Lawn Renovation – First Steps

We’ve been dealing with the “Dog Days of Summer” for a couple of weeks now.  One of the things that go with this time of year are bad looking lawns, many of which need lawn renovation.  Mid-August is the time for step 1 of that process.  Steps 2 to 8 should take place in late…

Yellow Nutsedge

“What is this grass growing in my flower bed?” is a question I hear quite often now.  Rolling the stem between my fingers quickly determines this isn’t grass at all but the infamous yellow nutsedge.  Sedges are grass-like perennials that have triangular shaped stems.   If they grew at the same rate as turfgrass, many lawn…

Don’t Plant This at Home

The common phrase – “Don’t try this at home” refers to all sorts of actions from pro wrestling to theatre and even television shows such as America’s Got Talent.  The common thread to all of these is an element of danger, or at least something more exciting than common sense and safety.   Don’t try…

Surface Roots Under Trees

Trees are great – they produce shade, create framing for a house or building, provide shelter for songbirds, slow down the wind and snow and so many other benefits…but they can create a few problems, one of which is surface roots.   Surface roots are not to be taken lightly – they create a tripping…

Shade, Semi-Shade and Sun

If you look out at your landscape, you’ll probably see all degrees of sun and shade.  There are lots of names of these levels of light, but shade, semi-shade and sun are good descriptors for most plants.   One of the most pertinent reasons for focusing on shade levels is that it really helps locate…

Get Rid of the Grass in Your Landscape

Really?  Get rid of it?  But, I’m a big fan.  I love the relaxing feeling I get when I mow the grass.  Yes, there are many benefits of turfgrass, were  outlined last week, but really, in the true spirit of the horticultural truism of “Right Plant, Right Place”, turf simply doesn’t belong in all parts…

Moles and Grubs

It’s been a good year for moles.  A nice amount of rain keeps soils moist and workable—the perfect environment to enable mole movement as they “swim” through the soil. Many people approach the problem of moles by focusing on grubs—that if the grubs are gone, then moles won’t be in the lawn. Though not accurate,…

Benefits of Turfgrass

In many gardening circles, lawns and turfgrass in general get a bad reputation.  For the most part, this is greatly undeserved.  Yes, if turf is misplaced or not cared for properly, it can be a liability rather than an asset in the landscape.  But before you write it off completely, consider the following:   *Oxygen…

Plant Groundcovers Under Shade Trees

Is the vegetation under your shade tree thin and lifeless?  If so, you may wish to consider planting a groundcover instead of turfgrass.  Periwinkle, English ivy, lamium, pachysandra, some cultivars of coral bells, ajuga, plumbago, euonymous, Virginia creeper and Hall’s honeysuckle are good options to consider.  The bottom line is Right Plant, Right Place, and…

Preemergence Herbicides for the Lawn – When, Where and How Much?

The traditional question for spring lawn management – when is the best time to put on a preemergence herbicide?  Also called “crabgrass preventer”, timing is important, but is not the only consideration.  In addition to timing, there are at least 5 others.   Target temperature – Since the weeds that are targeted with these products…