Landscape & Irrigation

March 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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24 March 2017 Landscape and Irrigation LANDSCAPE AND TURF MAINTENANCE OVERSEEDING Overseeding damaged areas of lawns can also help break up thatch and allow nutrients to reach injured grass roots. It's also a versatile service that can be used to spot treat damaged areas or to improve the growing medium of an entire yard. Chris Brown, co-founder of Teed & Brown Lawn Care in Norwalk, Conn., said he gauges how much of a yard to overseed based on the severity of damage. If a yard is mostly thin or crusted, it may just need a quick rake and a dose of fertilizer, he said. For yards with only a few areas of damaged turf, spot treatment with a slit-seeder is efficient. Brown also makes predictions on how the lawn might look later in the year. Seeding areas with heavy shade early in the spring before leaves grow in can encourage better cover through- out the growing season and create fewer areas where grass may be more exposed to winter damage. Kinkead said combining aerating with broadcast seeding, instead of using a slit seeder, can also help turf bounce back from light damages. "For professionals without a slit overseeder, broadcasting seed after aerating can be effective without incurring much ex- pense," said Kinkead. FERTILIZER AND WEED TREATMENT An effective program with fertilizer or weed preventatives can encourage the overall health of the turf, and can help sustain turf during winter. For a lawn with winter damage, having fertilizer and weed control combined with seeding and aeration, it's critical for it to bounce back. Kinkead said treatment with fertilizer and weed control will help give customers a lush lawn before summer, which is something that lawn care professionals can easily communicate to customers who don't already use it as part of a maintenance program. Depending on the type of damage, Brown even recommended starting with weed treatments for lawn care professionals treating lawns by aerating and seeding. Weather experienced across the United States this winter may lead to damaged turf for homeowners and commercial proper- ties. Many areas have seen freeze-thaw cycles without significant snow cover. Widespread use of de-icers can contribute to turf damage along roadways, driveways and sidewalks. For lawn care pros, this presents an opportunity to help existing customers or gain new ones by offering add-on services to spring mowing and maintenance plans. Three services in particular are easily incorporated: aeration, overseeding and fertilizer or weed treatment. AERATION Aerating after a tough winter can help revive turf by encouraging movement of oxygen, water and nutrients to root systems. This is especially true for winters with intermittent snow cover and with frequent cycles of freezing and thawing, said Scott Kinkead, executive vice president of Turfco Manufacturing. "Aeration is a service you should offer to your customers regardless, but it's especially important in a year with turf loss," said Kinkead. "This is a year we've already seen the freeze-thaw- freeze cycle, and a lack of snow cover, which will definitely lead to turf damage, and this may be an opportunity to show customers the importance of aeration if it's not a part of their current maintenance program." Kinkead recommends using a steerable rolling tine or riding core aerator, which can pull a good core, but also has a better shattering effect on the soil. Three Add-on Services to Help Customers' Lawns Recover from Ice and Snow Overseeding damaged areas of lawns can also help break up thatch and allow nutrients to reach injured grass roots.

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