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.

How to Prevent and Control Crabgrass

How to Prevent and Control CrabgrassCrabgrass has long been one of the most common and pesky lawn weeds around. Although crabgrass is considered a summertime problem, it is an annual weed that completes its lifecycle over the course of a full year. It starts as a seed before sprouting in late spring when the soil temperatures begin to rise. As it grows taller and stronger, crabgrass will produce and distributes seeds. When summer ends and cooler weather returns, the plant itself may die, but the seeds remain, waiting for next spring so they can take over your lawn again. This is why the fall season is the perfect time to treat your lawn for crabgrass. Follow these helpful tips to help control your weed situation and prevent crabgrass before it becomes a problem.

Try to Keep Your Grass Healthy and Thick

Crabgrass can be an opportunistic weed. It preys on thin, dry patches of lawn that pop up during the long, hot summer months. If your lawn is especially dry, the crabgrass can completely take it over in just a few months. That’s why we recommend keeping your lawn healthy and thick throughout the summer. This means regular watering to make sure the soil stays moist.

Try Pre-Emergent Weed Control

Pre-emergent weed control is also highly recommended. It’s best to start applying your pre-emergent treatment before the weather begins to heat up again. Take note of your yard and remember which areas are more susceptible to crabgrass and other weeds. Then focus on those specific areas to keep the crabgrass from gaining a foothold as the growing season nears.

Use Mulch on Your Lawn

Healthy soil is just as important as healthy grass in the fight against crabgrass. Once you remove a patch of crabgrass from your lawn, try laying down some mulch in that area. This can help prevent the remaining crabgrass seeds from germinating and spawning new weeds. Even if your lawn does not have a history with crabgrass, applying a light layer of mulch can still be beneficial. However, it’s important not to use too much, as this can cause your grass to become compacted and affect its ability to grow properly.

Whether you are currently battling crabgrass or not, a bit of cautionary preparation can go a long way towards avoiding this annoying weed before it becomes a headache. If you’re still unsure of how to go about protecting and treating your lawn, you can always call the experienced lawn care professionals at Turf Shield. For more information on weed control 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.

Weed Control Tips from the Pros at Turf Shield

Weed Control Tips from the Pros at Turf ShieldWeeds have long been one of the natural enemies of any homeowner trying to maintain a healthy green lawn. By competing with healthy grass for moisture, nutrients, light, and space, weeds can throw any lawn into disarray. While certain herbicides can help, no single product will be able to keep your lawn completely weed-free.

Proper weed control takes time, effort, and knowhow. Completely ridding your yard of weeds may not be entirely possible. After all, weeds are as tenacious as they are annoying. But you can thwart them by growing a thick, healthy lawn that doesn’t give weeds the space they need to take root. Check out the following tips for how to keep your grass lush and green this summer by keeping the weeds out.

Regularly Inspect your Lawn for Weeds

The first step in any weed control plan should be regularly inspecting your lawn for weeds. It’s best to spot them when they begin to pop up instead of when they have already taken hold of your yard. Make time to look around the yard and keep tabs on what’s going on. Look out for signs of potential trouble like browning or thinning grass. One of the best times to inspect your lawn for weeds is when you are mowing the grass.

Hand Pulling

If you are already dealing with weeds in your lawn, pull them out by hand is still the most tried and true method for weed removal. Focus first on pulling out the weeds that are setting seed if you do not have time to pull them all. One of the key strategies in the war on weeds (or any other meddlesome plant life) is not allowing them to reproduce and spread. Additionally, wet weeds will be easier to remove by hand, so wait until after the next rain shower or use a sprinkler before you begin. When hand pulling, be aware of potentially poisonous weeds.

Mow Your Lawn a Bit Higher

Mowing your lawn too low can weaken your grass by reducing its ability to produce enough nutrients. It also allows sunlight to reach the soil surface, which can help crabgrass and other weeds begin to sprout and grow. Though the ideal lawn height can depend on your specific type of grass, between 2 and 4 inches is typically recommended.

Fertilize Just the Right Amount

A good fertilization program can help keep your lawn dense to keep most weeds out. But it’s important not to use too much. In addition to wasting your money, over-fertilizing can actually increase the chances of runoff. Additionally, using too little can lead to a thinner, sparser lawn that allows weeds the space and sunlight they need to thrive. We recommend getting a soil test to help determine the right amount of fertilizer for your lawn.

Though there is certainly much more to know, we hope these beginning steps will help you get the jump on any weeds that you may come across in your yard this summer. If you’re still unsure of how to best protect your home and lawn, you can always call the lawn care professionals at Turf Shield. We offer a wide array of lawn care services that we tailor to the unique needs of all of our customers to keep their lawns healthy, strong and looking great. For more information, please contact Turf Shield today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more lawn care tips, news and updates.

Summer Lawn Mowing Tips from the Pros at Turf Shield

Summer Lawn Mowing Tips from the Pros at Turf ShieldEverybody loves summertime. Summer brings warm weather and plenty of time to relax and enjoy our favorite outdoor activities. While we may love the summer weather ourselves, the long, hot summer can be punishing on our lawns. That’s why this time of year, your lawn may require extra care and attention. Still, even if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, many homeowners may not know just what their lawn needs in order to keep their grass green and healthy throughout the summer months.

