Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Aeration

April 01, 2018

Aeration is a vital step in lawn care especially in the early spring.  Root growth is stimulated and accelerated at this time of year. From April to June the roots are begging for oxygen and nutrients and that is where aeration is key. Most properties in the front range are heavy clay soils which means low-oxygen soils. Aeration is important in clay soils and heavily compacted areas with heavy foot traffic or machine traffic such as commercial lawn mowers. DO NOT remove the plugs after aeration. Leave them to dry in the sun and let your mower blades mulch them back into the soil.


Power Raking: This practice is NOT recommended.  Power raking actually tears new root growth out of the soil. If you are looking to remove the dead growth from your lawn, simply set your mower deck to it's lowest height setting for your first cut of the season and that will remove most of the old growth. 

How aeration works:  This practice uses a core removal piece of equipment which takes a 1" to 3" plug or "core" from the soil. This allows for new root stimulation by allowing the fertilizer, oxygen and water to seep into these holes. 

Healthy Lawns require proper watering, fertilization, natural sun or shade and aeration. By aerating the soil, the root system will continue to move further into the soil for a healthier and more established lawn. A healthy lawn will help prevent weeds and disease. Follow these techniques and you will see a GREENER pasture.

Healthy lawn watering practices

June 14, 2018

When to water:  The best time to water is between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Morning watering allows for drainage into the soil prior to the evaporation of water when irrigating between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. when the sun is the hottest. Sitting water on your lawn and grass blades during the afternoon can cause burning and damage. Avoid watering at night as the water will not evaporate and sitting water on the soil with no sunlight will cause root damage such as root rot. Most lawns will need around 1" of water or 30 minutes per your irrigation controller 3 to 4 days a week during the growing season. 


Signs of dry spots: When a lawn is not being watered properly there are a few simple ways to detect this. 

Step 1: Watch for brown spots or soil patches in the lawn. This can be from a plugged nozzle in your sprinkler head, a rotor head not spinning or rotating properly, broken heads, a cut wire from the valve, a valve solenoid not working or simply not having the proper nozzle in the head.

Step 2: Solid or hard surfaces. If you see a brown patch in the lawn, simply look at the patch and if you can identify that there is soil visible you may not be getting water to that area. Take a screwdriver and attempt to plunge it into the soil. Areas around it should be moist and will allow the tool to puncture the soil to around 3"-4" into the earth. If the screwdriver cannot be pushed into the soil with ease it has not been getting water.

Step 3: Checking your irrigation controller. By now you know you have a problem. The question is "what do I do about this issue and who do I call to fix it"? A properly trained irrigation contractor can help with this issue. There are a few key items to check prior to calling your irrigation contractor. Here are a few steps to follow. 1: check that your irrigation controller has power. Most have a battery backup. If you do not see it lit up there is no power. For older systems that have a turn dial, simply turn the controller to manual and try to turn the zone 1 timer to the clockwise direction. If it does not turn automatically you have an issue. 2: If the controller has power, turn it to manual and turn on each zone and watch the heads water. Do you have water to the dry spot? If not then remove the nozzle at the top of the pop up spray head by turning the top of the spout counter clockwise. You should see a plastic filter. Check that for sediment. It can be cleaned by running water through it until the sediment is removed. If you have too much iron in the water it will appear brown. It's time to replace the filter. Step 3: If the system does not allow you to use the controller, go to the green valve box in your lawn. Each zone has a valve with a solenoid on the top. By twisting this counter clockwise the water to an individual zone should turn on. Each valve has two wires. One is the common/power and the other is color coded to the controller. If there is a wire cut or the wire caps have come apart it will not transmit to the controller. If you turn the solenoid and no water comes out than it is time to call that contractor.

Fertilization

August 19, 2018

When is the best time to fertilize my lawn?

The front range and most areas in mid and northern Colorado are cool season grasses which tolerate our winters and summers. Here is a simple format and program that we recommend.

Budget friendly

Application 1: Late March through early April after the winter snow storms have passed.

Application 2: Mid to late May

Keeping up with the Jones'

Application 1: Late March through early April after the winter snow storms have passed.

Application 2: Mid to late May when the temperatures are consistently over 55 degrees.

Application 3: Mid October through early November before temperatures decrease consistently.

Health NUT!

This program is a 5 step year around application process. Follow these 5 steps for a greener and healthier lawn.

Early Spring: Fertilizer with pre-emergent.

Late Spring: Fertilizer with pre-emergent, include granular insect control.

Summer: Slow release fertilizer with micro nutrients, granular weed and insect control.

Late Summer: Fertilizer, weed control and granular insect control.

Fall: Granular fertilization and weed control.


Winter to Early Spring Watering Practices

December 12, 2018

One of the most frequently asked questions is "how do I care for my grass, plants and trees throughout the winter months"? Winter watering is very important especially for newly planted "green" material. CAUTION: when our area does not get precipitation for extended days or weeks your plants, trees and grass NEED water. DO NOT activate your irrigation system during the winter. This will cause potentially severe damage if not winterized before a major freeze. When we have little to no moisture and days or weeks with 50 and 60 degree temperatures your living plant life and greenery are begging for water. It is advised throughout these months to hand water for 5 to 10 minutes. This should provide enough water in these times of need through those hot weeks of full sun. Watering in these dry conditions will help mitigate the turf mite damage to your lawn. Remember that if your area faces the south and or west or has a major slope you will potentially need to water more frequently.