Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Lawns at Machu Picchu

This December, we were privileged to be part of a mission trip to Lima, Peru

If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN, the King of Lawn Care:
or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

To all
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Lawns and mothers-in-law

Q: My mother-in-law and I have different theories about lawn care. She is of the generation where you make regular use of commercial pesticides and fertilizers to get the "golf-course" look to a lawn.
I prefer a natural, environmentally safer approach to lawn care. For the past three seasons, I have been using a mulching mower and have not bagged grass in that time. I use all-organic fertilizer. In season, I cut high at 3½ inches, and in the fall, I spread leaves from various trees on the lawn in a light layer and mulch-mow all of them in as well.
My mother-in-law, however, believes that grass and leaf clippings from the mulching mower simply "lay in clumps" on the top of the lawn, preventing water and other lawn nutrients from getting into the soil. She believes the leaves and grass don't disintegrate and create "bumps" in the lawn, from which she believes makes it difficult for her to walk.
Who is right? If I am right, she bakes me three dozen of my favorite cookies. If she's right, I will take her to dinner at a restaurant of her choice.
A: You want me to get in the middle of a mother-in-law dispute? This could be trouble...
I have to go with you on this one, though. Your regimen is solid from beginning to end, and I'll bet your results back that up.
If your grass clips and mulched leaves just sat there, you'd see them. Or at least you'd be able to rake up a clump and take a closer look to see what might be causing any "bumps."
Nature does a quick and effective job of breaking down organic matter -- especially small pieces like grass clips and leaf fragments. These two also add up to the perfect blend of nitrogen and carbon that's ideal for composting.
Come spring, these materials will be composted into excellent nutrients and organic matter that will help lawn growth. Penn State's research found that letting the clips lie like you're doing is the equivalent nutrition to one fertilizer application per year.
Numerous research also has found that grass clips and leaf fragments are not a significant cause of thatch. Thatch is that thick, spongy layer that can build up at the lawn surface and impede rain and nutrient use. The main component of thatch is dead grass roots, which usually happens from excess fertilization, cutting too low and shallow, frequent irrigation.
Healthy lawn soil is teeming with life, and it's those bio-organisms that help break down organic matter. When you kill off that life with regular applications of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, you're slowing a lawn's ability to break down dead organic matter. In other words, those high-input commercial programs are much more likely to contribute to thatch than the system you're using.
As for bumps in the lawn, a variety of other factors are usually behind those. Soil-tunneling bugs called cicada-killers are a big one that I see, but bumps also come from various lawn fungi (especially "puffballs"), tree roots (roots can easily extend out twice as far as the branch canopy), earthworm activity and the dropping of acorns, sweetgum balls and assorted other tree fruits.
If your mother-in-law notices bumps, a good way to solve it is to dig down and see what they're made of. I don't think you're going to find any little clumps of grass and leaves.
Enjoy your cookies... but stay on mother-in-law's good side by taking her out to dinner, too.mowed.leaves.on.lawn.JPGGeorge WeigelMowed leaves like these on the lawn won't lead to bumpiness.!/turfkingofgreen

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Turf King Difference

It's summer, it's hot, it's humid, it's been dry.
What should your lawn look like?
Do you care how your lawn looks?
If you care, what do you do to help your lawn look green and healthy?
Does your lawn care provider use products to help cope with summer's stresses?
Our high potassium fertilizer is formulated to help your lawn be better able to handle the heat and drought of the summer.
We recommend regular, deep watering. We recommend a mowing height of 3"
Ask us why

Thanks to Larry who sent this photo of his lawn

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


A video thank you from Google
Just ten years ago, a small team added the phrase 'See your ad here' alongside our search results. A few minutes later, the first AdWords customer placed an ad for live mail-order lobsters.
Ten years and billions of ads later, we want to mark AdWords' 10th birthday by thanking you for advertising with us. We hope you enjoy this small token of our appreciation, a personalized video just for you:


How did they personalize each video?

Notice the in 3 sections of the video.
It wasn't until the last one that I caught on. Then had to replay the video.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lawn Care Draw Winners Chosen

Gerry Okimi, of Turf King Hamilton announced that two winners have been selected in the 11th Early Bird Fall Lawn Care Draw. Each fall, 2 winners are selected from those customers who choose Turf King Hamilton as their lawn maintenance program provider for the following season.

