5 Good Reasons Why Fall Lawn Care Might Include Compost

Remember when you last ordered a soil test for the lawn? If it showed that organic matter was low or medium (less than four to five percent), your lawn’s future may be less than optimal. Healthy lawn soil has between five to eight percent organic matter.

Compost applications can improve the level of organic matter in soil. The usual recommendation is to apply one-half inch. (Want to know how many yards of compost you need?

Compost can be applied spring or fall, but fall is usually the best time for the lawn care. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Fall and winter weather work the compost into soil passively, especially in rainy or snowy climates. It’s less work for you and less soil disturbance. If you recently aerated the Lawn Care Lexington SC (another good fall practice), compost is absorbed faster. Many turf pros aerate after applying compost.
  2. Fall compost applications help decompose thatch, the dead grass roots that accumulate on the soil surface during the growing season.
  3. Compost provides food for beneficial soil microbes that may remain active well past the apparent end of the growing season. Fall-applied compost also nourishes soil microbes in early spring as they become active.
  4. Fall-applied compost can help overcome soil compaction, one of the top deterrents to a successful lawn. How do you know if soil is compacted? If you can’t sink a shovel deeper than three inches, the soil is likely to be too dense for healthy lawn growth. If water puddles in a section, the soil is probably compact.

Spring-applied compost has some drawbacks. One is that it can be an invitation for grubs. Because the freshly placed compost is likely to hold moisture, it can attract female beetles during the egg-laying period. Female beetles, particularly Lawn Care Irmo SC beetles, prefer to lay eggs on moist areas.

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How to Buy Compost

  • If you are making a bulk purchase from a local provider, you might look for one who uses the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA).
  • Learn more about the how to buy good compost at USCC’s Buy Compost. Find a list of STA participants by state.
  • Use finished compost that has been properly heated and turned for a sufficient period of time. Avoid compost that uses old building materials.
  • If any of the compost inputs are animal-derived, such as manure, blood meal, bone meal or feathers, the compost should be sufficiently aged. In organic farming, the recommendation is usually six months or more.
  • Municipal sewage compost, while widely available, is not considered compatible with organic land care and food production standards.

Test Compost for Finish

If you are making your own compost, here are two D-I-Y tests for finish:

  • Put three cups of compost in a sealed plastic bag. Let it stand overnight at room temperature. If the bag has expanded when you check in the morning, the compost is unfinished. Turn the pile and test again in a few weeks.
  • Here’s another test for finish: Fill a planting pot with the compost and try to germinate watercress seeds. If there is no germination or the seedlings are very weak, the compost needs further work.

Test Compost for Herbicides

According to the Columbia Lawn Care Compost from grass clippings or cow manure can have persistent herbicides.

Most professionals test for this, but here’s a D-I-Y test for persistent herbicides in compost:

  • Fill a pot with the compost. Add seeds of red clover (Trifolium pratense) or use regular garden beans. Failure to grow is a good indicator of persistent herbicides.

The fall season is a great time to improve lawn soil by applying compost.

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How to Propagate Fall Perennials into Spring Plants

Many popular plants that shrivel in winter can be propagated from cuttings, put in pots, and grown indoors till the weather warms. Here’s how.

Hitting the Lawn Care Samcler SC center in March or April to buy plants in bulk for your containers, window boxes, and flower beds can take a toll on your wallet. So if you’ve got favorites such as coleus, geraniums, and impatiens still looking lush in your yard right now, and you live someplace with a real winter, think about propagating them before they wither away.

 

Snip Now for (Free!) Plants Next Spring

Plants to Propagate

Any tender perennial—plants grown as annuals wherever there’s a sustained hard freeze—can be grown from simple-to-take cuttings. Harvest small stems before the first prolonged frost, pot them up indoors, and they’ll take root over the winter in time to fill in bare areas in your landscape come spring. Just park them on a south-facing windowsill and watch them grow.

