The Ultimate Guide To Lawn Care: Everything You Need To Know About Green Turf Care
Did you know that there are more than 10,000 different species of grasses around the world? Grass plants are used extensively and throughout the globe for many different reasons. Each one of these grasses is diverse in its own way and there are many breeds of the grass family that are utilized in horticulture for aesthetic and functional reasons. However, perhaps the most extensive managed use of grasses today is attributed to the areas called ‘lawns’.
So, it is safe to say that lawn care is not anymore a privilege – it is a common need. The lawn is a very prominent and important part of the home landscape. Aside from its attractive looks, having a functional lawn will give you a lot of other benefits. For instance, it will improve the air quality around your home, trap the dust, reduce the noise and work like a natural air conditioner that cools down your property in the summer and warms the ground in the winter. This is why Americans spend billions of dollars every season on lawn care services in order to maintain their lawns.
Even though you think that maintaining green turf is easy, that is far from true. We are not saying that every household needs lawn care services – but it’s a fact that professional lawn care can help you make the most of your lawn and give you loads of extra time.
So, How Do You Start With Professional Lawn Care?
It doesn’t matter if you are professional or amateur when it comes to lawn care services. Everyone can mow a lawn and even though you will find a lot of answers for ‘lawn mowing services near me’ on Google, you can still buy a mower and get your lawn properly mowed, right?
The idea is that your green turf is something that you should see as special and something that you should plan ahead. All the work you put into the site preparation will eventually pay off in a healthy lawn and green turf that works for your needs both aesthetically and functionally. So, once again, whether you search for ‘lawn care near me’ or decide to deal with your lawn yourself, there is no right or wrong way to start.
Still, we would like to go over some of the most important details on both of the choices.
Hiring A Lawn Care Service Or Doing It Yourself?
A lot of homeowners think that the only way to make most of their lawn mowing service is to do it themselves. They see it as too simple and something that is not worthy of outsourcing. However, in this DIY world, tackling lawn care on your own can also be a pain – which is why even more homeowners over the past decade have decided to use professional lawn care services that include a lawn mowing service, fertilization & weed control, aeration & seeding and every single detail to making the lawn healthy, beautiful and functional.
If you are asking the same questions, the truth is that there are pros and cons to both of the decisions.
Should I Do My Own Lawn Care?
If you decide to do your own lawn care, you will save money…which is great. However, you still need to buy some tools and equipment so the cost savings won’t be drastic from the start. What’s good is that doing your own lawn care service in general is great exercise. Most of the time, people work outside as part of their hobby. If you take pride in DIY work, you are probably thinking the same and would like to do it yourself.
The actual cons here are that there are too many hidden costs (equipment, tools, materials) and mediocre results, not to mention the time lost in (trying to) look after your lawn. In the very end, DIY lawn care is time consuming and you should know that.
Should I Hire Lawn Care Services?
There is no doubt that hiring a lawn care service comes at a cost, even if it’s only for a lawn mowing service. Still, lawn care services bring the best results and gives you maximum convenience. For many, this is enough for choosing professional landscaping turf services or even lawn mowing services. With a professional lawn service, you will also get solutions for all the tricky issues and get increased safety.
The only downside is the cost or the potential mistake of choosing a company that is not as great as you thought in the first place. Hiring the wrong lawn care professional can bring you headaches that you will drive you crazy.
Now that you know what you are getting from both of these choices, it is time to check out the most important things to look for when choosing a lawn maintenance professional – in order to always make the right decision.
What To Look For In A Lawn Care Professional?
At this point, you probably know the many reasons of hiring a lawn care company. Below, we will show you the main things that matter when choosing a green turf care professional. If you are set on paying someone for mowing your grass, doing a regular aeration service, eliminating creeping beggarweed, doing pest control and other things, then you reached the next snag – how to know if you are hiring a good company?
The answers below will let you find out.
The Internet has changed a lot of things in our lives. When it comes to professional turf care, it changed even more. Now, you can instantly read and review landscape companies to check out their reputations. Whether someone left a review or you have seen their actual work. Knowing that the lawn company does good work increases your curiosity. When you go online and do a simple search such as ‘best lawn care allentown’ you will find a list of lawn care companies servicing properties in Allentown.
In addition, the Internet can help you see if you are doing business with a shady company – or if they are well-known in the area. This is a great research method to find reputable companies and one that is effective in weeding out the unreliable or expensive ones right from the start.
