Having been in the lawn care industry for five decades, we’ve been asked every common lawn care question and some very uncommon ones as well. We’ve put together this list of the most common questions as a resource for you to find quick answers to the questions that you have about your lawn. The questions and answers are deliberately brief and more detailed information can be found with the links provided.
First, as your lawn care providers, you can count on Lawn-A-Mat to apply the correct fertilizer, weed control and insect control at the right times. In turn, we must count on you to be sure that the correct cultural practices are being performed on your lawn. It is important that we function as a team (click here for important lawn care guidelines). Also, because the specific needs of your lawn change throughout the growing season, we provide seasonal lawn care instructions with every service invoice. By following these specifics, your lawn will receive the maximum benefit of our services and will have the best chance of being a healthy, green lawn you can be proud of.
Please keep this for future reference as these issues span the entire growing season. Please also ask us questions throughout the year.
Q: Why should I never cut my lawn lower than 3”?
A: Never cutting below 3” is the number one, most important thing that a homeowner can do to help maintain a healthy lawn. There is a direct correlation between top growth and root depth. Turf grass needs deep roots to be its healthiest. Shallow roots make the grass plant vulnerable to disease, insect and drought damage. Even trimming and edging below 3 inches can cause burning and weeds. You’ve invested heavily in your lawn and you want it to look good so please never cut lower than 3” (click here for more on mowing).
Q: Shouldn’t my lawn be seeded in the Spring?
A: Some lawns need seed in the Spring but most established lawns do not. New, damaged or heavily shaded lawns may benefit from Spring seeding. Unfortunately, the pre-emergent weed controls normally applied in the Spring will stop grass seed germination as well. Therefor, lawns seeded in the Spring will have more weeds and crabgrass. These then must be tolerated because the new grass seedlings will be too immature for a while to withstand spraying. Lawns weakened over the winter will usually thicken-up naturally in the Spring, without seeding with proper care (click here for more on seeding).
Q: Why are some weeds always present in my Lawn?
A: Although weeds germinate every day, the goal is to gradually but surely eliminate most weeds. The weed seeds are both in the soil and transported by wind and animals. After germination they can be controlled by spraying, but they must first be present for us to spray them. Weeds that grow in between services are sprayed during the next service
which may be a few weeks away. In addition, some hardier weeds take 2 services to control (click here for more on weeds).
Q: Doesn’t the pre-emergent that’s applied in the Spring prevent weeds?
A: Yes and no. It cuts down on the number of grassy weeds such as crabgrass. Broad leaf weeds and dandelions cannot be prevented. While the pre-emergent helps reduce crabgrass, unless your lawn is of sod quality some crabgrass should be expected (click here for more on pre-emergent).
Q: How long will it take for my lawn to improve?
A: You will notice an improvement in your lawn’s condition within just the first few applications. However, progress rates do vary depending on many factors (original condition, weather, soil type, etc.). Generally, you can expect a gradual but steady improvement over a 2 year period. We all know that mother nature has her own timetable (click here for the Lawn-A-Mat approach).
Q: How long should it take to service my lawn?
A: The average 10,000 sq. ft. lawn should take no more that 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Combination products and state of the art equipment assures efficiency and accuracy. Homeowners often marvel at our speed. Be assured that we are doing what your lawn needs, when it needs it. Our goal is results, not time spent.
Q: My lawn was just serviced so why don’t I see much fertilizer?
A: Fertilizers have changed quite a bit over the last 20 years. They used to be larger particles which were bright colors like yellow and orange. Now the particle size is much smaller and darker in color. In fact, about 80% of the product we apply on your yard is grey or brown and blends in perfectly with the dirt. Unless you get down on your hands and knees and really stick your face to the ground you are not likely to see it at all. Environmental awareness has change a lot too. Believe it or not, when I was first trained I was taught to deliberately get some fertilizer on the driveway so the customer would see it and have confidence that we were there. It was a lot cheaper back then too. With greater
responsibility, increased costs and out of legal necessity, we now try to avoid getting material anywhere but on the grass. If we do, we often blow it back. There are people who look for fertilizer and people who do not. If you look for it you will usually be disappointed despite the fact that we apply the right amounts every time. Think of it this way: the fertilizer is there to feed the grass not so you can feel good seeing it!