Turf King Hamilton would like to extend our sincere congratulations to the winners of this year’ draw. Every year, Turf King Hamilton has been rewarding its invaluable customers by holding an Early Bird Draw for a Free Lawn program.

According to Okimi, “This is just a small endeavour on our part to say ‘Thanks!’ for the priceless trust our customers place in the products and services of our lawn care company. Turf King Hamilton appreciates the opportunity that pre-booking gives us to pre-order supplies and to organize throughout the winter. Fall bookings also lessen the impact of a busy spring booking season.”

Okimi reiterated that “Turf King Hamilton would like to thank everyone who has booked their 2011 lawn package this fall. We are grateful for the confidence that is shown to us, by our many loyal clients. It is through their continued support, and referrals that help us to continue to be a leader in the lawn care industry.”

The lucky winners will receive up to $300.00 towards their 2011 lawn care programs. If they have paid for their programs, the $300.00 will be refunded to them. To be eligible, the lawn programs may be booked in the fall, but can be paid for in the fall, in the spring, or paid on a budget payment plan. To make the process as easy as possible, Turf King Hamilton accepts cheques and major credit cards. Clients can also make payments through their banks internet banking portals.

The winners will be contacted shortly to inform them of their good fortune. Their names will be published in the spring edition of the Turf King Hamilton newsletter TURF NOTES.

Turf King Hamilton has been servicing lawns in the Hamilton area since 1991. Turf King Hamilton, the Lawn Experts since 1962 provides the highest quality products and service in Lawn Care. Turf King Hamilton is a full-service professional Lawn Care provider, servicing residential, commercial and industrial lawns in Hamilton, Grimsby, Beamsville, Burlington, Oakville and Haldimand.

In order to give clients a healthy, green lawn, Turf King Hamilton applies high quality, long-lasting fertilizers to provide needed nutrition to the grass, with minimal impact to the environment.

Gerry Okimi has a degree from the University of Guelph in Environmental Horticulture and has spent all of his working career in various aspects of horticulture. Turf King Hamilton is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association (LOHTA), and the Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario (PLCAO). Customer may also earn AIR MILES® reward miles on lawn programs at Turf King Hamilton.

Contact Gerry Okimi
Turf King Hamilton, 95 Hempstead Drive, Hamilton ON L8W 2Y6
Phone: 905-318-6677

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Dandelion tries to bloom in December

As I was driving today, I noticed a lot of white stuff along the boulevards and lawns along the streets. No, it wasn't snow. Certain weedy lawns along the streets had a lot of dandelions growing in them. Maybe it was the  bright sun on a cold crisp day that made them more noticeable than normal. Of course, once you see a patch or two, you can't help but see a whole lot more wherever you drive.

What are the dandelions intending to do? The flowers, for the most part have bloomed and gone partially to seed. Will these dandelion seed heads still mature and disperse their seeds later? Like, in the spring? or on some warmer sunny day? Or did I just notice them because, they weren't at this stage previously, but add some "fluff" very recently?
 Why did the seed heads form at this time of year?
In this closeup photo, there is one flower head with some yellow showing.

The answer to why - is harder to determine.
The answer to HOW- well call Turf King Hamilton 905-318-6677
We have Fiesta Weed Control applications that can help. Not that it's a miracle cure. But in conjunction with  a program to create a thicker, healthier lawn, weed treatments will go a long ways to giving you the lawn you are looking for. This will take time, but it's worth the time.

The Lawn Care Experts at Turf King will help you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow & the Seed Catalog

We're happy to not be in the SNOWMAGEDDON in  London, Ontario which is reeling under a metre of snow that's fallen in the last day or so. While Hamilton and Stoney Creek had just a light dusting of flurries, here in Hagersville, we got about a couple of inches.

What should appear but the William Dam seed catalog. 
Gardening can be a lot of fun, relaxation, - a fine hobby, but it can be a lot of work too.
Maybe we should cut back next year? But when you start looking at all the new varieties...
then well, maybe we could try growing some of those.

Ah the challenges of gardening- they always start with the seed catalog. Spring can't be that far away. . .  .

