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4 Lawn Watering Mistakes to Avoid

4 Lawn Watering Mistakes to AvoidWatering the lawn may not be anyone’s idea of a fun Saturday afternoon, but it’s certainly an important part of keeping grass healthy and green. When done properly, watering your grass can help the roots grow stronger, making the yard healthier and more resistant to weeds, diseases, and drought conditions. And although it may seem simple, there are things to know when it comes to watering your lawn. There are many common lawn watering mistakes that can actually do more harm than good to your yard. To help avoid these setbacks, the lawn care experts at Turf Shield are here to discuss four lawn watering mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Watering at the Wrong Time:
It’s important to water your lawn at the right time to achieve the maximum benefit from your watering. If temperatures are too hot when you are watering, a lot of the water will evaporate before it ever reaches the roots of your grass. That’s why we recommend watering your grass in the early morning.

Mistake #2: Over-Watering Your Lawn:
More water isn’t always the best approach. Poor watering habits can encourage shallow root systems, which can leave your yard vulnerable to heat stress and drought. Additionally, over-watering can increase the chances of fungus and other diseases. It can also be a waste of water.

Mistake #3: Under-Watering Your Lawn:
Conversely, not providing your grass with enough water can also be harmful. This is especially true for newly planted lawns that need time and lots of water to establish a healthy, deep root system. As a general rule lawns need about one inch of water per week, though this can depend on the type of grass and the climate conditions.

Mistake #4: Not Monitoring Your Sprinkler System
There’s more to watering your lawn right than getting an automatically-timed sprinkler system and setting it on autopilot. Keep tabs on your system when it’s running to make sure it’s operating correctly. Installing a water sensor to keep it from operating in the rain or when the soil is wet can help. Don’t run the system when your plants and lawn are dormant. During the growing season, instead of running it 20 minutes every day, run it for an hour twice a week to help the water penetrate the soil more deeply and reach the roots.

Watering your lawn may not seem like rocket science, but following these tips and watering correctly can go a long way towards promoting a healthy, hydrated lawn that will look great. If you have any questions about watering or any other lawn maintenance matters, please contact Turf Shield today to speak with our lawn care professionals. And don’t forget to follow us on social media for more lawn care tips, news, and much more.

Preparing Your Spring Lawn Checklist

Preparing Your Spring Lawn ChecklistThis past winter in Georgia has been a particularly harsh one, and you might find yourself looking at what’s left of your lawn and wondering if, after all this cold and ice, your grass will ever come back.  Most of the warm-season grasses that are common in the south go dormant during periods of cold temperatures, turning brown over the winter but returning to green when the spring sun returns.  However, this does not necessarily mean that the grass will survive the cold unscathed.  What you do in the earliest part of the spring, when the weather is just starting to get warmer, can have a significant effect on how healthy your lawn looks in the year to come.  That’s why the experts at Turf Shield have put together a basic checklist of things you can do to prepare for the spring thaw.

  1. Check over your push or riding lawn mower, and any additional garden tools, for signs of wear and tear. Check to see if anything needs to be repaired and sharpen your lawnmower blade
  2. Thoroughly rake your entire lawn to remove accumulated weeds, dead plant matter, and other assorted yard waste to clear the way for new growth.
  3. Prune away any broken, diseased, or dead limbs from your trees and shrubs. Fruit trees specifically should be pruned well before their buds begin to bloom to avoid overstressing the tree.
  4. Add additional nutrients to the soil by spreading a thin layer (about ¼ of an inch thick) of aged compost or manure.
  5. Loosen soil that has become dry and compacted over the winter months by aerating your lawn. This will allow oxygen, water and nutrients to easily reach grass roots.
  6. The southern growing season starts early, so try to plant any new flowers or vegetables as soon as temperatures permit.
  7. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of all plants, trees and shrubs as well as emerging bulbs and perennials to maintain soil temperature and moisture.
  8. Replenish any bare patches in your lawn by loosening the surface to a depth of 2 to 4 inches and overseeding the area with a mixture of grass seed and compost or fertilizer over the bare spot.
  9. Hold off on most lawn fertilizers until after your first spring mowing. The decision of when to fertilize your lawn will depend on a number of different factors.

