Late February Lawn Care

 

P1000726Driving around town this past week, you may have noticed some early signs of spring starting to show. Deciduous trees and shrubs are beginning to leaf out, bud, and in some cases, even bloom. Temperatures are slowly warming, and the world is coming back to life. Even though there is still a good month left to winter, it’s time to start treatment on your lawn to be ahead of the game next month. Because as the days are slowly lengthening and warming, soil temperatures are rising, causing all those pesky weed seeds that have laid dormant all winter to sprout. So if you haven’t done so, now is the time to apply PRE-EMERGENT weed treatment to your lawn to keep it weed-free this spring.

At Garden Supply Co, we have a full line of lawn care products to keep your lawns at their peak of health. Stop by the garden center and let our friendly staff of experts help you select the best treatment plan for your lawn. If you haven’t treated your lawn at all this year, now is a good time to apply a crabgrass preventer as well as a pre-emergent week killer. And it’s about time for fertilizer, too. Our experts can help get you going on the right schedule.

Mowing

Plan to have your lawn mower serviced soon, if you haven’t already. Here’s a few items that should be looked at:

Air Filter- have it cleaned or replaced if needed

Spark Plug- clean it or replace it if it’s cracked

Oil- check to see that it’s filled to the right level. Change the oil as recommended by the manufacturer

Mower Blade- replace if chipped, cracked, or bent. Have sharpened otherwise

Check for loose screws and bolts on the handle controls and the motor

If mowing is necessary, remember to remove no more than one-third of the grass height with a sharp mower blade. A dull mower blade tears the grass, leaving your lawn susceptible to disease, weeds, and insects.

Planting

Sod can be installed whenever the soil is not frozen. Newly sodded areas should be moistened for the sod to “knit” into the soil. Water immediately after sodding to wet the soil to a depth of 3 or 4 inches. Don’t let the soil dry out until the sod has rooted into the soil.

For more tips on maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn this season and all year long, stop by the garden center and talk to one of our experts. We’re here 7 days a week with answers to all your gardening questions.

Spring Lawn Care Tips

Cary, NC-

Growing a healthy. lush green lawn in North Carolina can be a bit of a challenge. Poor soil conditions paired with high heat and humidity during the summer months are well-known contributing factors to our difficult growing conditions. But did you also know that two basic lawn-management practices, mowing and fertilizing, can either “make” or “break” a lawn by promoting good lawn health or opening it up to a weed infestation. Here’s a few tips for establishing a healthy and beautiful lawn in your home landscape.

Sharp Mower Blades

Always mow with a sharp mower blade. Sharp blades cut the grass cleanly, which ensures rapid healing and regrowth. When dull blades tear and bruise the leaves, the wounded grass becomes weakened and less able to ward off invading weeds.

A good rule to follow is to have your lawn mower serviced in late winter or early spring before peek grass growing commences later in the spring. If you haven’t had your blade sharpened in several years, you can be pretty sure that they are in need. Take a peek at your freshly mowed lawn and look at the tips of the cut grass. If you see tearing or ripping, you are in need of some service.

Mowing Height

Mow at the proper height for your lawn. For example, mow tall fescue at 3 inches during the summer months. By maintaining the proper height, you will allow the root system to fully develop, helping the grass tolerate summer heat and stress.

One-Third Rule of Thumb

Follow this mowing rule-of-thumb: Remove no more than one-third of the grass height at any one mowing. Cutting off more than one-third at one time can stop the roots from growing, which is an open invitation to weeds.

Fertilizing

Fertilize lawns with the right amount of fertilizer based on soil-test results and at the proper time of year. Cool-season grasses like tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass should be fertilized in the fall.

Weed Whackers

Avoid trimming grass with a weed-eater near the trunks of trees and shrubs. The rapidly spinning monofilament line can easily damage the bark, exposing it to attack from insects and diseases. Instead, maintain a shallow layer of mulch around the bases of trees and shrubs to help suppress weed growth.

For more lawn care tips, stop by the garden center. Our helpful staff is on hand seven days with answers to all your gardening questions. Hope to see you soon!

August Fescue Lawn Care- Brown Patch

Brown Patch Fungus (photo)

Ugghh, is it hot. And miserable. And right about now, your lawn is probably fairly stressed from the heat and humidity. If your lawn is anything like mine, then the weeds have taken over, and unsightly brown spots have sprouted up everywhere. But are those brown patches due to lack of water and heat, or something else?  Here’s a few tips that will help you decide, and how to proceed.

