Twenty two giant sized men run around and tackle each other on a natural grass field for a couple of hours during a football game. They come back and do this between two and three times per month for an entire football season. How is it that the grass looks really good when it probably shouldn’t even be alive at the end of the season?
First, preparation is key. The right choice of grass makes all the difference. For the climate in both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and other parts of south Louisiana, a hybrid Bermuda grass can take a lot of damage and regrow in a matter of days. Soil composition which allows easy movement of water, air, and roots will shorten recovery times after field use.
Off season core aeration and top dressing keep the field healthy during use later in the year. Actively reducing soil compaction in the off season allows for some great root development. Top dressing the soil will even out the low spots the field created by players repeated use during football season.
Next is prevention. Regular overseeding during the entire season keeps a continuous supply of new grass to replace the damaged areas. The players cleats help to sow the new seeds. The new grass seeds get plenty of nutrition and sunlight on a low cut field and start growing quickly.
Irrigation lets us fill in mother nature’s gaps. Sunlight and water go a long way in promoting growth for grass. Complete, consistent coverage for the playing field is vital. This is paired with great subsurface drainage to get the roots enough water, but not too much water.
Fertilization gives stressed grass what it needs to grow. Maintaining an accurate fertilization program keeps the grass growing and green. With the right fertilizer, irrigation and sunlight, hybrid Bermuda grass is a growth monster. Bare areas will be covered with grass in a weeks time.
The last tool is replacement. Replacing is usually the most expensive option, but is necessary at times. This typically means installing new sod to a very damaged area right after a game and nursing it’s root growth. If you have a very rough area of grass, focus on the repairs when there is an off week or an away game. The extra week of care will really show on the next home game.
The weather forecasts are predicting a dry June for both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout south Louisiana. Look out for dustier cars, panting animals, and stressed plants. Read on for some steps to take with the dry weather just around the corner.
Don’t stress out! We are not just taking about you. Don’t stress out your plants any more than they already will be. Keep your grass cut about a quarter inch higher than normal. Avoid selective herbicides if possible. Keep excessive shrub pruning to a minimum on susceptible plants. Give them a some water if they start to look droopy.
Add a good layer of mulch to your landscape beds. Keep it between two and three inches. A proper mulch layer will help to maintain a better moisture level in the soil near the roots of your plants. Soil with more moisture in a dry period means better looking plants. Leave an inch or so gap near tree trunks and the base of shrubs. Building up mulch near the base of these can lead to some long term problems.
Install a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof. Less rain in June does not mean no rain. The roof of your home will channel the rain water toward your gutters and down into your rain barrel. Use the stored water to hydrate the plants and save yourself some money on your monthly water bill.
Plant flowers that are drought tolerant. Some flower varieties need constant attention and a lot of water. Skip these unless you have a lot of spare time. Peruse the annual selection at your local garden center for flowers that can take both the heat and dry times.
Install an irrigation system with an automatic timer. An irrigation system, or lawn sprinkler, is your insurance against drought. The automatic timer will keep your plants watered without you needing to worry about it. These systems last a long time and usually take a small amount of maintenance once a year. Good luck with the dry heat this summer.
In the winter, weed control is more apparent than in summer. Why? Your lawn is dormant in winter and typically brownish. Winter weeds grow big and green in the winter and stick out like a sore thumb. These weeds then drop their seeds and spread and get worse each year.
Controlling these weeds now will keep your lawn looking nice and uniform all winter long. This will also keep these weeds from establishing themselves before spring.
First thing you need to do is identify the type of weed. Some are easy, like clover, some are not. If you are not sure what it is, take a picture and post on a landscaping forum. Google also has an image search that sometimes works, sometimes not.
All hardware stores sell selective herbicides. Check the label for your type of weed. Make sure it is safe to apply over your type of grass and go for it. This will greatly reduce the number of weeds in your lawn and you can no stay indoors on the upcoming cold days.
