What to Expect from Our Lawn Care Programs
Thanks for becoming part of the Fertilawn family! To get the most out of our services, PLEASE read the following and make any adjustments to your existing practices.
Below you’ll find what to expect as a first year customer. Please note the Mowing and Watering tips at the beginning. These 2 things are MORE important than anything we do for your lawn!
Mowing- Mowing tall is the single most important thing you can do for a healthy lawn.
Watering- Watering during times of heat and drought is needed to protect the lawn
Remember, this is a team effort. For us to do our job and make the lawn look great, you need to do yours and follow our mowing and watering best practices!
At this time, you will generally not notice much of a difference aside from better green up. This application sets the stage for the summer. We continually utilize Organic materials that work behind the scenes as well which take time to work.
It is VERY important to note that grass uses stored nutrition from last fall in the spring. When you apply excessive Nitrogen (fertilizer) right away, you are FORCING the turf to come out of dormancy. This is NOT GOOD. Many companies do this, especially the “Big Boys”, because they want their lawns to be the greenest first, even if that means the lawns do very poorly later in the summer. This is a marketing tactic!
A heavy Fall Feeding is the best way to naturally promote healthy and dark green lawns in the spring, this is what we do!
If you’re a new customer, once it starts to warm, you WILL see Dandelions and weeds. These will be taken care of, but not until the time is right! Over use of post- emergent herbicides is a huge issue, and applying it to early, with less than adequate results, is NOT the right thing to do! Again, many “Big Boy” companies apply post emergent herbicides far to early, to appease new customers. It’s wasteful and an extremely poor practice for our environment.
Here’s the thing, if you have been a customer with us last year, and got all of our treatments, you will have VERY FEW or No Weeds in the early spring. The Dandelions you see right away are actually from last fall which is when they should have been taken care of. Be PATIENT and trust the program!
Late Spring-Early Summer
By this time, you have most likely received 2 applications, one of which would have Broadleaf weed control in it. Our 2nd application ALWAYS has this, it is what will take care of things like Dandelions and Clover.
Your lawn will really start looking better. The Turf will start to have better color, and the weeds will begin to disappear. Behind the scenes, our organic products are working overtime improving your soil. Remember, organics take time to work, and have a compounding effect seen later in the season and in the seasons to come!
At this time, we also are doing our Spring Grub controls and Organic Aerations (if you are signed up for them). Again, both of these things are setting the stage for later in the season.
By this time, you’ll have received 2-3 Turf applications. The summer heat and drought is kicking in and you NEED to be mowing tall (3.5”+) and starting to water as needed! Any weeds that were there in the early spring, should now be handled for the most part. PLEASE see below regarding Creeping Charlie and Wild Violets.
At this time, new weeds are popping up that were not there in the spring time. Spurge and Oxalis are the main culprits. They will be taken care of.
Remember, ONLY weeds that are currently up at the time of the application will be affected. This is why 1 application in the spring DOES NOT stop weeds over the summer and why they need to be treated throughout the year.
Once the heat kicks in, our Organics start to work. These help with summer stress, diseases, and overall turf health. The healthier your soil is, the better your lawn will perform during times of stress. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and something that few companies are doing. It takes time though, improvements the first season WILL be seen, but over time, it will keep getting better and better the more we improve your soil.
At this time, Crabgrass is becoming an issue. If you have been with us for a few years, this should be minimal or not an issue at all.
If you are a new customer and have been following our mowing and watering recommendations, this should be minimal. However, we generally tell a new customer to expect an 80% reduction, more if they are watering and mowing correctly.
If you are a new customer and have NOT been following our mowing and watering recommendations, all bets are off. The application method we apply Pre-emergent in the spring, and the product we use, is considered the best combination to prevent Crabgrass. This is only ⅓ of it. If you allow your grass to go brown due to lack of water, and/or mow too short, you WILL most likely get Crabgrass. There is no miracle chemical here.