Take a Cutting

With a clean pair of Lawn Care snips or scissors, cut off a stem that has three to six nodes, the spots where leaves meet the stem. Pinch off any flowers, and the leaves on the bottom third of the stem. To keep cuttings from drying out while you work, roll them in a moist paper towel, stash them inside a zip-top bag, and keep the bag out of direct sun.

Pro Tip: Robert E. Lyons, professor of landscape horticulture, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware says,”As you’re taking cuttings, be sure to clean your snips with rubbing alcohol as you move from plant to plant to make sure you don’t spread disease.”

Dip In Rooting Hormone

To encourage root development, pour powdered rooting hormone, available at garden centers, into a small dish, then roll and dab the cut end until it’s thoroughly coated. If using liquid hormone, soak the cut end for 5 seconds.

Pot it Up

Fill small pots or flats with a sterile soilless potting mix moistened with water. Using a pencil or chopstick, make holes for the cuttings, spacing them at least — inch apart. Insert each cutting at least 1 inch deep, then pack the mix around the stem.

Keep Them Moist

Using chopsticks or small wood dowels as supports, drape —-mil plastic sheeting over the pots (or flats) to create a makeshift greenhouse. Place them out of direct sun and keep the mix moist. Check the cuttings weekly for root development by gently tugging on the leaves to see if they come out easily; remove the cuttings when you feel strong resistance. Once the roots have developed, gently pry up the cuttings with a butter knife, replant them in potting soil, and add a balanced Lawn Mowing Samcler SC. Park the young plants in indirect sun for the first week. After that, move them to a spot in full sun through the winter and water as needed before moving them outside in the spring.

How to Divide Overgrown Perennials

Dividing perennials every three to six years is a great way to thin clump-forming varieties, like the daylily shown here (Hemerocallis), which blooms from late spring to late summer. This technique can also be used to control plant size, invigorate growth, and multiply the number of specimens in a garden, Lawn Mowing Hawkins.

A good rule of thumb is to split apart spring- and summer-blooming perennials in late summer or before the fall frost. Fall bloomers are best divided in the spring so that they can devote their energy to growing roots and leaves.

Before dividing, water the mother plant well for a day or two before you dig it up, and wait for a cloudy day to do the actual digging — hot, sunny weather stresses plants. Then follow these steps and you’ll be rewarded with new, more vigorous plants to share with friends or add to your garden. Lawn Care Arcade Lake.

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Dig up the plant

Rake back any mulch covering the base of the stems, then set a spade or shovel 6 to 12 inches from the center of the plant and push it down vertically into the soil. Work the shovel this way around the plant until you’ve formed a circle. Now slip the shovel blade under the root ball and pry it out of the ground.

Separate the stems

After plucking out any thin or weak stems, gently separate the remaining healthy ones into clumps of three to five shoots. That number helps ensure that the plant will recover quickly after being divided. If the center looks dead compared with the outside edges, cut it away with a soil knife and leave the outside edges.

Make the cut

For smaller plants with six to 10 stems, place a soil knife between the separated stems and saw straight down through the thick, fleshy roots that form the crown. Continue cutting all the way through the root ball. For larger, heavier root balls, according to the Lawn Mowing Arcade Lake use two forks placed back-to-back to pierce the center of the crown. Push the forks apart until the clumps separate.

Tease and plant

Gently tease the roots out of the bottom and sides of each new clump with your fingers. Now dig the holes; they should be 1 to 2 inches shallower and 6 to 9 inches wider than the teased root ball. Plant each root ball, and back fill with soil mixed with a root-promoting Lawn Care Hawkins and fertilization, watering as you go. Water every two or three days for the next couple of weeks to get them established.

How to Store Your Lawn Mower for the Cold Season

Gas-powered lawn mowers and trimmers take their share of abuse during the warm months, so some care at the end of the season—or at the start of spring—is vital to keeping their parts in good working condition. Replacing the oil, spark plugs, and air filters on mowers and applying a bit of elbow grease to grimy recesses, preferably before storing them for the winter, will ensure that they rev up with a pull of the cord next year.