Preparing for the spring involves a lot of planning and work, but the experts at Turf Shield can help you get it all done.  Our team can perform all the necessary tests to determine exactly what you need to help your lawn look its best all year round.   If you need help maintaining your lawn, or would like to learn more about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we can provide, please contact Turf Shield for additional information.  Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Twitter or Facebook to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.

What to Do if Your Grass Comes Out of Dormancy Looking Patchy

What to Do if Your Grass Comes Out of Dormancy Looking PatchyAround this time of year, we’re all getting tired of winter and looking forward to the refreshing warmth of spring. Homeowners are also looking forward to a lively green returning to their lawns. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way, and many homeowners see brown patches appearing as their lawns come out of dormancy. It’s understandably disappointing, but it can be fixed, and our lawn care professionals at Turf Shield are here to help.

What Can Cause Brown Spots After Winter

There are plenty of ways your lawn can get damaged, and you may not notice the damage during the winter because your entire lawn is already brown. But when your healthy grass starts to turn green in the spring, the damage becomes all too apparent. The first step toward repairing your lawn (and protecting it in the future) is to find out what damaged it. Here are some of the most likely culprits:

  • Pet Damage – If you have a dog or outdoor cat who uses the restroom on your lawn, this can damage the grass over time, especially if they have a “favorite spot.”
  • Salt – We typically get very little snow in Georgia, but we have had colder temperatures than normal lately, so some areas are using plenty of salt to keep the roads from freezing. Unfortunately, if the salt gets onto your grass, it can cause damage.
  • Snow Mold – This is one we don’t see as often in Georgia as in colder climates, but snow mold can appear when snow has been sitting on the grass for an extended amount of time.
  • Objects on the Lawn – If you have lawn furniture, planters, or even too many leaves on your lawn, they can prevent the grass beneath them from getting the nutrients it needs.
  • Pests or Diseases – We tend to assume everything outside freezes in the winter, but some lawn pests like grubs and voles are still going about their business.
  • Soil Compaction – Everyday activities like walking through a frozen yard can eventually compact the soil in certain areas, and this prevents the grass’ roots from getting the nourishment they need.
  • Crown Hydration – When you have sudden drops in temperature (as we’ve had many times in Atlanta this year), moisture in the soil can freeze and expand, killing the crown of your grass.

How to Repair Your Lawn After Winter

In some cases, the causes of your lawn patches are quite obvious (for instance, if your kids left a toy on the lawn and the area under the toy is the only dead patch). But most of the time, you’ll want to call a lawn care expert who can examine your lawn and determine what caused the problem and how to proceed. While the repair will be based on your specific needs, it will probably involve one or more of the following:

  • Pest Control or Disease Control – If your lawn was damaged by a specific pest or lawn disease, you need to get the culprit under control before you repair the damage. A lawn care professional can identify the specific problem and determine the best pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, or other methods.
  • Aeration – If your soil is compacted (as often happens with our Georgia clay), aerating your lawn in the spring will poke small holes in the soil ground. This lets the nutrients and water reach the roots of your grass. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of aerating your lawn on a regular basis to avoid problems before they occur.
  • Reseeding or Resodding – In most cases of dead patches of grass, after you find the cause and get it under control, you’ll still need to reseed or resod to get the area back to life. Sod is of course easier than seeds, but you need to get something that matches the rest of your grass. If you’re reseeding, make sure to do it correctly by raking the area, using the appropriate equipment, adding enough top soil, and watering correctly.

As we wait for the grass to green up and restore a look of vitality to our lawns, remember that you may have some repair work to do before the transformation is complete. Whether you have one or two patches or a full lawn that needs reseeding, our lawn repair experts can handle the job. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today. Or, for more lawn care tips, check out our previous blogs and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for future updates.

Answering 3 Common Questions about Lawn Mowing

Answering 3 Common Questions about Lawn MowingMowing the lawn may not be the most exciting activity for a Saturday afternoon, but it is a fundamental and important part of yard maintenance. Since it must be done, you may as well do it right. Properly mowing your lawn can be a great way to set a foundation for a green, healthy lawn. And although it may seem simple to some people, there are several things that the average homeowner may not know about how to make the most out of their mowing. Hopefully these answers about how and when to properly mow your yard will help keep your grass in tip-top shape all year long.

What makes mowing the lawn so important?

The purpose of mowing the lawn far exceeds the aesthetic benefits it provides. Sure, mowing keeps the height of your grass under control, but (when done properly) it does so much more. Lawn mowing helps promote healthier, more lush grass. Much like the way you prune a shrub, mowing your grass is essential for making the yard more compact and causing healthy new growth to occur.

