Is your Hopewell Junction, NY, lawn a sad, scraggly, weedy mess? Great lawns require regular maintenance, and many factors can be at play if your lawn looks sparse and unhealthy. However, some TLC can change things around. Here is how a lawn fertilizer service can help restore your neglected yard.
Thatch is un-decomposed grass stems and roots that accumulate near the soil surface. Removal of it enables new, healthy grass growth.
Dealing with Depressions
Poor grading and low spots in the lawn mean that some areas will collect rainwater and become soggy, while other areas are parched.
Ensuring Healthy Soil
Soil tests will be conducted to ensure that its pH is correct, and adjustments will be made as necessary. Some soils may be depleted and will require the addition of organic matter (compost, for example) and microbes that support root health.
Aeration and Soil Additives
Snow can compact the soil in your yard, which makes it difficult for grass seedlings to become established and grow a healthy root system. Adding gypsum to the soil can loosen the soil to promote water and nutrient absorption. Aeration offers a similar effect although it does it in a mechanical way rather than through a chemical method. In some cases, both methods may be used.
Overseeding the Surface
Some seeds get eaten by birds and rodents, are blown away by the wind, or washed away by heavy rains. It’s important to overseed, and then cover the seed lightly with compost-enriched topsoil.
Once grass seedlings are emerging, frequent watering is necessary. As the grass begins to look more healthy, we assess its health and apply nitrogen-based fertilizers as necessary. This has to be done carefully to prevent fertilizer burn, and should be done throughout the season to give the young roots the best chance for thriving.
It may be determined that your grass should be kept longer. On damaged lawns, the top third of the grass is typically mowed to ensure the grass doesn’t get stressed and so it can keep producing chlorophyll.
Chemical weeding is not recommended on newly emerged grass. We apply a post-emergent herbicide once the grass has matured and an application of pre-emergent herbicide at the beginning of the next growing season. Although you want to minimize walking on newly seeded grass, if weeds are a real problem, it’s best to manually pull them rather than stress the new lawn further by using herbicides.
What then needs to happen is watering. A damaged lawn needs extra care, and that tends to include extra watering. A great way to ensure your lawn is receiving the right amount of water is to set an aluminum cake pan about halfway between the sprinkler head and the edge of the spray pattern. Turn on the sprinkler, and time how long it takes to fill about half an inch of water. That’s how long you want to water your lawn. Do this twice per day when seedlings are emerging, and then as they mature, water the lawn three times per week unless it rains.
Once a lawn is well-established, regular feeding, weeding, aeration, and watering will ensure that it stays vibrant and lush for many years.