Directions on the yearly maintenance of your lawn and the equipment to be used. Please note the times and methods may vary depending where you are located. This information is a base line to help you and your lawn throughout the growing season.
HOW TO DIRECTIONS!!
SOIL TESTING – The first thing you will need to do is to puchase a soil test. I recommend going to your local Co -Op Extension Office to purchase this test. The next thing will be to read the directions on the bag or inside, all are different. I recommend pulling plugs from all areas of the lawn. I’d pull one or two from the front lawn area and the same on both sides and rear lawn areas this gives a good read on all of the soil areas. Remember just because you take a test in the front lawn it doesn’t mean the sides and rear are the same, different soil could have been used to back fill in those areas. After obtaining the soil read the directions on how to fill the paper work out and send the test in to the Extension Office for testing. The test usually takes about three weeks to return. After the test returns you will need to read the test carefully and following the directions to a beautiful lawn. In the case of having trouble reading the test feel free to contact or office for our trained staff to help your read the test.
MOWING MOWER- Your asking yourself what mower do I need? Well this is simple how big is your homes lawn? If it is small as we call postage stamp size 1/4 Acre or smaller a push mower will be great. 1/4 to 1/2 Acre push mower or a rider. I recommend anything 1/2 Acre or larger a riding mower. Ok you say push mower and riding mower which one do I pick? There are many brands on the market today for both. Most people are purchasing cheaper push mowers and purchasing Zero Turn Riders. Zero Turn Riders are really nice and work well. The down side is they take time getting use too. They can leave tire marks quickly but there are the best. The mower purchasing is usually personal choice and budget.
NOTE – Mower purchasing and size of the lawn will depend on the ability of the Individual and their health. We are in no way saying anything is set in stone. You need to purchase what fits your abilities.
MOWING – In South Central Pa. we usually start mowing in April and mow through Novemeber of the growing season. This will vary on your area. I recommend mowing weekly in the Spring depending on rain amounts. Spring is considered April until June. June – August I recommend mowing when needed only. If the weather is dry and hot I recommend staying off the lawn as much as possible. Mow only when the lawn gets ripple or after a rain while moisture is in the ground. If your lawn is brown and dry do not mow it unless you have to and mow with a push mower so a rider will not damage the lawn more. I recommend mowing no less than 31/2 inches on the mower setting this allows a quarter inch to removed at a time which is recommended. The last mow of the season mow on 3 inches for Winter this will help to avoid snow mold. You should sharpen mower blades every four weeks for home owners and weekly for commercial operators. Mowing direction should be changed weekly to allow the lawn blades to rest plus this makes the mow pattern look much better and will not rut the lawn. Heavy riding mowers going the same direction can leave ruts after awhile.
NOTE – MOWING SHORT THINKING I WILL NOT HAVE TO MOW FOR AWHILE WILL NOT WORK. ALL YOUR DOING IS CAUSING YOURSELF GRIEF AND THE MOWER TO WORK THREE TIMES HARDER AND DAMAGING THE LAWN. DO NOT DO THIS!!
AERATION – A Spring and Fall project. There are two types of aerators being made that are used regularly. The two being made are the Core Aerator and the Spike Aerator. Both do a great job but I personally recommend the Core Aerator. The reason I choose the Core Aerator it pulls a plug, yes it is a mess in the lawn for a couple weeks until the plugs dissolve from mowing and rain but you can get a true look at your lawns root system and see how heathly the lawn really is. I recommend performing this in two different directions on your lawn so you get the lawn really opened up for water and fertilizer to enter. Purchase or Rent? I recommend renting the machine is usually the best route to take since you will not be using it much. Yes there is a rental fee but you wont have the headaches of maintenance on the machine. You can rent walk behinds and pull behinds for tractors. you want to make sure you get 1-3 inches in depth to get a good hole going. You want plenty of water and fertilizer to get into the soil!
BEWARE – THIS PROJECT AND MACHINE WILL GIVE YOU A WORK OUT. THIS IS NOT A EASY PROJECT!!