For those with fescue grass, now is the time to treat and prevent brown patch which appears as a browning area in the lawn typically in the summer months when conditions are favorable. Warm-season grasses (St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, bermudagrass and centipedegrass) most commonly are affected by brown patch during the early spring and late fall. Brown patch is caused by a fungus, and if your lawn is showing signs, you will need to treat with a fungicide. We recommend that you apply Hi-Yield Lawn Fungicide to prevent brown patch.  Two applications may be necessary if rain has been heavy.

Brown Patch Fungus(photo)

While brown patch does cause patches of dead grass, other things can cause the same symptoms. If the area is poorly drained and water stands on a spot for more than 24 hours, the grass roots will rot, causing a dead patch. Also, in areas where the sod has rooted poorly, brown patches will develop as dry weather sets in. So what are the true symptoms of the disease? True brown patch spots are small to begin with but in warm weather they can enlarge rapidly. Seen from above, the patch will look like a doughnut – a ring of tan grass having a patch of green grass in the center. Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown – where the blade emerges from the ground – but the crown will be green. Early in the morning during hot, damp weather you might see a white fungal web at the edge of the dead grass patch.

Never water in the evening. The best time to water is in early morning. Fescue is much more susceptible when it has lush, green growth plus warm nighttime temperatures.  The second step is to water at the right time. Since brown patch needs 14-16 hours of wet leaf surface to reproduce itself, water only after the dew has dried in the morning. An alternative is to water after nightfall. Since the grass is wet with dew anyway, watering in the dark does not unnecessarily extend the wet period.

So what if you have brown areas in your sod or planting beds due to poor rooting mixed with our hot summer temperatures? We have help for that, too.  Garden Supply owner, Keith Ramsey, recommends treating with Drought Defense by Soil Logic to reduce water consumption and enhance growth.

Drought Defense reduces the amount of water needed to irrigate lawns, groundcovers, trees, and other plants. This soil moisture management product helps prevent plant-available water from evaporating or draining past the root zone.  It is super-concentrated, long-lasting, helps lower watering bills and is safe for use on fruit and vegetable plants.  Drought Defense is environmentally friendly and is safe for use around children and pets.

This easy-to-use concentrate is ready to go.  Simply connect the sprayer to your hose and spray evenly over measured area.  Be sure to irrigate all treated areas after application to wash the product into the soil.  After two applications of the product, normal watering time and quantity can be reduced up to 50%!

Hope these tips help with your lawn care during these hot summer days. As always, our helpful experts are on hand seven days a week to answer all your lawn care and gardening questions.

New Beginnings

Of all the seasons, spring is definitely the time for new beginnings.  At Garden Supply Co. we are thrilled to be celebrating not one, but two exciting new beginnings this season. Our family is growing, and we couldn’t be happier! Please help us welcome Baby Lilly.

Lilliana Elyse, is the daughter of Landscape Designer Matthew Noel and his wife. We wish Lilly and family much joy, love, and happiness on this special occasion, and throughout the years!

Also, if you haven’t heard another addition to our Garden Supply family is a sister company that has been birthed this spring: Leapfrog Landcare.

For years we’ve felt there was a better way to the spray-first mentality needed or not in the landscape with chemical based fertilizers & weed controls. We were unsatisfied with the options offered to our customers by large corporate lawn companies and the lack of personal service & knowledge afforded. This is why, through Leapfrog Landcare, we felt it was possible to offer a level of service rooted in the community and driven by human connection that promotes a more holistic approach to the overall health of the landscape. By introducing microbes and beneficial bacteria through organic based fertilizers and compost tea applications, it’s possible to achieve better results through working with nature than relying wholly on chemical based products. Questions about what is compost tea? Here is a video from Harvard University after which we’ve modeled our approach:

Harvard Compost Tea

Call it a holistic way to approach not just your landscape’s health, but that of your community and we’re committed to creating healthy communities by promoting integrative principles-remember it’s not just a landscape, it’s a lifestyle!

Be sure to check out our Leapfrog Landcare page on Facebook.

Christmas Cash

It’s that time of year again. Time to start earning Christmas Cash at Garden Supply Company. From now through December 19th, receive a 5% rebate on all your garden center purchases in holiday Christmas Cash. Then spend your Cash like money the week before Christmas on any purchase, including sale items.