Monday, December 6, 2010

Compare Lawn Care Hamilton Programs to Get the Best One for You

Author: Denny Phillips

Everyone wants to have a beautiful green lawn accentuating their house and helping to make it as attractive as possible.  They also want their lawn to be easy to maintain and free of pests and weeds.  With busy schedules, many people like you don't have the time or energy to put into your lawn care program.  That is why hiring one of the many lawn care companies in Hamilton, Ontario might be the answer to your problem.  What you do need to do however, is to compare lawn care services to find the one that suits you best—and the one that offers you the most for your money.

Here are a few things you should look for before you commit to a professional lawn care service:
First of all, you need to decide whether you need a lawn care service to provide spring, summer, fall and/or winter lawn maintenance.  If you do, try to choose a company that will fertilize your lawn in all seasons so that you end up with the greenest and healthiest grass possible.

You also need to decide if you want an organic lawn care service that uses only as much control products as is necessary to keep weeds and pests under control.  Organic lawn care products, geared to different seasons, are your best option for the best lawn and for environmentally friendly purposes.  Of course, you may want to delve into the blend and type of fertilizer that is used on your lawn, but sometimes it is best decided by the professional lawn care company you hire.

The professional lawn care service you decide on should guard against various pests as well.  They should offer protection against chinch bugs and white grubs, while still remaining within the restraints of using as many environmentally friendly products as possible.  A good option for dealing with grubs is the use of Nematode (biological) grub control.  This method uses microscopic worms to kill grubs in your lawn.  Ask if this type of treatment is available in the lawn care program you choose.

Professional lawn care companies should also provide treatments for fungus problems, do professional soil tests, and use soil supplements and additives to give you the best lawn possible.  They should provide core aeration, in which plugs of soil are removed to increase oxygenation to improve your soil structure and allow grass to grow better.  They should also offer weed control protection and management for broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions, plantain, clover and others), creeping charlie (that thrives in moist, shady areas) and crabgrass.

Some lawn maintenance companies go beyond only looking after your lawn.  Some lawn care services will also help with vegetation control for driveways, patios and walkways.  Some will also help control insects in your trees, or provide deep root feeding of your trees and shrubs.  Lawn care companies like these go above and beyond in their lawn care programs, and if you require these services it is good to ask at the onset if the professional lawn care company you decide on provides these options.

While comparing all of the products and lawn care programs offered, you still need to look at costs.  Compare the products and services of one professional lawn care program with another and find out which is most cost effective.  Remember to compare ‘apples with apples' so that you know you are getting the best price for your lawn care service.

If you are looking for lawn care Hamilton companies can certainly offer you what you need.  You only have to be aware of what options the lawn care service you choose offers with respect to your personal wants and needs.  Whether you just want professional lawn care services, creeping charlie control, or organic lawn care products, there are many lawn care companies to choose from, so do your homework, decide which features you need and want, and choose a lawn care Hamilton company that fits your needs.

Article Source:

About the AuthorThis article was prepared on behalf of Turf King Hamilton ( located at 95 Hempstead Dr., Unit 14, Hamilton, Ontario, offering the highest quality and service in lawn care.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grub Damage Recovery Plan

Angie emailed about animals digging in her lawn. Here is our recommendation to her.

Angie, Thanks for your response

The digging by animals is a problem. Most likely there are grubs there. There are not insecticides currently allowed for the treatment of grubs. Nematodes can be used in warm weather. (mid Aug to mid Oct). One problem with nematodes is that they may only control 50-75% of the grubs (if we are lucky). Also it does take time for the grubs to die, therefore, sometimes the skunks and/or raccoons may still come for dying grubs or for the ones that were not controlled.

To look on the bright side, the animals digging for grubs are at least getting rid of some grubs. If you could train them to put the sod back after they are finished, we could hire them.!

The grubs do survive the winter. The animals may be back next spring. By the spring, I would not recommend treating at that time. Nematodes could technically be used in the spring once the soil warms up. Even when chemical insecticides were available, I normally did not recommend treating for grubs in the spring.

Reasons for not treating.
1. Most of the damage to the lawn by the grub is done in the fall. Some feeding does occur, but generally it is minimal
2. Spring grubs have now reached close to their maximum size and are harder to kill with insecticides.
3. Even if they could be controlled, the grubs in your lawn are not necessarily the source of the next batch of grubs to invade your lawn. (grubs pupate in May-June, then emerge as adults in June-July. The adults can fly. This means they can go to other lawns to lay their eggs which then hatch into baby grubs.) So even if we got rid of all the grubs in your lawn, adults from down the road, across the street or from a neighbourhood park, may still fly over to your lawn and lay eggs in the soil. Controlling the grubs in your lawn in the spring will mean less adults flying in your neighbourhood, but not necessarily any less eggs laid on YOUR lawn.