DETHATCHING – Spring or Fall? I recommend early Fall like September, October and Early November depending your location. To late may cause damage to the lawn. Dethatching is for removing dead grass and growing season debris that has been trapped in the lawns lower section. Removing 1/4 inch thatch is very important to the lawn. Thatch that has built up will keep water and fertilizer from reaching the soil and will hurt the lawns growth and appearance. There are two types of dethatchers gas and pull behind with tines. I recommend the gas dethatcher and the reason I recommend this one is it has moving tines spinning verses the tines on the pull behind not spinning. The spinning rotation removes more thatch and gives you a better job. Now how do I run this machine? Set the machine so its not digging into the soil this is to deep, set where you are seeing dead grass and debris being pulled up, if you see green grass and dirt stop and readjust. I recommend going over your lawn two different ways to make sure you got all the lawn areas. After you do this rake up or blow off the lawn and pickup all the debris and throw it away. You will be amazed how much you will get out of your lawn! Keep in mind less than a 1/4 inch you do not need to perform dethatching. Individuals mulch cutting their lawns will see more thatch than others!
LAWN FERTILIZATION – Lawn fertilizations are very important to a lawns health and growth. Ok how many times should I fertilize my lawn yearly. Twice a year you should fertilize once April to May and once in August to October. This will depend on your area! How do I go about performing this, well you will need to perform your soil test then go to the store and purchase the fertilizer according to the sq ft of your homes lawn and the soil test. Next you will need a spreader with the correct settings for the fertilizer your using and the lable number on the fertilizer bag. Keep in mind sometimes you need to do the math the numbers are different at times. Next you will spread the fertilizer over the lawn making sure not to overlap much as this could be harmful. After completeing the application empty any left over into the bag and seal the bag and put it out of the reach of children and animals as it can harmful to both. Over usuage of the product can harm or kill the homes lawn. If you think you have made a mistake by installing to much its to late theres nothing you can do now but wait and see if the lawn dies. In the case of a dead lawn you will need to ressed the complete area. Sorry for the bad news on the over fertilizing we get calls weekly on this mistake. NOTE DO NOT FERTILIZE IN HOT DRY TIMES IT WILL HARM THE LAWN!!
LAWN WEED CONTROL – Lawn weed control is just as important as the fertilization. Treatments should be performed March to April and September to October and Crabgrass in April. Lawn weeds will take over any nicely fertilized lawn in time. Ok how do I treat my lawn for Crabgrass and weed control. First you will need to figure out your sq ft of the homes lawn then purchase weed control products that you need which will be determined by the type of weeds you have in the lawn. I recommend a general lawn weed control that controls all the weeds in your area and this will very from area to area. After purchasing the project you will need to install the product per the label on the product. Keep in mind they make granular and wet product for weed control. You want to make sure you do not over lap the product much as this can over treat the area and kill the lawn. You want to make sure you do this on a period of no rain for at least 24 hours. After the application is made make sure to store the product away from animals and children as it can harm them. In the case of over treating the lawn the only thing you can do is wait and see what happens, if the lawn dies you will need to reseed the complete area. Sorry for the bad news on the over treating for weeds. We get calls on this weekly. DO NOT TREAT IN HOT DRY TIMES IT WILL HARM THE LAWN!!
PEST CONTROL – I recommend you hire a professional for this task. The reason I say this there are alot of different pest in the homes lawn that cause simular issues. You need to know how to identify the creature and correctly treat for them to meet all Industry standards and laws per the label. Pesticides can be extremely harmful to humans and animals of off target. Please be careful using these products if you apply them yourself. We will not direct any directions on usage of these products. Sorry!
*NOTE – I RECOMMEND IF YOUR NOT COMFORTABLE USING THESE TYPES OF PRODUCTS OR DO NOT KNOW HOW LET A PROFESSIONAL APPLY YOUR TREATMENTS IT MAY BE CHEAPER FOR YOU IN THE LONG RUN IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!
