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


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?


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.




Late Fall Lawn Tips

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Every year at this time, customers ask me how long should I cut my grass down to?  Below I will answer that question and provide some Late Fall Lawn Tips for Cincinnati and Dayton.

The weather is gradually moving closer to Winter conditions.  We have had a couple frost alerts during the night and temperatures during the day are in the 40’s and 50’s.  This is not the time to forget about your lawn.  Everything is going down to the root system for the Winter.  This is the best time to feed the roots directly to make your lawn stronger.  Also, this is an ideal time to get a more permanent kill on weeds according to Ohio State Turfgrass Research.  So before you watch the big Bengals v.s. Browns game tonight make sure to follow these late fall lawn tips:

1)  Mow the Lawn to 2 Inches – We suggest mowing your lawn high (3-4 inches) throughout the entire season until Late Fall.  We recommend gradually moving your cutting length on the lawn down to 2 inches.  We emphasize gradually!  Do not chop it down from 4 inches to 2 inches.  This will stunt root growth and cause your lawn to look brown.  As the grass stops growing it should be 2 inches going into the Winter.  This helps protect against Winter Lawn Diseases in Cincinnati and Dayton like snow mold.

2)  Clean up your Leaves – I see this every year.  It is close to the holiday season and you are busy buying a Micro Touch and a Snuggy for your in laws.  Take the time to clean up your leaves.  All the work put in throughout the year can be ruined by one lazy decision.  Those leaves can kill grass just like large clumps of grass can.  They suffocate the grass to death.  The best way of cleaning them up is mulching them up into tiny pieces.  This recycles nutrients for the grass and adds organic matter to the soil.  If the leaf coverage is too heavy for a double cut with your mulching mower – then rake them up.

3)  Feed the Roots – The grass isn’t growing much.  Lawn chores have slowed down.  The Browns are thinking about who they will draft the next season.  Wait they are playing relevant games in week 10 of the NFL Football Season?  Lebron is back in Cleveland?  It has been a good year so far for Ohio sports and lawns.  Why would I put a fertilizer treatment on this late in the fall?  This is the equivalent of a protein shake after a workout for your lawn.  The top growth has slowed, but the root growth hasn’t slowed down going into the Winter.  It is storing up carbohydrates to make it through the Winter.  You can directly feed the roots right now with a high quality Late Fall Fertilizer Treatment.  Do not put it down when the soil is frozen.  This can cause the fertilizer to end up in the sewer drains and bodies of water.  Put it down in Late October-Early December for the best results.  This Late Fall Fertilizer Treatment can help with Winter color and even a quicker Spring Green Up.

Remember these three Late Fall Lawn Tips in Cincinnati and Dayton.  Your lawn will thank you next season.


Cincinnati and Dayton Seeding Tips

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

It’s almost September, Labor Day is right around the corner, the NFL is about to begin, and it is time to seed your lawn.  This means prepare yourself for disappointment on Sundays if you are a Browns fan like me, but hope is still heavy in the air.  Hope that the Browns will reach 9 wins this year and hope that your seeding attempt in the lawn will go better than this Spring.  Below are some seeding tips for homeowners in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.  September is Seeding Month in Southwest Ohio.  DO NOT wait until Spring to seed!

1)  DON’T Wait Until the Spring – September is Seeding Month in Dayton and Cincinnati.  Why do you keep wasting your money and time seeding in the Spring?  Try seeding in September and you will be amazed at how much better the results are.  Why is this?  The grass is stronger going into its first Summer if you seed during the Fall instead of the Spring.  There is less weed pressure with the new grass coming in compared with the Spring Seeding.  In the Fall, the soil temperatures are still warm to help the new grass seed germinate and the cooler weather with more rain is ideal for new grass to come in.  The conditions are perfect!  Brown’s passing offense…not so perfect.

