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Edging and trimming are the final touches to a well groomed yard. It’s comparable to trimming around the ears and sideburns followed by shaving your neck during a haircut. My sister use to cut my hair all through elementary and high school. Once she was half way through my hair cut and her boyfriend walked in and proposed. She was so excited, I walked around for an hour with an unfinished haircut waiting for her to calm down. It looked terrible. Your lawn shouldn’t have to wait for those final touches either. Your lawn will have that curb side appeal when edged and trimmed regularly.
My lawn maintenance articles usually reflect what I’m dealing with at the time I sit down to write them. This month is no different. A neglected shade tree in my back yard is in need of some seriously expensive work beyond my abilities and wallet due to its size and the danger it presents to my property. With that being said, I’m no arborist but have learned a few guidelines about trimming shade trees any homeowner can apply to smaller trees not requiring a professional. Trimming a shade tree properly will strengthen the tree, increase its longevity, and have eye appeal as it matures.
When I was in high school working for my brother-in-law’s lawn service in Ann Arbor, MI, he sent my crew to mow a yard on Bird Road. When we arrived we quickly mowed and trimmed the front yard and then continued to the back. The gate was nearly impossible to push open inward because the grass was nearly 3 feet tall. The grass had seeded and resembled a wheat field.The occupant renting the home maintained the front yard all season but never mowed the back. Since the homeowners were returning from their summer trip she thought it was a good idea to bale the back. Forty man hours later and a pyramid size pile of grass in the back corner probably is still decomposing to this day.
Whether it’s dog urine or rabbit regurgitation, there is a way to fix those dead patches. Cut the dead patch out with a flat shovel in the shape of a square instead of a complicated puzzle piece. Place this piece on a new piece of sod and line up two sides perfectly. Cut the other two sides of the square to match with your flat shovel. If needed, add a handful or two of good top soil to the cut out area, smooth it out and place your new piece of sod in the spot. Fit all four sides tightly. Try to make it as level with the existing lawn as possible. Water daily by hand for a few weeks until rooted in and growing. Do not let the new sod patches dry out.
Lawns have three basic needs - fertilizer, water and sun. However, lawns will do better with rich fertile soil beneath them, something Colorado soil lacks. With water restrictions in the news this spring, I recommend top dressing in combination with an organic fertilizing program to create a soil teaming with life, nutrients and water.
In preparation for March Madness, basketball fanatics take the time and energy to strategically fill in NCAA basketball brackets and invest a little money for the fun of it. March Madness also involves beating the mad-rush on lawn mower repair shops and investing in your equipment to keep them running strong for years to come. For some, having the most beautiful lawn on the block is similar to being in a competitive tournament with neighbors. March is a good month to start your well thought out lawn maintenance plan to achieve your goals for a beautiful healthy lawn and finish in the winners bracket.
Doing the same lawn maintenance procedures year after year with the hope of getting better results is not logical. Routine that produces poor results needs to be changed. Developing a new maintenance plan to produce a beautiful lawn involves thinking logically about what grass requires to thrive and how existing soil conditions can be improved.
Growing up as a PK (Preacher’s Kid) in the small farming community of Chebanse, Illinois, I often listened to adult conversations when members of my dad’s congregation stopped by the parsonage to visit. One conversation, I remember, taught me how to mow straight lines and now inspires me to suggest to you a New Year’s Lawn Resolution.
It’s no secret that living organisms need water. Mites that might be in your soil beneath your lawn are no exception to the rule. During very dry winters, mites can easily obtain the moisture they require through consuming the roots of your grass. Imagine how this can destroy the potential for a beautiful healthy lawn come spring time. The solution is simple - water your lawn occasionally during dry winters.
An essential understanding of the soil beneath a lawn determines what maintenance procedures to continue on with or to change. Parts of the soil have an impact on the whole lawn. Analyzing aeration plugs can help you to identify those parts (most likely missing) and guide you to formulate an effective maintenance plan for your lawn next season. Creating a balanced soil structure and food web that will aide in sustaining a lawn while conserving resources is the ideal outcome to any lawn maintenance program.
October is the month to wrap up the lawn season and put the grass to rest well fed and watered. Lawn customers often ask what they should do to their lawns at the end of the season. Here are a few questions most frequently asked.
With the record breaking heatwave hopefully behind us, this is the month to restore our lawns to their former condition and prepare for a growth spurt this autumn. Lush healthy lawns late in the season is our best defense against a potentially harsh winter.
Remember as a child putting on your swimsuit and running through the sprinklers on hot summer days? I remember attaching a circular sprinkler made of copper to the end of a hose that blasted thin streams of water about 20’ into the air. Occasionally, my father would tell us to move the sprinkler to another area of the lawn when it became soggy. We had so much fun staying cool jumping through the water only to warm up again by lying down on the hot sidewalk.
In the fall of 1989, I moved into my first home in Castle Rock. It had sat vacant for the entire summer as a HUD home. The sprinklers were turned off and nobody fertilized or cared for the lawn. The lawn was a barren wasteland the following spring. I did everything to nurture the few grass shoots that survived. I even washed my car on the front lawn to maximize the use of the water. A few days after washing my car the grass noticeably began to grow and start filling in.
How do you determine if your lawn is doing well? Do you base your decision on the shade of green?
As a young child, I watched and learned from my father as he researched and started a new and unusual hobby about every two years. His interests became mine, and I always wanted to help him or do things myself. As a parent, I now realize his next project always started because I had taken over the hobby at hand and was in his way.
Several years ago, a lawn service customer of mine told me about a neighbor he once knew who annually had a large pile of fertile, composted soil delivered to her house following an aeration. She labored for several days spreading a thin layer all over her lawn filling in the aeration holes.