Essential Fall Lawn Care Tips

Essential Fall Lawn Care TipsThe seasons are changing and autumn is nearly upon us. With summer all but gone and the end of the year rapidly approaching you’re probably not spending much time thinking about your lawn. However, fall is the perfect time to think about your lawn and prepare it for next year due to the mild conditions.

Fall is the time of year when your grass is absorbing energy, moisture and nutrients in preparation for a long, cold winter. Taking a few simple precautions now can pay off big time when next spring comes along in order for your lawn to look lush and green. We’ve provided some tips below on the lawn treatments and services that can help you maintain a healthy lawn through the fall and into the blustery winter months:

Mowing

The first step to preserving your lawn through the fall is to keep on mowing as if it was the spring. We also recommend lowering the height of your mower. Cutting your lawn slightly shorter in autumn can help prevent grass from matting down under the falling leaves. Lastly, consider using a mower with mulch features to spray grass clippings onto your yard. This can add nitrogen to the lawn.

Aerating

We’ve already schooled you on the importance of aeration year-round and the fall is no exception. Aeration will allow oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach the roots of your grass and be stored through the winter.

Fertilizing

Fertilizing your lawn in the fall, the time when your grass devotes most of its energy towards its roots, is definitely recommended. Grass itself grows much more slowly as the seasons change, but the grass roots continue to grow at their normal rate. Fertilizing in the fall can help deliver essential nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots now and to keep nutrients on reserve for a healthy start next spring.

Controlling Weeds

Weeds can grow out of control in the fall if you’re not paying attention. Weeds within your grass use the fall as a time to absorb energy and nutrients. They’re drinking in everything that comes their way, which makes them vulnerable to herbicide weed killers. Applying an herbicide now can rid your lawn of weeds through the fall and keep them away as spring rolls back around.

If you don’t feel comfortable aerating, fertilizing or maintaining your lawn, you should consider hiring a lawn care service provider. As always, you can contact the pros at Turf Shield with all of your lawn care needs. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for additional tips, stories & developments in the world of lawn maintenance.

Yard Killing Plants You Should Know About

Yard Killing Plants You Should Know AboutThis time of year we start to see yards shake off the last remnants of winter as flowers and plants burst into bloom. A nicely manicured lawn full of vivid bright colors, fluttering butterflies, and fragrant smells that fill the air – what’s not to love? At Turf Shield, our motto is “we make your lawn healthy and that makes you happy” because it’s a matter of pride and happiness in your home and a matter we don’t take lightly. For many gardeners, spring and summer are great times to be outdoors and spruce up the yard, whether tending to returning plants or adding new ones to the family. Before you pick just any plant to add, we want to share some of the top yard killing plants you should know about to help protect your yard and your investment.

There’s a term we like to use for plants that can be harmful when introduced to certain environments which are called invasive plants. Invasive plants are types of weed plants that are considered aggressive because they grow and spread, ultimately destroying or displacing other plants nearby. They aren’t ideal for your yard because they can get out of control and cause a lot of damage to your yard. Trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and flowers can all have invasive species and use their roots, seeds, shoots (and sometimes all three) to help them reproduce faster. Here are four common types of invasive plants that could require more than your average weed control:

  • English Ivy – Formally known as hedera helix, English Ivy may look pretty as it sprawls across lawns, traverses up the side of buildings and blooms with delicate flowers, but beware – these climbers can reach heights of 50’ or more and can be poisonous to you and your yard. Some homeowners may fancy English Ivy because of its great ability to cover walls, but the holdfasts (aerial root-like structures that help the ivy latch onto surfaces) can be extremely damaging to trees by blocking much needed sunlight, adding weight to the tree to cause instability, and even destroy the tree’s bark.
  • Forget-Me-Nots – This simple, yet elegant, little plant may look innocent, but it’s far from it. Fans of shady, moist areas, forget-me-nots grow extremely quickly and lack the sort of natural checks and balances that keep it from overtaking other plants in the yard and threaten their livelihood. Forget-me-nots can be an easily treatable plant but requires total removal of the root system or else new forget-me-nots will start to sprout just as quickly as they were removed; therefore, it would seem to be a fitting name because unless you stop them before they get out of control, they’re simply unforgettable.
  • Pachysandra –Also called Japanese spurge, Pachysandra provides year-round evergreen ground cover and even blooms sweet white flowers in early spring. Pachysandra can thrive in partial/full shade and is deer, rabbit, and drought-resistant, with the ability to cover the ground with its lush blanket within a few years. This seemingly low maintenance plant may seem ideal, but Pachysandra is one that can take over quickly, damage woodlands and streambeds, and be very stubborn to get rid of without the help of professional lawn care services.
  • Bindweed – Trying to eradicate this type of climbing vine is not something that you can do on your own in one go. This thread-like vine has a large, hardy root system and a tendency to wrap tightly around competing plants or latch onto other nearby upward items. Bindweed can silently creep into your yard unnoticed until it starts to bloom trumpet shaped white or pink flowers that resemble morning glory. Since its root system can get really deep, bindweed has the possibility of encroaching into a neighbor’s lawn and spreading to the farthest corners of your own yard. Hand-pulling this weed would take years, or even your entire life, to destroy them, and trying to uproot it with a hoe only helps spread the bindweed more.

If left to their own devices, it can take years to successfully get rid of invasive plants, not to mention lawn treatment for invasive plants can ultimately become quite costly. It is always a great thing when you’re able to save time and money on lawn care, but knowing what potential dangers could be lurking in your yard will ultimately help you stop a problem before it spreads. For more information on the services we offer, don’t hesitate to contact Turf Shield at 678-502-7589 today. We share the latest lawn maintenance and landscape tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, so stay connected with Turf Shield so you don’t miss out!