2)  Pick the Right Seed – Purchasing grass seed can be as complicated as deciphering what the old man on Duck Dynasty just said.  First off, make sure you know what type of grass you have currently in your lawn.  Purchase the same type of grass at your local box store.  Most lawns in Cincinnati and Dayton are a mix of bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass.  We suggest using turf type tall fescue grass blends.  You pay for what you get…Think that deal is too good to be true?  It probably is.  Anything that says grass will germinate in 2-3 days doesn’t contain good grass seed.  Avoid anything that has annual ryegrass, Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue, K-31 Tall Fescue or any noxious weeds found on the tag.  Look at the white tag on the package of seed and make sure there are no noxious weeds found, very low weed seed counts, and the germination percentage is above 85%.  Better yet stay at home, enjoy your weekend with your family, and have us deliver some of our grass seed to you.  We use newer better varieties of grass seed that are a darker green and stand up to droughts better.

3)  Work the Soil – So you have some leftover seed in your garage and want to fill in a few bare spots this September.  Usually you dump a big pile of seed in these spots and figure the more the better.  You forget about it and hope that it comes in.  A month later the pile is still sitting there and no grass has come in.  A few suggestions that will make sure it comes in this year.  Don’t dump a bunch of seed in one spot.  Seed needs space to grow properly.  As that new grass comes in it likes a little space.  Pouring a volcano pile of seed in one spot isn’t going to mean it comes in super thick.  It will come in much better if it is spread out a little bit.  Sprinkle the seed in that area (tall fescue goes down at about 7-10 lbs. per 1,000 square feet and bluegrass is about 4-5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet).  After you put down the seed, work the soil.  You can aerate the lawn then broadcast the seed over the holes.  You can spread the seed and work it into the soil with a metal rake or a garden weasel.  The best method of putting down grass seed though is using a slice seeding machine.  This is similar to a farmer planting his crops.  It germinates in rows and fills out from there.  I would suggest going two different directions for a thicker germination.

4)  Water Properly – So the Browns have successfully ruined another Sunday in September, you have picked a high quality grass seed blend, and you have worked the soil.  Time to start the grill and crack a Coke or a beer right?  Not just yet.  Give the new grass seed some water.  Not just that day, but for the next 3 weeks.  The most important thing you must do is to make sure the SOIL DOES NOT DRY OUT.  You do not want to see cracks in the soil.  This will ruin your work.  We suggest watering the new grass areas 1-2 times per day for 10-15 minutes each watering.  If it rains you are probably fine to skip the watering.  Don’t water to the point of run off, but keep the soil moist for 3 weeks.  Don’t be discouraged if you see nothing after a week.  Some grasses take 14-21 days to germinate. 

Sound like too much work?  Contact us for a seeding quote and let us take care of all this for you.  Okay burger time!


Summer Mowing Tips

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

It is 90 degrees out, the sun is beating down, and it is Sunday.  This is your mow day.  You think it probably isn’t good to mow with this type of weather, but you ignore all the summer mowing tips you ever read.  Here is a piece of advice.  Go back inside to the air conditioning and your bottle of Sam Adams.  You are about to harm your lawn.  Every time we mow the lawn, we are actually injuring it.  It grows to repair itself.  Sometimes at the expense of the root growth if you are not mowing properly.  I usually leave my grass at 4-6 inches and shaggy during the hot part of the Summer.  It shades the lawn and it will stay greener much longer into the Summer compared with my neighbors. Sometimes I don’t mow for weeks if the weather is too hot.

3 Summer Mowing Tips for Dayton and Cincinnati

1)  Mow when the Weather is Good – If you have to avoid mowing for a few weeks it is completely fine during hot dry weather.  You will do more harm to the grass by mowing when it is 90 degrees.  You can also leave mow marks where your mower actually will kill grass with its wheels.  If you are not irrigating during the Summer or we are having a dry Summer remember to not mow during high temperatures.

2)  Mow when it is Dry Out – Mowing the lawn when it is wet will promote fungus and a spotty brown lawn.  You will tear the grass blade instead of a clean cut and this opens it up to fungus entering the blades.  Also, if you have any fungus present you can drag it across the lawn if the grass is wet.  I have done this before.  It doesn’t look good.