Q: How long after application can my lawn be mowed?
A: 24 hours if the clippings are being sucked up. The materials used are of a heavy grade and settle into the thatch layer after one day. Your lawn may be mowed immediately if the clippings are not being removed (click here for more on mowing).
Q: Why does my lawn look worse in the Summer than in the Spring or Fall?
A: Summer conditions are stressful to turf grass. The normal heat (any days above 90 degrees) and usual dryness prevent your lawn from growing rapidly. First, it may suffer from heat stress and then it may even go into a state of dormancy during this period to conserve their food sources and minimize damage. It is because of this stress/dormancy that it is crucial that Summer services not be skipped. We apply insect and weed controls in the Summer to protect your lawn. Since your lawn is dormant, it cannot protect itself — it needs us.
Q: Why do I have mushrooms in my lawn?
A: Mushrooms are the result of organic material decaying in the soil. Mushrooms do not pose a threat to your lawn. Roots rotting and any other nitrogen based organic processes can cause mushrooms. These mushroom blooms are not negative and can be controlled only by kicking over the mushrooms. You will notice an increase in mushroom bloom during wet periods (click here for more on mushrooms).
Q: There is an increase in moss in the shady areas of my lawn. Is it controllable?
A: Moss is mainly a result of three factors: shade, moisture and soil acidity. Your Lawn-A-Mat program already includes a lime application in the late Fall which helps balance your soil’s PH. However, shade is our worst enemy (click here for more on shade).
Even the shade tolerant grasses that we sow in these areas need adequate sunlight. If not enough sunlight is present, moss will result and must be tolerated. Though advances are being made, the current effective moss control chemicals tend to also damage turf grass (click here for more on moss).
Q: Are the products used on my lawn safe for my family, my pets and the environment?
A: Lawn-A-Mat believes there is no question more important! Please realize that our business depends on a healthy environment. We do all we can to protect it and we feel consciously bound to protect your family from unnecessary pesticide exposure. We have already provided you with EPA mandated label warnings and we advise you to adhere to the 24 hour no re-entry period as instructed by the flags posted on your property.
Q: Do shady lawns need any special treatment?
A: Yes - grass in shady areas is always weaker than in sunny areas. Again, shade is our worst enemy. Please prune your trees to allow the maximum amount of sunlight. Even shade varieties of grass need sunlight to grow. Also, heavy traffic in these shaded areas will damage turf grass. Extra seed may be needed to support a healthy lawn in the
shady areas (click here for more on seeding).
Q: What is aeration and does my lawn need it?
A: Aeration comes in two forms: spike aeration and core aeration. Our customers benefit from the spike aeration available in the Fall which is done in conjunction with seeding. Spike aeration pokes small indentations in the soil creating an optimal condition for seed germination. Core aeration is different in that it removes plugs from the ground to help the movement of oxygen and nutrients directly to the root system. Coring also relieves soil compaction. Core aeration is not a good practice when seeding however because the holes are too deep for the seed to grow from. All lawns can benefit from core aeration periodically and spike aeration whenever seeding is needed. Please call if you would like a supplemental core aeration. This process may be done either in the early Spring or in the Fall. Click here for more on aeration.
Q: What can be done about brown spots from the dog?
A: Spots that are burned from the high acid and nitrogen levels in dog feces and urine usually must be excavated to a level of three inches. The holes should then be refilled with fresh soil and re-seeded. Many customers have avoided widespread damage by training their dog to use only certain areas of their properties (click here for more lawn damage issues).
With knowledge and teamwork you can have a lawn to be proud of!
A Lawn to be Proud of!
As always, please call us with any additional questions you have, at (866) 950-LAWN (5296).