1- Empty the gas tank

Unused gas left in a mower over the winter can get stale, gumming up the carburetor and inviting rust. First, add fuel stabilizer to the tank, then run the mower to distribute it through the system. Turn the mower off and allow the engine to cool, then siphon excess gas into a clean can. (You can put this gas in your car, provided it hasn’t been mixed with oil.) Restart the mower and run it until it stops; repeat until the engine no longer starts and the fuel lines are empty.

2- Remove the spark plug

Before continuing with the remaining Lawn Care Irmo maintenance steps, it’s very important that you disconnect the spark plug to prevent the mower from kick-starting accidentally, which could lead to serious injury.

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3- Remove the blade

To make it easier to change the oil and clean the underside of the mower, first detach the blade by unscrewing the bolts that hold it in place. Be sure to wear thick gloves when handling the blade. While the blade is off, take advantage of the opportunity to sharpen it

4- Drain the oil

According to the Lawn Mowing Irmo If the mower has a 4-cycle engine, you’ll need to change the oil. (Some mowers and most trimmers have 2-cycle engines, in which the oil is mixed with the gas.) Have a pan ready, and place a tarp under the mower to catch any oil that might spatter. Set the mower on its side with the air filter and carburetor facing up, so oil and residual gas don’t spill into them. Remove the oil reservoir plug and slowly tilt the mower until the oil begins to drain into the pan. Replace the plug when all the oil has drained.

5- Clean the undercarriage

Use a putty knife and wire brush to scrape off the grass and mud caked on the mower deck. This prevents rust, clears the passageway to the discharge chute, and allows the aerodynamics of the deck to work as designed. With the deck cleaned, reattach the sharpened blade. Once you’ve finished and can turn the mower upright, fill the oil tank with fresh SAE 30 or 30-weight oil, and recycle the used oil at a service station. Don’t use a thicker oil, such as 10W-40.

Change the air filter

A dirty air filter keeps the engine from burning gas efficiently by restricting the air needed for combustion. If your mower has a paper filter, replace it with a new one, paper edges facing out. If it’s an oil-soaked sponge filter, remove it, wash it out with soap and water, allow it to dry completely, and then add a bit of clean oil to it before putting it back. Clear the cooling fins of dirt and debris using a screwdriver or popsicle stick.

Replace the spark plug

Remove and replace the spark plug, using a socket wrench with a spark-plug socket, which has a neoprene lining to protect the plug’s porcelain casing. Even if the old spark plug is in good shape, for a couple of dollars a new one will perform better and ensure a smooth start come spring.

How to Compost: 7 Essential Steps

Turn Your Leftovers into Black Gold

Fall doesn’t seem like the best time to start a gardening project, but December is the perfect month to begin composting. Simply pile up all those leaves you’ve raked with yard clippings and select food waste, and microbes will naturally break down the organic matter to create a nutrient-rich soil additive. The decomposition process takes a few months, so start your pile today, and by springtime you’ll have heaps of so-called black gold to nourish your treasured shrubs and garden plants—Lawn Care Ne Columbia for free.

Appropriate Compost Location

Pick a level location about 5 feet square, preferably out of direct sunlight and away from roof drainage. Then clear the ground of grass. Pile up the material directly on this spot, or put it in a composting bin or tumbler bought at your home center. You can also build a simple enclosure from chicken wire, scrap lumber, or cinder blocks. Make it about 3 feet square, and leave gaps in the sides to let air circulate.

Proper Compost Composition

According to the Lawn Mowing Ne Columbia A compost pile needs “browns” and “greens,” shorthand for carbon- and nitrogen-based plant material, respectively, to feed microbes as they break down the scraps. Browns can include leaves, twigs, and wood chips, as well as shredded newsprint and cardboard. Greens would be fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and, not so obviously, coffee grounds and eggshells. Layer browns and greens in roughly equal amounts in your pile. Be sure to chop up or shred bulky stuff like branches first, so it’s easier to break down. Store food scraps indoors in a sealed container before emptying it into your pile. When you start cutting the grass in springtime, you can add the clippings as long as you don’t treat your lawn with pesticides, which could kill the needed microbes.