*NOTE IF YOU PERFORM YOUR OWN APPLICATIONS KEEP ALL LABELS AND CONTAINERS IN CASE OF A EMERGENCY!
*NOTE TRIPLE RINSE ALL CONTAINERS BEFORE DISPOSING OF CONTAINERS IN TRASH AND PUT RINSED MATERIALS IN YOUR SPRAYER FOR USAGE!
ALL CONTENT ON THIS PAGE IS PER LABEL AND IS PER PA. LAWS AND REGULATIONS. WE ARE NOT RESPONSABLE FOR ACCIDENTS OR MISUSAGE OF ANY PRODUCTS. THIS PAGE IS FOR HELPING THE HOME OWNER AND PROFESSIONAL BUT YOU STILL NEED TO GO BY YOUR LABEL AND YOUR LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS SOLEY AS THEY DIFFER EVERYWHERE. HORNBAKERS LANDSCAPING LLC. HOLDS HARMLESS FROM ANY CIVIL, CRIMINAL, ACCIDENT OR DEATH ACTIONS FROM MISUSAGE OF PRODUCTS OR MISREAD DIRECTIONS OR FAILING TO USE PRODUCTS AS THEYT ARE INTENDED BY LAW. THIS IS SOLEY THE APPLICATORS RESPONSABILITY!!
SEEDING AND OVERSEEDING – Seeding is the installation of a new lawn on a very large area. Your installing a new lawn. Ok you need to first pick the seed you need. Your thinking ok any seed will work for me, well your wrong for the best results you need to pick the right seed for the job. Seed is determined by sun, shade or sun / shade what I mean by this is does your lawn have full sun, shade or both through the day. Picking the right seed will make the job better and you happier trust me. First you will need to prep the new area by raking off all the debris and rocks and loosening the soil then installing the new seed per the label on the seed bag and installing straw or straw erosion control mat and pinning securely. Do not use hay there is a difference and hay has more weed seed. After seeding and installing the straw you will need to water daily for the remaining growing season. After six weeks or so you will want to start a fertilization program to fit your needs. Do not stop watering when you see grass this is the most important time to water so many people make this mistake of stopping then. I understand it gets old dragging hose around daily but the reward will be worth it later. Water daily lightly until you see grass then water about 10 – 15 mins in each spot daily if water is running off or your getting erosion its to much time. Every project is different for watering you will need to watch it. REMEMBER A NEW LAWN IS LIKE A NEW BORN BABY YOU HAVE TO WATER AND FEED IT FOR IT TO GROW AND BE HEALTHY!!
OVERSEEDING – Overseeding is the same as seeding but on a much smaller scale. Overseeding is repairing of small spots in the lawn or overseeding the complete lawn to make areas that didn’t or wont grow in. You still need to know the type of seed you need to match what you have. Overseeding is half the rate application of normal seeding. The application rate will be found on the bag for seeding and overseeding. You will need to remove any debris from the areas, loosen the soil then install the seed per the label then install straw or straw erosion control and pin securely do not use hay as it has more weed seed. Water daily for the remaining growing season. Watering will be the same as above directions for new lawns.
EASY LAWN INSTALLATION TIPS
- Prep the lawn properly you should have three inches of loose soil and no debris on it.
- Pick the proper seed for the project. Sun Full Sun Sun/Shade.
- Install per bag direction rates. I also recommend going two different directions to make sure no area was missed.
- Install straw ( NO HAY ) to spec not installing to heavy or ( installing straw erosion control and pinning my choice by far holds moisture longer. )
- Water daily all of the growing season even when you see grass. Water daily lightly until grass shows then about 10 min per spot daily or as needed this can be tricky do not let water run, erode or have running water this would be to much. You will need to watch the water and judge from there. Theres no 100 percent correct way in writing!
- Remove straw or netting after grass is up one to three inches ( preferred three inches ) through the straw or netting being careful not to pull the new grass out. TIP OF THE DAY Make sure you get all the pins if using netting or someone will have one in their foot or a mower tire will find it!! Through either away in the trash after picking up.