3 Things To Consider Before Choosing a Mowing Company
Maintaining a lawn may not seem like a hard-enough job to require much research into the business you hire to do it. However, choosing the right mowing company can potentially save you a lot of arguments and frustration in the future. After all, you are paying someone to cut your grass, which is money right out of your pocket. Don’t you want the relief and security of knowing your choice is dependable and works hard for the payment? Consider these three things before choosing a company to mow your lawn.
Seek Out References on Their Reliability
Finding the right lawn mowing services can require a little background detective work on your part by looking into previous customer referrals. Look for customer reviews and determine the average rating of the business. Furthermore, it’s important to directly ask the company in question for references on its grass-cutting efforts. If the supervisor is slow to hand them over, this could be a sign that you should be wary. Professional and well-reviewed businesses will often be proud of showing off their great customer feedback.
Determine What Trade Organizations They Belong To (If Any)
Oftentimes, you are unlikely to find many landscaping services that belong to trade or professional organizations. However, this is why finding one can ultimately be rewarding. Those companies that are involved show that they are dedicated to providing hard work and excellent customer service. They are staying up-to-date on changing trends, constantly re-educating themselves on new rules and policies and generally just showing they care about the grass they are supposed to perfect. Such indicators are signs of a stalwart business model and can generally be the right path to finding a trustworthy company.
Ask for Information Regarding Their Equipment
The handling, quality and maintenance of the equipment can be very telling of work ethic and responsibility to the job. Offhandedly ask the local lawn providers questions regarding how often they change their equipment, most notably the blades. If they don’t acknowledge their procedures or don’t tell you the blades are sharpened after on a regular schedule of mowing, then it’s time to move on to a more dependable service.
Use This Knowledge To Make Your Choice
Once you have received good intel and customer reviews, choosing an honest, hardworking lawn mowing company can be a far easier task. You can avoid the burden of losing money to whoever is tending to your grass when you take the right actions beforehand.
Centipedegrass is one of the most common grass types in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout southern Louisiana. It is fairly easy to take care of and most weed problems have a solution. Luckily, there are readily available controls for bermudagrass as well. This is great since bermudagrass grows more quickly than centipede and fills in open areas.
Use Sethoxydim to Get Rid of Bermudagrass in Centipede
Sethoxydim is a selective herbicide that will get rid of bermudagrass in centipede grass. Some brands of Sethoxydim are Vantage, Poast, and Segment. A variety of Sethoxydim can be found at most hardware stores. It will take between one and three applications to remove the bermudagrass problem. Generally, the first application should be a broadcast application to the entire area affected. The next applications are normally spot treatments for areas with regrowth. Once the bermudagrass is gone, you should be ready to get some sod and fill in the areas that were taken over by bermudagrass.
For best results, do not mow the area being treated for one week before and one week after the application of Sethoxydim. Be certain your existing grass type is centipedegrass since Sethoxydim will damage or kill other grass types. Sethoxydim only works at higher temperatures, so be sure to treat when the weather is warmer according to the label.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass and Goosegrass in Centipede
Sethoxydim also eliminates large crabgrass, smooth crabgrass, goosegrass, and seedling johnsongrass. Just make sure your grass is centipedegrass. If you are having a problem with these grassy weeds as well, you can use Sethoxydim to take care of all of with your treatment. Be sure to follow the label. If something you read and the product label conflict, trust the product label. The label is the law.
Professional Fertilization and Weed Control
GreenSeasons has partnered with Spring-Green to provide the best lawn care and weed control possible. Spring-Green is a professional lawn fertilization and weed control company servicing the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you think you have a weed problem or greener grass, just click here for a weed control free quote and we will give you a call or call them at (225) 757-5170.
If you would simply like some advice on DIY weed control, please click here for tips from Spring-Green.
The big three for growing plants are sunlight, water fertilizer. The fourth component most home gardeners (and professional landscapers) need to focus on is the pH, or potential Hydrogen ions, of their soil. All it takes is a soil test from either your local garden center or agriculture co-op. There have been many good plants ruined simply due to the soil not being tested. Once you have the results from your pH soil test, check your plants' optimal pH range and see if they match up. If they do, great! If not, prepare yourself of a slow soil correction with your yard. Fall a great time to get started adjusting the pH of your soil.
