quickly. It takes more time for the grass to respond to organic fertilization.

They are also much harder to find for purchase or create yourself. Then, they tend to be a bit more labor intensive to apply than chemical fertilizers. Not to mention, storage is practically impossible in most residential areas. Considerably more organic fertilizer is required to do what a little bit of chemical fertilizer can do.

Organic material only decomposes when the conditions are right, meaning your lawn may not get the nutrients it needs when you want to give them to it. It’s very difficult to properly time application with the plant’s needs because the weather can completely change your plans.



Chemical fertilizers work fast and effectively. They can be used to grow plants in less than ideal soil and still produce high yields – in this case, healthy, thick lawns. It doesn’t take years of soil amendments to get results.

They provide instant access to necessary nutrients and therefore, instant results. Within a matter of days, a sad, pathetic looking patch of grass can begin to green and grow when using chemical fertilizers.

Chemicals are also much easier to apply than organic fertilizer and easy to hire professionals to apply. Purchase is as simple as walking in a garden section of a store or calling a professional lawn care service. Storage takes up much less room as well.

They also can be applied in appropriate doses at needed times to help your lawn grow best. The weather conditions have much less effect on the fertilizer’s effectiveness.


These types of fertilizers can have negative long term effects. Soil can become damaged or depleted of other nutrients that the grass uses to grow. Some chemical fertilizers contain fillers that can have toxins and overuse can cause these toxins to leach into the soil and occasionally, even water sources. This is especially problematic if you are inexperienced with applying fertilizers and overdo it.

Plants can also get used to the ease of growing with synthetic nutrients so readily available for use. If you stop using the fertilizer, the grass may have a hard time coping.


While many people feel passionately one way or the other, looking at your needs and the abilities of each of these types of fertilizers can help you choose which is best for you. And, despite what others may tell you, you can choose both. Applying chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers won’t destroy your ability to use the other.

Regardless your choice, applying fertilizer of some variety will definitely improve your lawn’s health and increase it’s beauty.



Mole Cricket Nymphs

Mole crickets are a relative of grasshoppers and crickets but they mainly live underground. They pass through three life stages, transforming during each phase. Below, we’ll focus mainly on the nymph or newly hatched phase of the mole crickets’ lifespan.

Females lay their eggs underground in damp soil. Once hatched, the mole cricket nymphs continue to live below the surface, feeding on plants that are nearby. There can be as many as 60 eggs in each clutch but the soil must remain moist for the eggs to hatch and the nymphs to survive.

As the mole cricket nymphs grow, they go through several transitions called molts. They begin to look more like adult mole crickets as they continue growing. Nymphs are smaller but as they reach adulthood, they can reach nearly 1.5 inches, depending on the variety. The biggest noticeable difference between a nymph and an adult mole cricket (besides their size) is the lack of wings. Wings are only found on adults but vary in size and functionality based on species.

Mole crickets nymphs have front legs specially made for digging and hind legs, that, while they may resemble a true cricket’s, aren’t actually very good for jumping. Instead, these hind legs assist in pushing dirt.

Mole crickets spend most of the year being very active. They slow during the winter, spending it underground as nymphs or adults. Eggs don’t survive the cold weather well but when the warmth of spring returns, they resume activity.

Mole crickets don’t normally present a large threat to lawn health but they can be a nuisance or, if they are in large enough numbers, they can damage the roots of your grass. Knowing how to identify these creatures can help you determine whether they are a threat or the cause of lawn issues you may have. Eliminating them is easiest during the nymph and egg stage as they are more vulnerable.

If you suspect lawn pests causing issues for your landscape, call us today for a consultation!