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Why My Lawn Is Brown But My Neighbor’s Looks Great: Part 2.

Why My Lawn Is Brown But My Neighbor’s Looks Great: Part 2.

   Last year we took a very shallow dive into the topic of having a brown yard, while your neighbor’s lawn is lush & green.  We talked about very basic causes of brown lawn like low improper mowing and drought.  Here we will dive deep into the pathology of brown lawns so that you can get a better understanding of what your neighbors may be doing differently. Read Part 1 of this series here: https://greenteamct.com/2018/07/16/2-big-reasons-why-your-lawn-is-brown-and-your-neighbors-isnt/   Start With Your Soil If you’ve ever noticed your neighbor probing the ground and holding small viles of murky liquid to the sun, you may be witnessing a homeowner pH test at work.  This would indicate they have found and corrected a pH imbalance in their yard that may exist still in yours.  To have a green lawn you MUST start with the soil, and the first thing to check is the pH. Poor pH is a common culprit of browning grass. Compaction is another major soil factor that kills grass.  Tightly compacted soil suffocates grassroots and drains the chlorophyll that makes grass green. In this case, you may have noticed some holes and “dog-dropping” like cores on your neighbor’s lawn in Fall.  This may be an indicator your neighbor is fighting compaction with regular aeration, thereby keeping their lawn healthier and greener than yours. Read more on lawn aeration here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/09/16/be-true-to-the-core-true-core-lawn-aeration/   Insect Pests Insect pets such as Chinch Bugs, Japanese Beetle Grubs, and Weevils cause extensive damage to lawns that show up as yellow or brown patches.  These insect pests are mostly hidden in your thatch layer and are nocturnal. ...
Pest Control Chronicles: 3 Grassy Weeds That Are Likely To Haunt Your Lawn This Summer.

Pest Control Chronicles: 3 Grassy Weeds That Are Likely To Haunt Your Lawn This Summer.

Grassy weeds in your lawn are the most difficult pests to identify and control.  For the average homeowner, telling them apart is near impossible, and getting rid of weeds like crabgrass is usually an even harder task.  Here we will talk about some common lawn killing weeds in the northeast and what you can do to control them.   CRABGRASS The most problematic of all lawn weeds, crabgrass can be more easily identified than other grassy weeds.  Crabgrass is an annual weed, which spreads from last year’s seeds.  It can be identified by its purplish-red stems near the soil, and its finger-like projections that give it its name. To control this weed you must use an aggressive pre-emergent plan that should include half-applications in Fall and then again in Spring. Read more on Crabgrass Here:https://greenteamct.com/2019/04/22/reminder-your-time-to-prevent-crabgrass-ends-soon/ Goosegrass Goosegrass is another summer annual that will emerge around the same time as Crabgrass.  The difference in appearance will be that it only grows in tufts, bunches with a single tap root, and has bleached stems that are often flattened to the ground. Seedheads will resemble a zipper-like pattern and gives it an easy way to make an identification.  Goosegrass needs to be treated like crabgrass, with an aggressive pre-emergent strategy and proper watering. Very dry and compacted soil is preferable to this weed, so keeping your soil in a healthy condition can help deter Goosegrass growth. Read about another common lawn weed here: https://greenteamct.com/spring-lawn-pest-control-spotlight-the-early-bloomer-common-chickweed     Yellow Nutsedge It is almost amazing how common this weed is in lawns, yet how overlooked it can be.  Nutsedge can blend well with preferable grasses...
6 Common Lawn Problems and How to Fix Them

