Why aerate my lawn?

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Ever show up at the golf course and get to the green to see they have aerated?  It is frustrating right?  You wonder why would they do that?  It is hard enough to make a putt, but if it bounces all over the place because of the aeration holes – it is nearly impossible.  So why do they do this to golfers?  It isn’t because they enjoy hearing their customers complain about the greens not running true.

The reason they aerate the golf course twice per year is because the benefits are so great that it outweighs the complaints heard while the greens heal from the core aeration.  Plain and simple – Aeration is very good for grass.

Imagine you take a handful of dirt and start to squeeze it together to form a ball.  It turns from loose dirt to a hard tight ball.  This is what happens to our high clay soils in Cincinnati and Dayton over time.  The way to relieve this compaction is to core aerate the lawn.   So aeration helps relieve compaction, but it also benefits in many other ways:

Promotes Root Growth

Reduces Weeds

Reduces Thatch

Improves Drainage

Improves Fertilizer Intake

Best times to aerate our lawns in Cincinnati and Dayton are in the Spring and the Fall.  Your lawn is not a golf course, but it will benefit immensely from aeration.

What is that Light Green Grass in my Lawn?

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

It is hot.  Really hot.  Good grasses don’t grow well when it is this hot.  Bad grasses do.  What is that light green grass in my lawn?  If you are seeing a strange light green grass in the lawn, you are probably seeing foxtail or crabgrass.  These are considered grassy weeds (different than broadleaf weeds like clover and dandelions).  These grassy weeds (called Summer Annual Grasses) germinate in the soil in Late Spring and pop up in usually July/August in Cincinnati and Dayton lawns.  These types of grasses are easier to see this time of year because:

Good grasses like blue, rye, and fescue are entering a semi-dormant state because of the high temperatures.  This dormancy stage makes them often times tan-colored.  The light green colored crabgrass stands out like Donald Trump’s hair at a bald man conference.  Crabgrass and Foxtail actually thrive during high temperatures.  Unlike Donald Trump’s hair though – We can get rid of crabgrass and other summer annual grassy weeds.  Here are a few summer tips to help get rid of those bad grasses:

1)  Apply a Pre-Emergent barrier each year in Early Spring – Putting down corn gluten meal or a chemical pre-emergent in the Early Spring is the best method of controlling grassy weeds like foxtail and crabgrass.  I know it is July so this is more for next year, but the best tool in controlling these summer annual grasses is to prevent them from popping up in the Summer.

Crabgrass

Crabgrass

2)   Mow High – Another preventative method of reducing/eliminating crabgrass is to mow the lawn higher.  Mow it at 3-4 inches after being cut.  Crabgrass and other summer annual grasses do not like lawns that are mowed high.  Good grasses do like lawns mowed high.  Promoting good grasses to grow better will naturally help them crowd out bad grasses.  Pretty simple logic, but it is baffling to me how many people scalp their lawns down to nothing.  Quit it.

3)  Seed the lawn in September – This preventative method helps to create a thick lawn that the bad grasses do not like.  During the Summer, crabgrass is notorious for filling in bare/thin spots in Cincinnati and Dayton lawns.  Having these areas filled with good grass helps to fight off foxtail and crabgrass.  We suggest using turf type tall fescue grass seed and slicing it into bare/thin spots in Sept-Early October in Cincinnati and Dayton.

Foxtail

Foxtail

4)  Spraying a Post-Emergent herbicide on the areas – This is effective at killing what is present.  Without using the preventative methods though, you will be fighting these summer annual grassy weeds each season.  Spot spraying crabgrass each year can get expensive and is unnecessary if you just prevent the grassy weeds from popping up in the first place.

Crabgrass and Foxtail will die off naturally with the first frost in the Fall.  We suggest to our clients to make sure to get seed down in September in bad areas, mow high, and put down a pre-emergent in the Early Spring.  Do this and you will see less light green grasses popping up in your lawn in the Summer.  Sorry we have no preventative methods for seeing less politicians on TV.

 

Why is my Lawn Turning Brown?