3)  Mow High – Yes you have heard this so many times you are sick of it.  Just do it.  You will be happy with the results.  Mow the grass at 3-4 inches after being cut.  You will have deeper roots, a darker green lawn, less weeds, less stress, and less crabgrass.

Happy mowing!


Insect Damage in Dayton and Cincinnati Lawns

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Insect damage in Dayton and Cincinnati lawns can happen to any yard.  Our PureLawn Program is designed to build up the soil and promote massive roots to fight off stresses like drought and insect damage.  Even the healthiest lawn though can be attacked by billbugs, grubs, chinch bugs, and other turf destroying insects in Dayton and Cincinnati.

Don’t let your lawn look like the picture above.  This lawn has been destroyed by chinch bugs.  So what can you do?  Protect your beautiful lawn with a preventative insect control.  PureLawn is proud to state that we use an EPA reduced risk insecticide that has a low impact on fish, honey bees, and all other non-target organisms.  It is the only grub control that was not required to put a signal word on their label.

So when do these insects destroy lawns?  You see bluegrass billbug damage during the Summer and getting a preventative treatment down as quickly as possible is a good idea.  We would suggest getting a preventative insect control down right now to protect against all turf destroying insects.  Billbugs are doing damage right now.  Chinch bugs do damage on sunny lawns in the hot part of the Summer.  Grubs do their damage mostly in the Fall, but we apply a protective insect treatment now that prevents damage from all lawn insects in Cincinnati and Dayton.

White Grub
White Grub


How do you know if you have grub damage?  You can easily pull up the grass like it is sod that is not rooted.  It will pull up like carpet because the little pesky grubs chew on the roots of your grass until it turns brown and dies.  You can usually find the white grubs in the soil as you pull up the sod.

Receiving a preventative insect control is health insurance for your lawn and will save you from an expensive Fall Seeding or Sod job.  Contact us now to get on our list.  If you don’t get this treatment down soon you may not be able to prevent billbug damage.


Grass going to Seed

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

You get back from your annual family vacation to Wally World.  There is Capri Sun and Cheetos debris covering the mini van.  It smells like feet and possibly a dead rodent.  If you hear another line from the movie Despicable Me you may ninja roll out the door.  You pull up to your lovely home to see the lawn looking a little strange.  Oh great!  It looks like some fluffy flower is popping up a little higher than your grass and you worry…is that a weed?  If so, it has taken over!  Relax.  Breath.  It is not a weed.  It is grass going to seed.  I can hear the gears in your brain clicking.  Well, if that grass is going to seed, I should let it drop to the soil and it will be a free seeding of the lawn.  If only it was that easy.  Unfortunately your frugal mind will not land you on the show Cheapskates anytime soon.  That idea to save money on grass seed by allowing it to go to seed doesn’t work.  You will actually be thinning out the lawn in the process of allowing your backyard to develop into a habitat fit for several jungle animals.

How am I hurting my lawn by letting it go to seed?

Not Following the 1/3 Rule:  If you are allowing the grass to reach excessively high levels (over 6 inches) that means when you mow the lawn you will not be following the 1/3 rule.  The 1/3 Rule is DO NOT cut off more than 1/3 of your grass blade during a mowing session.  For example, you should be letting your grass grow to 4 inches and mowing it down to 3 inches right now.  During the Summer I would raise the cutting height up at least 1/2 inch after cut.  Allowing your lawn to pop up to 6 inches and then mowing it down to 2-3 inches will stunt the root growth of your grass.  This leaves you with a weaker lawn more prone to unwanted things such as drought stress, insect or fungus damage, and weeds.

