Tips

Want a healthier lawn?

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Why you should dial down your irrigation.

Did you know that the vast majority of lawns in Northern Utah are “cool season” grasses? This means that they thrive when temperatures are cooler and struggle more in the heat. That’s why our lawns green up quickly in the spring and slow down and stress when it’s hot. In July and August, it can be difficult to keep our lawns from going dormant or brown. To keep them from doing this, we feel we have to apply water fairly frequently.

To understand how to water efficiently for a healthier lawn, we need to understand how grass loses water.

How does grass lose water?

Water is lost from our lawns one of two ways. The first way is transpiration from the blades of grass. This is the process where water moves from the soil into the rest of the plant and into the atmosphere by small pores in the leaves. The second is evaporation from the soil. Evaporation can be minimized by letting your grass grow a little longer — two and a half to three inches is ideal. This shades the ground and keeps it cool, minimizing evaporation.

As most of our turf grass is cool season and easily stays green in lower temperatures, it takes significantly less amount of water to keep it green at those times. As temperatures begin to decrease, try increasing the amount of time between watering. Not only will this save water, but it will increase the depth of your roots and drought tolerance next summer.

Why increase the time between watering?

Many people feel anxious about increasing the amount of time in between watering. They worry their lawn will stress and turn yellow. Allowing lawn to stress a little bit is not a bad thing, as it forces the roots to dig deep into the soil to access water that is deeper down. Training your turf to have deeper roots in the fall and spring will help it be more drought tolerant through the summer when the heat is on.

Most plants like having their roots dry out a little in between watering and lawns are no exception. If you’re watering every day right now, try cutting back to every other day. Increase that to every third day as temperatures keep dropping through the fall. Come mid-September and October try watering only once a week.

The more efficiently we water our landscapes and the more water conservation becomes a part of our daily routine, the more we will have for our growing population without needing to develop expensive new sources of water. When everyone saves a little, we all save a lot.

 

by Weber Basin Water Conservancy District

KSL.com Posted Aug 29th, 2017 @ 3:00pm

Choosing the Right Deicer

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Choosing the Right Deicer:
Several performance characteristics should guide the selection of an ice melter, but two are particularly important:

  1.  How well does the low temperature performance of the material match the coldest temperatures you are likely to experience?
  2.  How quickly will the material melt ice to minimize pedestrian exposure to potentially dangerous conditions?

Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride, NaCl) – Rock salt is widely used, largely because it is readily available and inexpensive. However, rock salt is endothermic. It must draw heat from the surroundings to form an ice-melting brine. With a lowest effective temperature of +20°F (-7°C), rock salt is a relatively slow and ineffective ice melter when temperatures are coldest. Like all chloride-based materials, rock salt is corrosive to unprotected common metals. Lawns and other plants can be harmed if rock salt deicer is over-applied or large quantities are directly applied to grass or vegetation.

Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) – Calcium chloride is the most widely used non-sodium chloride deicer. Its lowest effective temperature, -25°F (-32°C), is below that of other common deicers. Calcium chloride is a hygroscopic material that attracts moisture from its surroundings, speeding the creation of brine to give melting action a fast start. Calcium chloride is also exothermic. As it dissolves in contact with moisture, it releases a significant amount of heat. This makes commercial products containing high levels of calcium chloride faster ice melters and more effective at colder temperatures than rock salt and other products which must draw heat from their surroundings to dissolve and form brine.

Like all chloride-based materials, calcium chloride is moderately corrosive to unprotected common metals but, in general, there is little difference in corrosion between the various chloride-based deicers, including rock salt (sodium chloride), magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. As with other chloride-based ice melters, over exposure to calcium chloride can harm lawns and other plants if deicer is over-applied or large quantities are directly applied to grass or other vegetation.

Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) – Like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride is a hygroscopic material, able to attract moisture from the air. However, unlike calcium chloride, solid magnesium chloride is a hexahydrate salt, meaning it is 53% water by weight. Because this solid product is so dilute, more must be applied to deliver ice melting capacity equal to calcium chloride or sodium chloride. When the water content of solid magnesium chloride is factored into the measurements used to assess melting performance, the results show that it is somewhat less effective than sodium chloride (rock salt) after 20 minutes at 20°F, even though it is typically more expensive. Magnesium chloride is exothermic but does not release as much heat as calcium chloride. It has a lowest effective temperature of 0°F (-18°C).

references:

www.oxycalciumchloride.com

Spring Yard Checklist

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Here’s a list of items to get your yard in tiptop condition for the season:

  1. Aerate (read our tip on “The Benefits of Aeration”)
  2. Apply pre-emergent weed control to flower beds and lawns
  3. Lightly Rake Matted Dead Grass
  4. Carefully pull or spot spray early weeds in flower beds with Round-Up
  5. Spot spray lawn weeds with a weed killer containing 2,4, D. Do not use Round-Up on the lawn weeds.
  6. Fertilize Lawn, Trees & Shrubs
  7. Spray Fruit Trees with Dormant Oil
  8. Check and adjust your sprinkler system

When do I need to Fertilize?

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 “When should I fertilize my lawn?”
The short answer is, in the spring and fall.  Or when the lawn is “actively” growing. Avoid fertilizing during the hottest time of the year. Consider these factors: First, grass type and  the type of fertilizer to be used. Second, how do you want your lawn to look? If you want your lawn looking its best, you should fertilize 4-5 times a year, but as a minimum you should fertilize twice a year.
Fertilizers sold in stores are generally a combination of products including; fertilizer, pre-emergent, weed control and pest control chemicals. Each of these should be applied at different times of the year, so it is important to know “what’s in the bag” before you put it on your lawn.
If you’re still having problems give us a call. We’d be happy to help and if you’re tried of “doing it yourself” we’d love to do it for you. Garden Green offers custom programs and scheduling. You’d be surprised how reasonable our cost is compared to buying and applying the fertilizer yourself.

The Benefits of Aeration

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The Benefits of Aeration

Compacted soil prevents the grasses from establishing a healthy root system. Adequate amounts of vital turf nutrients including water (H2O), oxygen (O2, nitrates (NO3), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are unable to reach the roots.

Aerators relieve soil compaction by removing evenly-spaced cored plugs of turf from 1″ to 3″ inch depths. Aerator’s coring plugs relieve the compaction caused by natural settling, mowing and foot traffic. Once aerated air exchange is improved and the soil can easily absorb water, fertilizer and other nutrients.

Aeration also promotes deeper root growth, keeping your lawn green and healthy during the heat of the summer months.

Fall Yard & Home Checklist

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Please remember to do the following for your yard & home before we reach freezing overnight temperatures and early snow storms:

  1. Disconnect hoses and store them for the winter. This prevents freezing water lines in your home and outside faucets.
  2. Shut-off sprinkler clock and main valve including Pressurized Irrigation system. Do NOT unplug the clock. Unplugging the clock drains the backup memory battery and causes programming loss. We also recommend blowing compressed air through the sprinkler system to ensure all standing water has been removed from the sprinkler lines.
  3. Be sure the lawn is cut short. Between one and a half inches and two inches for a Kentucky Blue Grass lawn mix. This prevents matting, bugs, fungi and other grass and plant diseases in the spring.
  4. Remove leaves and other debris from the lawn. This also prevents bugs, fungi and other grass and plant diseases in the spring.
  5. Prune back shrubs and dead perennial stems.
  6. Clean out rain gutters and check that they are fastened securely to the house. Clogged rain gutters will cause over flow, roof damage, mold and wood rot. Backed up water and ice weigh on gutters causing collapsing and loose gutters. Homes surrounded by trees may want to consider adding a leaf screen to their rain gutters to prevent clogged gutters. Heating elements may also be needed on gutters on the north side of the home.
  7. Fertilize your lawn with a slow release granular winter fertilizer for a healthier lawn in the spring.