4 Tips for Saving Time and Money on Routine Lawn Care

4 Tips for Saving Time and Money on Routine Lawn CareHere at Turf Shield, we offer customized lawn treatment programs that are tailored to the unique needs of our customers’ lawns, with a whole array of lawn care services ranging from simple lawn treatment to aeration, over-seeding, and even fire ant control.  However, keeping any lawn looking its best can often be a full time job.  Even though we can offer the best advice and support available, there are still a number of routine lawn care duties that remain the responsibility of the homeowner.  Unfortunately, even routine tasks like regular watering and mowing can be both expensive and time-consuming.  Here are four great tips for saving time and money on routine lawn care:

Plan Ahead

If you are starting from scratch and have a chance to plant a lawn yourself, look for a slow-growth, drought-resistant grass species that can save you water, fertilizer, and time in the long run. In the southeastern part of the United States, this is usually a Zoysia (if you get a lot of sun) but we have several experts who can answer your questions and help you find the specific species that are right for your climate, soil, and lifestyle.

Water Wisely

An established lawn needs about 1 to 1.5  inches of water per week in the growing season, and although it may seem sensible to give the lawn a little bit each day, that is actually not the case.  Light, daily watering encourages shallow root systems, so instead try to water thoroughly only once or twice every week.  Watering is most effective if it is done in the early morning or late evening, when evaporation rates are low and more water can be absorbed into the soil.  Finally, don’t be afraid to let the grass turn a little brown during dry spells, as most species can easily go as long as a month without water.

Don’t Bag – Mulch

Grass clippings created while mowing your lawn are a free source of slow-release fertilizer, so let the mower discharge the clippings back onto your grass rather than bagging them.  Not only does this save on total mowing time, but it also can cut fertilizer costs by up to thirty percent.  The only time that you may need to bag your lawn clippings is when your lawn is having a disease breakout, which is often signaled by irregular brown patches or rings in the lawn.

Maintain Your Mower

Sharp lawn-mower blades cut cleaner and faster, which means you can achieve a better looking lawn with less time and effort.  Moreover, when the blades on your lawn mower are dull they can stress the grass, making it more susceptible to disease.  We recommend sharpening and balancing your mower blades 1 to 2 times over the course of the growing season.  When this simple practice is combined with some basic engine maintenance it can reduce your fuel costs by as much as twenty-five percent.

The best looking, longest-lasting lawns are the result of a strong team effort where we have an opportunity to work closely with the homeowner to achieve the best possible results.  If you are interested in any of the services we offer, including lawn treatment, tree and shrub maintenance, aeration and over seeding, or fire ant control, please contact Turf Shield to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Twitter or Facebook to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.

4 Steps to Proper Spring Fertilization

With the dark winter months finally behind us, it’s once again time for spring grasses to burst back to life, hungry and ready to be fed.  Early season lawn care is one of the secrets to getting your grass back into tip-top shape for warm-weather barbeques and backyard parties.  At Turf Shield, our team is committed to helping you maintain the health and beauty of your lawn, and so here are some helpful bits of advice to keep in mind when planning your spring fertilization.

4 Steps to Proper Spring FertilizationChoose the Right Fertilizer

When you purchase fertilizer, you’ll notice three numbers on the label.  These numbers represent the percentages of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium (respectively) that are present in the mix.  A 20-5-10 mixture is a good basic mix for your first application in the spring, although every lawn is different and our lawn care specialists can suggest customized lawn treatment packages to address your lawn’s individual needs.

Control Your Nitrogen Levels

The most nitrogen you need on a lawn is one-tenth of a pound per week; grass can’t get any greener than that and, if you use more, you’re only going to have to mow more often.  Slow-release granules break down slowly over a long period of time, and so need to be applied less often.  Moreover, they are also generally very easy to apply accurately.  Liquid spray fertilizers, on the other hand, can achieve impressive results quickly, but it often can be difficult for a nonprofessional to get a smooth and consistent application across an entire lawn.

Get the Timing Right

Ideally, you should give your lawn its first fertilizer treatment of the year in the spring when the soil temperature reaches about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  In most parts of the country, this will be around mid-April, when lilacs begin to blossom and the grass starts growing once again.  Provide a second feeding about four weeks later, in early to mid-May, and then every six to eight weeks thereafter.  Our team can provide a variety of regularly scheduled lawn care services to help you keep up with the maintenance.

Don’t Forget to Water

Contrary to what some people think, the more you water your lawn, the more fertilizer it needs.  Before you fertilize, check your local weather forecast. Plan to fertilize just before a day of light, steady rain. You’ll save water and your grass will be well-fed.  Remember that as the grass grows, it uses more water and more nutrients, so if you have a sprinkler system or it is raining often you’ll need to fertilize more frequently, while in drier conditions less fertilization may be necessary.  Our specialists can work with you to determine exactly what schedule will work best for you.

A healthy lawn gives your family a safe and beautiful place to play, while providing the perfect natural frame for your home and life and a professional lawn program can provide the nutrients and protection that a healthy lawn requires.   If you are interested in any of the services we offer, including lawn treatment, tree and shrub maintenance, aeration and over seeding, or fire ant control, please contact us to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.