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

We get calls during the dead heat of the Summer with the customers frantically telling us their lawn is dead.  Why is my lawn turning brown?!!  It is NOT dead.  The lawn is turning brown because it is entering a semi-dormancy state that cool-season grasses like fescue, rye, and bluegrass go into during high temperature periods.  These grasses do not like high temperatures.  Just like in the Winter with low temperatures, the grass is going into a dormancy stage to protect itself from the high temperatures.  You can fight this off by watering the lawn 60-90 minutes every 3-7 days or just allow it to enter its Summer-Dormancy state.  It will bounce back just fine when the weather cools off.  The ONLY time I would worry about the lawn dying off from heat is if we have a stretch of high temperatures over 85 degrees for 3 straight weeks without any rain.  Drought damage can begin to occur if these conditions happen.  Give the lawn an hour of water once every few weeks if we are having drought conditions.  Usually Mother Nature takes care of this for us.

Summer Mowing Tips

Mow High – Mowing high (3-4 inches after being cut) will promote deeper roots, a darker green lawn, less weeds, and a strong lawn that can handle stress from fungus, insects or drought better.

Sharpen Mower Blades – Doing this at least once a year will help the mower cut the grass blades instead of tearing them.  Tearing grass blades can open the turf up to lawn disease and also give it a tan color after being mowed.  This tan color is the tips of the grass blade having been shredded instead of cut.

shredded pics

Mow when it is Dry – Do NOT mow when it is wet outside.  This can promote fungus.  Do NOT mow when it is 90 degrees out.  This can harm and even kill the grass.  Mow when it is cooler out and the lawn has no moisture present.

Summer Watering Tips

Water During the Morning – Do NOT water the lawn after 3 P.M.  Watering after 3 P.M. can promote lawn fungus.  The moisture sits on the lawn through the night and provides the perfect environment for the nasty diseases to pop up.  Water in the morning to allow the lawn to dry before the evening comes.

Water Deep and Infrequently – Do NOT water everyday.  This promotes a shallow root system and fungus.  You want to train the roots to dive down deep between waterings.  You do this by watering 60-90 minutes every 3-7 days.  Giving the lawn 1-2 inches of water per week if it does not rain.  If it rains, you do not have to water if it has supplied the correct amount of water for the lawn.  Turn off your irrigation system if it rains or you could be over-watering and causing lawn disease.  It is very possible to over-water a lawn.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes without Chemicals

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Your eyes squint as the sun beats down upon you.  You hear the sound of a mower roaring from the neighbor’s house.  As you fire up the grill, the smell of suntan lotion hit your nostrils.  Summer is great!  Then….you hear a buzz around your head.  Maybe a small pinch of your skin.  Mosquitoes!!!

Below are 8 Tips on How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes without Chemicals

1)  Repair Leaks – In the AC unit, the roof, outdoor faucets – Patch up holes in screen doors or windows too

2)  Maintain Pools – Keep pools clean, chlorinated, and clear debris from the cover

3)  Clean Debris – Clear debris from the property.  Any place that could hold moisture like old leaves around the foundation of the house, long grass, trash areas, etc… clean it up.  It will make your property look better and that one neighbor who is peering out their window at your leaf pile can finally relax.

4)  Eliminate Items that Hold Water – Get rid of items that hold water or store them upside down – Examples, buckets, kayaks, bird baths, flower pots, baby pools

5)  Adjust Sprinklers – To avoid over-watering.  This will reduce standing water areas or poor drainage spots that would invite mosquitoes to breed

6)  Check and Clear Gutters – Clogged gutters can be like Studio 54 for mosquitoes.  Clear the gutters of debris if you do not want the mosquitoes to party all night up there

7)  Treat Standing Water Areas – If you have a bird bath, areas that drain poorly, etc…Put mosquito dunks or mosquito bits in to treat the water areas with a natural control called BT.  These products kill the larvae before they get bigger and bite

8)  Have Purelawn Organic Lawncare spray your property with an All-Natural Garlic Spray.  This is a concentrated garlic spray that kills adults and larvae, but also repels them from your property for up to 30 days.  Don’t worry the smell of garlic only sticks around for the mosquitoes.  No we can’t spray your 40 year-old brother who lives in the basement.  That smell is there to stay.

