Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

I hear it often from homeowners. “Why is my lawn not as green as my neighbors?” Or, “I didn’t see enough fertilizer on my lawn after your treatment.” Yes, fertilizer, particularly nitrogen fertilizer, is mainly what makes lawns in Tulsa nice and green. Since nitrogen does not stay in the soil profile for that long, it needs to be consistently added to the soil in order to produce the thick, green turf which homeowners and others desire.

However, fertilizer is not the only factor in making grass green. Genetics is huge, as certain turf varieties will be more green and thick than others. Just as in people or any other living thing, there will be differences in characteristics and appearance, and that is a good thing. Soil types play a major role in turf performance and health. Irrigation, mowing practices, and sunlight are all huge in determining how green and healthy turf is.

Dollar Spot turf disease in bermudagrass can be a sign of nitrogen deficiency or over-wateringYes, fertilizer is important, or we would not be able to stay in business! The types, amounts, and frequency of fertilizer application are all important. And I can assure you that LawnAmerica knows and uses the best types of fertilizers, applies them accurately, and at the proper times using the proper rates.

It’s easy to make a lawn really green…..just dump a bunch of Urea or 46-0-0 on the lawn. Just make sure you water it in well, or you’ll burn your lawn. Even if you do water it in, too much nitrogen will still burn it, especially during hot weather. Bermudagrass turf in Tulsa needs about one pound of actual nitrogen per 1000’ per growing month. Too little will lead to thin turf, pale green color, and other problems such as Dollar Spot turf disease. Too much nitrogen will weaken the root system, cause too much topgrowth (you’ll be mowing every 3 days), could cause other turf disease issues, and could burn the turf. And using excessive nitrogen or any other fertilizer, such as phosphorus, can be bad for the environment. So our best full programs, the 6 and 7-Step Programs, supply about 5-6 lbs of actual nitrogen per 1000’ to the turf, with four treatments of granular fertilizers, spaced about every 4.5-8 weeks, depending upon the season and program.

We use higher analysis fertilizers at LawnAmerica, such as a 32-0-7 during mid-summer. So if our goal is to apply 1.4 lbs of actual nitrogen per 1000’, we only need about 4.5 pounds of fertilizer applied to that 1000’ of turf. So when we blow the fertilizer off concrete areas, as we do, and with some of the fertilizer pellets being brown (they are organic), you will be hard pressed to see a bunch of fertilizer.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Yesterday was a first. I actually made a wood fire in the fireplace on the back porch, and its mid-July in Oklahoma! I almost thought I was at our old cabin in the Colorado mountains sitting by the fire. Compared to many of the recent summers we’ve experienced in Oklahoma, with brutal heat and little rainfall, the summer of 2014 is turning out to be quite a godsend. So while the rain does mess up our production schedule somewhat, we’ll take the benefits that it provides.

So how does this cool, rainy weather affect lawns and landscapes in Tulsa and NE Oklahoma? Well for one, you can and should turn off your irrigation system for a while, and give it a break. That’s a good thing for your water bill, with the 2” of rainfall last week, and now a day or so of good soaking rains. These are the types of rains which really soak into the deeper layers of soil, causing the turf roots to grow deep. And that’s a good thing, so when the very top soil layer dries out later, there will still be good soil moisture deep being utilized by those deep roots.

Some people water too much, not only wasting precious water resources, but also hurting the turf. Excess soil moisture cuts off the oxygen supply in the soil, which is bad for the turf. Too much rain or irrigation leaches out soil nitrogen faster, leading to a negative impact on green turf color later on. Summer weeds such as crabgrass and nutgrass love saturated soils, so they can proliferate in wet soils. And, turf diseases such as Brown Patch can be more severe in wet periods and with over-watering.

So turn off the sprinklers and let Mother Nature do her thing! Get outdoors and enjoy the green turf, trees, and landscapes in Tulsa and NE Oklahoma this July, instead of sitting in the air conditioning trying to stay cool as we normally do during July. With the rains, bermudagrass will be growing like crazy into July, so now is a great time to try Primo, our great turfgrass growth regulator, which slows down the growth of grass by 50% for up to 6 weeks with one treatment. Our customers who have this service done several times during the summer love it, as it saves time, money, and their turf actually is greener and thicker with the Primo treatment.

