Selecting and Using Fertilizers

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

Lawn Care Simplified

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

Winter Lawn Fertilization

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.

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When Thatch is a Problem

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

Mechanical Damage to Trees

We talk a lot about insects and diseases that can wreak havoc to our landscape trees, but many times people are a tree’s worst enemy – especially people wielding lawn mowers and weed trimmers. And while a slight bump from a mower’s frame or a quick zip of trimmer line around a tree trunk may seem insignificant, it can create an injury that leads to disease or death. Continue reading