That’s why the lawn care experts at Turf Shield are here to provide a few lawn mowing tips that can assist homeowners trying to keep their lawns healthy through the hot Georgia summer.

Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short

One of the most common mistakes people make this time of year is cutting their lawn too short. Your grass is alive and needs to breathe. If it is cut too short, your grass’ ability to produce energy for growth can be limited. When the grass is cut at a proper height, it will develop stronger roots. This in turn will lead to a lawn that is healthier and more able to handle the stress of the summer heat. Remember that different types of grass have different growth habits that you should keep in mind when planning your summer mowing routine.

Don’t Forget the “One-Third” Rule

So now that you understand the importance of grass height, it’s time to determine a specific height at which to mow your lawn. As a general principle, we recommend sticking to the “one-third” rule: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. Since less plant tissue is removed during your mowing, your lawn will have an easier time keeping itself cool.

Make Sure to Keep Mower Blades Sharp

Much like the razor you use to shave, the sharper your lawn mower blade, the better your results will be. When a lawn is cut with a sharp mower blade, the grass will heal faster than if it was cut with a dull blade. Dull blades can actually tear the plant tissue instead of properly cutting it, leading to a brownish appearance and a lawn that is more vulnerable to stress and disease. Keeping your mower blades sharp can prevent your lawn from browning and protect your grass from further harm.

These tips can help protect your lawn from the intense summer heat, but the truth is that the best way to maintain a healthy lawn through the summer is to take care of it year-round. Your lawn will handle the summer more easily if it is kept in a state of good health throughout the year. This means keeping up with your mowing, as well as proper fertilization, watering, and pest control. These elements combine to help produce a consistently healthy lawn that will be more than ready when next summer rolls around. For more summer lawn care information, please contact the experts at Turf Shield today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more lawn care tips and updates.

How to Properly Budget your Landscaping

How to Properly Budget your LandscapingLandscaping can be a great way to improve the value of your property and make your home look great. Like any home-improvement task, a landscaping project requires planning. And there is perhaps no more important aspect to your plan than a practical, realistic budget. Creating a budget is a great way to gauge the scope of your project and help prioritize what is most important. By focusing on the areas you use most or require the most immediate attention, you will certainly get the most bang for your buck.

To help you get the most out of your hard work, we are happy to provide some tips for developing a landscaping budget for your projects:

Set Clear Priorities

Before you begin any project, you must identify what you want do to as well as what is most urgent for your property. For instance, it doesn’t make much sense to splurge for a new patio when there are more pressing issues to attend to such as treating diseased trees or addressing drainage problems. There is a chance you may only be able to afford one of the other, so it pays to know what is needed so you can choose your priorities in advance.

Take Full Advantage of What You Have

You should always make a full inventory of what you already have on-hand. It may come as a surprise how many useful items are hiding in plain sight around your property. Sometimes instead of replacing plants, simply relocating, pruning, weeding, or sprucing them up with mulch can help turn them from an afterthought to an asset.

Think Long-Term

We recommend focusing on “maximum value” areas. These are the areas of your home or yard that will help provide the best return on your investment. Take a minute to think about long-term considerations like how long you plan to live in the home and what the long-term maintenance costs may be. Does it make more sense to break your project up into phases over time? Sometimes spending a little bit more now can be extremely valuable later on.

For many people, the best way to maximize their budget is to hire a professional lawn care service like Turf Shield. By letting the professionals handle the landscaping, you may develop a better understanding of how to most efficiently budget your project and avoid costly mistakes along the way. For more information on our entire line of lawn care services and how we can help you with your landscaping project, contact Turf Shield today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more lawn care tips and updates.

Now is the Time to Protect Your Lawn from Insects

Now is the Time to Protect Your Lawn from InsectsNow that winter is behind us, it’s time to get serious about your lawn care for the new year. After winter, especially a mild winter like we just had here in Atlanta, pesky insects can begin to rear their heads earlier than usual. Since most insects hibernate through the winter, they enter spring hungry and on the pursuit of food (usually in the form of your lawn and shrubs). A mild winter only wakes them up sooner. That’s why it’s so important to treat your yard for lawn pests earlier than usual to help protect your grass, as well as your family and pets, from infestations down the road.

Though garden insects are never popular, they aren’t all bad for the health of your lawn. In fact, some insects can even be beneficial for your yard. For example, ground beetles can help the health of a lawn or garden by feeding on soil-dwelling pests, like maggots and cutworms. However, other lawn insects can damage your landscape and require extermination. It’s important to know which insects are the harmful ones that you should be looking out for.

The following insects can negatively affect your lawn if not properly treated:

  • Aphids
  • Fire Ants
  • Caterpillars
  • Leaf Miners
  • Spider Mites
  • Centipedes
  • Chiggers
  • Mosquitoes
  • Ticks
  • Japanese Beetles

The sooner you begin treating your lawn for insects the better. Acting now to kill early-invading bugs can provide the head start needed to fully protect your lawn and property as the spring makes way for summer and the weather begins to really heat up. Regardless of how you plan to treat your lawn, organically or with chemicals, make sure to follow the label directions carefully to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety. You can always call on the experts at Turf Shield for assistance. Contact Turf Shield today to discuss how we can help treat your lawn for even the most vicious of lawn pests. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more lawn care tips and updates.