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Landscaping Tips

Rush Lawn Care has provided a few helpful tips below to help you keep your lawn looking great all year.

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Problems still may occur with good intentions:

Establishing Plants

When planting you may run into a number of problems. The site "area", in which you choose, can be unsuitable for the type of plant. Soil-borne plant diseases, such as root rots, wilt diseases, nematode infestations, can cause problems even if the site previously supported plants of the same kind. The transplants are more vulnerable to the effects of the disease. Sometimes plants produce toxins that leach into surrounding soil and disrupts growth of other plants. Walnut trees are well known for this. In these cases, one may have to wait a year or more after the removal of the toxin producer to plant replacements.

Mulch Volcanoes

Mulch is good for your trees and shrubs, but you can over due a good thing. The common problem is creating a Mulch Volcano, or piling too much mulch near the trunk. Having a mulch volcanoes may look pretty, but too much mulch near the trunk can actually suffocate the roots which leads to a damaged tree. Mulch volcanoes and compacted soil will block nutrients from going into the soil. In addition, it can cause cankers (open wounds) on the lower trunk. Once your tree develops cankers, the damage cannot be reversed, and your tree will die within a few seasons.

 

Knowing prevents future complications:

Tree Decline

is a progressive deterioration in the health of a tree that is attributed to a combination of factors, such as competition among plants, environmental stresses, injuries and diseases like defoliating leaf diseases, root rots, wilt diseases, and nematode infestations in the soil. Although each of these may be unimportant individually, in combination they may cause decline and death of the plant. Avoid unnecessary injury. To avoid stress, know and supply the maintenance needs of the plant. Water deeply during dry periods. Don't induce rapid top growth by applying high nitrogen fertilizers in the root zone. Prevent serious, recurrent defoliating disease with fungicide treatments and treat serious insect and mite infestations.

Annual Needle Shed

Older needles inside shrub yellow. Younger needles remain green. May occur in late spring or early summer, or more slowly over the entire season. A normal part of the growth cycle. No control is necessary.

Fall Needle Shed

Inner branchlets turn yellow, then brown. Outer foliage remains healthy.  Normal part of growth cycle. No control is necessary.

Iron Chlorosis

Interveinal chlorosis of youngest leaves. Leaves may eventually become yellow, cream colored, or white. Usually caused by reduced availability of iron in high pH soil. Correct site-related conditions such as high soil pH, water logging, and poor aeration. Iron chelate applied to foliage may provide temporary greening, but for long term control, lower the soil pH.

Leaf Scorch

Leaf Scorch is a symptom that can occur any time the leaves need more water than they receive. It may be caused by diseases of the roots, crown and vascular system; cankers; inadequate available water; high air temperatures; damage to the roots from transplanting, "wet feet," soil compaction or excavation or natural gas leaks; chemical injury such as herbicides, excessive fertilizer and road salt; root girdling; "pot boundness" that occurred in containers before planting or following planting if roots fail to extend beyond the planting hole. Be sure soil is moist in the fall.

Spine Spot

Small, grayish-brown to dark punctures and scratches on both leaf surfaces in early spring. Spots caused by wounding of leaves by spines of nearby leaves during windy conditions. Plant in sheltered locations or erect wind barriers.

Wet Feet

Plants turn yellow and brown. Whole plant may die rather rapidly. Usually occurs in spots where moisture has been excessive. Can be complicated by root and crown diseases. Can occur in long established planting if periods of drought alternate with periods of saturated soils. Maintain good drainage. Plant yews in spots that do not get overly wet.

Winter Injury

Foliage brown and scorched. Twigs die back. Bark splitting. No control is necessary. Protect plant from injury as in frost situations.

 

Helpful tips on watering:

Early Spring

Generally, we are receiving enough rain this time of the year to take care of any watering that is necessary, but if it does not rain within one week after your application is done, your lawn will need to be watered.

Spring

Should it not rain, you will need to water your lawn within one week after your application is done. Water infrequently but deeply. The water needs to soak 4-6 inches into the ground to encourage a deep root system.  Too much water can cause problems, such as increasing the chance of fungus, or run off and leaching of nutrients.  Early morning is the best time to water.

Summer

Your lawn should receive roughly 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week during the hottest, driest months. Deep watering to a soil depth of at least six inches is recommended. Light watering is of little benefit and can actually harm your lawn.

Winter

Your lawn needs water during the winter months for the roots to remain healthy.  Adequate watering will protect the roots from drying out and damaging the grass during a hard freeze (which is known as “Winter Kill”). Your lawn will need water if it has not rained in two or three weeks.

 

Helpful tips on mowing:

Mowing Schedule

Your mowing schedule should be based on the growth rate of the grass, not on the calendar. To keep your lawn looking its best, remove no more than one third of the grass blade at a time. During the heavy growth season,  mowing on a 5-7 day schedule will reduce the need for bagging or raking and help your lawn retain its color.

Mowing Procedure

It is recommended to change direction with each mowing.

Mower Blade

The single most important requirement for proper mowing is making sure your mower blade is sharp. Sharpen your mower blade once each month. You'll really notice the difference.

Bagging

Bagging is not recommended because you are throwing away valuable nitrogen in the grass clippings. If you mow on a proper schedule and at proper heights, bagging should not be necessary. With your lawn having the balanced nutrients and the proper pH, thatch buildup should not occur in most lawns, although some thatch buildup could occur in Zoysia lawns.

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