How much water does my lawn need?
Your lawn needs 1 to 1-1/2" (3-4cm) of water weekly. Mother Nature provides water, but she sometimes needs help. To determine the need for supplemental water, look for these telltale signs of oncoming drought stress:
- Areas of the lawn especially near concrete or asphalt (sidewalks and driveways), under large trees and on slopes, take on a dark, silvery or smoky blue-green haze. In extreme cases the lawn appears yellowish.
- Footprints or lawnmower wheel marks don't spring back shortly after they are made.
If your lawn shows symptoms of drought, water it immediately regardless of the time of day. Under normal circumstances, early morning is the best time to water your lawn so that the leaves can dry slowly and naturally without too much evaporation, and instead with most of the water penetrating the soil. Regular, fairly deep watering is better than daily light sprinklings. Deep watering and allowing the lawn to dry out between watering will force the roots to penetrate deeper in search of moisture.
Who registers pesticides in United States?
EPA and state departments (usually the State Department of Agriculture) register or license pesticides for use in the United States. EPA receives its authority to register pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). States are authorized to regulate pesticides under FIFRA and under state pesticide laws. States may place more restrictive requirements on pesticides than EPA. Pesticides must be registered both by EPA and the state before distribution. The United States has one of the most stringent pesticide regulatory systems in the world. The safety and effectiveness of each product is thoroughly evaluated by agency toxicologists to ensure products meet strict safety standards. In most cases, pesticides are subject to more testing than pharmaceutical drugs. Professional applicators are highly trained and adhere to all state regulations concerning pesticide use. The pest management products that are available to the homeowner (at any hardware, department or grocery store) for use on lawns are virtually the same products that commercial lawn care companies use. Like other products used in and around the home such as paints, cleaners, medicines and fuels, pesticides should always be used responsibly, and only when needed. When used and stored according to their directions, they present a low risk to the safety of people, pets and the environment.
Are sharp lawnmower blades important?
A sharp clean cut will seal quickly and resist disease attack.
Are the products that you use the same as the ones I could buy myself in the store?
There are some good over-the-counter products, and you could probably do 60 percent of what we do very similarly yourself. But we do have some “professional use only” products that you would not have access to, and those products help us with some of the more difficult-to-control weeds or they deliver longer residual disease control than what is available to consumers. But this issue goes back to the previous question – putting down the right product at the right rate. You may have access to the right product, but that depends on you making the proper diagnosis of the problem. So, along with our products, by hiring a lawn care professional you're also gaining access to our knowledge and expertise. In addition, we are seeing more products taken away from homeowner use, especially in terms of fungicides that help control diseases. As a result, product availability is becoming more restricted.
Do I have to worry about the product persisting in the environment?
No. After the product is applied it is broken down quickly by soil microbes and other means into harmless substances - water, carbon dioxide and humus. This occurs within a short period of time, generally less than thirty days.
Do I need weed control?
Weeds compete with desirable lawn grasses for water, space, light and nutrients. They are very aggressive and can take over a lawn if not kept in check. It is when this type of imbalance occurs that many customers request help from Weed Man Professionals. Before this happens, a preventive approach to controlling weeds is recommended. It includes regular fertilization, proper mowing and correct watering practices. Weeds can also be controlled through digging or hand pulling. This method is much more labour intensive and is not always effective since many weeds can reproduce through vegetative parts if they are not entirely dug out.
Do Weed Man professionals follow the government-recommended preventive IPM approach to lawn care?
Yes, Weed Man professionals follow the preventive IPM approach. It is contemporary, responsible and ensures a healthy lawn and environment. Weed Man professionals have been using this approach for many years.
How can I keep my pet from damaging the lawn?
Many dog owners get frustrated by the spots their pets leave on the lawn by going to the bathroom there, but there aren't many ways to avoid this other than training your dog to only go in one particular area of the lawn. The problem is that the high quantity of salt in the animal's urine essentially burns the turf. If this problem really bothers you, veterinarians offer some medicines that reduce the amount of salt in animal's urine and will at least minimize the problem.