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Correct Compost Ingredients

Microbes have a hard time breaking down things like cheese, butter, milk, cooking oil, or scraps of meat. So avoid using your pile as a trash bin—for lawn care add only fruit and veggie bits. Animal waste from Fido or Fluffy doesn’t belong in there, either. Besides, you don’t want this sort of stuff sitting around outside; it smells bad as it rots and attracts vermin.

Compost Aeration

Aerate the pile with a pitchfork or shovel (or by turning a compost tumbler) about once a week to distribute air and moisture. Or invest in a compost turner, which has a long straight handle and a paddlelike bottom to make turning easier in a bin that’s hard to maneuver a shovel inside. Adding loose, lightweight materials like bark mulch helps create air pockets that prevent compaction as Lawn Care Columbia do. Keep in mind that if the microbes don’t get enough oxygen, they’ll produce hydrogen sulfide, which gives off a telltale rotten-egg stink—so don’t let your pile get to this point.

Correct Amount of Water

It’s easy to forget about watering stuff in wintertime, but proper water content is key for composting. Your pile should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge—any wetter and the microbes won’t get enough air. As you add each layer of browns and greens, lightly mist the pile with a garden hose sprayer or a watering can. You can test the compost by squeezing a handful of it (wear gloves if you don’t want to get messy). If water drips out, turn the pile a few times to let moisture evaporate. You may notice a few worms in that handful. Never fear—they’re a sign of a healthy pile.

Right Compost Temperature

Even in chilly weather, the pile will get warm as the microbes chomp away. You may even see steam rising from it—this is normal. Ideally, the pile’s internal temperature should be between 105 and 145 degrees F. You can use an elongated soil thermometer to take its temperature. A too-hot pile should be aerated, and it may need more material. If the pile is too cool, it may benefit from a sprinkling of packaged compost starter, available at garden centers. The starter provides an added dose of microbes; use it anytime decomposition slows down.

Try Growing Grass

Finished compost looks like rich organic soil—dark and crumbly in texture, with no large chunks of material. To check if yours is ready, grab a handful, put it in a pot, and place a few grass seeds in it. If they sprout within a week, your compost is “cooked” and ready to spread. So go on. Dig in!

Fall Landscaping Checklist

DIY Checklist

This is prime time to prep your yard for the next growing season. Cooling temperatures slow above ground growth, and moister soil encourages strong root development. Removing spent stems, dead branches, and heavy leaf cover protects plants’ overall health. Read on for Roger’s fall checklist.

Aerate the Lawn

If rainfall pools on the grass, it’s time to aerate compressed soil so water and nutrients can reach the roots. A Lawn Care Lexington can do the job on a small yard, but for larger lawns Roger uses a walk-behind aerator that pulls out 2½-to 3-inch-deep soil plugs, which will break down naturally by spring.

Feed Your Grass

Cutting back on fertilizer in late summer prevents perennials from wasting energy on leaf production. “But grass roots keep growing until the ground gets down to around 40 degrees,” says Lawn Mowing Lexington professionals, “so this is a good time to feed them.” Apply a high-phosphorus (12-25-12) mix to lawns in fall to encourage roots, so turf greens up earlier in spring.

Mow a Final Time

Roger trims turf down to 1¼ inches for the last cut of the season. “Disease has a harder time with shorter grass,” Roger says, “and fallen leaves blow across the lawn because they have nothing to latch on to.” Don’t go too low, though: Grass makes most of its food in the upper blade.

Collect Leaves

To make fallen leaves easier to transport, rake them onto a plastic tarp. Roger adds them (along with leaves he’s cleared from the gutters) to a compost bin—a simple chicken-wire pen will do. Flip the leaf pile every week for lawn care to aerate; the “black gold” that results next year can nourish lawns, flower beds, and shrub borders.

Plant New Shrubs

In many parts of the country, planting shrubs in early fall gives the plants a head start at establishing roots in the season’s cool, moist soil. The basics: Dig a hole (twice the diameter and to a depth of 2 inches less than the full height of the root ball); position the shrub in the hole (make sure the top of the root ball remains at, not below, ground level); fill in with soil; water to settle soil; add more soil to top of root ball (don’t pack soil down with foot); mulch.