When are the best (and worst) times to mow my lawn?

It’s important that your lawn be dry at the time it is mowed. Mowing wet grass can clog up your mower and leave mower tracks all over your yard. We believe the best time to mow is the mid-morning, between 8am and 10am. This will give enough time for grass to dry out a bit from the early morning dew and irrigation, while also avoiding the peak midday heat. In addition to the early morning (before 8am), the early evening is the worst time to mow because lawns need time to recover from mowing before night falls to avoid potential disease. The summer season require more frequent mowing than the cooler, winter months.

What do I need to do to maintain my lawn mower?

Taking good care of your lawn mower is important, not just for the mower itself, but also for the health of your grass. Obviously not all mowers are the same, but there are a few basic tips that should help maintain any kind of mower. First, make sure to sharpen your mower blades every month (or every two months tops). Dull blades will rip grass blades instead of cutting them cleanly, leaving your grass vulnerable to harmful fungi and disease. We also recommend regularly changing your mower’s air filter and making sure that all nuts and bolts are secure every spring, tightening them where necessary.

Mowing the lawn can be arduous and time-consuming, but the results often speak for themselves. If you’re not sure about the best approach to mowing your yard or if you would rather leave your lawn maintenance to the experts, you can always call on the lawn care professionals at Turf Shield. We will work hard to tailor a lawn care plan that will help keep your yard looking its green and healthy best. For more information, please contact Turf Shield today and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for even more lawn care tips and news.

Do I Really Need to Rake All These Leaves?

Do I Really Need to Rake All These LeavesBecause it is more densely covered in trees than any other city in the United States, Atlanta is often known as “The City in a Forest.”  However, even though the abundant foliage contributes a great deal to Atlanta’s unique aesthetic appeal, it also can create its own unique difficulties.  Among these is the problem of collecting fallen leaves in the autumn, a headache familiar to Atlanta-area homeowners.  Many of the clients who take advantage of the lawn care services that we provide at Turf Shield ask us whether raking and bagging leaves every year is something they really need to do.  The answer is actually more complicated than many people might think and there is some controversy over whether it is better to bag your fallen leaves or to mulch them back into your lawn.

The Case for Bagging Leaves

For generations, homeowners have been raking and bagging fallen leaves to give their lawns a neater and more manicured appearance.  This practice does have several advantages.  Winter can be tough on grass, and a layer of leaves will block the light that your grass needs need to grow and thrive.  In types of grass that don’t go dormant during the winter, this can produce weak blades with exposed crowns.  Leaf cover also creates a dark, moist environment that encourages bacteria and lawn fungi.  A thorough fall cleanup routine can provide better air circulation, which dries out and starves the moisture-loving pathogens while denying winter shelter to insects and rodents.

The Case for Mulching Leaves

Proponents of mulching hold that leaving leaves on the lawn can actually make it healthier and stronger.  Decaying leaves are rich in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, making them an ideal source of fertilizer.  While it is true that a blanket of leaves provides food, shelter, and nesting or bedding materials to a variety of insects and wildlife, these organisms help aerate the soil and restore vital nutrients.  Fallen leaves essentially offer a double benefit, forming natural mulch that helps suppress weeds while simultaneously fertilizing the soil as it breaks down.  Many argue that it is foolish to spend money on mulch and fertilizer when your own literally falls from the trees.

The Answer: A Moderate and Customized Approach

The truth is that every lawn is different, and the decision of whether to mulch or bag will ultimately depend on the individual needs of your lawn as well as your own aesthetic tastes.  It is important to maintain some control over the situation.  Don’t just let the leaves pile up wherever the wind pushes them; they may effectively smother one section of the yard while leaving other sections exposed.  Instead, run over the leaves with a mulching lawn mower, or mulching attachment, to reduce them to smaller particles.  This compost mixture can then be raked into garden beds or around trees, where it can do the most good.  The lawn and garden experts at Turf Shield can advise you on how best to prepare your lawn for the cold winter months, and what steps you need to best protect it.

