Category Archives: Commercial Lawn Care
Pro-Lawn-Plus loves to work with companies and other organizations to keep their grounds weed-free and looking beautiful. Contact Us to learn more about our Commercial Weed Control and Fertilization program.
We are seeing high numbers of Japanese Beetle adults emerging now. They are flying around, feeding on trees, shrubs and certain perennials; mating then laying eggs in the lawn. Those eggs can turn into grubs if there is adequate soil moisture. In the summer of 2013, soil moisture is certainly abundant. So we expect a large grub population later this summer and into early fall.
The adult beetles can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. See this link fromfor control strategies. We do NOT recommend those yellow beetle traps because they tend to bring more beetles to your property. Insecticide sprays can help but generally rain will wash it off so in a year like 2013, multiple sprays would be necessary.
If you are on a lawn care program and you are not on the grub prevention option, you might want to consider it for 2013. The worst case scenario is that we have continue to have a wet July (so the grubs hatch and survive) then the turf dries out in August. At that time the turf has drought stress in combination with a reduced root system from the feeding of the grubs. That combination can cause damage that looks like this.Grubs in the soil.
To reiterate, if you have beetles you can expect to start seeing the grubs starting in late July and damage occurring from early August through early October. To prevent this type of damage to your property, we strongly recommend that you consider a grub preventive application as soon as possible.
Brown Patch disease (Rhizoctonia spp.) occurs in Maryland in warm, humid weather. The combination of daytime temperatures that are over 85°F and nighttime temperatures that stay above 65° F with little air flow leaving the grass moist for over eight hours are the perfect conditions for this turf disease. You can identify Brown Patch by its symptoms. Light tan lesions with dark brown edges across the middle or tips of the grass blades are signs you might have Brown Patch. On mornings with abundant dew, you will actually be able to see the signs of the fungal mycelium which look like cottony structures.
Click to enlarge
It is mainly a problem on improved varieties of Tall Fescue. If you have a variety that is especially susceptible to Brown Patch disease and the ideal environmental conditions are expected for an extended period of time, you might need to have your lawn treated with a fungicide to avoid having to. However, if a cold front is expected within a few days to lower the humidity and nighttime temperatures, it may not be necessary to spray.
If you suspect you have brown patch, avoid nighttime watering if you can. Afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms on a humid night set up the ideal conditions for Brown Patch disease. More information on Brown Patch UMD
Please let us know if you have any questions about this disease.
Does your lawn have either of these things?
Whenever we have a period of rainfall, warm temperatures, and high humidity, we always receive calls about mushrooms. We also receive calls about bluish-gray fungus on the lawn. The good news is that both of these are called saprophytic fungi, meaning they are not feeding on the grass itself. Therefore, neither lawn fungus needs to be treated with a lawn fungicide. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungi that feed on rotting wood underground and they may be a symptom of a lawn disease called ‘Fairy Ring’; but it does NOT need to be treated. You can just kick the mushrooms over and they will dry out within a day or so. And with slime mold, you can either wash the particles (technically called pustules) off or kick it off of the grass blades it attaches itself to. Generally, when the lawns dry out and the humidity diminishes, the mushrooms and slime mold will disappear.
Here is the link to our website that describes mushrooms
Finally, here is a link from Ohio State University that describes slime mold in more detail
Red thread disease and it’s associated lawn disease Pink Patch (Laetisaria spp) are both turf diseases that like cool, wet spring weather. It likes temperatures in the 60’s and low 70’s with high humidity and in soils with high moisture content. It is an interesting lawn disease because of the red fungal mycelium (strands) that are visible to the naked eye.
The disease develops in circular or irregular patches from 4 inches to 2 feet in diameter. Affected leaves within these patches are tan or bleached-white in color. From a distance, the patches usually have that reddish appearance, due to the presence of thick, red strands of fungal growth emanating from the affected leaves. It is through production of these “red threads” that the fungus spreads to healthy plants and survives unfavorable conditions. Small tufts of pink, fuzzy mycelium may also be present in or around the patches when the leaves are wet or humidity is high. After prolonged periods of disease development, the patches may merge to produce large irregularly shaped areas of damaged turf.