What should you do?
Once the animals have stopped coming to your lawn, replace the sod pieces as best you can, (green side up.) Don't do it every morning, because, most likely they will come back and rip up the same piece tomorrow night. At this time of year, it is cool and damp, the sod, if it is still alive, will survive a few days on its back. By waiting you will be less frustrated - hopefully you replace the sod only once or twice.

If the damage is very minimal, sometimes a couple of pieces of sod, may be an easier fix. Do this if sod is available.

In the spring, add some soil as needed, and sprinkle lots of good quality grass seed that is appropriate for the sun/shade conditions of your lawn. If it is both sunny and shady, and you only want to purchase on type of seed, use shady grass seed. Shady grass seed will grow better in the sun than sunny grass will in the shade.

If the damage is very severe, the easiest way to get grass back is to aerate and overseed. Seeds falling in the aeration holes are protected from drying out, and from the birds. 

Feed the lawn to help it recover from the damage. Good quality fertilizer is important to help the lawn fill the spaces where the roots have been eaten by the grubs.

Consider doing a nematode treatment for Late August- September to control any grubs from the next generation.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanks for you Card of Thanks

12 Nov/10
Many thanks for helping us have the best lawn on the street!
Bob & Hildegard

We are grateful for all of our Happy Customers

For all that you do...
Thank you a Million Times over. Great companies are rare. You are a diamond in the rough. Thank you for ALL of our fine Lawn care over the years. You are so very much Appreciated. We shall see you Next 'grass season.'
Thank you for keeping our lawn so GREEN!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fiesta Weed Control in Cool November Weather

 Fiesta weed control was applied to these weeds on November 7th
 This is what they looked like on November 16th, about 9 days later.
Fiesta does continue to work even in the cooler weather, especially compared to Sarritor which need relatively warm conditions to get the fungus activated.

Turf King the Lawn Experts providing professional Lawn Care.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN, the King of Lawn Care:
or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)
If you would like more information, please Contact us
Follow us on Twitter
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Copyright 2009 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010


Visiting in Minihaha Falls Park in Minneapolis.
I suspect that a tree was removed from this lawn sometime in the past year or 2. The fungus organisms decaying and decomposing the roots have popped up their fruiting (reproductive) structures= mushrooms, because of the weather conditions.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Leatherjacket adult = Crane Fly

Leatherjacket larvae eventually turn into an adult Crane Fly. Leatherjackets can be a lawn insect pest in Southern Ontario.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall grass

Good grass

Butterflies and moths on the Internet

The Internet is loaded with sites that provide information on moths and butterflies. The great challenge in using these sites is picking out the good ones with accurate and useful information. I’ve been exploring these for some time now, and here are my favorites for help with the identification of butterflies and moths:

by Duke Elsner, MSUE Educator, Grand Traverse County
Link to links

Fall turfgrass establishment

The weather of this year has stressed turf and there are certainly turf areas that you might need to reestablish this fall. The short term weather forecast certainly doesn’t look very cool and moist, but even though the temperatures may be high, this is still the ideal time to establish turf. Competition from annual weeds, such as crabgrass, is absent and shorter day length means less time for daytime drying. The immediate challenge for establishment is soil moisture as in many areas it has turned bone dry and, unless you have irrigation, establishment could be tricky at best.

Get Your Fall Fertilization FREE

"FREE Fall Fertilization"
Order a new 2011 program, get your 2010 Fall Fertilization FREE

Basic Program of spring, summer, & fall granular, 75% slow release
fertilizer plus 2 spot applications of Organic Weed Treatment. 
Priced from $228.69*.