Maintaining a lawn in Atlanta can be difficult, but having expert help can make it easier.  If you have any questions about any of your landscaping needs, or about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we provide, please contact Turf Shield to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow us on social media to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Lawn

With 2017 nearing its end, it is time to begin looking ahead to the New Year. More specifically, it is time to begin looking ahead to next spring and the upcoming growing season. We know keeping New Year’s resolutions can be tough, but when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy, green lawn, putting in the time and energy can prove very beneficial when next year rolls around. When the weather permits, the start of a new year can be an excellent time to get to work crafting and cultivating the lawn your home deserves. So with this in mind, the lawn care experts at Turf Shield have a few tips to help bring out the best in your yard next year and beyond.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Lawn

Resolution #1: I Will Prioritize Aeration
Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn. But over time the soil can become hard and compacted (especially for yards that experience heavy foot traffic). This can lead to grass being unable to absorb the nutrients it needs and your lawn becoming thin and infested with weeds. That’s why it’s so important to aerate your lawn. Aeration also helps avoid soil compaction and improves the ability of your grass to take in much-needed air, water, and nutrients. Additionally, aerating your lawn can help your grass develop strong, healthy roots to promote optimal lawn health over time.

Resolution #2: I Will Water Properly
How (and how often) you water your grass is among the most essential factors that affects the health of your lawn. Watering contributes to the development of deep, strong roots and healthy green grass. But only when it’s done right. Your yard will require about one inch of water per week to remain at peak health. This water should be delivered in one deep, heavy watering session; not a number of light sprinklings. Try to find a high-quality sprinkler that can evenly distribute water to your entire yard.

Resolution #3: I Will Mow Regularly
There is a common misconception that mowing the lawn is merely a cosmetic lawn treatment. However, this is far from the truth. We recommend not taking more than 1/3 of the leaf blade off while mowing. The longer the leaf is, the deeper the rooting system will be. This means your grass will have an easier time absorbing nutrients and water from the soil. Try to keep your blades sharp for a more precise cut. If need be, we also suggest having your mower blades sharpened by a professional in order to make sure they are up to snuff.

Resolution #4: I Will Make Time for Overseeding
Lastly, many lawns can benefit from overseeding treatment. Overseeding is a process in which grass seed is planted on pre-existing turf. This is commonly recommended for lawns with large, bare patches that result from insect infestations or drought conditions. Instead of waiting for these trouble spots to fix themselves, overseeding can be a great way to take charge and give your lawn the extra help it needs.

If you find yourself having problems sticking to your resolutions, you can always call on the lawn care professionals at Turf Shield. Our experts can custom tailor a lawn care plan to your specific yard to make sure your yard is receiving the best-possible treatment as we enter the New Year. For more information or to schedule a consultation please contact Turf Shield today and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more lawn care tips, updates and more.

Lawn Watering Tips for Georgia Winters

Lawn Watering Tips for Georgia WintersWinter is fast approaching, and for a homeowner, it can be bittersweet. On the one hand, seeing a brown, dormant lawn can feel like a let-down after all the work you put in to make it green all summer. But on the other hand, grass is a bit more low-maintenance in the winter, which is a perk for busy families. Still, a lawn can’t stay healthy if it’s completely neglected over the winter, and one often overlooked job is watering your lawn.

There is a common misconception that dormant grass doesn’t need to be watered, but this isn’t entirely true. These winter lawn watering tips from our experts at Turf Shield can keep your lawn strong:

  • Your lawn doesn’t need as much water during the winter as it does during the summer. Too many homeowners forget to change their automatic sprinklers after the summer, and this can quickly overwater a winter lawn. To keep track of the seasonal changes you need to make, follow Turf Shield on Facebook and other social media sites for timely lawn care tips. It’s also helpful to set a reminder on your calendar to adjust your sprinkler settings every season.
  • As a rule, your lawn needs 1 inch of water every week. If you aren’t getting enough precipitation naturally, you do need to water your lawn to make up the difference.
  • When you water your lawn, only do it once per week (twice maximum).
  • Water your grass early in the morning so that you don’t have sitting water overnight. This could lead to the need to treat lawn diseases, mildew, and fungus.
  • Keep a close watch on the amount of precipitation your grass is getting. A simple rain gauge will suffice, but you can also see how saturated your lawn is by testing how far you can easily push an 8-inch screwdriver into the soil. You want to be able to push it down 6 inches without too much force.
  • When you’re watching your precipitation, remember that snow is a form of water and that it will water your lawn when it melts.

