Growing grass in the shade is problem for which there are no easy answers. Grass is a full-sun plant and when planted in shaded areas (defined as a site that receives less than 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight daily) it performs poorly. The filtering effect of trees significantly reduces the amount and quality of light grasses receive. This has an adverse effect on photosynthesis, the process that produces energy needed for the grasses to grow. What we see from this effect are grasses that are thin, weak, and have a lower tolerance to disease, drought and wear stress. Continue reading
Nothing signals springtime quite like the smell of fresh cut grass wafting through the neighborhood. With warmer weather on the way, your annual lawn duties begin. Of those tasks, mowing at the right height can have a big impact on the overall health of your turf and future weed problems. Continue reading
Yes, there is a reason why we should all be composting. According to the EPA, 30-40% of all available food in the US is wasted. Over one fifth of discarded material in landfills is believed to be food. Sadly, the third largest human related methane emission is from landfills. Continue reading
Cold weather has hit but are you done with your mower. Learn what you need to do to have it ready for next season. taking care of a few things now will save you time, money, and frustration in the spring. Continue reading
Every summer, it seems, our fescue lawns suffer with a multitude of ugly brown areas. Often, the areas start small, multiply, and by the end of the summer, have taken over the entire lawn. Most often, the brown areas are associated with some type of fungus that caused disease. Continue reading
Looking at my lawn and landscape this week, the grass and most shrubs are green and healthy but, I realize that soon, warmer weather will be here bringing with it insect and disease. Good cultural practices will help minimize damage but when our plants are struggling, often our first thought is to feed it. It makes sense; when I am feeling ill, brownies always helps me. Continue reading
Yellow nutsedge is very difficult to control and sticks out like a sore thumb in well maintained turf areas. It is not a broadleaf weed or a grassy weed, but a sedge, and requires specific control measures. Continue reading
Priorities for spring should be–#1 weed control, #2 mowing, #3 watering, #4 aerating, #5 insect control, and #6 fertilizing.
Spring is the perfect time for crabgrass and other weed controls. Please read instructions carefully on your choice of weed control. To legally use and lawn chemicals, you must follow all directions on the bag. The chemicals work at certain concentrations, so a little more only allows a chemical to run off desired treatment area & pollution occurs. For actively growing weeds, it is especially critical that you apply when there is moisture on the plants for broad leaf control. Chemicals must stick to leaves to be effective. This is easiest to achieve by applying in early morning when there is a heavy coat of dew. If the grass is not wet, you have most likely wasted your time and money. Continue reading
Many Kentucky lawns can go for a number of years without applications of phosphorous and potash, or even lime. But it is not unusual for a homeowner to apply these amendments annually. A good practice is to find out what is actually needed for good lawn quality in the upcoming months. By testing the soil before deciding to add any of these, gardeners’ dollars can be saved. It is important to keep in mind that application of nutrients when none are needed is hard on the wallet as well as the environment, in the form of both the products applied and the fuel required to spread amendments.
In Kentucky, we often struggle with quality lawns for many reasons. Cool season grasses do not perform well with a hot summer and warm season grasses are not as pleasing during the cooler months when they are dormant. Good overall maintenance practices play a critical part in our success. Aerifying and dethatching could be important to your specific lawn needs. Continue reading