How long do I need to stay off the lawn after you visit? What about my pets?
You need to respect anything applied to your lawn. Obviously, you want to be aware of when an application is made to your lawn, and that's one reason why we post signs in your yard when we apply. You should then wait at least until the application dries before going on the grass or letting the pets out, and that can be 15 minutes or 24 hours. Be sure to ask your local Weed Man for the drying times of specific products. It's important that you know that these products have all been carefully screened and are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. On top of that, we as lawn care professionals have a broad range of products to choose from, and at Weed Man we focus on selecting the ones that are most friendly to our applicators.
How should I water my lawn?
During the growing season, in the absence of rain, a lawn may need 1-2 inches of irrigation to meet the water needs of your lawn. Infrequent, deep watering is best and only as needed. If you see signs of water deficiency (blue-gray coloring, or foot-printing,) you should water immediately to replenish the turf. In some parts of the country, lawns are allowed to go into summer dormancy and rely totally on rainfall to bring the lawn back to its previous healthy state. For irrigated turf, morning watering is best. Late day watering may promote disease activity in summer months because insufficient time was allowed for leaf drying.
I am getting some mole activity in my yard. Does that mean that I have grubs?
Moles are mammals whose diet consists of mostly earthworms and grubs. Obviously, grubs are a choice treat, but not the only entree of distinction. Their random search for food is most active in the early morning and in the evening. Reduction of their food source, such as grubs, may discourage their activity, but don't expect them to leave immediately.
If the products can be used safely why are there some people who still express serious concerns about their use?
Many people fear things that they know very little about. In fact people naturally have a tendency to fear anything that is man-made, especially chemicals. However, many people do not recognize that there are things that occur in nature, including natural chemicals, that can be just as toxic as or even more harmful than man-made substances. It is important to recognize that it is the dose that makes the poison. All substances can be toxic (including water) depending on the dose.
Is fertilizer important?
Lawns require fertilizer to maintain health and vigor. A well-fertilized lawn will be better at preventing weed infestation as well as drought and disease. Lawns that are thick and healthy can help the environment by producing oxygen, filtering and enhancing ground water quality, cooling the air during hot weather, trapping and absorbing urban dust and pollution, and providing a safer playing surface. It also helps people feel better about themselves and their surroundings. Weed Man offers our proprietary 24-4-16, 65% Slow Release Granular Fertilizer. Fertilizers must be applied evenly and at the proper rate to prevent burning or leaving stripes on the lawn. Your Weed Man professional will be happy to help.
Is it better to aerify or dethatch my lawn? What is the best time? I have a lot of thatch. How often should I aerate/dethatch?
There are a lot of questions here, but here is how we see it. Both dethatching (renovating) and core aeration will help reduce thatch levels. Mechanical dethatching / power raking will physically remove some measure of the thatch layer, oftentimes producing mountains of organic debris to be disposed of. It provides immediate satisfaction for the homeowner, but will often need to be repeated spring or fall annually to reduce heavily thatched areas. Secondly, it can make some lawns look a bit ragged if their root zones or density is already compromised. Weed Man prefers the benefits of aeration. Although the thatch reduction is a bit slower, the task is less physically demanding, as it not only reduces thatch over time, but also improves the soil condition by opening up the root zone for better rooting and uptake of water and nutrients. The thatch reduction will not be a result of physically removing thatch, but of creating an environment in the thatch layer that increases microbial activity as the soil and the microbes in the soil are redeposited on top and filter into the layer to digest the unwanted thatch. Kentucky bluegrass, bentgrasses, and fine fescues can build up this thatch layer, but perennial ryegrass and tall fescue seldom have a serious thatch accumulation. Aeration and dethatching should be done when the lawn is growing optimally. This means spring or fall for cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, and during the summer months for warm season grasses like bermuda, zoysia, and St. Augustine.
Should I remove grass clippings?
