Monday, September 9, 2013

Lawn Renovation: Aeration & Overseeding in Progress

Your lawn worked hard this summer—it deserves a break! Between managing hot days and high humidity, fighting possible disease and insects, and battling weeds, this summer has thrown its best curve balls. Give your lawn its greatest make-over by allowing it to breathe. 
Your lawn’s biggest ally this fall will be air circulation in your soil. The process of aeration is important, especially this time of year as the temperatures begin to drop. Fall becomes the ideal time to prepare your lawn for the next growing season. Once the airways are clear through the aeration process, it allows the compacted soil to make way for the moisture and nutrients to reach the grassroots, promoting a healthy root network.

The most widespread reason to aerate is to loosen the thick layer of thatch and break down any compaction on the soil’s surface beneath the leafy foliage. This will help ensure the fertilizer you are putting down is reaching those roots.

Along with aeration, fall is the best time for overseeding as well. If you had any areas of lawn thin out this summer from the numerous stresses it was exposed to, now is the best time for seeding. Fall is the best time to get the lawn thick and lush again so it can establish itself before winter. It’s important to get these thin areas thickened up or weeds will quickly fill in next spring and summer. 

In combination with aeration and overseeding should be your next application of fertilizer and your lime application. Just remember if you are seeding to use a balanced fertilizer to help the seeding along. Lime should be applied based on soil test results. Both of these will incorporate into the soil better since you just created all those open spaces for nutrients to travel!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Proper Watering Tips

Below are some watering tips to keep your grass green and your plants alive with color. 

How much should you be watering? A lawn requires about an inch of water per week. As for the gardens it will depend on what types of plants you have, so remember to research the needs of your plants before watering. Always remember not to do a week’s worth of watering all at once; the ground won’t be able to absorb it fast enough. During typical weather infrequent deep watering is ideal. During very hot days like the ones we have been experiencing more frequent deep watering is recommended for both plants and turf to prevent stress from developing. 

The best time to water is early in the morning. This allows the water to soak in fully without evaporating due to the sun; watering at night may increase problems with various diseases on plants and turf. We are currently seeing a lot of disease development on turf so if at all possible watering in the morning is ideal. If watering at night is your only option you need to monitor for disease development on both your turf and plants. 

As always if you have any questions for us please don’t hesitate to ask! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mushrooms In Your Lawn? Find Out Why!

If you are seeing a lot of mushrooms in your yard you’re not alone! The most common reason why there are mushrooms in your yard is simply because we have had prolonged wet weather lately. Mushrooms tend to develop from thatch, buried logs, dead roots, stumps or even construction debris. Now the question is, how do you get rid of them?
To begin, there is really no reason to get rid of these mushrooms, other than for aesthetic purposes. They are completely harmless to grasses, so unless they are bothering you, don’t worry about getting rid of them. Surprisingly, these mushrooms that people dislike so much are unique in their ability to recycle organic matter, thereby releasing nutrients that are then available for plant growth.
If they are bothering you enough to get rid of them, the best way is to simply control hydration if at all possible, keep irrigation turned off if this is the problem. The other action you can take is to remove them as you see them throughout the year. This can be done by hand pulling or regular mowing. Continual removal will keep the appearance of your yard up to par, but the source of the lawn mushrooms will still be present, which means they will return.
Once conditions dry up the mushrooms will begin to go away on their own with regular mowing.
If you have any questions or ideas for new posts please feel free to contact us by commenting on this blog, emailing us at or writing on our Facebook wall!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Is Impatiens Downy Mildew?

Many people may have already heard about the disease that is attacking one of New England’s favorite plants, the impatiens. Symptoms usually begin with slight discoloration, mainly yellowing or whitening of normally green plant tissue. This will become completely yellow over time. Some varieties will have subtle gray markings on the upper leaf surface as well. A white “downy-like” growth may be present on the underside of primarily yellow leaves, these are known as airborne spores, and can also be found on the underside of green leaves.

As the disease progresses, the leaves will drop prematurely leaving the plants bare with leafless stems. Research has shown no evidence of seed-borne transmission at this time
There are two types of spores that can be linked to transmission of the disease from one plant to another. One type of spore can be found on the undersides of infected leaves and will spread the disease by blowing in the wind or by water splash. The other type of spore is produced inside the infected stems. These spores are released into the soil from infected plant debris where they can survive and potentially initiate new infections on impatiens planted in the same garden beds for many years. It is not known how long these spores will survive in the soil.

This disease affects garden impatiens of all varieties, except the New Guinea impatiens. Development and expression of impatiens downy mildew is highly influenced by the weather. Wet foliage, cool temperatures (especially at night) and moist air are ideal for the disease to develop. Disease tends to be worse in locations where leaves stay wet for extended periods of time, in very dense beds, and beds receiving overhead sprinkler irrigation because the foliage does not dry quickly. Impatiens with downy mildew can be spread short distances by water splashing from infected plants and greater distances by wind-borne spores from infected plants. 

Once you know you have infected soil your best option for now may be to cycle in different plant alternatives. If you have any questions, please let us know!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring Lawn Damage-Snow Mold

Although your lawn should be recovered by now below is a description and picture of snow mold which we saw a lot of this spring. If your lawn still hasn’t recovered follow some of the tips below. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask us. 

If you noticed a lot of circular gray, tan or white patches that varied from a few inches to a few feet in diameter once the snow cleared this spring, snow mold is what you were most likely seeing. These patches are blighted and dead turf caused by cold-loving fungi that cause snow mold. There are two different kinds of snow molds, gray and pink, that are most common in this area that you may have been seeing. Snow mold’s like these occur and cause more damage when there is       prolonged snow cover of 3 or more months and wet conditions. Some lawns appeared to suffer from a lot of snow mold while others only had isolated patches.

With the warmer weather here you should be starting to see it disappear but you can help it go away by lightly raking the damaged areas to increase air circulation and promote light penetration, this will promote new shoot growth and recovery. A light to moderate nitrogen application will also help the recovery. Severely damaged areas may require reseeding.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3 Ways to Reuse Fall Leaves

1. Compost them - Leaves are a very nice additive to your compost bin and help in making excellent compost. They can be put in whole or shredded which can be done by shredding them with a mulching mower. Mulched leaves will decompose much faster and will have your compost ready much quicker.  They will need to be put in a compost bin with other ingredients to break down properly; you can add non-protein foods and also a little water to this mix as well. You will also have to turn over the pile on a regular basis by either using a shovel or turning the compost bin handle depending on what you are using for a bin. Once thorough decomposition is achieved it will still have to be housed in a bin to protect it from elements that would rob it of its hard earned nutrients.

2. Mulch them in to your lawn - If you stay on top of your leaves throughout the fall and you have a mulching mower you can continue to mulch them in to the ground. This is certainly more time consuming since you have to stay on top of the leaves as they fall but the benefits make the time worth it. Studies have proven that mulching your leaves into your lawn increases microbial activity and helps with water penetration. However, if you let the leaves get too far ahead of you there will be too many to mulch. Once the leaves aren't going away with mowing they have become too heavy and should be removed. Don't let dense mulched or full leaves stay on your lawn or they will likely damage it.

3. Use them as mulch - Save money next spring and let the fall leaves do some work in your gardens. Using leaves as mulch is great for the simple fact that they are free and also give a lot of nutrients to the soil as they decompose. They also deter weed germination and create a buffer for the soil to keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Leaves used for mulch are typically used in vegetable gardens and other similar gardens. They can be used as mulch in any setting but typically due to aesthetics and neatness they are not used as broad mulch around foundation plantings and in flower gardens.