2.License and insurance
Whether it’s a mowing service or a landscaping turf service or a full-service lawn care company, every business nowadays should be insured and licensed. Still, there are companies that pay under the table for lawn care and get the most for themselves even though they don’t match the criteria for being a reputable business.
The thing that matters here is the license and insurance. If a business is licensed, you will know that they have dedicated their life’s work to being professional. Ultimately, it will help you find lawn care services that are reliable and ones which insurance will cover any damage that may occur.
Every lawn care company should offer good customer service. In fact, treating the customers right seems to be a diamond in the rough nowadays. In times when it is tough to get a quote or a hassle to sign up, the best lawn services will offer free estimates and extra services all in order to grow their client base.
In addition to this, a reliable lawn care company is one that knows how to communicate with its clients. In most of the cases, email marketing is the best fit for this as well as social media, both of which are effective when it comes to technology and easily reachable through the popular digital media outlets.
4.Maintaining the equipment
Another good question that can weed out the low quality lawn services near you is the following.
“How often do you sharpen your blades?”
Even if it seems too simple to you, this question can spark frequent disparity between the average DIYer and a lawn care company. Professionals can tell the difference between grass cut with a dull and sharp blade and the best lawn care companies usually sharpen or change their blades every week. Still, this rule applies on everything and not only blades.
You’d be surprised to know that many homeowners contact lawn care providers because their last provider ‘suddenly’ disappeared. Reliability is a thing that matters nowadays, but not something that is practiced by every organization. Sometimes, companies simply don’t have the right operational capacity to expand – and they collapse.
This is why every single service provided by a lawn care company is important, whether it’s lawn maintenance, aeration service, treating creeping beggarweed or a landscaping turf service. A good company should be reliable and provide its users with a solid amount of information.
The Most Important Lawn Care Services You Should Expect From Your Green Turf Professional
Assuming that you have found a proper lawn care professional for your needs, the first thing you need to do is know what to expect. If you have used lawn services before, you may know what they include. However, that doesn’t solve the case here and you need a more detailed approach on each of them.
Planning Things Right From The Start
Basically, the first thing that almost every mowing company or lawn care professional will tell you is that the best time to prepare and plant a lawn is in late August or early September. This is the peak time when the weather cools and when more moisture is available. The grass seedlings are young, the heat stress is lower and there is also less competition from germinating weeds which makes the weed control service a lot easier.
A landscaping turf service may test your soil for nutrients and pH in order to determine whether lime or fertilizer should be added. If you are starting a lawn from scratch, you should ideally mix the amendments right into the soil and reduce the soil compaction (soil loosening) of approximately six inches.
Selecting The Proper Grass
It is very important to select the proper grass type for your site. There are several grass species that may be used for home lawns in Allentown and many other locations. Generally, doing a mixture is the best choice since species and varieties differ in their appearance, adaptation and their ability to tolerate diseases and insects.
You should also keep in mind that even the most shade tolerant varieties require a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight daily, while most of the grasses prefer at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. Kentucky bluegrasses are adapted to sunny conditions, a mixture containing 65% bluegrass, 15% perennial rye and 20% fescue seems to be the ideal recipe for a great lawn.
However, the type of grass is still mostly linked to your location which is why choosing a lawn care company is important for your lawn. A company that offers a weed control service, an aeration service, a lawn fertilizer service and everything right from the start is definitely one to trust.
Next up on the list is fertilization. As you probably know, soil fertility influences the lawn’s ability to resist pests. Pest control in Allentown is equally important to many locations throughout the US and is vital to success in lawn care.
As we mentioned above, soil testing is the first step in determining the fertilizer requirements of your lawn. While old and established lawns may not require as much attention to detail, starting a lawn from scratch definitely does. Here, it is important to evaluate the soil pH levels (acidity level) and maintain it at a range of 6 to 7. The good news is that there are many plant nutrients and beneficial microorganisms that are effective within this range.
Generally, Nitrogen (N) is needed in moderate amounts for a pest resistant lawn. If you want to know how to kill chickweed or make most of pest control, you should also prevent leaving grass clippings on the lawn and ensure that aside from Nitrogen, Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are present in adequate levels in your soil.
Your lawn should be fertilized in the fall as most of the root growth and food storage occurs at this time. However, you can’t find the time to apply an application call Green Turf Care to get a free lawn service quote.
As you can see, consistent service is one of the most important things when dealing with a professional lawn care service and an inevitable part of a healthy lawn.