Trim Dead Limbs

Lifeless branches can succumb to winter snow and winds, endangering you and your home. “For big jobs, call in the pros,” says Roger. But you can protect small ornamental trees from further damage by cutting cracked, loose, and diseased limbs close to (but not flush with) the trunk; leave the wounds exposed to heal.

Cut Back Perennials

A little work now results in healthier spring beds: Evict tired annuals, as well as the snails and slugs that feed on them, which breed in fall. Trim spent perennial foliage down to the ground; this sends energy to the roots, for next season. Every three years, divide crowded tuberous plants, like irises and daylilies: More space means more flowers.

Mulch Young Plants

Give new beds a layer of mulch—chopped leaves, weed-free straw, or wood chips—after a light frost, but before the ground freezes. Till decomposed layers of organic mulch into the soil, then apply a fresh 2- to 4-inch layer (more will smother roots) to keep new plantings warm and to control water runoff and soil erosion.

Dry Out Drip Systems

Standing water can freeze and crack drip-irrigation tubing. For simple systems, Roger shuts the water off, unscrews the tap-joint adapter, and, using a high-volume, low-pressure setting on his compressor, inserts an air hose where the system normally attaches to the tap. “Blowing the water out avoids having to uproot the entire system.”

Lawn Care In Winter – Tips On Caring For Winter Lawns

Without mowing or weeding, winter is a good duration for Lawn Care Lexington SC.  It does not mean that you can leave your lawn thoroughly. By following some simple steps along with winter maintenance you can prepare your lawn for spring and make your lawn more beautiful. Keep reading to learn how to care your lawn in winter.

Lawn Care Columbia SC is the most important and provides the most active methods in winter. When the first freeze is approaching, it effects on the sharpness of the blade of your mower on every single mowing. It reduces your lawn to a shorter length, and protect your grass from being used as the shelter by animals in it in the cold winter. Before the first frost, inflate your lawn to eliminate compaction. After that do the fertilization on your lawn. While low activity on the grass, the fertilizer will be planted between the leaves and gradually bless and feed them throughout the year.

Be sure to move and fertilize the lawn. Your lineal movements will give you the clear straight lines of healthy grass in the spring.

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The simple tip for winter Lawn Maintenance Lexington SC after taking these steps is maintenance. Clean the fallen leaves and remove anything from the grass, such as tools, toys or branches. As the weather progresses, new branches and fallen leaves will be removed. The weight of these items during the winter can kill your lawn or can damage.

For the same reason, people do not stop walking in the grass. Keep roads and curb clear on snow and ice to prevent people from taking lawn shortcuts. Do not park a vehicle in the winter Lawn Care Irmo SC, as it can cause serious damage.

Salt can eliminate many of the benefits of winter lawn care. Do not kick or bend the snow over your lawn and try to use the smallest value of salt in the neighborhood. If you need salt, choose mixtures based on calcium chloride, lower than sodium chloride.

Lawn Care Troubleshooting For Problems & Solutions

Lawns, Trees, Gardens, and Irrigation/Sprinkler Systems can present a variety of problems that require attention to maintain your landscape as a source of pride and pleasure. From thin grass, brown spots, weeds, grubs, bugs, and crabgrass to malfunctioning sprinkler systems, Heritage Lawns and Irrigation have the solution.

Each of the topics below provides an indepth explanation of the causes and possible reasons for solutions of Lawn Care Irmo SC. Merely click on the appropriate icon to learn about the solution. If your problem is not in the list, please call us at the number above or Contact Us to request assistance with your specific issue.

The Importance of Winter Fertilizer

Fertilizing in the winter may seem like an odd thing to do. After all, plants can’t grow when the ground is frozen, right? Though that is true, your lawn still needs nutrients to endure the winter. Lawn Service Columbia SC, we as the professionals say that the importance of winter fertilizer cannot be overstated!