Grass clippings should be left on the lawn when mowing. "Grass-cycling" is natural and an environmentally beneficial practice. Grass clippings are about 90 percent water by weight. Because they are high in protein they should be left on the lawn to decompose and add nutrients to the soil. Grass-cycling also reduces waste and conserves landfill space. It is only necessary to remove lawn clippings if they are long and will smother the lawn.
What can I do to have decent grass under my maple tree and along the north side of my house?
Although shade is a good thing, especially in the summer, it can be a significant limiting factor for lawns. Turf grass will respond to shade by leaf elongation and decreases in stand density. There may be instances where turf should not be attempted because of the low light intensity. Here are a few things you can do to help your lawn: mow a bit taller, overseed with a shade mix including grasses like creeping red fescue, keep leaf litter picked up, selectively prune dense trees to allow more filtered light to enter, and manage watering to avoid over watering and increasing disease incidence. Some types of trees, i.e. Silver Maples and Black Walnut, can be toxic to Bluegrass, making it difficult to grow Bluegrass under these trees.
What can I do to make my lawn healthier?
Proper watering and mowing are the two biggest concerns. You need to mow at least once a week during growth periods. When mowing, sharp mower blades are extremely important. Rusty or dull blades rip the grass instead of cutting it, providing opportunities for problems, such as diseases, to infest the lawn. As for irrigation, you don't want to over water because that will set the grass up for disease problems as well. At the same time, underwatering stresses the turf and creates opportunities for weeds to grow. Be sure that your sprinkler system covers the lawn well and irrigates deeply to encourage deep root growth and makes the turf less susceptible to drought. Lastly, as your landscape develops, keep an eye on trees and shrubs and make sure they remain properly pruned or thinned to allow sufficient light to reach the lawn.
What do the experts say about 2,4-D?
The experts at the Environmental Protection Agency extensively evaluate all pest control products. 2,4-D, the product that is commonly used for weed control is among the most highly tested products in the world. The product has been used on lawns, golf courses, parks and other turf areas for thirty years. When applied by trained technicians and according to label directions, it provides effective control of broadleaf weeds without posing an unreasonable risk to humans, pets or the environment. At least twelve independent scientific panels have reviewed both the toxicology and epidemology data packages of 2,4-D in the last ten years. All have concluded that no cause and effect relationship has been established between 2,4-D and cancer and/or that the continued use of 2,4-D poses no unreasonable risk to man or the environment. Copies of the reports can be seen on the internet www.24d.org. Consequently, 2,4-D has been the most researched herbicide on earth with thousands of studies having been performed on it in the last 50 years. Before a pest control product is applied to a turf area it is diluted according to product label directions. For example commonly used weed control products are most often highly diluted with water before being applied by a professional applicator.
What risk do my children and pets face after a weed control product has been applied?
Please follow your Weed Man professional's written instructions and remain off a treated lawn until it has dried – or, as an extra precaution, for 24 hours. This will reduce the potential for contact with the material to practically nothing. When the material is applied to a lawn, it dries very quickly to the target area. Once the product has dried on the surface of plants, it becomes practically impossible to remove any residues from the surfaces.
When should I cut the grass?
Your lawn should be mowed regularly at a proper height. This means that your lawn may require mowing more than once a week during peak growth and only once every two weeks during periods of slow growth. Since the root system of a grass plant grows proportionately to the above ground parts of the plant, a longer cutting height results in a stronger, deeper root system.
Cool Season Grasses
Warm Season Grasses
- Kentucky Bluegrass 2.5 to 3 inches (60 - 75 mm)
- Perennial Ryegrass 2.5 to 3 inches (60 - 75 mm)
- Tall Rescue 2.5 to 4 inches (60 - 100 mm)
- Common Bermuda 0.75 to 1.25 inches (20 - 30 mm)
- Hybrid Bermuda 0.5 to 1.0 inches (12 - 25 mm)
- St Augustine 2.0 to 4 inches (50 - 100 mm)
- Zoysiagrass 1.0 to 2.5 inches (25 - 60 mm)
- Centipedegrass 1.0 to 2.0 inches (25 - 50 mm)
Where can I find additional information regarding pesticides?