(See Related: Our 6-Step Fertilization Program Covering Everything From A to Z)
If you ever typed ‘lawn cutting service near me’ on Google, you should expect to see a huge list of different lawn care companies.
Almost every lawn service company offers mowing as part of the standard lawn care services. The truth is, proper mowing is what discourages weeds and increases the resistance to some pests. More importantly, proper mowing is done at the correct height and frequency and affects the depth of the root system.
In other words, the shorter the mowing height is, the shallower the root system will be. A lawn with a shallow root system is more susceptible to drought injury and less tolerant of root feeding insects and root diseases than one that is well-rooted. While Kentucky bluegrass, perennial rye and tall fescue types are best mowed at 3 to 4 inches, tall fescue lawns should be mowed at 4 inches.
Proper mowing also means mowing at regular intervals, which is again why choosing a lawn professional matters. So, mowing is definitely important and something you should consider before typing ‘lawn service near me’ on Google and browsing through the list of providers.
An aeration service should be included in every lawn care plan and program. The truth is, core aeration helps in reducing soil compaction and possible thatch problems by improving the air penetration and the water infiltration in the soil. This can encourage dense rooting of the grass plants and healthy top growth. What every lawn professional would advise is that the best time to aerate is in September or October, just when the weather begins to change (cool) and the soil is moist.
Once your lawn is properly aerated, it is in the perfect position to benefit from the overseeding. During the overseeding process, you can spread the seed over the newly aerated lawn which will help to fill in the bald patches in your landscape and make your lawn fuller and healthier. This is one of the best tricks up the sleeves of professional lawn care companies and a strategy that is proven to revitalize lawns that need a bit more than just routine lawn maintenance.
(See Related: Our Professional Aeration & Seeding Program)
Your Green Turf Care (18062) expert will be your go to source when helping you with watering your lawn. Green Turf can easily be reached at 484-452-3595. Most of the mature cool season grasses have the capability to survive extreme drought conditions when going into summer dormancy. However, lack of watering may result in extensive injury from insects and diseases all while encouraging weed invasion.
On the other hand, too much water applied at the wrong time could also do harm for your lawn maintenance – even more harm than expected. A healthy lawn survives the summer as long as it gets one-quarter inch of rainfall weekly. However, if there is no rainfall, you should expect to do proper watering. If you have questions about this important lawn task, contact your local lawn care expert.
Lawn fertilization and weed control services are something that goes together. It is one of the most important services offered by a lawn care professional. Now, the best form of weed management is prevention. Basically, every experienced lawn care service should know how to prevent and kill chickweed, when to fertilize, how to mow according to the grass type, and how to aerate etc.
In other words, lawns that are damaged or weak are more prone to weed encroachment. This is why you should follow cultural programs and hire a weed control service that results in a healthy and vigorous lawn. Lawns that are healthy will fight against diseases, insects as well as environmental stress. According to research, access to nitrogen and proper mowing is also important for proper pest management.
(Learn More About Our Award-Winning Insect Control Program)
As you can see, pest control in Allentown should be a mix of each one of the services mentioned above. The best way to find lawn care services online is to call them and ask what they actually do for pest management, weed management, disease management and insect management.
So, the right fertilization and weed control program, proper mowing, weed control and watering are all important for maintaining a lawn. By being aware of these things, you should have a nice, green, weed free lawn.
A Lawn Care Calendar Of The Activities And Things To Do Every Season
The sensation of stepping onto a freshly mowed lawn takes a lot of preparation, prevention and control. Ideally, every homeowner should know lawn care by the month and know what happens each month and each season for a lush green grass that is in the perfect condition every spring and summer. The chart below is not applicable for every section of the United States. Turf Company has outlined a simple chart to get you started. If you live in Eastern PA, some of the steps presented are not applicable to the region.
Early Spring – Time To Tune Up And Sharpen The Blades
You probably know that everything goes smoothly and there are better results with proper preparation. Well, spring is the best time to prepare your lawn and the time when a lot of professional lawn care companies in Pennsylvania are preparing and getting ready for the lawn-growing and mowing season.
This is why early spring is the best time to sharpen the mower blades and ensure clean cuts. As you know, a dull blade tears the grass and may leave jagged edges that discolor the lawn and invite pathogens.
On top of that, tuning up your mower with a new spark plug, buying fresh gas and cleaning up your lawn (like twigs and leaves) from debris accumulation over the winter season.
