Green With Envy – Expert Tips For Lawn Care

Now is a great time to ensure your grass is ready for the season.  Below, Justin Ferrante, owner of JMF Landscaping walks us through his top-tips for that envious green we’re all after!

What is Aeration and how does it work? 

Core aerating is the act of removing 2-3” plugs from the lawn. The aerator goes over the lawn like a lawn mower but punches holes in the lawn instead of mowing. This effort opens up the lawn by loosening and moving around the soil. It allows water, oxygen and vital nutrients to penetrate the thatch layer and get down to the roots. This strengthens exiting roots while promoting new growth. Spreading grass seed typically accompanies this service. We see great results with this approach as the seed gets out of reach to birds and squirrels which greatly improves germination rate.

When should you Aerate? 

We offer core aerating & over-seeding in both the Spring & Fall when the temps are cooler. Now is a great time to book these services! 

What are the pros and cons of Aerating yourself, as the homeowner, versus hiring a team like JMF? 

Core aerating is a good DIY home project. While a bit heavy and bulky, the machine can be rented and managed by anyone who is able to handle a lawn mower and is familiar with power tools. It’s a physically demanding task especially on larger properties or those with hills and obstacles. If you haven’t the time, hiring a professional is a good investment in your lawn. Its priced out by the square footage and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

How often  is best to  water the lawn?

Water is the elixir of life! Who doesn’t love watering the lawn? Deep watering is the best! A common pitfall is to water frequently for a short amount of time. Most of the water doesn’t reach the roots. A nice thorough soaking is good for an established lawn. The optimal frequency should be 2-3 times a week.

On a newly installed lawn, as in a lawn renovation with soil, seed or hydro-seed, a common pitfall is only watering in the morning and in the evening. This is a challenge, as most folks work, but the key to success is 4-5 waterings balanced throughout the day in an attempt to keep the new soil and seed damp until germination. It is best to set up sprinklers on timers if possible. Set it, and forget it! New seed typically germinates in about 11- 14 days.

Do you suggest we reseed in the spring to fill in any wilting or brown areas? 

Spring seeding is challenging as there are a whole host of lawn weeds just waiting to sprout. Best option is to treat the lawn for crab grass and other weeds and seed heavily in the fall. If not treating for crab grass and other weeds, by all means seed in the spring to fill in patches to thicken things up. We have dogs so I don’t use herbicides so I’m constantly seeding. 

Any other secrets to being able to have a grass is greener, kind of lawn this year? 

The yard master’s know that the key to success is constant effort. The places experts focus are: Always be pulling weeds, water 2-3 times a week to ensure deep healthy roots, get on a fertilizer program that treats for crab grass & grubs, add lime to balance the soil ph, utilize a regular balanced fertilizer as well as a winterizer. Definitely aerate the lawn at least once a year, de-thatch in the spring, and mow to a height of no lower than 3” to help maintain moisture. Lastly change the direction of your lawn mowing pattern.

Let us know if you have any other questions on yard love! We’re here to help!

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