Green Lawns Can Be Deceiving: What You Never Knew About Fertilizer

You may think that the greenest lawns are also the healthiest. So, you diligently water and fertilize your lawn in the spring and summer, hoping to achieve fast growth and a lawn that has a vibrant green hue indicative of a healthy lawn. Even though fertilizing your lawn in the spring and summer can lead to achieving that pleasing color, there’s no telling how healthy your lawn’s root system is. The healthiest lawns are those that possess moderate growth and high density – so don’t trust that your lawn is healthy just because it is a vibrant green, said by the Lawn Maintenance Lexington SC.

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Grass is Thin

  • Poor Fertility
    The lawn is not being fertilized properly or sufficiently.
  • Drought Issues
    The lawn is not receiving the right amount of water at the right time.
  • Shade Problems
    Sometimes shade can be a problem for grass. Maybe there is a better type of grass seed we can use, or maybe we have to come up with a totally different solution. Sometimes, it is just a matter of adjusting the way we treat the Lawn Mowing.
  • Traffic
    Traffic on the lawn from pets and/or people can wreak havoc on grass. There are things that can be done to fix it.
  • Disease
    There are several types of lawn disease. Many times they appear in ring-shaped formations.
  • Insects
    Identification and control of damaging insects on lawns can be difficult unless you know what to look for and where to look. Lawn damaging insects can be classified into two distinct types. This helps make identification and control easier. These insect types are root feeders and blade feeders.

Lawn has Spots or Brown Spots

  • Disease
    There are several types of lawn disease. Many times they appear in ring-shaped formations.
  • Insects
    Identification and control of damaging insects on lawns can be difficult unless you know what to look for and where to look. Lawn damaging insects can be classified into two distinct types. This helps make identification and control easier. These insect types are root feeders and blade feeders.
  • Buried Rocks and Debris
    Sometimes there is buried rocks and other debris which can cause brown spots to occur in the same area of the lawn, year after year. Often, these brown spots occur during times of heat stress and drought.
  • Pet Damage
    Whether it is spots caused by a pet on the lawn or tracks caused by pets running in a path on the lawn, we can help!

Grass is Not Green Enough

  • Poor Fertility
    The lawn is not being fertilized properly or enough.
  • Drought Problems
    The lawn isn’t receiving the right amount of water at the right time.
  • Dull Mower Blades
    Dull mower blades can cause the grass blade to have brown ends and appear to have less desireable color.
  • Poor Grass Varieties
    Sometimes our lawns change with landscaping and time so that the type of grass we originally planted is not necessarily the best type of grass for today.
  • Improper Soil pH
    Soil test to determine problem.

Lawn is Dying Out

  • Drought Problems
    The lawn isn’t receiving the right amount of water at the right time.
  • Insects
    Identification and control of damaging insects on lawns can be difficult unless you know what to look for and where to look. According to the Columbia Lawn Care the  Lawn damaging insects can be classified into two distinct types. This helps make identification and control easier. These insect types are root feeders and blade feeders.
  • Buried Rocks and Debris
    Sometimes there is buried rocks and other debris which can cause brown spots to occur in the same area of the lawn, year after year. Often, these brown spots occur during times of heat stress and drought.
  • Pet Damage
    Whether it is spots caused by a pet on the lawn or tracks caused by pets running in a path on the lawn, we can help!

Weeds / Neighbors Weeds

  • Lack of Weed Control
    There are two types of plants that we deal with at Heritage Lawns. They are turf grasses (or grasses) and broadleaf plants. To determine the differences is not too difficult if we simply look at the veins on the leaves of each type. Grasses typically have parallel veins running the length of the leaf, as in corn leaves and grass blades. Broadleaf plants have “net like” veins such as dandelions and poison ivy leaves.
  • Thin Grass
    When grass is not thick enough, it cannot naturally inhibit weed growth.

Sprinkler Repair

  • Lack of Weed Control
    No matter if it is a broken valve, broken head, broken line, or a head simply needs to be adjusted to spray the correct direction, our Irrigation Maintenance Specialist can help you through it.

To schedule Lawn Care Services, call 803-261-3305 or fill out the form to the right and we’ll call you to set the appointment.

