3 Steps to Maintaining a Luscious Lawn

Fertilizing

Since joining the EasyPro team over a year ago, I have to admit that I’ve not taken the appropriate amount of time to research some of the specialized areas of professional care we offer. Growing up in the midst of a bustling farm, I always assumed I was “in the know” when taking care of a thriving yard. Boy was I wrong! After a few days of researching and getting the inside scoop from our certified technicians, I’m officially an officer manager with an appreciation for fertilizer! With that being said, I’d like to share some of my newly found information with you all.

It’s safe to say that every homeowner wants to be proud of their lawn. There’s no better feeling then having a neighbor compliment how luscious your bluegrass, fescue, or other assorted turf is looking. When appreciating the beauty, we often forget the processes taking place in the soil to maintain such rich grounds. Lawn growth depends on nutrients absorbed by roots from the soil. When natural soil processes do not provide adequate supplies of these essential elements, fertilizer can be applied. The purpose of fertilizing a lawn is to add the necessary nutrients in the required amounts and at the proper time to achieve desirable lawn qualities and healthy turf grass plants.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are often required in larger quantities than are made available through natural soil processes. Deficiencies of the other elements are relatively rare and are generally associated with unusual soil conditions such as extremely sandy, acid, or alkaline soil.

The amount of nitrogen provided by natural soil processes is generally not adequate for vigorous growth desired in most lawns; consequently, supplemental additions of nitrogen-containing fertilizer are usually required. Either too little or too much nitrogen can cause problems. Too little available nitrogen leads to slow growth, increased chance of some diseases, yellowing of plants, and thin turf resulting in increased weed pressure. Too much nitrogen leads to excessive shoot and leaf growth, reduced root growth, low carbohydrate reserves; poor tolerance of environmental stresses, and increased susceptibility to some diseases. There are two forms of nitrogen, quick release and slow release. When compared with quick-release forms of nitrogen, the slow release forms of nitrogen last longer, can be applied at higher rates, and have a lower leaf burn potential.
Phosphorus is important in stimulating early root growth and promoting early plant vigor. Although phosphorus can be important, it can also be very harmful to our environment. One of the leading causes of poor water quality in countless states is an overabundance of phosphorus. Many states have gone as far as outlawing the use of phosphorus fertilizer. The phosphorus left on top of the soil is eventually being washed into nearby streams and water systems. When using phosphorus in fertlizing programs, its important to monitor the quanity as well as the effects its having on the surrounding enviroment.

fertilizer elementsPotassium deficiencies in lawns have led to increased incidence of turfgrass diseases and reduced tolerance to environmental stress. Potassium is important in the synthesis of some plant components and in the regulation of many physiological processes including the more efficient use of nitrogen by the plant. The proper ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to apply to a lawn can only be determined by soil testing. It’s very important to obtain a soil test before deciding which fertilizing program is best for your lawn.
Here at EasyPro, our fertilizer program has made its way into many households across the tri-state area. During our customer consoltations, a two part analysis is conducted. The first step is soil testing. We identify which nutrients your lawn is being deprived and adjust our fertilizer combinations to garuntee results. Secondly, we take a preventative look at weeds. Our program is designed to work for everyone, from our low maintanace customers to our customers who demand the works. Hand in Hand, these steps work together to garuntee the best results possible.

The steps you take while maitaining your yard also play a huge part in overall curb appeal and lawn beauty. Along with introducing a fertilizer program, it is pertanant to consider the height at which your yard is mowed and the amount of water available to your lawn when it needs it the most. These three steps work as one and will likely fail without the presense of each other.

How much water does a lawn need? In general, cool-season grasses need about one to 1.5 inches of water to maintain green color and active growth. Depending on your location and the amount of natural water your lawn is receiving, you can adjust watering practices accordingly. There are tips to remember when watering…..
• Given a choice, water early in the day when lawns are normally wet from dew. Avoid midday due to evaporation, and at night due to potential increased chances of some diseases.
• When is it time to water? Watch for footprinting, or footprints remaining on the lawn after walking across it (instead of leaf blades bouncing back up). Grasses also tend to turn darker in color as they go under drought stress.
• Avoid flooding areas, or missing other spots. On heavy clay soils and slopes, watch for excessive runoff; it may be necessary to apply the water in two applications to assure it soaks in.

So mowing length matters that much? Don’t make the common mistake of mowing too short. Lawns mowed at higher heights tend to have deeper roots, less weed problems, and look much better. Mowing too close invites problems such as weed invasions. Simply raising the mowing height can have a major impact on the quality of many home lawns. For Fescue and Bluegrass lawns, we mow at a height between 3 ½ and 4 inches to insure premium growth and weed protection. It is important to protect the root system in your lawn and our mowing heights insure the safegaurding it demands.

smiley lawnWhether you’re actively maintaining your lawn independently or letting a qualified like EasyPro defend your lawn, fertilization, mowing height, and watering are factors that need to be considered. Wow! I’ve learned more than I thought. The importance of a stable maintenance program is easy to overlook and sometimes requires a lot of hard work and responsibility…but is well worth the time and effort involved. Do your lawn a favor and assess its needs now. You’ll thank yourself when your neighbors are asking just how you did it!

Bibliography
Rosen, C. J., B. P. Horgan, and R. J. Mugaas. “Fertlizing Lawns.” Fertilizing Lawns. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.
“Watering, Mowing & Fertilizing.” Importance of Proper Mowing. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
“XCU.” XCU. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.

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