With all of the extra time spent closer to home these days, backyard and community gardens have never looked more vibrant. And, since all landscapes require continuing love and attention, it’s important to develop a relationship with a garden center in New Jersey that has everything you need. Continue Reading Are you looking for a Garden Center that has it all in New Jersey?
With spring in full-swing around the country, the grass in your yard is going through its annual growth surge, and becoming taller every day. That’s a good sign that you will need to get your lawn mower ready for the season. A ready lawnmower will help you keep up with weekly growth, and make sure your lawn stays neat and trim.
If you already did some of these tasks before putting your lawnmower away last fall, you’re ahead of the game. If not, now’s the time to start preparing for the lawn mowing season. Those who may be considering purchasing a new mower will discover everything you need at Mendham Garden Centers, where we carry the latest line of Toro Mowers and STIHL lawn equipment.
People have been using some variation of the phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side” for centuries.
Go all the way back to Ancient Rome, and you’d hear people sharing the proverb “the harvest is always fruitful in another man’s field.”
But what if you looked out your window and saw that the grass literally was greener on the other side of the street? Maybe it’s not a matter of perspective. Maybe it’s that your neighbor knows the secret to keeping their grass looking its best. When customers visit Mendham Garden Center looking for lawn mowers or landscaping supplies we often get some version of the grass is greener question.
So here are three practices that can promote a healthier, happier lawn.
Good lawns don’t happen by accident.
It takes work to create a lush, green landscape.
In this blog post, we’ll look at eight things you can do to ensure a healthy lawn this spring.
A healthy lawn needs healthy soil, and healthy soil needs to have the right nutrients. Conducting a soil test can tell you whether the nutrients your soil needs are present. This test also helps us recommend a fertilizer program specific to your lawn as well as ways to address nutrient deficiencies. Your local Hunterdon, NJ garden center can offer you more information on conducting a soil test.
Once you’ve made these applications, our program provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. A healthy lawn is not only pleasing to look at; it is better prepared to combat potential insect populations and conditions which promote fungus and disease.
The Time to Lime
The most potentially limiting factor in nutrient availability to your turf is soil pH, which is a value based on the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Soil that has a pH of 6.2 to 6.8 — either neutral or slightly acidic – offers the most nutrients to your turf. A soil test can provide the current pH along with a recommendation for the lime necessary to properly adjust the pH of the soil. Lime can be applied at any time of year.
Your turf greets the spring with all the nutrients it needs stored in its roots from the previous fall (assuming you applied adequate nitrogen).
These reserves help the turf to get off to a good start. As the turf grows it will deplete these reserves and start to rely on carbohydrates being produced. A light application of nitrogen will help the turf to continue to produce green top growth which is where these nutrients are made.
We recommend adding extra nitrogen by around May 1st. Applying too much will only weaken the turf by promoting excessive top growth. An application of ½ to ¾ lb. nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet is generally all you need.
Spring crabgrass control
Crabgrass seed begins to germinate once the average soil temperature reaches around 60 degrees. In this part of New Jersey, you’ll need to apply pre-emergent crab grass control around the time forsythias begin to bloom.
These control products usually stay effective for three to four months, although a second application may be necessary six to eight weeks after the first in areas where crabgrass is a consistent nuisance.
Pay attention to seeding requirements and the fertilizer needs of the turf. Pre-emergent control products should not be applied within three to four months of when you plan to over-seed, depending on use rates. Control product labels provide instructions for reseeding, but a Hunterdon, NJ garden center should also be able to advise you on proper usage for this product.
Broadleaf weed control
You can apply broadleaf weed control anytime weeds are growing, and air temperatures are below 85 degrees. These products are sold as stand-alone, or in combination with fertilizer. Turf fertilizer requirements should be considered when applying these products.
Spring broadleaf weed control is effective, but fall is the optimal time to apply these products. This is when the growth habits of most weeds complement the action of the weed control product and help to translocate the product down into the root system.
You can scale back these applications as time goes by, focusing on spot treatments or alternating every year. Talk to your local Hunterdon, NJ garden center to determine the best weed control practice for your lawn.
While fungus and disease generally need long periods of moisture to develop, conditions can vary, which is why we recommend a broad-spectrum fungicide for preventive and curative control. You’ll need to repeat applications as long as conditions persist.
In general, maintaining a healthy turf thru proper cultural practices is the best defense against fungus. These practices include but are not limited to, proper mowing, soil aeration and effective fertilization including a periodic soil test.
Summer fertilizer should typically only be applied when the turf is actively growing and then only if there is adequate soil moisture to support growth. We will usually only recommend summer fertilizer on lawns with supplemental irrigation. Summer applications should not exceed .5 lbs. nitrogen per 1000 square feet. This nitrogen source should be a slow release formulation.
Don’t think of fall as a vacation from lawn work. Now is the time to build a quality lawn. Lateral growth and root development are the priorities for your turf. And two-thirds of the nitrogen you apply to your lawn each year should be applied in the fall. (As we said earlier, this helps build up the nutrients your turf needs for winter.)
We recommend applying nitrogen at least twice at six to eight-week intervals, maybe once around Labor Day and a second application between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Like we said at the beginning, a good lawn takes work, but it’s not a project you need to tackle on your own. If you have questions about these or any other lawn care issues, visit Mendham Garden Center.
Each of our three locations – Mendham, Chester and Annandale – has the products and the experts you’ll need to keep your grass green this year.
Want to understand what it takes to develop a lush green lawn?
You first need to understand the growing habits of cool-season turf grass, which is the predominant type of grass that you’ll find growing in New Jersey. Continue Reading Developing an Effective Fertilizer Program
We’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing new about the concept of living an all-organic, eco-friendly lifestyle.
Eating organic fruits and veg, or washing your dishes and laundering your clothes with ecologically responsible soaps. But have you ever given serious thought to the idea of going organic in your own front lawn?
Our New Jersey landscape supply company, with three locations in the Garden State, has supplies ranging from lawn food to weed killer that will make your switch to organic lawn care a simple and stress-free process.