Welcome to Lawn Talk.

Designed to answer any questions you have regarding fertilization, weed control and ornamental turf diseases. Be sure and scroll to the bottom of the page for helpful articles and past entries.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rain Brings A Fimilar Grassy Weed Roaring Back

In North Texas, rain has fallen more in the last six months than in the last three years. We've all seen the images of flooded areas and some have witnessed the weathers devastation first hand. Having been in a drought the last four years, the rain was a welcome sight, but too much of good thing can backfire. We've seen erosion, flooding, turf disease and above all weeds.
When ornamental turf grasses get water logged, some weeds start growing faster, stronger and in numbers we rarely see. One of those problem weeds is classified as a grassy weed known by most as Nutsedge. Nutsedges are water grasses, often seen in abundance in wet years, it flourishes with a voraciousness when it rains. Nutsedge is differentiated from other weeds in several ways. First, it spreads below the surface with what's called "Tubers" small nodule seed pods that travel laterally just below the surface, and germinate quickly as water puddles or saturates the turf, this attribute makes hand pulling the weed with satisfactory results near impossible. Secondly, it has a triangular stem, with narrow small waxy leaf blades, making applying herbicides difficult as the leaf blade is small and rigid, making saturation of herbicides difficult.
The picture above is that of Purple and Yellow Nutsedge, the most common of the sedge grasses in ornamental turf, these two grassy weeds can produce many seed tubers just below the surface, and be dormant for years without germinating, only to pop up as the yard becomes saturated. Rarely do we see this weed in lawns not well irrigated, and usually the healthier the lawn, the more apt you are to see this problem weed and no other.
If a lawn has not been maintained for sometime, not mowed, nutsedge will produce a seed head once the weed has grown to some height, which in turn can fall to the ground and spread the weed out even more. This is rare as most ornamental lawns are mowed frequently preventing the weed from producing seed, regardless, the tuber just below the surface can germinate and the weed can spread no matter how often the lawns mowed. The other problematic aspect of controlling nutsedge is the narrow leaf blade. Lawn Technicians often find the yard they're treating well mowed, the nutsedge hiding in the grass with little to no leaf surface to apply chemicals to kill it. However, if the tech can treat the yard before the most recent mowing, the weed presents a bigger target of leaf surface for chemicals to adhere to it.
Weather plays a huge part in lawn care, some weeds enjoy wet rainy patterns, while others flourish in hot, dry weather. This year nutsedge is the weed we've seen taking over in most lawns, and its industry wide as company's like Lawn Tech, try and kill the weed with some consistency. The chemicals we have in our arsenal work effectively at killing nutsedges, but the conditions must be right to get a total kill. Usually nutsedge can be controlled with several applications and diligence in applying the chemical if the tech can treat the yard prior to the most recent mowing event, effectively killing the weed.
If you've noticed this problem weed, don't feel bad, everyone seems to have it, and when we've had record rainfall, this little weed is guaranteed to come roaring back in big numbers. Call us today @ 972-346-2696 and we can schedule a time to come out and kill nutsedge, or you can visit our website @ lawntech.com.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Impact Does Rainy Weather Have On My Lawn?