How Much Does it Cost?  

The pricing depends on the size of the lawn and amount of trees/landscaping plants, but prices begin at $69 per treatment.  We normally do 4 Treatments per year.

Call or email us for a free price quote

Why do I have yellow flowers in my lawn?

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

You pull into your driveway one day after work to see your lawn has been invaded by yellow flowers.  You may think a few things.  Why do I have yellow flowers in my lawn?  What must the neighbors think?  How did this happen?  Will it go away or get worse?  Am I on the TV Show Carbanaro Effect because these things just magically appeared since I left for work?  The yellow flower in your lawn is a broadleaf weed called Dandelions.  Don’t worry.  Below is a game plan how to take control of this yellow flower in your lawn.

You are not on a TV show.  Your neighbors probably have noticed and are worried about the dandelions spreading into their lawns.  It happened because that is Mother Nature.  Dandelions invade where they can.  Usually bare/thin spots in lawns.  Will it go away?  It will if you follow these tips:

1)  Have a professional lawn service spot spray the yellow flower with a postmergent selective herbicide.  If the dandelions cover the entire lawn, you may need the lawn treatment company to spray the entire lawn the first time.  If you would like to do it yourself – Purchase a product like Ortho Weed B Gon and spot spray the dandelions.  Make sure to follow the label and keep children/pets off for at least 4 hours.  Make sure the product says weed killer and NOT grass and weed killer.  If you spray something like Round Up (non-selective herbicide) your lawn will have spots of dead grass all over within a week or two.  Your neighbors will definitely notice that.  It happens quite often this time of the year.

2)  Set up a plan with the lawn service to stay on top of spot spraying them periodically.  The best times to hit dandelions in Cincinnati and Dayton is in the Spring and Fall.  In the Fall, everything is going down to the root system so the dandelions absorb the herbicide very efficiently.

3)  Mowing High- Cutting the grass at 3-4 inches after it has been mowed is a great natural dandelion control.   It helps the grass “crowd out” the dandelions and also does beneficial things such as promoting deep roots and reducing stress from fungus, insects, and drought.  Do it this year.  I bet you see a huge difference.  You will have less weeds, need to water less, and also have a darker green lawn.  Who doesn’t want that?

4)  Collect Weed Seeds – Normally we suggest mulching your grass clippings back into your lawn.  It adds organic matter and recycles nutrients from the fertilizer applied.  If you have a sea of puff balls (dandelions have went to seed) – Then bag the clippings.  This will reduce the amount of dandelions that will pop up next year at that time.

5)  Put Grass Seed Down in Bare/Thin Areas – Dandelions can be indicating different things.  Sometimes low calcium.  Sometimes it is just saying I enjoy how thin and bare this lawn is.  Thank you for allowing a perfect environment for me to thrive.  All weeds, not just dandelions will invade spots like this.  Stop this by putting down grass seed in these spots.  The ideal time for this in Cincinnati and Dayton is in the Fall (Sept-Early Oct), but if it is a big spot, wait a week or two after you spot treated the weeds and put down seed in those spots.  Use turf type tall fescue grass seed and work the soil with a Garden Weasel or metal rake.  Need to get grass to germinate quick?  Use perennial ryegrass mix (not annual ryegrass).  This grass germinates in 3 days instead of 14-21 days.  After you seeded the spots, do not let  the soil dry out for 2-3 weeks and you will reduce the chances of more dandelions popping up in that spot.

6)  Last tip would be to relax.  Dandelions are not the worst thing that can happen.  To many it is a flower and not a pest or weed.  It can be used to produce tea, food, wine and beer.  So go drink a sweet glass of dandelion tea or a cold glass of dandelion beer as you admire your sea of yellow dandelions.  Better yet, call Purelawn and let us take care of it for you so you can spend your leisure time doing something you enjoy.

Best Lawn Care Service in Cincinnati

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Why do we believe PureLawn Organic Lawncare is the best lawn care service in Cincinnati.

1)  We are the best lawn care service in Cincinnati because we have now won 4 straight Angie’s List Super Service Awards – Would’ve been more but we weren’t part of Angie’s List until 2012.

