Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions, where you get to 'Ask Rick'

Dear Rick:

I noticed after my lawn came in that weeds were also starting to thrive. What can I do to fix this?

Answer:

If this is the first year your lawn has been in, be patient with the weeds. They're easy enough to get rid of next season, and you don't want to put harsh chemicals on the yard with a young grass. Continue fertilizing this season, and next season plan to start with weed killers. Depending on the types of weeds, you may need to apply some treatments in the spring before the growth reappears, and then May and September are the best times to control crabgrass and similar weeds.


Dear Rick:

Why do I have weeds? There are so many, and my builder put in clean top soil. I thought the mixture you spray contains only grass seed?

Answer:

Soil will always have some plant matter in it, and there will be weeds whether you put down grass seed or not. When the grass first starts coming up, the weeds are generally deeper and not yet able to thrive. In several weeks, usually after the grass comes up, you'll begin to get weeds. I don't recommend putting any weed killer on such a young lawn, though. Allow the grass to thrive before you apply any chemical weed killer. I recommend waiting until the following season to begin pruning the lawn with weed killers.


Dear Rick:

This summer has been a lot hotter than the last few. How do I take care of my new lawn?

Answer:

The primary need for your lawn is water. Watering should be done between 6 AM and 6 PM; the lawn should dry out before dark. Then you'll need several light waterings when we first install the lawn, and then after it is established you can increase a bit to longer intervals of water, once daily. After approximately 8 weeks change to once or twice a week for about an hour. Remember, deep watering will achieve deep roots. Another important factor is fertilizing your lawn. Your grass needs food and fertilizer gives it a boost. You'll notice a greener lawn after you fertilize.


Dear Rick:

I have been seeing a lot of small light green bugs when I walk through my lawn. What can I do to get rid of them?

Answer:

Usually a hardware or large home store will carry pesticides that show pictures of the bugs they target. If you can bring a sample to help store personnel direct you, that is the best approach.


Dear Rick:

I work late and I don't always have time to water my new lawn. How often is enough?

Answer:

When I drive through your neighborhood, I'll be able to tell if you worked late too many nights in a row. A new lawn needs water and there is no way around that. It only takes a few weeks to establish the lawn. Other options to consider are timers for your sprinklers or an installed sprinkler system. See above for more information on when and how much to water.


Dear Rick:

I have a lot of geese in my area, and they've been coming up on my lawn. Will they eat the seed? Can they be harmful?

Answer:

Geese are usually not very harmful to your seed, and while they'll eat the grass it normally won't be a serious hinderance for your yard. The most annoying aspect of geese is all the waste they leave behind. If the geese are walking onto your yard, consider putting up a temporary small wire fence on your border near any water to deter them from walking up to the yard, or go to a garden center to ask about other deterents available. Another quick fix is stringing a few rows of fish line between two stakes.


Dear Rick:

How often should I fertilize my lawn?

Answer:

I recommend applying a slow release fertilizer every 6-8 weeks, depending on the amount of rain or watering your lawn has gotten. Skip the early fall treatment so you don't risk snow mold, but then apply a final treatment in November. I do also offer a seasonal fertilizer package, as well.


Dear Rick:

My neighbor told me to ask for just bluegrass seed and that she was going to get that. Can I get that from you?

Answer:

I would bet your neighbor got the wrong impression from her sales person. Bluegrass is a soft and thick grass that regrows, but it does not sprout quickly. For that reason, it is usually mixed with other seeds, generally ryeseed, to allow for a quicker lawn that is very hardy. I offer several mixtures of seed and each is optimized for the amount of sun your yard receives. All of my seed mixtures do have a high percentage of bluegrass.


For other lawncare questions, you may wish to refer to these sites:

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/lawntalk/ (University of Illinois)

http://www.bluegrasses.com

http://www.jbinstantlawn.com/default.asp

 

 

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