Earn 5 AIR MILES® reward miles with each $100 of Lawn program.
 2X rewards- limited time, only for new clients. Details at Valid  to Sept 30/10. Not valid with
any other offer. Prepaid price for 2,500 sq ft lawn, Taxes included.
Free Fall Fertilizer offer requires deposit on 2011 program.
® TM Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under
license by LoyaltyOne, Inc.and Turf King.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ripening Crabgrass

Somehow, this summer has been ideal for crabgrass. Lots of it everywhere, often in lawns that have not been bothered by it for several years.
Crabgrass seed, is thus shown to have seeds that remain viable for a long time.
On the other hand, this is a reminder that good grass seed also keeps its ability to germinate after a long time. Once in a while, someone will ask, "I have a package of grass seed in the basement that's been there for years."
As long as it is quality seed, throw it on the lawn. Its viability will be lessened, but you have nothing to lose.
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Pine needle scale

These scale insects not only affect the appearance of this Scotch Pine, it can severely affect its health.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dandelion weed control

One week after Fiesta weed treatment by Turf King the Lawn Care Experts

Magnolia scale crawlers

Found these crawlers from Magnolia scale out on the leaves. The crawler stage is mobile. I suppose it is easier to feed from the leaves. Once the cooler fall weather moves in, the scales will move onto the twigs. Otherwise they would lose their attachment to the Magnolia host, once the leaves start to fall off. Wonder how they know when to make their move?

The leaves of the magnolia and the plants, lawn and walkway beneath the magnolia are all covered in a black sticky substance. This is Black Sooty Fungus. Basically, the scale insects are dripping Magnolia sap out the end of the insect. The sugars in the sap attract a fungus disease to grow.

Now is an ideal time to treat the scale insects as the crawler stage is more vulnerable to treatment. Once they have moved back to the twigs, they will form a protective shell. Treatments will not penetrate the shell very easily.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Meter

This lawn, while only a year or 2 after sodding, is in good shape; few weeds, good colour. It is being mowed at a height of about 3".

This helps to keep the soil cooler even though it is surrounded by asphalt and concrete.

Mowing height is so important, yet so many lawns are mowed too short. Yes, I know, golf courses do it all the time, but people pay to walk on their lawns, so they can afford to spend extra $$ on the remedies that are sometimes needed because the lawn is cut too short.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wanted Dead or Alive-Grubs

Grub treatment time is coming.
Inspected a lawn today, found chinch bugs, leatherjackets and baby grubs. 
This guy was not the smallest one I found, but the one that stayed still enough to pose for his mug shot.

Although there was a fairly large patch of dead, brown lawn, I'm sure that the damage was due to the many chinch bugs crawling around. The white grubs are newly hatched. Yes, they may be starting to feed, but, I think it is unlikely that they have caused damage that started 2 weeks ago.

Nematodes should be applied to lawns where there are grubs or where the risks of grub infestation is high. Nematodes have to be applied when the grubs are present. The difficulty for lawn care operators is that, not all grubs will hatch at the same time. In the lawn above, the various grubs were different sized. A smaller one was half the size of the one pictured above. Treating too early means some grubs may be missed. 

Please call if you have a need for a grub treatment.

Why did I get Chinch Bugs?

Chinch bugs have spread out on lawns across this area. Chinch bugs thrive during hot summer weather. And, this year, we've had a lot of warm sunny days.
People wonder why the chinch bugs attack their lawn. Why don't they go after the guy 2 doors away who never cares for this lawn, has a pile of weeds and yet doesn't have any chinch bugs?
I believe the short answer is that chinch bugs like to eat at respectable lawns where the grass is green, the turf is tasty and the lawn is lush. If you were a chinch bug,where would you go for lunch?
The reality is that chinch bugs prefer lawns that are cared for. One of the risks of taking pride in your home and lawn is that you are more likely to get chinch bugs than the guy who doesn't care about his lawn.
The reason I say this is because of where I found the chinch bugs on a lawn with a septic bed. I was at a house in the summer, out in the country. I see the lawn with brown stripes running up and down the lawn, a few feet apart.
Definitely chinch bug, I said to myself. But, let's check.
So, I wondered as I walked to the lawn, "Will the chinch bugs be in the lawn that gets fed from the septic tank lines? Or, will the chinch bugs be in the grass in between the septic lines where the lawn is drier and generally grows less?"
Well, guess what, the chinch bugs liked the nice lawn that was getting nourished by the septic tank lines.
So that's why I think chinch bugs prefer lawns that are well cared for.

*Reminds me of that old story, where the art teacher looks at the students blank paper and asks Johnnie what he's drawing. "i'm drawing a picture of a cow eating grass, Ma'am." "Well, where's the grass?" "The cow ate it all up." "Then, where's the cow?" "You can't expect to find a cow where there's no grass, Ma'am."
When looking for chinch bugs, don't look in the dead grass, look in the green grass next to the dead grass.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sun lovin' Bugs

Chinch bugs like the warm sunny, weather. Give them shade and they stay away.