2)  We are the best lawn care service in Cincinnati because we have our fertilizers custom blended to meet the deficiencies in the soils of Cincinnati and Dayton.  Our fertilizers add iron, potassium, the proper amount of nitrogen, and help improve the soil structure by adding organic matter.  Most lawn care companies in Cincinnati do not offer fertilizers that have any organic matter in them.  In our PureGreen Program, our fertilizers have liquid molasses added to give the soil life a sweet little snack.  This can cause the soil life to go wild.  About as wild as the city of Cleveland would go if they could finally win a championship.  Well maybe not that wild.  However, having a good soil teeming with beneficial microbes is very important to turf health and a wild soil life helps quite a bit.

3)  We are the best lawn care service in Cincinnati because our most important marketing tool is Referrals.  PureLawn Organic Lawncare is not a lawn company that has hundreds of thousands of dollars to put toward marketing.  We are not a lawn company that gives out promotions that seem too good to be true – many times they are.  We are a sustainable company that will be here in 50 years.  We are not trying to grow our customer base very quickly at the expense of quality and then sell it off for a profit.  We are here to stay and want our customers in Cincinnati to grow with us!

4)  We are the best lawn care service in Cincinnati because we are family-owned and operated.  We began this with a beat up rusty Ford in 2006 with 60 customers.  I worked at a golf course in the morning from 4 am to noon, then took care of the PureLawn customers from 1-7 pm.  We now are reducing the lawn chemicals on over 1,300 customers and have 10 great employees growing with us.

Still not convinced?  Call us for a free quote and we will show you why we are the best lawn care service in Cincinnati, Loveland, Mason, West Chester and most other places near Cincinnati!

Best Lawn Care Service in Dayton

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Why do we believe Purelawn Organic Lawncare is the best lawn care service in the Dayton Ohio area?  

1)  We are the best lawn care service in Dayton because we have now won 4 straight Angie’s List Super Service Awards – Would’ve been more but we weren’t part of Angie’s List until 2012.

2)  We are the best lawn care service in Dayton because we have our fertilizers custom blended to meet the deficiencies in the soils of Dayton and Cincinnati.  Our fertilizers add iron, potassium, the proper amount of nitrogen, and help improve the soil structure by adding organic matter.  Most lawn care companies in Dayton do not offer fertilizers that have any organic matter in them.  In our PureGreen Program, our fertilizers have liquid molasses added to give the soil life a sweet little snack.  This can cause the soil life to go wild.  About as wild as the city of Cleveland would go if they could finally win a championship.  Well maybe not that wild.  However, having a good soil teeming with beneficial microbes is very important to turf health and a wild soil life helps quite a bit.

3)  We are the best lawn care service in Dayton because our most important marketing tool is Referrals.  PureLawn Organic Lawncare is not a lawn company that has hundreds of thousands of dollars to put toward marketing.  We are not a lawn company that gives out promotions that seem too good to be true – many times they are.  We are a sustainable company that will be here in 50 years.  We are not trying to grow our customer base very quickly at the expense of quality and then sell it off for a profit.  We are here to stay and want our customers in Dayton to grow with us!

4)  We are the best lawn care service in Dayton because we are family-owned and operated.  We began this with a beat up rusty Ford in 2006 with 60 customers.  I worked at a golf course in the morning from 4 am to noon, then took care of the PureLawn customers from 1-7 pm.  We now are reducing the lawn chemicals on over 1,300 customers and have 10 great employees growing with us.

Still not convinced?  Call us for a free quote and we will show you why we are the best lawn care service in Dayton!

When Should I Apply a Premergent Crabgrass Barrier to my Lawn

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

“When should I apply a premergent crabgrass barrier to my lawn?”  We receive this question in the form of emails and phone calls every Spring.  Some go by when the forsythia is blooming, others by a date, and some by soil temperature.  All these are fairly good indicators it is a good time to apply your premergent barrier to the lawn.