Spring – The Perfect Time For Fertilizing Your Lawn
If you haven’t hired a lawn service in the early spring, perhaps spring is the best time to do that. Choosing a professional lawn care provider in springtime will help you make most of lawn fertilization and weed control.
Using a lawn fertilizer service will help you boost the growth of your grass. For the best results, you should also properly aerate your grass and use pre-emergent herbicides to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from taking root in your lawn.
Early Summer – Let The Grass Cutting Begin
Whether you are living in Macungie, Allentown, Emmaus, Breinigsville or Bethlehem, early summer is the time when the grass begins to grow – and the right time for cutting it. To keep your grass at the healthiest, make sure to mow often enough so that you are removing no more than ⅓ of the grass blade.
What’s also important in the late summer days is to watch out for grubs and larvae which are the most active in late July through September. Also, the weeds that have escaped an herbicide application should be properly confronted – with an effective weed control service.
Early summer is also a period when weeds come out and when you should not allow them to rob your lawn of its beauty. Dandelions, oxalis, crabgrass, white clover, nutsedges, creeping charlie, plantains, purslanes, wild violets, and many other types are popular in Eastern, PA. It is important to deal with them before it’s too late because they could colonize your entire lawn.
Summer – Mowing And Watering On Repeat
Summer is the grass-mowing season where the taller your grass is, the deeper its roots are. The fewer the weeds are, the more moisture your soil holds between each watering session. Having all of this in mind, the best way to make most of lawn services is to get regular mowing and deep root watering.
Whether you decide to mow and water your grass yourself or use a grass cutting service in Pennsylvania, you should know that summer is time where lawns are dormant which is okay since they are still active. However, dormant lawns should still receive at least 1 inch of water monthly.
A few tips to remember is to make sure to set up your sprinklers, scatter some pie tins around the yard to see how much water collects in the specific amount of time and clean underneath your mower to prevent spreading lawn diseases.
Early Fall – Time For Yearly Maintenance!
As soon as the hot and dry days of summer have made space for cooler temperatures, you should gear up for the early fall maintenance. The first things to do in early fall are to remove any dead grass, break up the soil compaction with a aerator, and overseed with premium grass seeds.
Early fall is also time when you should NOT forget about watering the area and keeping the new seed moist. For many homeowners, this is the best time to contact lawn care services and begin with aeration and over-seeding.
Fall And Winter – Keep It Clean And Tidy
Your lawn in fall and winter will get a lot of debris, rainfall and possibly snow. So, your job is to keep it free of leaves and debris. Whether you use a mulching mower to break up the leaves it is important to make sure the mower is not leaving clumps of debris behind. Mulching the lawn is a good way to give organic compost to the soil but it can also cause damage to the existing grass. Mulching the leaves is a good thing but just be aware that you are not leaving a thick, clumpy layer of leaves behind.
For the northern one-third of US, this is the best time to fertilize the lawn and make it receive all the nutrients on its roots before it goes dormant over the winter. Keep in mind, that a nice lawn compliments your Christmas decorations during the winter months. A nice lawn is the perfect setting to install your Christmas lighting and decorations.
Lawn Diseases And How To Control Them?
Knowing that each square foot of turf contains about 500 to 1,000 individual plants, there is no getting away from the fact that your lawn requires optimum amounts of water and fertilizer in order to be healthy. It also needs the right mowing, proper weed control, watering and an aerated and well-drained soil.
Some of the most popular lawn diseases in Pennsylvania and throughout the state include brown patch, dollar spot, fairy ring, gray snow mold, leaf smuts, melting out leaf spots, pink snow mold etc.
For a disease to occur, there must be three things present: a pathogen, an environment and a host. If all of these things are present, the disease will occur. However, if it’s only one or two of them present, there won’t be any infection unless the environment is conducive to disease development.
There are many common diseases that are active only under specific conditions and ones that will affect the lawn only for a short time. The truth is, plants do recover on their own if proper cultural practices are followed. However, if the lawn is in not being properly maintained, the results can be long-term damage to the lawn which could be impossible to recover from.
- Identifying The Problem
The first thing when it comes to lawn diseases is the cause of the lawn damage. In almost 90% of the cases, the damage is difficult to identify and the diseases are not always the primary cause. So, it is a good idea to inspect your lawn once a week and immediately identify problems and act quickly to determine the cause before it’s too late for that.
Most commonly, the diseases tend to start off as small patches or spots that eventually spread over time. If the damage is sudden, severe and widespread – there may be a lot of things (weeds, pathogens, insects) contributing to the problem. However, if it’s step by step, there is time to react and easily find the problem.