6 Common Lawn Problems and How to Fix Them

An Eroding Slope Problem: “Our beautiful backyard slope was washing down onto our patio with every rain. It was only a matter of time before the whole hill came tumbling down.” Reader Solution: “We built a dry creek bed on the slope, and it fills dramatically during a rainstorm. It’s a beautiful addition to our landscape, and it seems to be solving our erosion problem.” Carolyn Rogers Expert Input “A dry creek bed can work well to control erosion,” says landscape architect Susan Jacobson, “if there’s a place for the water to go such as a sandy area somewhere else on your property.” In its simplest form, a dry creek bed is simply a gully or trough filled with rocks that directs the flow of water to prevent erosion. To control larger volumes of water, pin landscape fabric in the gully and mortar the rocks into place. Constructing the creek bed with rocks of several different sizes gives it a natural look and maximizes its water-carrying abilities. Also: Check Out These 7 Organic Lawn Tips For You Try This Season But Jacobson says building a dry creek bed won’t work in every situation. “You’ll create a bigger problem (and a potentially illegal situation) if you direct the water into the street or into your neighbor’s yard. And if the slope is too steep, you might just end up with the rocks tumbling down the hill as well.” To control erosion on a steep slope or when there’s no reasonable place for the water to flow, consider these suggestions: Terrace the slope with boulders, stone retaining walls or landscape timbers to gradually flatten...
6 Tips For Preparing Garden Beds For Mulch.

6 Tips For Preparing Garden Beds For Mulch.

Mulch is a very useful product when used in your shrub, annual, or flower beds. It retains moisture for plant roots, blocks weed growth, and is just plain better looking than dirt. Properly preparing your beds for Mulch Installation ensures the best outcome for weed management and the cleanest looking final product.     1. Pruning As part of a complete bed cleanup and mulch project, you should always get your shrubs and trees nice and tidy for the growing season. Pruning as the initial part of the process is important because the clippings will become a mess that will hamper your efforts at later steps. All plants have different pruning requirements and recommendations. For example, Hydrangeas should be cut down to no more than 2-3 leaf buds, and second-year deadwood should be completely removed. Make sure to research the pruning style for your particular plants before causing damage.     2. Weeding As last season’s mulch has undoubtedly broken down over winter, weeds have inevitably taken over your garden oasis. This step is the most crucial in the Mulching process. Removing established broadleaf weeds as far as the root as possible will give your new mulch its best chance to do its thing. Hand Weeding: Most surface-dwelling annual grasses and ground cover weeds can be pretty easily removed by hand. Weeding Tool: Metal tools such as a weeding spade can help to create more force to remove deeply rooted perennial weeds such as dandelions and crabgrass. Weed Whacking: In large open areas very saturated with taller weeds, using a gas-powered trimmer can make quicker work of removing unwanted...
Fall Lawn Care Facts. “When Should I Clean My Leaves”

Fall Lawn Care Facts. “When Should I Clean My Leaves”

Now that we are well into Fall, we are also well into Fall Lawn Care season.  Leaf Removal is among the most important of Lawn Care Services which you must keep at the lead off spot in your Yard Maintenance lineup. It’s too often we find ourselves at a new client for a Spring Clean, and find last seasons leaves creating a Lawn Killing layer like a bad dental checkup. Here we will get into the juicy details on why leaf removal is so important to maintaining a greener lawn. While this may not be the easiest material to keep you away from that overdone reality TV show, you may someday find yourself wondering why all those trucks are picking up leaves in your neighborhood this Fall. Check out this article: 7 Lawn Care Musts For Your Fall Lawn What Do Leaves Do To Lawns? The three crucial elements that must be kept in check for a healthy lawn are pH, moisture, and sunlight.  Leaves are efficient little thieves of all of these three facets.  Here we will describe the ideal environment for each respective element, and how leaves affect them negatively.  pH:  Refers to the acidity of a soil.  The ideal condition for a Green Lawn is right around 6.5 on the pH scale.  This is essentially a neutral condition; not too acidic and not to basic.  Leaves that decompose into the top soil layer create a dangerously acidic environment.  This type of soil doesn’t nurture desired grasses, is prime for weeds, and robs the soil of essential nutrients. Moisture: Grass, like any other plant, requires adequate ,...