Lawn mowing is the most important yard maintenance chore, and how you mow determines the quality of your lawn. Proper mowing practices are extremely critical to maintain a healthy, green lawn. There are actually several reasons why it’s important to get your lawn mowed on a regular basis:
To get the strongest lawn possible, get it mowed as often as needed to keep it at around 3 inches in height. When your grass is cut, the healthiest grass shoots will flourish while the weak shoots are left behind.
When you slice the growth of your grass down to a short, uniform level on a regular basis, you are improving overall growth because there will be an even distribution and absorption of resources that come from the sun and water. Consistency in growth is critical in maintaining a beautiful yard.
Mulching is a critical part of a healthy lawn because it returns much needed nutrients to your lawn after mowing. Plus, your lawn will be less likely to suffer from weed, insect, and disease problems when it’s mulched on a regular basis.
A lawn that receives regular mowing and overall maintenance will recover much more quickly than an unhealthy one. The longer your lawn goes without love and care, the harder it is for your lawn to bounce back to good shape.
If you’d like to speak with a professional regarding the health of your lawn, or our lawn mowing services, give Mowing & More a call today!
Why is crabgrass so bad this year?
Several factors contribute to a bad year for crabgrass.
- Crabgrass is a warm-season grass meaning that it thrives in hot conditions with optimum growth in temperatures ranging from 88 to 95 °F. However, our primary lawn species in Indiana are cool-season grasses and they prefer cooler conditions and have optimum growth in temperatures ranging from 68 to 77 °F. Therefore, our warmer than average summer resulted in an environment that encouraged crabgrass growth and decreased the plant competition from our existing cool-season grass lawns. NOTE: One minor exception to this is that tall fescue lawns – the cool-season turfgrass species with the best heat tolerance – had less crabgrass than Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass lawns.
- The preemergence herbicides (crabgrass preventers) that are applied in spring to prevent the emergence of crabgrass seedlings work only as long as they remain in the soil. Generally, these products last in the soil about 60-120 days depending on a number of factors (rate applied, ingredient, turf cover, temperature, moisture, etc.). They breakdown in the soil overtime due to microbial activity. When soil temperatures are higher, as they were this year, the preemergence herbicides breakdown more quickly. Additionally, the adequate rainfall that we had this year kept the soil moist and the microbial populations high, which also assisted in the herbicide’s breakdown. As such, a hot, humid summer results in the herbicide lasting a shorter length of time and the crabgrass “breaking through”. NOTE: When we have wet springs, some preemergence herbicides breakdown more quickly in the saturated soils due to anaerobic breakdown in saturated soils. It is a myth that preemergence herbicides leach through soils. They do not. Instead they are strongly bound (adsorbed) to the soil (at the surface where the crabgrass seed lays).
- This was a good summer for turf diseases. Read the recent update from Dr. Rick Latin on disease in 2016. Crabgrass is susceptible to some diseases including leaf spot, but is generally not susceptible to the lawn diseases that cause our turf to decline in hot, humid summers. As such, lawns suffered and crabgrass did not.
- Many homeowners in Silver Spring MD and surrounding areas of Montgomery County, MD mow too low and as a result, crabgrass increases. Lawns mown at 3.0 inches or higher have far fewer crabgrass problems than lawns mown short. Therefore, raise that mower so that you’ll have less crabgrass in the future. BONUS: Lawns mown at a higher height need mown less frequently, have deeper roots, are healthier, and need less watering.
- Lastly, crabgrass plants get pretty big by the end of the summer. One plant can cover an area as big as a pie plate. This makes the lawn look poor even when a preemergence herbicide was applied. Keep in mind that there are thousands of crabgrass seeds in the soil (millions in some lawns). Even when a preemergence herbicide controls 95% of the crabgrass plants in your lawn, it may still not appear to have worked that well in a year like this.
What to do next?
The good news is that the end is near. Crabgrass will get zapped with the first hard frost this fall and you can begin now to battle against it and keep it from being problematic next year. This fall you’ll want to
- Fertilize your lawn (at least once, twice is better). Read more here. Fertilizing the lawn in the fall months will help increase turf density and allow the turf to be much more competitive with crabgrass the following year.
- Seed thin areas of your lawn as soon as possible. Read more here.
- Adjust your mowing height so that your lawn is cut at 3.0 to 4.0 inches tall to help prevent future crabgrass problems.
Should I attempt to treat the crabgrass now in September?
NO! This is a summer annual plant, meaning that it will die naturally soon with the first frost. Additionally, large crabgrass plants are very difficult to control with herbicides. Two herbicide applications are needed to kill large, tillered-plants. As such, it makes no sense to spray expensive, marginally effective applications on a plant that is about to die naturally.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals recently posted the following article with information relating to the concern of weed killer chemicals commonly used by landscape professionals deeming it unlikely to cause cancer in people.
WHO Report Clears Glyphosate
Posted on 06/06/2016 by Paul Mendelsohn
The pesticide glyphosate, sold by Monsanto in its Roundup weed killer product and widely used by landscape professionals, is unlikely to cause cancer in people, according to a new safety review by United Nations health, agriculture and food experts. In a statement likely to damage the claims of carcinogenic impact of glyphosate made by anti-pesticide activists, experts from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) said glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans” exposed to it through food. Further, having reviewed the scientific evidence, the joint WHO/FAO committee also said glyphosate is unlikely to be genotoxic in humans. In other words, it is not likely to have a destructive effect on cells’ genetic material.
The conclusions appear to contradict a finding by the WHO’s Lyon-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which in March 2015 said glyphosate is “probably” able to cause cancer in humans and classified it as a ‘Group 2A’ carcinogen. This action has been used as a rallying cry by those seeking to ban glyphosate and other pesticides.
The WHO/FAO determination should help to ensure that on the advocacy front landscape professionals have another tool in their arsenal to successfully oppose proposed glyphosate bans at the state and local level. We will continue to work to educate decision makers at all levels of this important development.
Concern for Missing Season
Posted on April 8, 2016
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department are asking for the public’s help to locate Spring.
Spring was last seen leaving Maryland last year as Summer arrived. Spring had well-known plans to return to Maryland at this time this year but she has not yet been seen. The Montgomery County Police Department has checked with law enforcement agencies in other parts of the Country who have also not seen Spring this year.
Spring is described as the time of year between Winter and Summer. She sometimes goes by the name of Springtime or Vernal Season. She is known to bring warmer temperatures with occasional April showers to help bring May flowers.
Anyone with information about Spring’s whereabouts is asked to immediately call the Montgomery County Police Department.
Concern for Missing Season
Spring cleaning isn’t only for the interior of your home, the outside needs attention too! The past few months may have taken a toll on your yard. Between the snow storms and recent heavy winds you may have lots of large limbs, leaves and other debris scattered throughout your yard.Leaving this excess debris in your yard can kill the spring grass before it has a chance to grow. Not only is this an eye sore it can lead to an unhealthy lawn for the spring.
Leave your rake in the shed and take back your weekends!
There are many benefits to hiring a professional to manage your lawn care maintenance. The professionals with Mowing & More have extensive knowledge of landscaping, plant preservation and how to make your yard admired by all. Did you know a spring mulch installation can suppress the growth of unwanted weeds, assist with moisture retention in the soil, prevent erosion and looks great? Hiring a professional gives you the freedom to enjoy your weekends and a manicured healthy yard. We are currently scheduling for spring clean up and mulch installation. Contact us today to get your lawn in top condition for spring. 301-674-0312 or request a free estimate from our website.