Lawn problems are difficult to diagnose, and the diagnosis process can be quite complex. Remember that most turfgrass problems are caused by improper management practices, not by insects or diseases. Before you begin the diagnostic process, take a look at how you manage your lawn. You may be able to solve your problem by simply changing your cultural practices.
“Organic” is usually thought of as a good thing, but the organic thatch can become a problem, necessitating the dethatching of a lawn. Here is why.
Think of a lawn as having three levels:
- The grass blades, themselves: This is the level that you see. You will observe the results of your lawn care efforts at this level, but much of the “action” takes place at a lower level.
- The soil
- The layer of thatch between the grass blades and the soil
Having a green lawn starts with having good soil, in which the roots of your grass reside. An ideal soil is one that:
- Is kept evenly moist
- Has good aeration
- Has a pH level of about 6.5
- Enjoys sufficient nutrients
Almost without exception, lawn clippings should always be mulched back into the lawn. The benefits of mulching lawn clippings are too numerous and valuable to ignore. From providing nutrients for the soil to saving significant amounts of time and money, mulching the lawn clippings just makes sense. Similar to mulching leaves into the lawn in the fall, lawn clippings add valuable organic matter to the soil.
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A reader said he had heard of the practice of shredding leaves prior to using them as mulch but wondered about the reason behind it. Was it just to make it easier to dispose of the leaves, since, once shredded, the load would be more compact? Or was there some other benefit?READ MORE
I would like to grow some “barometer plants” to use as an early warning system for my garden. What plants are first to respond to frost, first to bolt and first to wilt? Is this a waste of time? It’s not a waste of time, but I’m not sure you’d have to invest in any particular variety. I would use half-hardy annuals that are sensitive to frost, such as cosmos lobeliaREAD MORE
What is it that you’re hoping to accomplish in landscaping your property line? Once you answer that over-arching question, many of the details will fall into place (with a little aid from the ideas I present here). As you’ll see from reading the information below, deciding on how to landscape a boundary largely comes down to sifting through your various options.READ MORE
All shade is not equal. Some shady conditions will yield much more produce than others will, while some areas are better left for hostas and moss. Gardeners should be familiar with the different types of shade, but should also keep in mind that measuring how much shade your garden gets isn’t always easy.READ MORE
The best weapon you have against this annual weed is crabgrass preemergence herbicide (also called crabgrass preventer). You apply this product in the spring before the crabgrass seed sprouts. This granular herbicide works by creating a chemical barrier at the surface of the soil. As the seeds begin germination, they take in the herbicide and die.READ MORE