Not Allowing the Grass to Repair Itself:  Many times in the Spring we get lots of growth.  Yes I know you hate mowing every 3 days, but sometimes during the Spring you should.  That growth is vertical shoots of grass, but there is also root growth happening and horizontal growth.  Grasses like Kentucky bluegrass grow through rhizomes (horizontal roots under the soil).  Rhizomes produce new plants near the original grass plant.  Bluegrass is good about repairing itself.  If you are letting your bluegrass go to seed it will stop producing rhizomes and repairing itself and start putting all its energy into flowering.  So cut that lawn when it is needed and it will help fill in bare spots in your lawn for free.  There you go.  You just saved some money on grass seed.

You are Promoting Weeds:  Here is a natural weed control tip.  Mow high and mow often.  Mowing high helps the grass crowd out the weeds with a thicker lawn.  Mowing often will cut the dandelions and other weeds.  The more you cut them the less energy they will have to grow back.  If you let the jungle appear in the backyard, then you are allowing the weeds to grow larger.  You are not constantly forcing them to use their energy to regrow, so they are now stronger than ever.

So make your neighbors happy and stick to mowing the lawn every 3-7 days at the proper height of 3-4 inches after being cut.  You will have healthier lawn with less weeds and deeper roots.  Now get your shop vacuum out and clean up that explosion of Goldfish Crackers that somehow reached that tiny crevice in the DVD player.





Spring Green Up Tips – The Organic Turf Experts PureLawn

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

It is actually snowing outside while I type this.  I don’t know what that groundhog saw in February, but I would place a bet he didn’t see this!  It is tough to think about Spring, but spring green up is right around the corner with the organic turf experts at PureLawn.  Here are a couple spring green up tips from The Organic Turf Experts PureLawn. 

Spring Green Up Tips – The Organic Turf Experts PureLawn

1)  Feed Your Lawn – That annoying orange-haired guy with the fake Scottish accent you have been hearing on the radio and seeing on TV is correct…It is time to feed your lawn.  He isn’t an organic turf expert or born in Europe, but the message he is conveying is correct.  Lawns in Cincinnati and Dayton will benefit from an early spring green up application of organic fertilizer.  We are applying Corn Gluten Meal and a premergent plus fertilizer right now.  Both of these treatments will help push your lawn out of Winter Dormancy and turn that tan grass greener quicker.  Don’t put too much nitrogen down though (the first number on the bag).  You can actually bring on lawn disease problems later in the Summer by putting down too much fertilizer in the Spring.  Most of your fertilizer should be put down in the Fall according to The Ohio State Turfgrass Research Department.  A good bag of fertilizer for the spring green up would be a bag of fertilizer with 9%-19% of Nitrogen (remember the first number on the bag).  Put it down according to the label.  If you plan on putting down Corn Gluten Meal this has an analysis of 9-0-0.  Corn Gluten Meal provides a wonderful spring green up plus works as a natural premergent.

2)  Aerate Your Lawn –There is a reason golf courses do this twice per year.  It works!  We have high clay soils in Cincinnati and Dayton that compact very easily.  When you get a compacted soil you run into more weed, insect, disease, thatch, and drought stress problems.  The fertilizer being applied by you or your lawn company will find its way down to the grass roots better if you aerate your lawn.  When a lawn is too compact you may be wasting your money and time putting down fertilizer.  It won’t reach the roots and be taken up by the grass as easily.  This means it could likely end up in the storm drains, which is not what anyone wants.

Make sure you are aerating the lawn properly and at the right time.  There are some companies offering Free Lawn Aerations.  This sounds great, but make sure it is done properly.  If these companies are aerating improperly or at the wrong time it can do more harm than good.  Core aerate the lawn when the turf and roots are growing.  We usually core aerate the lawn in April-May and Sept-October.  Make sure the soil isn’t too saturated or you can push soil around with the aerating machine.  Core aerate the lawn and DO NOT spike or roll the lawn.  Pull plugs from the soil with an aerator.  Do NOT use a spiking machine or those silly aerating shoes you bought out of the Sky Mall magazine back in 1994.  Rolling your lawn will not improve the bumpiness of your soil and only contributes to the compaction like your spiking shoes.