New customers who signed up late and did NOT receive the 1st application should also expect crabgrass as no Pre-emergent was able to be applied due to late sign up.
***Creeping Charlie and Wild Violets***
These 2 weeds are the most difficult to control weeds, you will see improvement after spring, but PLEASE do not expect full eradication right away. These take time! They are very minimally affected during the summer, which leaves the spring and fall only. We ARE working to get rid of it but it takes time.
Expect to see much improvement the first season. Some cases we can rid it the first year, many cases it takes multiple seasons.
If you have either of these coming from a neighbor or in your landscaping, THEY WILL ALWAYS BE A PROBLEM in those areas. Very important!!
Late Summer-Early Fall
If your lawn has been watered and mowed correctly, it will begin to perk up a little more with cooler temps. When it is hot out, Cool Season turf (like what we have in MN) DOES NOT grow very much and does not generally have the same vigor as it does in the spring. During the fall, that vigor comes back and you’ll notice the turf rebounding from the summer.
At this time, we are really starting to push some fertilizer while still taking care of stubborn weeds. Your turf is starting to become more active and requires more fertilizer. It is also starting to think about fall time, which means more root growth. Fertilizing during these times is the MOST IMPORTANT TIME!!
If you’re a new customer and you had a lot of weeds, you may notice many areas seem bare. This is normal. Now that we have taken care of the weeds, there is a void where they were. Depending on your turf type, these spots may fill in (if your lawn was sodded) or may remain bare (if it was an older lawn or predominately Fescue or Perennial Rye Grass).
This is the Seeding season! DON’T MISS IT! We DO stop taking these, so sign up early to make sure you have a spot. If you had a lot of weeds that are now gone and now have some thin/bare spots, the lawn should be seeded. If you were unable to keep the lawn watered and it is not greening up like it should in the late summer, it should be seeded. If you have not aerated and seeded in the last 5-7 years, you should really consider it. New grass cultivars are drastically improved from grass even 10 years ago. Newer grass cultivars= better color, better disease resistance, and better drought tolerance.
We can do a Plug Aeration and Overseeding which works extremely well. Not all customers need this, which is why we do not ever include it in a program.
When we do these, our goal is to thicken up the turf, so that weeds will not have anywhere to proliferate. Thin Turf= More Weeds!
At this time, GRUBS and GRUB DAMAGE is starting to be seen as well. If you have a small area that went brown in the summer, and it has gotten bigger late summer, then does not green back up, this COULD be grubs! Remember, we are ONLY on your lawn a handful of times throughout the year. You are there every day. If you think something is happening with it, give us a call!!!
If you received the Grub Application in the spring, you should not have to worry about them. However, there is ALWAYS a chance of breakthrough, so remain vigilant!
By now, you should have received 4 lawn treatments, weed presence should be substantially less than spring. You will also have had your Plug Aeration and Overseeding, or it will be done soon, if you signed up for it. This is NOT the time to back off on watering if you got the Overseeding!
The final lawn treatments are considered the MOST IMPORTANT feedings for the lawn. When your grass slows down on top growth, all those nutrients are now being put into ROOT growth and stored for next spring. These are the heaviest feedings that we do, they promote early spring green up naturally and sustainably. They also promote a deeper root system.
We are still applying organics as well to promote healthier soils.
At this time, hard to kill weeds such as Violets and Creeping Charlie are also hit extra hard, as they are more susceptible and actively growing. You generally will NOT see quick dieback from them like you would in the spring, but WILL see less of them next spring.
Your lawn should be noticeably better looking from the spring, remember it is a MARATHON not a sprint. Sprinting, like many companies do, leads to poor nutrient management, poor soil, and decrease in turf health over the years. Big name companies do this to push the initial improvement, only to be doing more harm than good!. Slow and steady wins the race.
Here’s the big improvement. We always tell customers, it’s a marathon NOT a sprint. If you followed our mowing and watering recommendations as well as received our full program, your lawn should look MUCH improved from last spring. Stick with the program, and continue to see the results get better!