Our LawnAmerica guys also love this cool summer weather. Normally, they are dog tired by 1:00 with working in 90 and 100 degree heat. Not now…..they just keep on working into the afternoons killing weeds and fertilizing grass, like the energizer bunny. So give em’ a shot on your lawn if not already doing so! They’re good, and they service more turf than anyone in Oklahoma.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Daylilies need to be divided every three to four years to maintain vigor. Though they may be divided in early spring before growth starts, it is more common to divide them at this time of year. Many gardeners cut back the tops to about half their original height to make plants easier to handle.

Daylilies have a very tough root system that can make them difficult to divide while in place. Dividing in place is practical if it hasn’t been long since the last division. In such cases, a spading fork can be used to peel fans from the existing clump. If the plants have been in place longer and are well grown together, it is more practical to divide them after the entire clump has been dug.

Use a spade to lift the entire clump out of the ground. Although it is possible to cut the clump apart with a sharp spade, you'll save more roots by using two spading forks back-to-back to divide the clump into sections. Each section should be about the size of a head of cauliflower. An easier method involves using a stream of water from a garden hose to wash the soil from the clump, and then rolling the clump back and forth until the individual divisions separate.

Space divisions 24 to 30 inches apart, and set each at its original depth. The number of flowers will be reduced the first year after division but will return to normal until the plants need to be divided again.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

What a summer we are having this year! One can actually go outside during the day and enjoy it. Our lawns in Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma are actually thick and green, compared to burnt and brown as they have been in many recent years. Whether global warming is just not all that it is cranked up to be, or we are just catching a break with a different weather pattern, I'll take it.

With all of the rain, I've not had to run my sprinkler system that much either, which is nice. For healthy turf, about 1.5" of moisture is needed per week, and for the most part, Mother Nature has been providing that and then some in certain weeks. So just save yourself some money and turn off your sprinklers. Some homeowners and businesses though just keep them running no matter what the weather is like. This is not only wasteful, it also is bad for your lawn. Excessive irrigtion or rainfall will bring about more weed problems, as most weeds love water. Pre-emergent products applied earlier in spring will decompose and break down sooner with excessive soil moisture. Therefore, there may not be enough product left in the soil to stop crabgrass and other late summer weeds from popping up. Turf roots also be affected, as too much water in the soil takes the place of air, so oxygen needed by the roots is absent. So let your turf dry out some before turning on your irrigation.

Excessive moisture and wet turf also causes more turf discease problems, such as Brown Patch on Fescue and Large Patch on Zoysia. So again, just turn off the sprinklers and let the turf dry out some. There is nothing as good as a deep rainfall with 1-2" of rain, which allows the moisture to reach deeper soil levels. This deep soil moisture can be utilized for a week or more, so let the roots use that and keep the topgrowth dry. The soaking rains have also helped our trees and landscape plants recover.

One of the biggest pleasures this summer has been working all day without feeling like you've been beaten up in the process. Our LawnAmerica guys are actually smiling when they get back to the shop, and I'm happy because they can stay out longer into the afternoon to work in such mild conditions. And it's been so cool that I can enjoy a great Oklahoma sunset from the back porch at the Oh Be Joyful Farm!

summer sunset

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Yesterday that "passing shower" just kept on coming, ending up with over 2" of rain in most areas of Tulsa and NE Oklahoma. That's rare for July in Oklahoma, so I'll take it, even though it messed up our work day. Generally, Tulsa lawns require about 1.5" of water per week to look good during the summer. So when we get good, soaking rains such as this, one can turn off their irrigation system for a few days. A 2" rain will get the water down deep into the soil, where the deeper roots can pick it up. So it's OK to let the top soil surface dry out a little now. Just don't think that this rain will last you for several weeks, as it will not. We do have rain in the forecast again for next week, along with cooler temperatures. Your lawn will appreciate that, as will everyone else in Tulsa I'm sure.

Summer is a great time to aerate lawns in Oklahoma, especially now with the good soil moisture present after the soaking rains. This allows our aeration machines to pull nice, deep soil plugs, almost 3" long, with holes in the lawn about every 4" or so. That's alot of holes in the lawn, which help loosen up compacted soil and allow oxygen to reach the root system better. Yes, turf roots do need oxygen to remain healthy, and they get that from the soil. This summer, we are offering our Holganix liquid organic soil ammendment applied at 50% off, if done at the same time as aeration. Contact LawnAmerica for more informaition.