In the region we live in, North Texas, we've grown accustom to drought conditions, we've all learned what it means to be on water restrictions, have our lawns look dry, parched and craving water. But, this year, its a different situation from what we've been forced to adjust to in years past. This year, we have rain, and a lot of it. It seems in Texas it's either feast or famine, we either get very little of something or way too much, and this year its too much rainfall.
This year alone our region has received three times the annual rainfall by May 1st than the last three years combined. It's raining constantly it seems which carries mixed blessings, your lawn gets the water it needs, our area lakes fill up, and nature takes a long deep sighing breath. However in contrast, rainfall can have its drawbacks to maintaining a healthy lawn. When rain fall totals exceed a lawns ability to absorb it, you can get erosion problems, root rot, and disease.
The biggest problem currently with ornamental lawns, is fungus. Fungus starts breeding rapidly when inclement weather meets humid hot air, creating the ideal scenario for fungus to develop and spread on the leaf blade. The weather cycle were currently in now, rain falling every other day, the temperatures rising to the eighties, with little ability to dry out the lawn, this scenario creates an environment for diseases comparable to that of a laboratory setting, the conditions perfect for disease growth.
This weather pattern can be frustrating for the lawn application company as well as the customer. A customer thankful for the rainfall, happy their lawn is getting water, but disappointed as they look at the condition of the lawn and see browning spots or dying areas. So a customer is left scratching their heads, as to why the lawn looks bad, since we've had so much rainfall the lawn should look good right? it's a brain teaser for sure. On the other hand, lawn companies can struggle to meet timelines, scheduling lawn applications only to have them rescheduled due to rainfall. They also struggle with educating the customer as to why the lawn looks bad, having to explain disease and how conditions are ripe for fungus to spread.
The biggest problem with tackling rainy weather is finding time to get out to the lawn, diagnose the lawn, and then find time between rain to apply a much needed disease treatment. Large amounts of rainfall can cause all types of negative aspects when trying to maintain a lawn, its a double edged sword so to speak. We need the rainfall, but with that comes disease, erosion and frustration. The best way to tackle this problem is to keep the customer informed, try and stick to a rigid schedule around rainfall, and apply the best products to stop disease. Lawn Tech, tries very hard to keep the customer informed and make timely treatments available to try and rid the lawn of any diseases.
If you think you have a disease in your lawn currently, call Lawn Tech, we can come out, diagnose the problem and apply a fungicide to stop it in its tracks. Call us today @ 972-346-2696 and we can send someone out to put an end to what the rain has left behind, disease.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Preparing for the Fight, Pre-Emergent is Key

"Let's get ready to rumble" prepare ourselves for the fight, don our battle gear. Are we ready? When you take on any battle you've got to know your opponent, what equipment you'll need for battle and be trained to handle whatever the fight might bring. Well in this case our opponent is any pest you don't want in your yard, specifically weeds.
Are we going to battle with weeds? Sure we are. And experience is on our side. We've learned a few things over the years, I guess you can say we're "Battle Tested" we know as professionals that in order to rid an ornamental lawn of weeds, make it look as pretty as a picture, we have to use pre-emergent. Not only use them, apply them at the right time in order to make the biggest impact.
If your intentions are to have an ornamental lawn, that "Golf Course" look, then pre-emergent is key to obtaining that look. What are the crucial aspects of applying pre-emergent? First, and the most important, time of application. Pre-emergent must be applied certain times of the year, before weeds are allowed to germinate, if you wait too long, the weed can sprout from seed, break the surface and it's too late, post emergent (spraying the surface weed chemically after germination) is all you can apply after weeds germinate. Secondly, it must be watered in to the soil adequately, if not, the chemical cannot reach the weed seed to kill it, so timing, and making sure the homeowner waters the pre-emergent in heavy, is the answer to effective weed control.
So, effectively pre-emergent is crucial, to controlling weeds, it's 50% of the battle, when it comes to the beauty of your lawn. So, back to the analogy of battle, we must be prepared for the fight, how we do that is by being pro-active instead of re-active. We start the season out early, we do not procrastinate. So, if you're dragging your feet on deciding whether or not to hire us for lawn care, don't wait too long, the battle has already started, give us a leg up, by hiring a battle tested team early in the season so that pre-emergent can be applied in a timely manner, waiting only gives the enemy the advantage. Call Lawn Tech today and start the fight against weeds, @ 972-346-2696

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hydretain Moisture Manager The Answer To Drought

We are all feeling the effects of water restrictions, hopefully your yard has benefited from rain as of late, as we've been blessed with some summer rains. Most municipalities are frowned upon in these times of water shortages regardless of the occasional shower, however, your blame may be misdirected. Often protocol trumps any personal feelings toward assigning water level restrictions, rules set in place years prior to drought, are strictly adhered upon by city directors as they try and limit the amount of fall out from not observing a drought as quickly as they should, effectively being pro-active, as unpopular as it may be. Often those rules set in stone are followed by city employees that may very well live in the same town their instituting restrictions on, effectively restricting themselves as well. Water restrictions are what they are, a necessity to insure our major infrastructures and cities don't fall victim to what some other unfortunate places around the state have done, ran out of water. It is possible, and has happened.