3)  Enjoy Your Lawn – Spring is the time to enjoy your lawn with the family.  Turn off Amish Mafia and Housewives of Atlanta, open that back door up, and inhale the wonderful scent of cut grass and burgers grilling.  Enjoy your PureLawn!  Enjoy it!



Cincinnati Spring Lawn Tips on Amy’s Table Q102

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

Thank you Amy Tobin for allowing me to be on the radio show Amy’s Table on Q102 in Cincinnati.  Hopefully your listeners enjoyed our Cincinnati Spring Lawn Tips.

Here is the list of Spring Lawn Tips and the interview on Amy Tobin’s weekly radio show on Q102.

Spring Clean Up

Posted ago by Matt Maurer

There is the possibility that the temperature will break 50 degrees today.  As Homer Simpson would say, “Woohoo!”.  The snow should melt and I would venture to guess no one is sad to see that.  In Dayton and Cincinnati, it is time for Spring Clean Up…and maybe a little golf.  Here are a few tips to make your Spring Clean Up successful:

1)  Pick up Winter debris – All those tree limbs, leaves, and debris from the Winter that are scattered all over the lawn and mulch beds need to be picked up.  If you have kids or grandkids, I heard they will do this for candy, money, or Facebook stock.  I would sell short on the stock though.  Getting all that debris up will clear the way for the rest of the tips.

2)  Rake Matted Grass – Again children are highly motivated by corn fructose syrup, so first see if they will help.  Take a leaf rake and lightly “fluff” the matted down grass.  Dayton and Cincinnati lawns will have a little snow mold fungus from the snow laying on top of the grass for such an extended period of time.  This fungus will be all over in the Dayton and Cincinnati area this Spring.  The good news is that it usually does not kill grass.  The bad news is children get bored quickly if the Mountain Dew source has run dry, so you may have to do some “fluffing” yourself.  This “fluffing” and patience will help grow the snow mold out.  By fluffing the grass you are allowing it to breath and this will help it recover quicker.

3)  Spring Spot Seeding – If you plan on doing any Spring Spot Seeding I would suggest small areas and leave the bigger projects for the Fall when we do 90% of our Seedings.  You will get much better results for your money in the Fall.  Also if you wait until the Fall to seed, you can put down a crabgrass barrier this Spring to help reduce the amount of crabgrass that pops up in the Summer.  Whether you are applying a chemical premergent or Corn Gluten Meal, it will help the effectiveness to get it down by the end of April.  This treatment is time sensitive and is based on soil temperatures.  DO NOT put down a chemical premergent or Corn Gluten Meal in areas you plan on spot seeding.  These treatments will inhibit new grass from germinating.  Work the soil with a metal rake, rent a slice seeder (children will have to sit this one out), or better yet hire us to do the seeding.  After the soil  is worked up, sprinkle some seed in the area, work the soil a little more to mix the seed into the soil, and then make sure you stay on top of the watering.  Water 1-2 times per day, for 10 minutes each time, for the next 3 weeks if it doesn’t rain.  If you put straw, compost, or peat moss down as a cover make sure you do not put a thick layer down.  This will suffocate the new grass coming in.  Scatter the straw (not hay) thinly, put down 1/4 inch of compost, or get a thin layer of peat moss to cover the area with.  This is optional.  If you water correctly you really do not need any of these.

4)  Mow Low for the First Couple Mowings – You DO NOT want to scalp the lawn…ever.  If you dropped your mower down to 2 inches for the Late Fall, which you should do, your mower is set at the proper height.  Mow your lawn a couple times at the lower setting, but then start to gradually increase the height to 3-4 inches for the Late Spring-Early Fall.  Mow the lawn often too.  These mowings may not be cutting much grass, but will excite the grass and have it growing sooner.  You will have a quicker Spring green up with horizontal growth.  Who doesn’t want a greener thicker lawn?  Call us at PureLawn this Spring for a FREE LAWN ANALSIS!