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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 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...
Spring Yard Prep: Experts Weigh in on Getting Your Yard Summer-Ready

Spring Yard Prep: Experts Weigh in on Getting Your Yard Summer-Ready

   With summer right around the corner, we’re looking forward to warm weather, backyard BBQs, and afternoons spent relaxing on the patio with a great book. But it’s hard to relax if your outdoor space isn’t properly prepared. You may have gotten away with neglecting your yard all winter, but with sunny days ahead of us, it’s time to get on your spring yard prep and give it the attention it deserves. From lawn care basics to landscaping and aesthetics, there’s a lot that goes into creating a beautiful outdoor space for you and your guests to enjoy this summer. To better understand what you actually need to do this spring to prepare your yard, we asked lawn experts and landscapers for their best tips, tricks, and advice on maintaining a beautiful and healthy yard.   You should be raking your lawn in the spring It’s just as important to rake your lawn in the spring as it is in the fall. Bolton Lawn Care says, “If you didn’t clean up leaves from your lawn in the fall, it’s imperative to clean them up in the spring. Leaves, if left on the lawn, will kill any grass you try to grow, and are a breeding ground for pests and lawn funguses.”    Since “grass is king for summertime gatherings,” as Green Team says, you’ll want to begin your spring yard prep by raking thoroughly to remove any thatch build up and to identify any potential areas of your lawn that may need special attention or treatments, such as overseeding.  Lawn mowing tips: mowing your lawn just right Mowing...
Spring Lawn Pest Control Spotlight: The Early Bloomer, Common Chickweed.

Spring Lawn Pest Control Spotlight: The Early Bloomer, Common Chickweed.

  For most, the thought of Spring conjures “Disney-Like” images of sunsets and flocking birds. For the pest control worker, these images are horribly obscured with the matted weeds and and slimy grubs.  Spring is the season when everything comes alive, especially the unwanted pests of the lawn. Here we will talk about one of the earliest weeds to show up in early Spring, the Common Chickweed.   General Description Chickweed is commonly described as a “winter annual”, due to it’s ability to thrive, and even flower, during the cold Winter temperatures. In normal conditions this plant will flower 4-5 weeks after emergence in Spring.  These flowers will bloom from Spring until Fall, and can not be suppressed with simple mowing. It reproduces by seed spread during summer.  It’s growth pattern is low, prostrate in patches.  It grows best along sidewalks, bed edges, and curbs. The most distinctive characteristic of Chckweed is the pattern of its flower petals.  There are 5 flower petals, with deep notches that give it the false appearance of having 10 separate petals.  Also, it’s leaves are particularly shiny compared to other plants.  Although the leaves of it’s cousin, Mouse Ear Chickweed, are hairy.   Control & Treatment As a reminder, Chickweed is a very hardy annual that spreads by seed.  By far the most effective control of chickweed is a thorough pre-emergent strategy.  This pre-emergent strategy would include applications in November and April to beat any seed possible germination.  Cultural practices that promote Chickweed growth include moist, poor draining soil and heavily shaded turf. Proper water management, shade plant selection, and proper mowing will...