This photo shows a lawn with an east-west fence. The fence provides shade along the lawn that is to the north of the fence. That area will rarely get much sun, except early or late in the day. Most of the day, then, that part of the lawn in shaded by the fence.

The lawn beyond the shade of the fence is infested with chinch bugs. Notice how they have stayed away from the shady strip of lawn.

How can this information help you? A little bit of shade will decrease your chances of getting chinch bugs. Patio umbrellas, anyone?

But one sure way to help is to make sure you mow the lawn nice and high. We recommend a mowing height of 3 inches. That little bit extra length of grass blade that you leave behind, may be just enough to discourage the chinch bugs from attacking your lawn. The longer length provides more shade. The extra shade keeps the lawn soil surface a touch cooler.

It may not work completely in every case, but I am sure that by mowing long, your risk of your grass getting chinch bugs is going to be less than if you cut the lawn short.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More mower stripes

Now here is another lawn with stripes- 

This is in a narrow part of the lawn near the driveway. Although this part of the lawn abuts the neighbour's lawn, the part belonging to this customer is only about 4 feet wide. So the lawn cutters always go up and down this strip in the same pattern each week. 

This repetitive mowing pattern has created grooves in the soil surface that make it uneven. Normally this may not be a problem.

In this case, the lawn is being mowed too short. However, the grass growing in the wheel tracks is not being mowed as short as the lawn in between. 

So that narrow strip of grass is enjoying the benefits of a longer mowing height. It is staying greener. The longer grass blades provide just a little more shade. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces water evaporation. This results in a healthier lawn in that narrow strip.

Another benefit that is a little harder to see- there is less crabgrass growing in the deeper grooves. The cooler soil temperatures may be just enough to reduce the crabgrass germination in that strip of grass.

At another lawn I was looking at, I noticed that there was crabgrass growing along the edge. It is normally along the edges of drives and walks that crabgrass grows. I always assumed this was due to the warmer soil conditions due to heat transference from the heat-absorbing pavement adjacent to the lawn.

But I also noticed that the lawn in this case was an inch or so higher than the adjacent sidewalk. So this meant that each time the edge was mowed, the wheel of the mower was on the walk. In turn the strip of lawn adjacent to the walkway ended up being cut just a bit lower and closer than the lawn one strip away.
Which then leads me to wonder- is the crabgrass there because of the warming effect of the pavement or is it due to the fact the lawn is cut slightly lower along the edge?

Mowing Stripes

On the ball diamonds and soccer fields, mowing stripes are a visual pattern used to enhance the aesthetics of the lawn. 

Sometimes the stripes are not so desirable.
Visited this lawn, noticed stripes in the front. These lines are definitely caused by the lawn mower wheels.

Could be due to the spread of a disease such as pythium.
Or a simpler answer, could simply be that the lawn was mown when the lawn was under stress. That stress could have been from the high temperatures we have been getting or it could have been drought stressed. The weight of the lawn mower on the thin strip of grass is enough to cause the lawn to suffer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What can I do with crabgrass in my lawn?

Some suggestions and tips-

Unfortunately, there is no longer a post-emergent product that can be used on crabgrass at this time of year.
Any top killers that will kill crabgrass will burn the lawn grasses as well, which tends to make the lawn with temporary dead spots. This can look even worse than the lawn with crabgrass.

The good thing about crabgrass is that it will die when we get cold weather in October. The bad part is that they can produce a lot of seeds for next year.

This year- Hand pull as much as possible
Make sure mowing height is at least 3" high. Crabgrass likes warm soil temperatures. The extra blade length provides a little more shade to keep the soil cooler. Going from a 2" mowing height to a 3" mowing height may not seem like much, but that extra 1" is 50% more grass blade.
The extra shade also reduces water evaporation, reduces the chance of chinch bug problems, and helps reduce weed germination.

Crabgrass tends to grow in the weaker and warm areas. The warm areas are along pavement and patios where the hard surface transfers heat to the soil adjacent. Make sure when trimming that the lawn along the edges is not trimmed too short.

Weak and thin areas- Thin areas do allow the soil to get warm. Warm enough to allow crabgrass to get a foothold. When the lawn is thicker, there will be less crabgrass.