Most towns are allowing some watering and most are on every other week schedule, which can keep the lawn alive and looking somewhat healthy, you'd be surprised how little water Bermuda grass takes to survive, being as drought tolerant as it is, and being native to Texas. So most folks are getting by, but still concerned. Over the last few years, some companies have done what companies have done for centuries to capitalize on a shortage or crisis, they come up with an alternative. Some, don't work, some are purely to take advantage, and then there's those companies that come up with a viable product that fills a need. Well, we've found a product that actually works and fills a need, fills it in a way that's bio-degradable, affordable and easy to apply.

Moisture Manager by Hydretain is an amazing product that works very well to help retain moisture in the soil, helping ornamental grasses look good or better than doing without during a drought, utilizing a unique product similar to a wetting agent or soil conditioner, Moisture Manager contains hydretain, a humectant that causes moisture to be literally pulled from the air around the plants roots, humidity that otherwise would not be available to the roots, this product makes that unclaimed moisture readily available, simply by pulling that moisture from the air. Now, the science of this product can be intimidating, but when the company representative explained how it worked to us here at Lawn Tech, it was easy to understand how Moisture Manager worked, how it effectively pulled moisture from the air, held it for weeks until the plant could uptake it.

We've been using Moisture Manager now for about two years, we've been extremely impressed with the results, so much so employees have put the product out on their own lawns in order to salvage them from drought. We've had customers call in and tell us how much the product impacted their lawn and raved about the product to neighbors. The word is out on Moisture Manager and it's all been good. Our experience a valid documented success.

Moisture manager is available in two forms of application, one is liquid, the other granular, both work effectively. Granular is easier to apply, its put out with a conventional lawn spreader and must be watered into the soil, helping the product get to the roots of the grass, once watered in, the product works great, helping the lawn to stay hydrated between watering's, the residual last about three months. The more applications you do, the more builds up in the soil, in this case more is better, all in an effort to stave off the effects of drought, and or high temperatures.

If you're interested in a great product that's proven to work well, actually does what the label professes, an answer to your water restrictions, give Lawn Tech a call, were experts at applying this product and we can schedule the application in a timely manner. Take the time to give your lawn what it needs, moisture. Call us today and ask about this effective product helping us to keep our customers lawns healthier in time of drought, and we can have that same product, Moisture Manager, applied to your lawn in no time. Please visit our website for more information on Moisture Manager or call us @ 972-346-2696 websites: www.lawntech.com or visit www.hydretain.com

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Lingering Effects of Winter

As a rule in this region, turf grasses transition from dormancy around the middle of April to May 1st. In years past, turf grasses have transitioned as late as may 15th and as early as March 30th. The transitioning of turf grasses in this region has in years past been very easy to predict as weather patterns over the years have been consistent, with slim chances of late freezes, although it does and has happened in our recent history, But, this year has been nothing short of chaos .
In March we had temperatures that reached 82 degrees at their highest, and twelve at their lowest. We had the last day of freezing temperatures around the middle of April, the day before it was 76 degrees the next day it was 28 degrees. These type temperature swings which are not typical, can wreak havoc on transitioning grass. The slow transition period can develop into winter kill or burn, areas that do not come back from the previous year, never to green up again. St. Augustine is very susceptible to a late freeze and can often never transition fully, leaving large dead areas for the homeowner to have to re-sod. Winter kill or spring dead spot, can leave large areas in Bermuda grass that look like someone has killed the grass with something, when in reality, it's a late frost that's the culprit. Jack Frost can cause cancerous areas in transitioning grass, and this year we had many late freezes, just as the yard starts to turn green, the chill is on, and dead spots are the result. So how do we fix the problem? We can't. Only time will help heal those damaged areas as grass starts to spread in dead areas. A fungicide can be sprayed to eliminate the fungus "Spring Dead Spot" but the damage is done. Your only hope is to spray a fungicide to prevent a reoccurrence of the year before, effectively stopping more damage the next year. Re-sodding is an answer for dead areas, those that are obviously damaged from "Winter Kill" or late freeze, or wait for them to fill back in as the grass around that area grows. If you have any questions or if you think you have "Winter Kill" "Spring Dead Spot" and need someone to take a look, call us Lawn Tech, @ 972-346-2696, we can work out a time to come visit your lawn and see if the areas of damage you have are indeed from a late freeze or something else is going on, like "Brown Patch" or some other disease.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In business since 1985, we've learned a few things about customer service