Almost all of the lawn diseases present nowadays happen as a result of pathogenic fungi that infects the blades, roots or stems of the turf plants. These diseases are often diagnosed by identifying some symptoms and signs which include leaf spots, powdery growth etc.
- Selecting A Suitable Lawn Grass
When a problem like a lawn disease occurs, it is safe to say that you should forget about your old grass and select a suitable grass as your next type. Now, all the types of turfgrass have positive and negative characteristics meaning that there is no perfect turfgrass suitable for all lawns.
The ideal type of grass that you choose for your lawn should be compatible with the climate, anticipated use and maintenance levels as well as your aesthetic desire. It should also have some resistance to the common diseases as the best case scenario.
Luckily, there are new and improved cultivars of lawn grasses in Pennsylvania that offer greater disease resistance as well as better texture, color and density. The best way to get such turf for your needs is to contact a professional lawn care company.
- Cultural Practices To Reduce Lawn Disease
The best way to prevent lawn diseases is to employ the best cultural practices that promote a lush and vigorous lawn. As a homeowner you might not know a lot about lawn diseases. It will be extra difficult to prevent and eliminate lawn diseases if you are not knowledgable about this topic. Turn to a local lawn care professional and ask for help.
Most homeowners are not aware that water can promote turf diseases. Improper wateriing promotes diseases and allows algae and moss to thrive. Also, you need to apply the correct amount of fertilizer in order to maintain a healthy and dense lawn. Ultimately, you should mow your lawn regularly and at the right height so that it is able to resist diseases in the long run.
Top 6 Lawn Care Trends To Watch Out For In 2018
As the last part of this guide, we are listing all the best trends for a full year of effective lawn care. As you will see, 2018 is already an exciting year for lawn care and a time when many homeowners will choose professional lawn care for their needs.
In a nutshell, 2018 is a year full of changing customer expectations and a growing online community that is now bigger than ever before and ready to shape what the industry will look like in the coming year.
Below are all the trends you need to know about.
1.The number of green lawn care companies will keep growing
Lawn care companies in the industry are increasing year by year. Not working for somebody else seems to be the best thing – and the lawn care business is a great industry because of the recurring and predictable income. However, more and more people are getting into the lawn business as ‘green businesses’ which means that they are using organic based products that results in greater awareness for lawn care.
2.The customer demographics and expectations are changing
Lawn care in 2018 is not anymore a trend – it is a reality. The demographics and expectations towards it are also changing and it seems that everyone can afford professional lawn care services. The result are lawns that are looking better than ever before and homeowners that are more satisfied and more informed about the importance of a healthy lawn.
3.Technology is helping lawn care
A great software can also find efficiencies in lawn care. After all, you don’t want your lawn to get a disease when all you hope for is a vigorous and lush grass in the spring, right? Well, technology can help in this manner too!
- Winning new clients is a matter of being responsive and building trust
As we already mentioned above in the content, the best lawn care companies in Pennsylvania are not the ones that are most experienced – but the ones that know how to build trust to their clients, how to focus on customer service and how to be always there for the needs of their customers. In 2018, this is something that is more important than ever before.
5, Battery powered equipment is improving
Battery power equipment in lawn care seems to be improving and there are many new products introduced over the past couple of years. This makes it easy to get rid of the petrol-based machinery or electric mowers and turn to battery power as an environmental choice and one that guarantees better results in terms of cost and efficiency.
So, Are You Ready To Make Most Of Your Lawn Care Needs?
Now that you know:
- What lawn care is
- What is the difference between professional and DIY lawn care
- What does professional lawn care include
- What are the most important aspects of lawn care
- What do you need to do every month to get the best looking lawn
- What are the best trends in lawn care for 2018
….and many other things….
…It’s time to think about your lawn and your lawn care needs. Have you got all that it takes to make your lawn the best looking one out there and impress your neighbors? Most importantly, to create the perfect gathering space for your friends and family and a functional area for your children?
If you are in need of professional lawn care services in Allentown, Macungie, Emmaus, Breinigsville, Bethlehem, Quakertown and the surrounding areas, let us introduce you to Green Turf Care – a leader in lawn care and the company you should pick to turn all your lawn care dreams to reality.
For more information or a FREE estimate on your lawn before the spring season comes, contact us via phone or email!
As a thank-you note, we’d like to give you 10% OFF on any of the services or plans that you choose by contacting us today!