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New Lawn Management Guidelines

Watering | Mowing | Fertilizing | Overseeding | Aeration
Rolling | Disease & Insect Control | Weed Control


Water in the evening (after 8pm) for best results. During very warm dry days, you want to provide complete coverage of the lawn at least every other day. Do not, do not, do not water lightly. Light watering causes the roots to “reach” upward toward the water and become more vulnerable to drying. You can stop watering in late September. You will not have to water the second year unless a severe drought warrants so. A general rule to follow is you know you have enough water when it begins to puddle on the surface.


Mow new turf grass for the first time when it is approximately four inches tall. Regular mowing should be done when the turf reaches about the same height. Do not mow shorter than two inches or serious dieback will occur. Your lawn will look best if mowed at 3 to 3.5 inches, even in drought situations. Do not remove (if possible) more than one third of the leaf surface at a time. It is not necessary to collect clippings if you mow and remove only one third of the leaf surface. Clippings do not build up thatch. The type of grass you have and amount of fertilization you do will contribute more to thatch build up than clippings. The biggest tip for a great looking lawn is to keep your mower blades sharp for the best cut and nicest turf presentation. Dull blades contribute to conditions that allow for disease attack.


Established turf should be fertilized about four times per year. Total application of nitrogen (N) should not exceed four pounds per year for Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and two pounds per year for fine fescue. Applications can be made using a good commercial program or at the following rates.

Spring (Late May) - 1 lb N Late July/ Early Sept - .5 lb N each
Fall (Late Oct) - 2 lbs N

Note: We can provide you will an annual fertilization program if you are interested. (Back to Top)


If you find your turf is not filling in sufficiently after the first year, you may overseed to thicken it. Overseeding is best done in the Fall, but can also be successful in the spring. All you need to do is broadcast the seed over the thin spots of the yard. Try to match up the seed to your existing turf. If you can’t, it is best to use a mix of primarily Perennial Rye and Kentucky Bluegrass.


The process of alleviating soil compaction in lawns is done with mechanical aeration. This is a process of removing plugs of soil by a machine with hollow tines or open spoons. Aeration should be done in periods of cool weather (early spring or early fall). Adequate soil moisture must be present to allow for good penetration of the tines into the soil in order to remove the plugs. Aeration is the best method for controlling thatch buildup in lawns along with maintaining healthy soil structure. In home lawns aeration should be considered every two years.


Rolling is acceptable to lightly level bumpy turf. The best time to roll is early spring. Be sure not to overdo it as too much compaction can damage soil structure.(Back to Top)

Disease and Insect Controls

This is a very technical subject and I will give you some simple tips for the most common problems. Diseases will not attack a healthy turf that is not under any stress. Use common sense and do not over fertilize, mow too short (under 3 inches), allow clippings to remain in clumps on lawn surface, or let the turf become too dry.

Disease problems are rare if you do not stress the lawn by over or under fertilization or cut your lawn with a dull blade on your mower. Insect problems in this area are common and can be divided into two groups, surface feeder and subsurface feeders.

Chinch bug is a surface-feeding, leaf sucking, insect that becomes a problem during the summer in hot weather. It will make the grass look like it needs water. When you see the turf starting to brown in large patches, look in a grass for small insects. There will be multiple stages of the insect apparent in mid summer. Treat the turf with any chemical pesticide labeled for chinch bug. Turf will restore from damage by the third or fourth mowing.

White grub is a root-feeding subsurface insect that as an adult is a beetle, usually Japanese or brown chafer beetles. They are actively feeding on the roots of your turf from early September through early May. During the pupae and adult stages they do not damage your turf. For the best control treat yearly about Sept 1st if you see adult populations during the summer. Use a pesticide labeled for white grubs and water the pesticide into the soil within 24 hours of application for best results.

There are other insects, but these are the ones which have been a common problem in our area. Both insects will be present annually and depending upon weather conditions and local populations may need to have controls applied. We do not recommend blanket insecticide application annually.(Back to Top)

Weed Controls

The frequency of mowing can be reduced substantially if weeds are not present. We have primary two types of competing weeds in our lawn environment: broadleaf weeds and crabgrass. Crabgrass controls are usually pre-emergent in nature (killing crabgrass seeds prior to germination). When applying pre-emergents you usually cannot overseed unless the pre-emergent label specifically permits it. Apply pre-emergents about April 15th for good seasonal control. Crabgrass pre-emergents can be applied about the time of Forsythia flowering.

Broadleaf weeds can be controlled with any formulation of 2-4 D herbicide. Apply in mid-May when weeds are actively growing by liquid application (preferred) or dry application when dew in present. Two annual applications, spring and fall, may be necessary. Once your lawn is thick, crabgrass or broadleaf weeds should be not a problem since the dense grass will effectively shade out germinating seedlings.

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Note: We can provide you will an annual lawn care program if you are interested. With just one year of care, we can have your lawn back to the glory it once was.