Customer service can be tricky, "the customer is always right" can be problematic, leaving a company to try and persuade a customer about what's best for them or their lawn. Often in the lawn care industry, so many variables can leave us with little option but to demand the customer let us handle the lawn and be patient, an attitude that can cause customers to be anxious. It is true that taking care of a lawn from a weed control perspective is a daunting task, often outside influences wreak havoc on our attempts to control weeds, temperatures not cooperating or water restrictions prohibiting proper timely watering, all prevent some weed control applications form working. So we fight to keep a handle on troublesome weeds and as a result customers view our inability to readily rid the yard of weeds as neglecting our paid responsibilities. Well, Lawn Tech has the answer to issues like inadequate weed control that sets us apart from our competition, we care. We go as far as to offer "Free Service Calls" as part of our guarantee. Other companies charge to come back out and spray certain troublesome weeds like Dallis Grass or Nutsedge, we don't. Its that simple, we care enough to give our customers free service if for some reason our first application fails to work. We make sure to get back out in a timely manner and re-apply chemicals to those stubborn weeds that wont die, our competition has yet to make that commitment, they have to find a way to charge you, we don't try to find a way to charge you extra, we simply provide FREE service as a part of customer service program and we've been doing that since 1985, that's why we still have customers that have chosen to use our service for over twenty years, because we care. Take the time to discover what has set Lawn Tech apart form all the rest, our proven five treatment program with free service calls, making a commitment to stand behind our promise of bringing you a beautiful lawn, "A Beautiful Lawn Is Our Business." Call 972-346-2696, or visit us at www.lawntech.com

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Surviving the Drought, What to Know About Water Restrictions

Surviving drought conditions in Texas can almost seem impossible, you look around at your environment and all you see is burnt, dying or dead grass. If our conditions are drought like in nature consistently and all around us we see what the heat can do to our environment, then why even try to keep up? In reality, your environment is more adapted to handle the heat than you might imagine. In most cases native Texas grasses like Bermuda are built to handle the heat, grasses like buffalo grass are even more drought resistant. They may not look their best, but their alive and well below the surface. Bermuda for instance is a very drought tolerant grass, in fact Bermuda does not like or tolerate lower temps, its a tropical grass as well, meaning it can handle hot humid weather and still survive. So we come back to the issue of water management as it relates to turf management, how do we effectively apply enough water to our turf grasses under such tight restrictions? Simple. You utilize the schedule given to you by your municipality, which in most cases is one day a week, which is more than enough to put out the required amount to keep grasses healthy in the region we live in. 1 inch a week is all ornamental turf grasses need in this region to maintain a healthy status. They may not look as healthy and green as you remember from early summer, but their alive and well regardless. The website listed below is a valuable resource and can help you understand water restrictions, why they impose such harsh restrictions and how each of us can play a part in helping to conserve water. If you have any questions about turf grass management or water management, please don't hesitate to call Lawn Tech today @ 972-346-2696 and speak to a qualified expert on turf management. Cut and paste: http://texaswatersmart.com/water-smart-tips-your-lawn