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Spring Lawn Care

This time of year brings lots of things to do outdoors…including yard work. In fact, spring is a very important season in your lawn’s development. Doing the right things during this time of year can save you work and your lawn struggles later on. While it may not be on everyone’s list of “Favorite Things to Do,” we at VIRIDIS know the importance of giving your lawn a little early spring love.

Winter can be hard on a lawn. This is a time for the lawn to rest in its dormant phase but sometimes pests or disease decide to take up residence. They then become problematic with the warmth of spring. Allowing these to go untreated can spell disaster for your lawn, especially when it needs to regain its strength. Having a professional treat these problems can save time and money replanting or repairing damage later in the summer months when your would rather be enjoying your lawn.

Weeds usually get a jump start on grass in the spring. Pre-emergent treatment can prevent this problem. For those weeds that are already beginning to establish, the earlier you treat them, the easier they will be to eliminate. Well established weeds can be a big problem later in the year. They spread easily through roots and seeds. So don’t wait to call us at VIRIDIS Lawn Care for an assessment of your weed treatment needs.

Aeration and dethatching can also assist you in helping your lawn spring back to life. After the harsh weather of winter and the heavy snowfalls, giving those roots some wiggle room and ability to breathe can really help your lawn’s health and appearance.

Fertilizer might also be helpful for some lawn’s at this point in the year. Because of soil type, previous nutrition levels, and the winter weather, some grass might need a little pick-me-up to get growing with the warmer weather. Not all lawns will need fertilized. Some may not need fertilized until fall. It’s difficult to know when a lawn needs a little extra help. This is why consulting a professional lawn care service is a great idea.

So don’t wait. Procrastination will only lead to more work later. Call us at VIRIDIS Lawn Care today to set up your consultation!

 

 

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.

Frequency

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.

Depth

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.

Timing

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!

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.

Chlorophyll: a big word with a big job

Chlorophyll: a big word with a big job. Chlorophyll is what is inside green plants that transforms sunlight into food or energy they can use to grow, a process called photosynthesis. This is the pigment that causes grass to appear green. Chlorophyll is an important part of making sure you have the greenest lawn possible. Read on to learn more about this important process and how it can affect your lawn care methods.

Grass will store up energy produced by chlorophyll to use during times of stress or dormancy in order to stay alive. This means your lawn needs times of ideal growing conditions to produce an excess of energy. Cool season grasses, such as those grown in most lawns here in the Salt Lake Valley, will store extra energy during spring and fall to help the grass grow well during the hot summers and cold winters. If the grass is damaged or stressed during one of these periods of energy production, it will struggle to maintain during the less ideal conditions.

Some lawn care habits can affect the lawn’s ability to photosynthesize. For instance, mowing too short can hinder the grass’s ability to absorb gas and sunlight which prohibits chlorophyll from properly doing its job.  Photosynthesis requires that enough of the green blade is available to absorb the light for chlorophyll to do its job. Never mow lower than 2 1/2 inches, especially during the heat of summer.

Fertilizing during the wrong times can make the grass grow when it is trying to maintain and live off of stored energy. This could seriously injure or even kill the grass. Fertilizing during the correct times can help the grass to grow even healthier and assist chlorophyll in producing needed energy stores.

By following healthy lawn care guidelines, you automatically assist the process of photosynthesis and therefore, your grass’s growth.  Understanding how chlorophyll works during this process can help you understand why we at VIRIDIS Lawn Care of Utah give the lawn care suggestions we do – we are promoting energy production which leads to healthy, beautiful, green lawns!