In servicing your lawn we follow these maintenance guidelines established by the staff at Purdue University's turf center
Grass should be cut to a height between 2.75 and 3.25 inches. As much as possible, depending upon weather, grass should be cut so that no more than 1/3 of the plant is cut off at one time. Always cut using sharp blades.
Do not bag your grass clippings unless you have an unusually large amount to remove. By following these simple procedures you can use your grass clippings to help maintain a beautiful lawn you can be proud of for years to come.
Why Return the Clippings?
*Recycles valuable nutrients
*Provides a source of additional fertilizer
*Reduces community disposal costs
*Reduces the need for fertilizer inputs
*Saves diminishing landfill space
*Does not increase thatch
Since the majority of a grass blade is water, within two days of cutting the blades will disappear into the lawn.
During most summer months in Indiana your lawn will need watering to maintain color and density, Water only as needed when the lawn first shows signs of water stress. These signs include a bluish-gray color of the grass, or if you walk across your lawn and your footprints remain in the lawn for an extended period of time. It is best to water early in the morning and you should never water late in the day as this can lead to problems with mold and fungus, Your goal is to "water deep and infrequently". This means to wet the soil profile to a depth of just below the root depth and then don't water again until the grass shows signs of stress. Watering too often can cause more problems than not watering enough. Click here for more information on how to care for new sod.
Early Spring Fertilization, Just Don't Do It:
Normal types of cool season grass (like those
in Northwest Indiana) produce most leaf
growth in the spring. Fertilization in the
spring tends to stimulate even more leaf
growth that may in turn decrease the long-
term stress tolerance of the grass in the
summer months. Fertilization in the spring
steals needed nutrients from the root structure
and actually weakens the grass. Therefore
we do not recommend fertilizing in the spring.
Then When Should You Fertilize? Your first
application should be in late spring, in early
to mid May. We use a broad based, slow
release fertilizer. We apply the correct amount
to feed your turf with one pound of nitrogen
per thousand sq. ft. of grass.
OPTIONAL APPLICATION: If you would like your grass to remain deep green throughout the summer, make a fertilizer application in mid July. Do this only if you have received sufficient annual rainfall or if you are willing to apply enough water so that the turf receives the 1 to 2 inches of water it will require per week to support the plant and make the best use of the fertilizer. If it is a dry summer and you do not plan to water regularly, do not fertilize. The plant will go dormant in the dry weather and return with the fall rains. If you make this application, you can reduce the amount of fertilizer applied in May and September.
Application Two, The Key Application: Your next fertilizer application should be in September. This is the key application of the entire year. Cool season grasses tend to slow down leaf growth in the fall but produce relatively more plants resulting in improved density. Fertilizing in September encourages leaf growth only slightly, while tremendously enhancing tiller and root production. Therefore if you fertilizer in the fall, you will have a denser and healthier turf. We use a 50% slow release fertilizer with a chemistry of approximately 28-3-6. We apply the correct amount of fertilizer to feed your turf one pound nitrogen per thousand sq. ft. of grass.
Application Three: Your next application should be in November. This is the second most important fertilization application of the year. The goal is to use quick release high nitrogen 46-0-0 fertilizer. We apply the correct amount of fertilizer to feed your turf 1.5 pounds nitrogen per thousand sq. ft. of grass. The plant stores most of the extra energy derived from a November application of nitrogen. Next spring these stored products are used during the green up of the plant, with a minimum of shoot growth but a maximum of root growth. Studies have shown that a spring application of nitrogen will never compensate for a missed application in November.
OTHER APPLICATIONS: Grub and insect control, crabgrass and broadleaf control are other popular applications for the home lawn. To be successful, these applications are dependant upon the condition of the lawn, the weather, soil temperature and growing conditions. Please contact us with your specific questions.