With all the gorgeous plants and holiday items we have this month, it’s easy to earn Christmas Cash. One great way to earn a few bucks is to stock up on any last bedding and container plantings you might want for the winter, including our fabulous selection of hardy pansies.

With all the bright and welcoming colors available , you will create a bold impact in your curb appeal with a bed or border of pansies in your home landscape. Pansies withstand our cold winter weather and even keep blooming through frost and light snow. Perfect for our North Carolina climate.

We’ve just received a new shipment of pansies in both flats and 4″ pots, offering you the freshest and best selection of plants for this last window of planting opportunity. We recommend wrapping up your lawn re-seeding and planting projects within the next two weeks for the best results. After that, it may be too late for your new seedlings and plants to establish strong root systems before the temperatures drop.

For any winter lawn care or plant questions, stop by the garden center and ask one of our knowledgeable staff. We’re here 7 days a week with friendly help and suggestions. And don’t forget to start earning your 5% Christmas Cash!

Fescue Lawn Care for August

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! I’m sure most of you have noticed the slight dip in temperatures we’ve been enjoying these past few days. Looks like we’ve rounded the corner from 90+ degree hot summer days and can look forward to beautiful cooler weather instead. What a welcome relief! Could it be that fall is in the air?

Fall is the perfect time to be in the garden. It’s sunny and warm, yet cool enough to work. And best of all, there’s no bugs! Even though we’re still a few weeks away from the true fall season, there’s plenty we can be doing in the yard right now to get our gardens in top shape for next year. Now is a great time to start tackling lawn care and re-seeding projects. As soon as the night-time lows drop into the 60′s, like they already have, it’s time to get started. But before we talk about seed, we may need to tackle some nasty weed issues.

I don’t know about you, but the weeds have really taken over my lawn this past month. Things were in pretty good shape, and suddenly the weeds have just exploded. That’s because they just thrive in our hot and humid summers. I’ve got crab grass and chickweed as well as Bermuda grass, infiltrating my fescue sod. So if your lawn is anything like mine, you’ll want to tackle those weeds before turning your thoughts towards reseeding.

If your grass is less than 50% weeds, we recommend treating the area with Weed Out with Q by Fertilome. This ready-to-spray treatment kills crabgrass, dandelion, clover, plus 200 other listed weeds. It kills even tough weeds-roots and all.

Fertilome Weed Out with Q spray contains three proven weed killers that target lawn weeds and crabgrass. This product enters the lawn weeds through their leaves and moves throughout the plant to provide control. Recommended for cool season turf-grass such as Kentucky bluegrass, rye-grass, tall fescue, and mixtures of cool season grasses containing fine fescues. Also for warm season turf-grasses such as bermuda, zoysia, and buffalo grass. Application to bermuda grass may cause temporary yellowing or discoloration, but full recovery can be expected.

Note that this product should be used only when daytime temperatures drop below 90 degrees (85 for bermuda grass). And since we’re in the 80′s now, go ahead and give your lawns an application or two of this. Once treated, let your lawn sit about 2 weeks before re-seeding. Be careful not to over-apply which may cause burning to the grass.

If your lawn area is more than 50% weeds, you’ll need to go ahead and apply Round-Up to the entire area. And if you’re like me and have bermuda grass coming up in your fescue lawn, you’ll need to use Round-up on that, as well.

Now that we’ve talked about weeds, it’s time to think re-seeding.  Fall is the best time for re-seeding, and actually should be the only time you re-seed. Planting fescue seed in the fall allows the seed to fully root in and get established before the heat and stress of the summer hit again. Once night time temps dip into the 60′s, like now, you can get started. And you can safely seed until mid November.

For fescue lawns, we recommend Shady Nook lawn seed mixture from Wyatt-Quarles. Shady Nook is locally blended so it is perfect for our Piedmont growing conditions. And it is tested here at NC State to provide a better blend with fewer weed seeds. It is also perfectly suited for full sun into part shade, giving you a better mixture of drought tolerance and wet growing conditions.

We offer Shady Nook in 25 lb. bags, as well as  5 lb. bags for smaller areas.

If you have areas of full shade, we recommend mixing Creeping Red Fescue in with your Shady Nook blend. Creeping Red Fescue is shade tolerant, and it’s dark green color and finely textured blades will mix in perfectly with the rest of your lawn.

I hope these helpful hints will get you on your way to beautiful looking grass in no time. Remember, our helpful experts are on hand 7 days a week to answer all your lawn care and gardening questions. Stop by and pay us a visit! We’re always happy to see you down at Garden Supply!