This Stuff Is So Easy, Even Olive Got An A+
Whether you’re a Michigan or Michigan State fan it’s hard to deny that MSU has one of our nations leading lawn & turf management programs. This is a great site to learn all about how to maintain a healthy lawn and detect diseases.
This is one of the sites that the pros use. MSU collects climate and weather data in order to help lawn professionals make educated decisions on when to apply fertilizers and pesticides.
This site is designed to help identify turf diseases. There is a tool inside the site that helps identify disease with helpful pictures. Simply check the appropriate boxes and you should be able to narrow down which disease your lawn could potentially have.
This site is specifically designed to help identify weeds. Simply click on the ID Tool, select whether you’re looking for a broadleaf weed or a grassy weed, then navigate through the pictures to identify the possible weeds in your lawn.
How Do I Reduce Weeds Without Chemicals?
proper mowing. When the grass is tall the weeds will not grow because they have no sunlight available
- Irrigation Systems are ideal to keep your lawn on a proper watering schedule
- Do not over water. Water 10-20 minutes per area every other day (depending on sunlight)
- In times of summer droughts or severe heat, water everyday and even a second time during mid evening in necessary
- Shaded areas don’t need to be watered as much as areas in direct sunlight
- Water early in the morning (6:00 am – 7:00 am)
- Watering at night can cause mushrooms and fungus diseases
- Watering in the middle of the day can be very wasteful through rapid evaporation from sunlight
What Is Crabgrass?
- Crabgrass is a summer annual that re-establishes from seed every spring.
- Crabgrass can be an indication of elevated soil temperatures caused from lack of water and heat stress.
- Crabgrass frequently dominates the area between the sidewalk and curb. This soil tends to not be of the best quality thanks to snow melting salts and dog walking. Extra heat builds in the soil from the concrete and blacktop. The edge of the driveway also releases heat which crabgrass likes to grow in while your lawn grasses do not.
- The best way to eliminate crabgrass is to prevent it. By getting a fertilizer with a pre-emergent crabgrass, you can save yourself a lot of work. While the chemicals will work, they have to be timed properly.
- Crabgrass germinates at different times every year. Typically we start to see it pop-up in June and stick around until October. Since we are not scientists, we utilize and trust GDD Tracker to measure soil temperatures and create graphs to allow professionals like us know when this invasive grass will show up.
- Crabgrass is most commonly mistaken for 2 grasses:
- Click Here to see what Crabgrass looks like
What Is Organic Fertilizer?
What Is A Grub?
Granular vs Liquid Fertilizer
Understanding Pesticides Such As Weed Control
- Mushrooms grow in your lawn from decaying wood or organic matter; usually from an old tree stump or old dying roots underground
- Mushroom grow best in wet weather
- You can simply kick over existing mushrooms
- You can also try jamming a long rod into the ground (where mushroom growth seems to be persistent) to try to physically break up the decaying matter. This may help with eliminating mushrooms by allowing air flow to penetrate the decaying matter
- Dog urine, especially female dogs, is high in nitrogen, salts, and other compounds that in too high of quantities can burn you lawn the same way liquid fertilizer can burn your lawn
- Highly acidic urine can also drastically change the PH levels in your soil causing constant problems in the affected area
- An application of gypsum or lime will bring the PH to a normal level
- Immediately after your dog urinates, use a garden hose to rinse off the area
- Consult your vet about your dogs diet
- Moss plants are an indicator that you currently have less than ideal conditions for growing grass. Some potential causes are:
- Low soil PH
- Lack of necessary nutrients
- Poor drainage
- Excessive shade
- A quick fix to get rid of moss is by mixing a solution of Ultra Dawn and Water. This is a safe way to kill the moss. Use 2-4 ounces of Ultra Dawn per gallon of water and apply to the affected area. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix and to keep the moss at bay you must address the underlying problem that is causing the moss in the 1st place. Usually eliminating excess shade by trimming trees and shrubs back will prevent future moss
- Grass seed germinates best at 60-80 F
- Seed needs to come in contact with the soil, raking away dead grass or applying fresh topsoil will help
- Aeration is a great service to have preformed before applying seed because it keeps the seed temperature stable, keeps in moisture and protects from environmental elements
- For new seeded areas, straw mat or hay can help retain moisture and stabilize temperature
- Watering is the most vital step while germinating seed
- The top 1/2 in of soil needs to stay moist (not soaked) at all times for a minimum of 2 weeks
- Typically watering 2 times a day for 30 mins is sufficient depending on the time of year and amount of sun a particular area receives
- Bentgrass can be caused from bird droppings that contain Bentgrass seeds or wind blowing seeds from one property to the next
- Downspouts and common flood/low lying areas spawn bentgrass too
- The best way to eliminate Bentgrass is to use a short lasting vegetation killer (not a season long killer) on the affected area. Then wait 7-10 days, dig out the turf, level with topsoil and reseed the area
- Grass bruising is typically caused when the turf is entering the early stages of heat/drought stress
- Tires, hoses, trash cans and even foot prints are among a wide range of things that can cause bruising
- It can often be mistaken for chemical burns to an untrained eye
- The weight from items on the lawn damages the integrity of the blade
- Even when this area is watered the blades will not green up
- The turf will grow out from the crown given 3-4 weeks with regular irrigation or rainfall
- Heat Stress (as seen in the images below) can be easily misdiagnosed as chemical burn to an untrained eye.
- Some Heat Stress could look patchy on some lawns compared to other lawns where it could cover the entire lawn.
- Lawn Bruising is another sign of heat stress. Tires, hoses, trash cans and even footprints are among a wide range of things that can cause bruising.
- So what can you do to protect your lawn?
- Daily watering is by far the most important thing you can do to protect your lawn. EVERY LAWN should be getting daily water at this point. The best times to water are 5-7am. Some areas of the lawn may need more water compared to other areas of the lawn. An additional short evening watering can help cool soil temperatures and reduce heat and drought stress.
- Proper Mowing is also very crucial to reduce heat stress and bruising. Setting the mower at the highest setting helps keep the lawn cool and helps choke out the weeds. Cutting the lawn short creates more stress for the already stressed lawn.