Red thread most commonly affects Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and sometimes tall fescue. Outbreaks usually occur in lower maintenance turf stands such as residential lawns, golf course roughs, and some low budget athletic fields. Red thread development is most common where turfgrass nutrition is poor but that is not always the case. Soils that have little or no topsoil and organic matter and don’t hold nutrients are susceptible to Red Thread and Pink Patch as well.
Generally, only in the worst cases of these two lawn diseases is it necessary to spray fungicides. There would need to be a prolonged period of cool weather to necessitate control products. A few hot, dry days usually will eliminate the symptoms.
Here is a fact sheet from the University of Maryland that explains the disease in more detail – http://hgic.umd.edu/content/documents/TT-24.pdf
Wild violet, is a cool season, perennial, broadleaf weed. It is one of the first plants to flower in spring, growing well during cool parts of the growing season, and is usually found in shaded, moist areas. The heart-shaped leaves have scalloped edges with a waxy coating.
The waxy coating on violet leaves tend to repel weed control materials, with little chemical being taken in by the plant. Violets tend to be resistant to most herbicides but are most susceptible in the spring while they are flower.
Controlling wild violets in a lawn or landscape can be a difficult challenge, and will certainly require more than one herbicide application before it is accomplished. As with any lawn weed, the best control practice is to promote a dense and healthy turf through soil testing to mointor pH, proper mowing, fertilizing and irrigation.
Creeping woodsorrel is a spreading perennial weed with a reddish-purple color that frequently roots at the nodes. The three heart-shaped leaves of creeping woodsorrel is nearly identical to yellow woodsorrel. Creeping woodsorrel is most commonly introduced to the landscape through nursery container-grown landscape plants. Once transplanted and established it will quickly escaped the landscape beds and invade the surrounding turf. Established creeping woodsorrel is difficult to manage and control because it is also resistant to most weed control products.
Japanese Stilt Grass, or Nepalese Browntop, is a pale green annual plant that grows up to 3 1/2 feet in height. The leaves are asymmetrical and lanced-shaped with a distinctive midrib and range from 1 to 3 inches long. Late summer yields flowers, and soon after fruits mature on the plant. It is found mostly in shady locations in moist or dry soil. It can be pulled from moist soil or mowed in late summer before the seeds are produced. The best way to control Japanese Stiltgrass is with very early spring pre-emergence herbicides. It can also be managed in the summer with certain post-emergence herbicides that are labeled for the control of summer annual grassy weeds.
Annual bluegrass and roughstalk bluegrass are both very obvious in many lawns right now. Both of these grassy weeds are very common in residential and commercial turfgrass and are a problem because there is no adequate control for them in the Kentucky bluegrass/Tall Fescue lawns that comprise most Baltimore area lawns.
Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) is a cool season annual grassy weed that starts germinating in late summer or fall, as temperatures fall, and continues to germinate throughout the winter into early spring. Because of this growth habit, it is more competitive than other turf cultivars during the cool season, accounting for the spring annual bluegrass invasion.
Annual bluegrass has light green flattened stems and silvery-colored seed heads that cause yellow or light green patches in lawns. It is especially noticeable in April and May. Annual bluegrass is able to survive low mowing heights of less than 1 inch and still reseed. It tends to die out in hot summer weather.
Roughstalk bluegrass (Poa trivialis) is an undesirable perennial turf species that do well in moist, shaded areas but lacks heat and drought tolerance. It is considered short-lived but can persist in Baltimore area lawns. It is characterized by a mid/light-green leaf coloration that browns out quickly above 80 degrees, resulting in distinct dense, patchy growth where other grasses tend to be absent. Roughstalk bluegrass is noticeable in the spring with its lime-green color and in the summer when it goes brown and dormant under heat stress. Rough bluegrass favors light, frequent irrigation, moist/wet soils, low mowing heights and/or high fertility. Dormant Roughstalk bluegrass is sometimes misdiagnosed as grub injury in late summer, because of its shallow root system.
Roughstalk bluegrass in a lawn in the spring
No Easy Control Procedure
WHY WEED OUT WEEDS?