How To Raise Your Soil pH
Add lime, usually the smaller form the better it will be absorbed.
Apply at three months or more before you plant.
Mix the lime into the soil. If you are liming your lawn, aerate first.Use the amount recommendations on the bag you have bought. Do not attempt to raise your soil pH more than 1.0 point per year.
Make sure your soil is getting watered. The water is what activates the lime to raise your soil's pH.
How To Lower Your Soil pH
Add sulfur. There are different forms of sulfur, some work rather quickly while some take a long time.
As a rule, you will want to use a form of sulfur to lower your soil's pH slowly. Forms of sulfur that lower your soil's pH quickly can be harmful to plants.
If you are adding sulfur to your lawn, aerate first.
Use the amount recommendations on the bag you have bought. Do not attempt to lower your soil pH more than 1.0 point per year.
Irrigate after adding sulfur to make sure all of the sulfur has been washed off your plants since it can burn plant material it touches.
Professional Landscaping Advice
Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, gloves, dust mask and any other personal protective gear recommended by the label of the products your are applying.
Read and follow the product label.
It may take you years to adjust your soil pH to where you want it to be.
A little lime goes a long way. Remember, lime is a key ingredient in cement, don't harden your soil unnecessarily.
If you soil is very alkaline, you may not be able to lower it to your desired level. Consider different plants or bringing in soil for a landscape bed in that area.
Professional Soil pH Adjustment In Louisiana
GreenSeasons will your soil's pH for you. We provide landscaping, lawn care and pest control services in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans, Slidell, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like your soil's pH tested and adjusted, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice, please contact us.
Temperatures for rye grass seed germination should be between the upper fifties and lower nineties. Rye grass prefers to grow when temperatures are in steadily in the sixties during the day. Rye grass prefers to grow in full sunlight and for their seeds to not have much soil covering them.
Should I Plant Rye Grass Seed Now?
Since this article is written in mid-October in southern Louisiana, the answer is, "Spread out your rye seed now." The temperature is right for the seed to get started germinating. You can also check the monthly high/low averages in your area by viewing the monthly outlook on a weather forecast site. Click here to see where I have selected Baton Rouge, Louisiana as the location. This will lead to a beautiful, lush green yard in winter when everyone else's yard appears to be lacking.
Rye Grass Benefits
Rye grass has other benefits besides making your yard look good. First, rye grass prevents erosion by growing in bare spots that would wash out easily with winter rain. Secondly, rye grass releases allelopathic secretions which prevent other plants from germinating near it. A natural defense against new winter weeds. Lastly, rye grass will naturally fertilize your soil in the winter making the your warm season grass healthier in the spring and summer.
Help with Rye Grass
Feel free to read our former post about rye grass by clicking here.
GreenSeasons will spread out rye grass for you. We provide landscaping, lawn care and pest control services in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans, Slidell, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like rye grass planted for you, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice, please contact us.
Watering grass is simple right?
Grass + Sunshine + Water = Healthy Grass
Basically, this is right, yet there are a few tweaks needed to have healthy green grass. Here is answers to the grass watering questions when, how often, and how long.
When to Water Your Lawn
How Often to Water your Yard
In a drought, water your lawn twice a week with about three to four days between each watering. If there has been a lot of rain, do not start watering your yard until is dry and just begins to look a little stressed. If you have an automatic irrigation system installed with a rain sensor, your rain delay should be at least three days, preferably four.
Watering your lawn infrequently allows for deeper root development which makes for healthier grass. This means your grass will look good and survive even when everyone else's lawns are struggling. So fight the temptation to water every other day.
How Long to Water Your Lawn
Start by watering your lawn for 15 minutes per area. If you have an underground irrigation system, this will be easy since you can adjust your controller. For everyone else, you can just set a timer to remind you to move the sprinkler every 15 minutes.