Winter Lawn Care Tips for a Better Spring

The winter is when you spend the least amount of time thinking of your lawn. Unless you live in an area that is relatively warm all year long, chances are you have put the lawn mower away and are ready for a few months of relaxation before you have to start the lawn maintenance routine again.

There are a few things suggested by the Lawn Care Columbia SC you can do during even the harshest winter that can ensure a beautiful, lush yard once spring rolls around again.

Fertilizing in the Winter

Late fall or early winter are the best times to fertilize cool season grasses. Since the majority of the lawns in America are made from these grasses, like Bermuda and bluegrass, it is a good bet your yard has a typical cool season blend.

According to the Lawn Service Columbia SC before the first freeze, give your lawn a thorough fertilizing to replace all of the nutrients that can be lost from the soil during the hot summer months. Once the weather turns cold, the fertilizer will remain in the soil and feed your lawn’s roots all winter long.

When spring comes your lawn will be full of healthy, lush, green grass that has been feeding on good fertilizer nutrients underneath the snow.

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Mowing Strategies

During the last month of the summer you should gradually lower the cutting base of your lawn mower each time you mow the lawn. Slowly cutting your grass shorter will allow it to winter well without shocking it by cutting it all off at once.

If you leave your lawn too tall during the winter months it will be prey to field mice and other burrowing animals that want a warm place to sleep. Mice can destroy large parts of your lawn by building nests. They create dead spots where they spend all of their time as well as pulling up large amounts of grass to build their structures.

Make sure your grass is as short as possible at the end of the season. Short grass also protects any new growth that may be more fragile near the end of the growing season or contact with you local Lawn Care Columbia professionals.

Keep it Clean

It is easy for items to be left on the lawn during the long, cold winter when no one goes outside very often. Stray logs, toys, and even lawn furniture can be accidentally overlooked before the first snow comes.

Make sure that you clear the lawn of all objects after you mow it for the last time of the year. Do an occasional sweep of the lawn every couple of weeks during the winter, as well or contact with your professionals Mulch Columbia SC.

If an object is left on the grass during cold weather and snowfall it can create large dead spots because of the weight of the object. In the spring the grass in that area will be stunted and thinner than the rest of the yard.

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Avoid Excessive Lawn Traffic

When the grass is brown and short it can be easy for people to forget that it shouldn’t be walked on. Try to prevent very much foot traffic on your winter lawn mower. Grass is relatively resilient, but it will have a difficult time recovering if a path becomes well worn across the lawn.

  • Keep your sidewalks cleared of ice and snow so that you and your guests won’t be tempted to cut across the yard very often.
  • Never allow anyone to park a truck or a car on your lawn. Even the smallest vehicle will leave impressions in the soil and kill off the grass that is underneath the tires. Using the lawn as a parking lot is the fastest way to kill the good grass and make room for crabgrass and other types of weeds.

Prepare in the Fall

There really is not much lawn care that needs to be done during the cold months of winter. If you properly prepare the lawn during the fall, it will be fine until the warm days of spring arrive once more.

  • Make sure you aerate, fertilize, and mow the lawn before the first freeze of the season.
  • Rake away any dead leaves that may have fallen and collected on your yard to avoid wet spots that can become mossy or moldy.
  • Keep the lawn cleared of debris and help everyone in the family respect the yard while it is dormant.

Once you have taken care of everything that needs to be done during the fall you will be ready to enjoy a nice cozy winter indoors with your family before lawn care season begins again in the spring.

7 Fall Lawn Care Tips to Do Right Now

Among Lawn Care Experts, it’s a well-known fact that the best way to ensure a thick, green, and healthy lawn in the spring is to give it some well-timed care in the fall—in other words, right now. But according to CNS Lawncare & Property Maintenance, a lawn care company with more than 200 franchises around the country, many homeowners make the same basic mistakes before grass goes dormant, and then wonder why their grass isn’t doing better the following year. Wonder no more. Here are seven-step program to getting a beautiful lawn next year.