We begin our 1st lawn treatments, a premergent crabgrass barrier or corn gluten meal, in March and go through April applying them.  We monitor the soil temperature during the Spring.  This is what you should be looking at.  You can monitor your soil temperature in Ohio on this website

http://oardc.osu.edu/

The goal is to get your premergent crabgrass barrier down before the soil temperature reaches 50-55 degrees consistently.  If you use higher quality premergents, like Purelawn does, you can continue to apply this type of crabgrass barrier later in the Spring while still being effective.

Corn Gluten Meal

Try putting your corn gluten meal down before you see the spring weeds popping up.  This is usually about the same time as your chemical premergent barrier.

 

Angie’s List Super Service Award 3-Peat Winners

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Back to back to back.  We don’t have Michael Jordan on the staff, but we do have some great guys like Chad Craft and Chris Smith.  We also have tremendous customers who understand our mission of reducing and eliminating lawn chemicals in Cincinnati and Dayton.  Sean and Tracey Maurer have volunteered their services more times than they should’ve for their younger brother.  Thanks!  We will keep winning these every year, but it is exciting every time we get the notice.  Thanks everyone!

Dog Urine Spots in the Lawn

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

You walk out your back door and to your dismay see weird brown spots all over.  Your first thought may be, did our lawn care company or possibly even myself use too much fertilizer or spray too heavy?  Nope.  You are probably seeing dog urine spots in the lawn.

Why do I get brown spots in my lawn from dog urine?  Fido’s miracle grow urine has high nitrogen and salt in it and actually causes super growth in those areas where he marked his spot.  The lush growth can sometimes just be that, with a dark green spot.  Other times it will brown up in the middle with a dark green ring.  The third option is just brown spots with no dark green area.  All the options are unsightly and make the lawn look like some sort of leprosy lawn.

dog spot

DOG SPOT MYTHS

Female Dogs can only produce these lovely spots.  No actually any dog that squats when it goes to the bathroom will more likely produce spots.  The reason squatters are more likely to create dog urine spots is because they are relieving themselves in a more concentrated area.  Think about if you took a handful of fertilizer and dumped it in one spot.  You would burn up that spot.  Same principle.

Certain Breeds cause more spots.  Not necessarily true.  Larger breeds may cause more spots only because they have more natural fertilizer showering the grass than a smaller dog would.  Remember the dog urine is essentially a concentrated fertilizer.  The more in one spot, the better chance of burning grass.

Dog Spots can be prevented or cured with dog treats.  The university research I have read claims there are no treats that will cure or prevent dog spots.  Never give your dog something that would alter the PH of the urine without consulting your vet.

pug dog

Did I do that?

Solutions?

Unfortunately there is no magic solution you can give the dog to prevent these spots.  There is a magic solution you can pour on the spots to reduce or prevent dog spots though.  Guess what it is called?  Water.  That’s right.  God gave us a free dog urine spot preventer solution that is gluten, sugar, fat, and cost free.  Take that Corporate America.  Simply take your hose and dilute the area where the dog did his business.  This will help flush the salt through the soil quicker.

I can hear you.  Who has time to watch their dog relieve itself and then flush that area with water every single time?  Probably only retired folks.  Who wants to do it?  Nobody.  I would rather be golfing than hosing down my dog’s urine spots.  So what else can you do?

Make sure you dog gets plenty of water.  Keep the dog well hydrated and this can reduce the amount of concentrated grass killer in its urine.  Still not satisfied?

Okay try this.  Give up on preventing the spots and have a designated pee area.  Set up a spot in the backyard that is fenced in or train the dog to only urinate in one area where you are willing to have dead grass spots or it is a landscaped area that has no grass.

Still not happy with these solutions.  Too bad – that’s all I have.  My advice at this point is to relax, it is only grass, and go enjoy life with your family.  Sometimes dog spots will heal themselves and other times you may need to reseed those areas with grass seed.  Fall is the best time in Cincinnati and Dayton to sprinkle some grass seed over the old spots.  We suggest turf type tall fescue grass seed unless you have a bluegrass lawn.  Then use bluegrass.

Remember research has proven that 4 out of every 5 dogs prefer peeing on a PureLawn.  Ask around.  The dogs are talking.  Call us today for a free lawn analysis.