Whatever weather the winter has in store for us, you can keep your grass healthy and well-watered so it will spring back up into a green and luscious lawn in the spring. But watering is only one part of this process. For professional lawn care services, contact Turf Shield today.

Tips for Saving Water During Your Lawn Care

Tips for Saving Water During Your Lawn CareWater conservation is one of the many factors to consider for people trying to maintain a healthy, green lawn. This is especially true for those in hotter, dryer parts of the country whose yards may be subject to drought conditions. While saving water and tending to your grass may seem like a difficult juggling act, there are a number of simple actions homeowners can take in the yard to help save water and money. Check out the following tips from our lawn care experts on how you can keep your lawn healthy and hydrated while using less water.

Water Earlier in the Day

The first step in water conservation is making sure to water your grass early, deeply, and less frequently. By watering your lawn deeply, you will have a better chance to wet the entire root zone and encourage deeper root growth, which will help your grass tolerate mild to moderate drought conditions. In order to get this result, we recommend watering your lawn early in the morning (as early as 5 am) to help give the lawn enough time to absorb the moisture and avoid evaporation due to daytime heat.

Keep Your Mower Blades High & Sharp

Next, try raising the blades on your lawn mower anywhere between 25%-50%. If your lawn is cut too short, this can prevent the grass from effectively storing water that it needs to survive. Meaning, your lawn will inevitably need to be watered more frequently. It’s also important to keep the mower blades sharp by sharpening them about once a month. Duller blades will tear at the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, leading to the grass needing more water to effectively recover.

Make Sure to Aerate

Lastly, we highly recommend aerating your lawn. Aerating, or creating small holes in the soil, can help improve the flow of water reach the roots of your lawn. It works by loosening compacted soil. Once the soil is more loose, water and nutrients will have an easier time reaching the soil beneath the grass, where they can do the most good.

Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Twitter or Facebook for additional lawn care lawn care tips, news, and more. As you can see, these suggestions are minor alterations to your lawn care routine, not complete overhauls. However, these simple changes can go a very long way towards helping you cut back on your water usage and promoting the lush, green yard that you are striving for. If you have any questions or if you would like to speak with one of our lawn care professionals, please contact Turf Shield today.

How Do I “Winterize” My Lawn?

How Do I “Winterize” My LawnAt Turf Shield, we offer a variety of lawn and yard care services that can help keep your yard looking its best all year round, and each season poses its own individual challenges.  With summer coming to a close and winter waiting eagerly in the wings, many of our clients ask us how they can best go about “winterizing” their lawns or gardens to prepare them for the colder months.  Although Georgia and the Southeast may not get the severe cold and snowfall that are so common in other regions of the country, there are a few things that you can do to keep your lawn healthy and protected.

Many lawn and garden professionals will tell you that a good winterizing fertilizer treatment is the key to avoiding cold-season damage, and some suggest that overseeding cool season grasses in early fall can be particularly beneficial.  Unfortunately, this advice does not necessarily apply to all lawns.  Winterizing fertilizers (or simply “winterizers” as they are sometimes called) have a higher concentration of potassium than other lawn fertilizers, which helps strengthen and harden plants from top to bottom and make them more tolerant of cold and stress.  Our Turf Shield team can tell you the specific type of grass that you have and recommend a fertilizer treatment that is right for your lawn’s specific needs.

Autumn is also a good time to protect your fruits and flowers from the winter cold.  Ideally, you should have your perennial garden beds cleaned up, removing old stalks and leaves, and then mulched as part of your winter preparation plan.  However, if you do not have the time to properly mulch, than leave the stalks and leaves where they are, as they will afford a small degree of protection to the roots of your perennials.  Small deciduous shrubs with fragile branches can be protected with a lean-to or some other sort of structure to keep heavy snows off their limbs or to protect them from cold and frost.  Avoid watering trees in late summer or early fall before the leaves fall, as this will give them a chance to “harden off” for winter.  Then in late fall, after the trees have dropped their leaves but before the ground has frozen, give both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs a final deep watering to last them through the winter.

Last but not least, don’t forget to take a few moments to do some end of the year maintenance on your lawn tools.  Improperly stored gasoline can get thick and gummy, so be sure to drain the gas from your lawnmower in the late fall before storing it away.  Bring in the garden hose and go down into the basement to turn off its water source to keep your pipes from bursting if the temperatures fall into the teens.  A little care and attention now can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

The needs of your lawn will change over the course of any given year, which is one of the reasons why it is a good time to get a little bit of professional help.  Our expert lawn care specialists can work with you to determine exactly what measures you should take to keep your yard looking its best.  If you have any questions about any of your landscaping needs, or about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we provide, please contact Turf Shield to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow us on social media to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.

