Lawn Care

Lawn – Soil Preparation

There are three distinct aspects of turfgrass establishment. The first, soil preparation, is probably the most important. The second, planting, may involve seeding, sprigging or sodding. The final step is the care and maintenance for two to four weeks after...

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2005 Homeowner Comments on New Grasses

In 2005 I asked homeowners to evaluate their experiences with some of the newer grass varieties. Their responses are not scientific and should only be taken in addition to your own research when choosing a grass for your lawn. ‘Princess’...

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Lawn – Aeration

Anyone who has wielded a shovel in Atlanta knows that the soil usually contains a lot of clay. The tiny clay particles are easily packed tightly together by rain and foot traffic. After a hot Southern summer, the earth can...

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Bluegrass (Thermal Blue) – Homeowner Comments

When turf companies market a brand new grass without submitting it to long-term University trials in Georgia, I’m at a loss to know whether to recommend their grass for use by homeowners. In the summer of 2005 I asked for...

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Lawn – Choosing the Best Grass

The first and most important question to ask is how much sun will be available to the grass. It is much better to use a grass that will grow in the conditions available rather than fighting the environment year after...

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Mowing Height – Calculating

When a homeowner complained that his bermudagrass was showing lots of scalped areas in fall, I turned to Dr. Clint Waltz, my turf specialist friend. —————————-“There are several things working here but the primary issue is mowing frequency. In the...

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St- Augustine – Take All (Take-All, take all) Disease

I am very pleased with my St. Augustine lawn. Despite dire predictions, it has not yet frozen in winter but it has spread handily in moderate shade. But a problem that was discovered in 1991 by folks in Florida and Texas...

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Soil Temperatures – Apply Pre-emergent

Summer weeds, like crabgrass, must have several consecutive days of temperatures above 55 degrees before they germinate. If the seed is right on the surface of your soil, it becomes warm quickly. If the seed is buried a bit deeper,...

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Nutsedge (Nutgrass) – Identification

Nutsedge is one of the toughest weeds to control in a lawn or landscape. To further confuse matters, there are two kinds: purple nutsedge and yellow nutsedge. The kind of nutsedge you have might determine how you’ll control it. Here...

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Lawn – Leveling

A new home in my neighborhood had bermudagrass sod planted in March. By May, one area was a perfect checkerboard of straight lines, composed of weedy plants, surrounding the individual squares of sod. Evidently the sod installers were in such...

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Sod – Installed in Fall or Winter

In the Southeastern United States, horticulturists routinely recommend transplanting trees and ornamentals when they are dormant during the late fall or early winter. The root-ball is typically buried deep enough so that soil temperatures are conducive for continued root growth...

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Lawn – Choices Before You Plant

I was recently asked by a writer for Publisher’s Weekly what trends I saw in the local gardening arena. I replied that I sensed homeowners are beginning to realize that they don’t have to have the biggest lawn in the...

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Violet Control – in Lawns

Violets are tough to control in a lawn. They grow from perennial roots, so the plants come back each year if the roots aren’t killed. Furthermore, the flowering weed produces copious seeds that are scattered far and wide. Before I...

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Lawn – Basic Maintenance

The sweet young couple seated in front of me at a recent home show appearance wore matching worried looks. “We just moved into a house in a gorgeous neighborhood and we know NOTHING about landscaping. What should we do to...

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Thermal Blue – Installation Photos

It’s not often that we get to see the process of renovating a home lawn from start to finish. A garden friend recently sent these shots. See his notes at the end too: ——————— Walter – I completely renovated my...

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Lawn – Beer for Fertilizer

One of the most ill-informed decisions of my life was to major in chemistry in college. Sure, I had excelled in the subject in high school. I could make my own gunpowder from ingredients bought at the pharmacy in town....

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Bermudagrass – How is it Spelled

I have long fought editors of my books and newspaper articles about the correct spelling of turfgrasses. Here are the thoughts of Dr. Clint Waltz at UGA: “Bermudagrass is one word and only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence,...

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Lawn – Fall Chores

For the first several months of new fatherhood I frequently felt like an idiot. Every time my son spit up a little cereal his mom and I assumed it was projectile vomiting and fearfully called our pediatrician. If he cried...

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