Frequently Asked Questions
Common Questions - Weeds and Crabgrass
1) Why do we have so many weeds?
Dandelions in particular, weeds in general, do not seem concerned about how long lawn has been under good care.
Airborne seed and seed which has been in the soil for years will seek the opportunity to grow in any area of weakness in turf density.
Weather extremes usually create these kinds of weak areas, even in the best lawns.
2) Should we dig up our weeds?
Absolutely not. This common activity is extremely harmful to any lawn, since the vacant space usually fills in with a greater abundance of undesirable vegetation.
3) Don't weeds choke out the good grass?
Contrary to popular opinion, almost never.
Rare instances of this occurring from knotweed, hawkweed and chickweed have been observed in this area.
4) Will you get rid of all our weeds?
No, since nature is continually interfering.
However, the majority will eventually be controlled.
5) Should weed control be applied on newly seeded areas?
No, not without substantial risk of damage to the seed.
6) Why do we get crabgrass?
Since most soils are abundant with the seeds of annual weeds, they will germinate when the conditions are favorable.
Ground temperatures of 75 to 80, thin turf areas, water runoff areas, and disturbed pre-emergent barriers are favorable conditions.
7) Why does crabgrass seem to take over?
The rapid lateral growth of the leaves on each mature plant makes it appear that the plants are multiplying.
This false appearance usually occurs in August.
8) Shouldn't crabgrass be killed or pulled out?
Absolutely not. Physical removal promotes other annual grasses and even worse, perennial weeds.
Crabgrass will die with the first frost, and it provides an ideal seedbed for seeding desirable grass, with which turf can be thickened and future crabgrass prevented.
9) What is the right way to control crabgrass?
Thick turf and proper applications of an effective granular pre-emergent will discourage annual grasses, such as crabgrass.
Common Questions - Grasses and Seeds
1) What is the right grass to grow in this area?
The public's desire for durability, manageability, econony and beauty can only be filled with bluegrasses in the sunny areas and ryegrasses in the shady areas.
2) How much grassseed should be put down?
During the first year of the establishment of bare dirt areas, a minimum of 14 seeds per square inch should applied (2 million seeds per 1,000 sq. feet.)
Subsequent overseeding rates may vary according to existing density, planting methods, irrigation capabilities, timing a objectives.
3) Is grass seed visible?
Yes, but varieties which have seed counts in excess 1 million per pound (bluegrass) are hard for the untrained eye to spot if already applied.
4) What could prevent seed from germinating?
The following things are required for seed to germinate:
1. Live seed
2. Non-dormant seed
There are no other requirements.
Federal inspectors ensure numbers 1 and 2 above, while nature provides numbers 3, 4, 5 and part of 6.
Only one thing could prevent our seed from germinating, inadequate moisture.
5) Why did the seed in our shade areas germinate faster than in the sun areas?
Deep or moderate shade areas tend to react different than areas in full sun.
Firstly, a shade area retains moisture easily which is the key to germination.
Also ryegrasses that we plant in shade areas germinate more quickly than the bluegrasses planted in the sun areas.
6) Can you establish a lawn in my shady areas?
Yes and no.
The deep shaded areas are impossible to establish permanent turf due to the lack of sunlight and air circulation.
These areas will need to be constantly reseeded to rebuild the density of the turf.
7) Should we stay off newly seeded areas?
No, however heavy foot traffic could increase seedling mortality.
8) Why didn"t the seed we planted last year grow?
History tells us that, contrary to customary beliefs, it probably did not wash away, the birds probably did not eat it, it was probably not dead seed, and it was probably not sucked up by the lawn mower.
It most likely began to germinate, dried out and died.
9) How much water is enough to get seed to germinate?
Very little volume is necessary.
The seeds and seedlings do need to remain moist until they are tall enough to cut with a mower.
If they dry out during this period, they will die.
Common Questions - Watering and Mowing
1) How should we mow?
The lawn should be mowed at least once per week.
Right after this mowing is a good time to water, giving the plants a chance to recover the stress of being cut.
Mow down to a height of 2" to 2 1/2" (no shorter), for the final mowing of the year which should be as short as possible.
It is almost always true that the greenest, healthiest, most weed-free lawns are the ones which are regularly maintained at the longest cut lengths.
ALWAYS use a sharp blade.
A dull mower rips an shreds the tissues of the plants,
causing them to become brown from a rapid escape of internal moisture
and from the diseases caused by the fungal spores which easily enter the wounds.
For appearances sake, clippings should be removed from most lawns in any locale.
For the sake of the health of lawn in Massachusetts where our acidic soils interfere with organic decomposition,
clippings should also be removed to try to head off thatch accumulation problems.
It is not a popular subject but the lignin in the root systen and especially in the fescue grass's clippings
adds to the thatch layer and can sometimes even necessitate yearly dethatchings.
2) How should we water?
Most lawns should receive between 1" and 1 1/2" water per week.
This amount of moisture should be delivered in 2 or 3 waterings or rainfalls per week (daily waterings can encourage weak root systems.)
If possible, do not water after 4:00 PM or before 4:00 AM (fungus disease activity is encouraged in dark & wet conditions).
3) How do we measure the amount of water our sprinkler puts out?
By placing a container with straight sides (coffee can) half-way between the sprinkler and the farthest point the spray.
4) Is it possible to water too much?
Yes, it is possible, although very rare. Deep, established root systems could be destroyed by too frequent or overabundance of water.
Proper watering procedures prevent any danger.