Test an area 24 hours later by digging a small 9" deep hole. If the soil is moist 8 inches deep, you are watering the correct amount of time. If the moisture is only reaching three to five inches, you will want to change your watering routine. This time water 15 minutes, wait 15 minutes and then irrigate the same area for 15 more minutes.
Laying sod in your yard is instantly gratifying. You can turn barren areas into an area with a perfect grass in a day. First things first, you will need to have the ground prepared to help the sod take root quickly. The soil needs to be loosened to a depth range between four and six inches. If you need to bring in additional soil to fill in low spots, we recommend either top soil with a sandy loam or river-silt. Fertilize the soil with a slow release, complete fertilizer. Follow the directions on the bag but do not water it in. This is not recommended from September 1st through April 15th.
It is important to remember sod comes in its own environment. It is very important to avoid leaving the sod moisture deprived for very long. Apply a lot of water to the sod within thirty minutes of laying the first piece. Leave your sprinkler in one place for two hours and then move it until the entire newly laid sod has been equally soaked.
Initially you will need to keep the sod wet for the first five to fourteen days depending on temperature. Do not let the sod dry out until the union between the sod and soil surface is firmly established. This means the roots have grown into the soil and the grass cannot easily be lifted. During the cool months, these instructions are not as crucial as sod will not require as much water.
For the first week water thoroughly every day. For the second week, water every other day. If it rains, it should be at least one inch before skipping a watering. After two weeks, water as needed. When the grass looks healthy and rooted, you may let it dry out some to promote root development.
The best time to water is in the morning, so less water is lost by evaporation. The worst time to water is in the evening, because the lawn stays wet all night and this encourages disease development. Also, lawns watered too frequently tend to develop shallow root systems, which may make the sod more susceptible to grub damage.
When the grass is 50% higher than you desired mowing height, it should be mowed. Mow often enough that you do not remove more than 1/3 of the blade at one time. Clippings are beneficial in that they return nutrients and organic matter to the soil. If grass is mowed on a timely schedule, clippings do not contribute to thatch.
Mole crickets are a true pest for homeowners in the south. They are omnivores, eating grubs, earthworms, bermudagrass and centipede grass. They will not bite your if you hold them in your hand, but they will try to dig through you as if your hand were soil. In large enough numbers, they can devastate your lawn. Mole crickets are nocturnal and live mostly underground, so it is unlikely that many of you have seen a mole cricket. It is highly probably that you have seen the signs of them and not known what caused it.
Signs of mole crickets
Mole crickets usually leave small mounds in the soil. They look like minature versions of a crawfish mound or like small mud volcanoes for those of you unfamiliar with mud bugs. There can also be trails of disturbed soil consisting of small pellets. This is from them moving around under the soil. If you see these, your can confirm your suspicions with a soapy water test. Mix 1-1/2 tablespoons of dish soap with 2 gallons of water and pour it over about four square feet of grass. Wait a few minutes and whatever bug is down there will rise to the surface so they don't drown. If it looks like the picture at the top of the page, you've identified the pest.
How to exterminate mole crickets
While the ugly bug shown at the top of the page is the most noticeable, it is their young that cause the most damage to your grass. Luckily, they are also the easiest to exterminate. Adult mole crickets can and will burrow deep into the ground at the first sign of danger from pesticides and wait it out for months. The young mole cricket nymphs aren't able to do the same. Usually early spring is when you will want to treat for these if you've ever had a problem before. This will be the most effective time. If you live in southern Louisiana, you are looking at a march application.
Mole crickets usually mate in fall and can be seen flying (yes they can fly) to find a mate. Mole crickets also hibernate deep in the soil in winter. Since they are away from the damaged area, treating for mole crickets at either of these times is ineffective.
Pest control products containing imidacloprid or fipronil are good for preventing a population from growing. They also provide long lasting control which will help since mole crickets can evade danger for extended periods. If you have a large active mole cricket problem, you should use pest control products containing bifenthrin. As with all pesticides, follow the product label first and foremost.