Fall is a good time to thicken your lawn with overseeding. Mid-August through September is the ideal time to increase density of lawns. The night temperatures are cooler and water does not evaporate as quickly. This is Mother Nature's grass seeding season (and when the sod farmers do their seeding, too)

Of course, regular and professional applications of a high quality granular fertilizer three or four times per season helps to increase tillering in Kentucky bluegrass. A fancy way to say it increases density and thickness.

Next spring, consider using a crabgrass preventer to reduce crabgrass germination. The old crabgrass preventer is now banned. There is an organic alternative. Not as effective, and more costly. The pesticide product lasted for 12-16 weeks, the organic one lasts about 4 weeks. It will hopefully reduce crabgrass germination, but is not always fool proof.


Turf King Hamilton
95 Hempstead Dr Unit 14, Hamilton ON L8W 2Y6

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lawn Mower Blade Speed

Ever wonder why the rotary lawn mower can cause the lawn to be damaged. Here on this lawn, this spot is obviously caused by the mower itself. Harder to see in the photo, but the grass blades are bent in a circular direction. Why is it that the centre is green? Then an area with the most damage and then areas that seem okay.

Rotary mower engines are made to spin at 3,600 revolutions per minute when not under load. During cutting, the rpm drops to between 2800 and 3300. 

The centre of the blade is spinning at 3600 rpm, but the velocity of blade itself will vary depending on the length of the blade.  An 18 inch blade tip will travel through the air at one speed, a 21 inch blade at a faster speed and so on. This also means that the centre of the blade is travelling slower than the tip.

Does the speed of the mower affect how well the grass is cut? Often if the grass is thick, I find there is a strip of grass that does not get cut very well. If the riding mower is set at a lower speed, this strip in the centre get cut better than if the speed of the mower is faster. In this case, the grass in the middle does get the mower blade passing over it, but at some times, the centre of the blade is also over this area and not cutting is done. At the side, the cutting edge which is at the end of the blade is over the lawn longer -therefore that area gets cut better.

So now in the case of the circle in the picture, did the brown area get cut more by the centre of the blade, that part that is not sharpened. So that there was more tearing of the blades, rather than cutting with the sharpened part? Tearing of the blades would cause more stress and more damage to the lawn than being cut by the sharper part of the blades at its ends.

The cente didn't get cut at all when the mower was sitting over this spot. It got cut when the mower moved on. Then it was cut by the sharper part of the blade -hence very little damage.

I don't know if I am 100% right, but that's my theory.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Even the weeds are thirsty

With this sultry hot weather, the lawns are dry. Usually the weeds seem to manage somehow.
But these plantains are drooping in the heat.
Avoid stressing your lawn in this heat. Avoid mowing when it is warm. Water judiciously. Even excessive foot traffic can cause unwanted results
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Plantain-Sign of a weak lawn

Plantain is a weed we don't see in well-maintained lawns.

Most often it is found where the soil is compacted and the turf is thin. Here's another case where the plaintain is not the problem but it is really a symptom.

Fix the problem- improve the health of the lawn by improving soil conditions, and increase turf density, then the symptoms will disappear.
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Pets peeve lawns

High nitrogren in dog urine will damage lawns especially with the warmer summer weather.

Urea burns lawns. Urea is also a component of some fertilizers as it does contain nitrogen. Nitrogen is the first number on a bag of fertilizer. It helps turf to grow and be green. But too much is harmful. As the urea starts to dissipate, you may see the lawn become greener in spots.

How to reduce dog urine damage?
The best way is to train your dog to do its business off the lawn. My son's dog uses a patch of gravel. No harm done to the lawn.

One pet store owner claimed that with the right dog food, lawn damage was eliminated. She did not specify which type of diet worked.

Failing that or during the training process, dilute the urine as soon as possible with water. Easier said than done, but there will be less urea in one spot.

Some people have had sucess with gypsum. Gypsum counteracts the excessive "salts" in urine that cause the lawn burn. Gypsum needs to be applied about every 4-6 weeks.

Keeping your lawn healthy-while not a cure or prevention per se, does reduce the damage- in that a healthy lawn with a strong root system will suffer less and recover faster.

I keep telling people that "regular, professional applications of our Turf King 75% slow release, top quality, granular, lawn fertilizer will greatly improve and then maintain your lawn's health, density and greenness. Call Turf King, The King of Green.

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