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs [Division Mail Code] Ariel Rios Building 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20460 Website http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ 2,4-D Task Force Information Hotline 1(800) 345-5109 Contact - Don Page Website www.24d.org Professional Lawn Care Association of America 1(800) 458-3466 Contact - Tom Delaney Website www.plcaa.org National Pesticide Telecomunications Network Oregon State University, 333 Wenigner Hall, Corvallis, Oregaon 97331-6502 Phone: 1-800-858-7378 Fax: 1-541-737-0761 email: firstname.lastname@example.org NPTN at http://nptn.orst.edu/ Weed Man professionals are available to answer any questions that you may have about the products or services that are used to help promote and protect a healthy lawn. Please contact your local Weed Man using the Dealer Locator function of this web site.
Why do I get certain problems in the backyard and not the front yard or vice versa?
Just because a front yard and backyard are on the same property, there's no guarantee they will have the same problems. And there can be any number of reasons for this. Perhaps the airflow isn't as good in the backyard because there is a fence and a more significant landscape there. Maybe the grass in the front yard is different than what's in the backyard, or the soils might even be different on various sides of the house. Any of these differences could lead to problems in one area but not the other.
Why do I need a professional lawn care company?
One big reason is that you're hiring an expert who can diagnose problems. We can tell you whether or not the problem with your lawn is a disease, an insect or simply a lack of water, and that can be challenging for you, the homeowner, to do alone. In addition, when you hire Weed Man, you're buying a guarantee for results, and that's not always the case when you're buying products right off the shelf. We can offer our customers this type of commitment because we know we're applying the right amount of the right products at the right time, and do-it-yourselfers can't be sure of that. We'll keep coming out until the lawn meets your satisfaction. Plus, putting down the right product at the right rate and at the right time is especially important for many lawn problems, including crabgrass, and in some areas of the country you may have to apply an herbicide twice to get control. We'll make sure that happens.
Why do I need more than one or two visits a year?
Unfortunately, lawn care is not like switching on a light and having the grass stay green all year. Just like people, lawns need continual feeding. There are fertilizers that feed over longer periods of time, but we're accomplishing other things as well with our visits. For example, we want to see if there are any dry spots or weed problems that need to be kept in check. In addition, some weeds appear in the spring while other weeds show up in the fall, and we need to control them all.
Why should I keep my bluegrass or tall fescue lawn at 2.5 to 3 inches tall? I like it short.
Mowing properly is essential for maintaining a quality turf throughout the long haul. This includes not only the optimum height, but also regular frequency with a sharp blade to ensure both a clean cut and minimizing the chance to shock the grass by taking off too much at a time. Removal of no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at one time ensures this. To get back to the question, a lawn that is mowed below optimal heights will see reduced vigor as a result of its decreased ability to manufacture food. Lower mowing heights also diminish the root system, thus reducing its ability to take up water and nutrients. Proper height and mowing frequency will result in a denser and healthier turf that is more likely to withstand stresses coming from disease, heat, traffic, and weed infestation.
Why was my lawn technician here only five to ten minutes? Am I getting my money's worth?
We have specific tasks we are doing on each visit. Our equipment is calibrated to provide the proper rate, our vehicle is fully loaded for our day’s work, and we are well-organized, resulting in an efficient use of our time. We will be many more times efficient than the average homeowner because of the above as well as the fact that we do this every day. When we are out on the lawn, we inspect the turf for potentially damaging insects, weeds, or diseases. We also note your cultural practices and leave information for your review. In addition to the inspections completed upon each visit, depending on location, a free mid-summer inspection is completed with a written report left for review by the homeowner. The value you are receiving is in the good results and information. Satisfaction guaranteed – and, hopefully, through good communication up front, a realistic expectation of the results has been presented to you.