1. Remove the leaves.
A carpet of colorful autumn leaves may look nice and be fun to play in, but they’re no good for grass. They block the light and trap moisture, potentially fatal knockout punches for the unlucky turf underneath. So when the leaves are falling, blow or rake them away as often as you can. Even after the trees are bare, continue raking out the corners where the wind piles leaves up. If you don’t, come spring the grass under that soggy, decaying mat will be dead.

2. Keep cutting, but to the correct height.
Don’t put that mower away yet. Grass continues to grown up to the first hard frost, and so will need regular cuts to keep it at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height. If you let it get too long, it will mat and be vulnerable to fungi like snow mold. Cutting grass too short is just as bad, because it curtails the root system—root depth is proportional to cutting height—and impedes the lawn’s ability to withstand winter cold and dryness. Regular mowing also gets rid of those pesky leaves, chopping them up and leaving behind a soil-enhancing mulch.

3. Continue watering.
Professionals of Lawn Care Columbia SC, say that people tend to let up on watering in the fall as the weather gets cooler. “They figure that nature will take care of things for them,” he says. While it’s true that there’s more rain, more dew, and less evaporation at this time of year, that may not be enough to keep the grass roots well hydrated and healthy going into the winter. If your lawn isn’t getting at least an inch of water a week—a simple rain gauge is a useful way to keep track—then keep the sprinklers or irrigation system running until the end of October. By that time, you’ll want to disconnect hoses and flush the irrigation system to avoid frozen pipes and spigots.

4. Loosen the soil.
Regular aeration—once every couple of years, according to We—prevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch, a thick layer of roots, stems, and debris that blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil. A core aerator corrects both problems by punching holes through that thatch and pulling up plugs of soil. It’s a good idea to aerate a lawn right before fertilizing. All those holes in your turf will let the fertilizer reach right to the roots, where it can do the most good.

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5. Add fertilizer.
Just as grass roots need water to last the winter, they also benefit from a shot of the plant sugars that protect roots from freezing and give the entire plant the energy to bounce back in the spring. Those sugars are produced by chlorophyll, which grass produces in abundance when there’s enough nitrogen. That’s why Columbia Lawn Care recommends a late-fall application of a slow-release granular 24-0-10 fertilizer. The numbers indicate the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Potassium is also important at this time because it aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. (A soil test can tell you how much of each nutrient your lawn actually needs.) The cautions against spreading fertilizer close to waterways, however; they are vulnerable to contamination from runoff. Lawn Doctor’s company policy is to maintain a 5-foot buffer wherever water is present.

6. Spread seed.
A dense lawn also is good protection against weeds, which is why it’s important to overseed existing turf. Not only does that fill in thin spots or bare patches, it allows you to introduce the latest in resilient, drought-tolerant grasses. Fall is the best time to overseed because the ground is still warm, moisture is more plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day. But even then, “overseeding is one of the most challenging lawn-care chores. You can’t simply broadcast seeds over an established lawn and expect them to take hold. They need to be in full contact with the soil, kept moist until they germinate, and be well enough established before it gets too cold. Renting a slit seeder is a better option than broadcasting, but those machines are notorious for tearing up turf and leaving your lawn looking like a harrowed field.

7. Stay on schedule.
According to the Lawn Care Irmo SC each of the steps above has to be done at the right time for best results. Otherwise, it’s wasted effort. For instance, overseed too late and the seedlings will be too tender to survive. Fertilize too early and the grass will send up tender blades that will get hammered by the cold. Fertilize too late and the grass roots won’t be able to absorb all those nutrients you’re feeding them. Thinking about aerating in the spring because you can’t get around to it this fall? Don’t bother. Spring aeration just makes it easier for weed seeds to get established.

If sticking to the schedule during the fall is proving too difficult, a lawn care service can handle the jobs that aren’t getting done. Most often, those are the ones that require renting heavy machinery like core aerators and slit seeders, which are hard to transport, a bear to operate, and often in short supply at the rental yards at this time of year. Delegating one or two of those chores to a pro during this busy season will ensure the work gets done when it should—and that you will be enjoying a thick carpet of green grass next year.