Everyone knows that weeds make your well-manicured lawn look unappealing. But weeds cause bigger problems than looks from the neighbors. They are in direct competition with your beautiful lawn! They steal sunlight, water and nutrients from your lawn. Eventually they muscle in and take over. It is important for the health of your lawn to limit the overall number of weeds it’s competing against. There are millions of weed seeds throughout your lawn lying dormant, waiting to be ‘activated’. They are brought by wind, rain, animals, even your mowing service. Mother Nature is resilient; she makes it hard to eliminate weeds completely. But with Pro-Lawn-Plus’s 5 treatment program and some good mowing practices you’ll, be on your way.
MOWING MUST HAVE’S!
Raising the height of your mower is one of the simplest and most important things you can do for your lawn’s health. Adjust your mower so that it cuts your grass at 3 to 3.5 inches high. The basic rule is: the hotter the weather, the higher you should mow. Higher mowing promotes deeper roots, prevents water loss by shading the soil, and reduces weeds by preventing sunlight from warming seeds. Taller grass also cools the soil and reduces heat stress.
Mowing frequency is also important. Be sure that no more than one-third of the total grass blade is removed in any one mowing. Once per week is sufficient when your grass is actively growing. During late April and May, many lawn weed grasses go into flower and will seem to grow even faster. It is even more important at this time NOT to let the grass get too tall between mowing.
Instead of bagging your grass clippings, leave them on the lawn. Unless they are exceptionally long, grass clippings won’t cause any problems. In fact, they can provide about one-third of your lawn’s nutrient needs and are a valuable source of organic matter. Furthermore, this environmentally friendly practice will reduce the amount of grass clippings clogging up our landfills!
Did you know that a lawn area just 50-ft square absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and releases enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe? Or that the grass and trees along the U.S. interstate highway system release enough oxygen to support 22 million people! That green patch of earth under your feet is not only beautiful, it’s environmentally beneficial.
Scientific research has documented the many benefits of turfgrass to our environment. Today’s improved turfgrass varieties are very effective in reducing pollution. A thick healthy lawn traps and removes dust and dirt from the air. It also acts as a natural filter, reducing pollution by purifying the water passing through its root zone. The clean gentle strength of turfgrass is the most cost-effective method for controlling wind and water erosion. A thick, healthy Pro-Lawn-Plus lawn absorbs rainfall and prevents major run off.
Another often overlooked benefit of a healthy lawn is its tremendous cooling effect. On a hot summer day, lawns will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees cooler than bare soil. The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That’s amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity. The cooling effect of irrigated turf reduces the amount of fuel that must be burned to provide the electricity which powers air conditioners.
A well maintained lawn can also enhance the “curb appeal” of your home, adding as much as 15% to the value, while providing a natural and safe setting for fun and games. The soft resilient surface of turfgrass is the safest and least expensive place to play. From backyard games to the NFL, athletes of all sizes prefer the green cushion of turfgrass. A healthy, thick lawn quietly adds to the beauty of our lives and even our mental and physical health. As you can see, the satisfaction of creating a beautiful lawn can be rewarding for you and the environment.
It’s that time of year again, time to start thinking about fertilizing your lawn and dealing with the chores that go with it. Maybe this is the year you let a professional handle the headache but who do you choose? The Maryland Department of Agriculture has a great brochure with questions you should ask before deciding on a lawn care service. Pro-Lawn Plus meets these standards and I’d like to highlight a few reasons why we should be your lawn care service provider.
First, we are a local company, not a branch of a national chain. We have been in business since 1978 and have built strong ties within the community. We are based in Baltimore and service Northern Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Harford County and portions of Carroll County. So we know the area and understand the specific local conditions, which help us to determine the best approach to improve your lawn. We have a highly trained and experienced staff, both in the field and in the office. After contacting my staff you will know you’re doing business with lawn professionals who do their best to achieve results that we will both be proud of.
We also pride ourselves on being environmentally conscience. I work closely with local law makers and University of Maryland officials to keep up-to-date on all local environmental concerns, including the new Maryland regulations on fertilizer application. Our equipment also allows us to spot spray for weeds, lowering the environmental impact of our treatments. We also offer an organic, no pesticides programs and all natural organic root sprays.
I’m so confident in our service that I am offering a no risk, 3-month, money back guarantee your lawn will look better or your money back. Fill out our short contact form and a sales associate will come out to your property and provide you with a free, no-obligation written estimate. You don’t even need to be home at the time of our survey. Choose Pro-Lawn Plus and you know that you are choosing the right lawn care service.