Common Tree Diseases in Georgia

Common Tree Diseases in GeorgiaPeople tend to think of plants and trees as the most low-maintenance types of living beings. While this is probably true, there’s still a big difference between “low maintenance” and “no maintenance.” On top of just ensuring that your trees have the basic necessities (water, nutrients, and sunlight), you also need to be on the lookout for diseases that can infect your trees. Some vegetation diseases can be deadly to your entire landscape if they’re not found and treated early enough. At Turf Shield, we go beyond lawn care to actually educate our clients about their plant life, and in this effort, we’ve pulled together the basics you need to know about the most common tree diseases in the Atlanta area.

Seiridium Canker

Caused by a fungus, seiridium canker creates open cankers that leak resin. It’s often noticed when homeowners see individual branches and limbs begin to die on their tree. The fungus is spread to different branches within a tree or from one tree to another when the spores travel in water, either from the rain or from irrigation. Trees are more susceptible to being infected if they’re already weakened by draught and excessive heat. Unfortunately, there are not currently any fungicides that can treat seiridium canker after it has infected a tree, so the only treatment is to reduce the spread by pruning your trees to remove infected branches and by irrigating when the weather is dry.

Root Rot

There are different types of root rot that are each caused by their own unique fungus. As a group of diseases, though, root rot infects the tree roots, causing the wood to become spongy and sometimes leading to mushroom growth at the base of the tree. These mushrooms are often the only way homeowners discover root rot. The fungus is soil-borne and is most likely to spread and infect trees when the soil stays too wet for too long, and it can take hold of weaker, less healthy tress more quickly. The best way to lower your risk of root rot is to manage the excessive soil moisture by creating appropriate drainage, but if one or more of your plants do develop root rot, it can often be treated with specific fungicides.

Powdery Mildew

We’ve all seen mildew on a shower curtain or a forgotten piece of damp fabric, and powdery mildew has a similar appearance. It causes your plant’s leaves to develop scattered gray spots, and it can be spread rather easily when the spores become airborne. Like root rot, powdery mildew is really a category of diseases, with different forms of powdery mildew being caused by different varieties of similar fungi. Unfortunately for Georgia, humidity makes this disease far more likely. You can take preventative steps in your lawn by increasing air flow through your plants to reduce humidity (such as by pruning selectively or by spacing plants out farther). If you do notice the telltale gray spots on your plants, the infection can often be treated with professional fungicide treatments for lawns.

Botrytis Blight

The symptoms of botrytis blight can look similar to those of other tree diseases – spots on leaves and flowers, cankers on stems, crown rot, and wilting, as well as lumps of fuzzy, brown/gray spores with thin black stalks. Caused by a certain type of fungus, botrytis blight spreads through the air and the water, as well as on insects, so it can be rather difficult to control. You can limit your plants’ risk for botrytis blight by improving the air flow to reduce humidity, and by using preventative fungicides when moist, humid, cool, and cloudy weather conditions raise the risk for infection.

Fireblight

While many of the other tree diseases are caused by fungi, fireblight is caused by a specific strain of bacteria, and it affects members of the Rosaceae family, like pear trees, crabapple trees, and their relatives. The primary sign of fireblight (and the reason it gets its name) is an almost burned appearance at the end of branches and twigs. In some cases, the branches may bend in a hook-like shape. Fireblight spreads most during warm, wet weather, so it’s most common between April and June. If you think your plants are infected, prune out the infected branches about 6 inches below the damage, disinfecting your shears between each cut. Steer clear of fertilizer with too much nitrogen in the summer as well.

When you set up or revitalize your landscape, you put a lot of work, time, and money into building the perfect arrangement of trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants. Any of the diseases above (and many more) can jeopardize everything you’ve invested into your landscape. When it comes to tree diseases, prevention is the #1 goal, and whether you still have a healthy lawn or you’re fighting an existing infestation, our lawn care professionals at Turf Shield are happy to help. To get started, schedule a consultation with Turf Shield lawn care professionals, and be sure to follow us on social media as well for more lawn care tips.