Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Why aren’t my Weeds all gone?

One week after spraying.

Many new customers start service with LawnAmerica during March and April, and often with a lawn full of weeds which are growing faster than the turf. Oftentimes there is purple henbit covering the lawn, along with chickweed, dandelions, and annual bluegrass. And since the bermudagrass is brown and dormant still, anything green such as weeds really stands out. So our LawnAmerica guys come out to spray our Round 1 pre-emergent, with also Trimec post-emergent herbicide in the mx to control those existing weeds.

After mowing, weeds dying.

Sometimes a week later or so, new customers will call and ask us why they still have weeds. Well, contrary to what some folks may think, we can’t come out and wave a magic wand or apply our secret formula of weed-control making the existing weeds just disappear within a week or so. It takes time for Mother Nature to do her thing, and allow those weeds to die, especially when they are flowering and mature. Broadleaf weeds that are prevalent now in home lawns actually will grow themselves to death by the effect of the Trimec herbicide applied. They will curl, even grow more, and take on a mutated effect while slowly turning yellow, then brown, and shutting down.

But they don’t just disappear! And it often will take a second treatment to really bring those weeds under control, while at the same time the bermudagrass or existing turf greens up and begins to grow and help crowd out those weeds. The brown dead vegetation will take time to decompose also.

Homeowners can greatly help out with the speed of the weed-control with the following:

  • Mow down those dying weeds about 5-10 days after the first treatment. By then, the herbicide is into the plant causing it to basically grow itself to death. By mowing, that not only removes the dead vegetation, it also helps stimulates the weed to try to grow, which will then speed up the death of the weed.
  • Water in not only the pre-emergent, but watering some also helps those dying weeds to try to grow more, which in reality is speeding up the death because of the mode of action of Trimec herbicide. And watering will help the existing turf grow more, which always helps by crowding out weeds with competition. We want the turf to win!
  • And last but not least… patient! Once we build up the health and thickness of the turf, and we apply our important late fall weed-control treatment, this time next year your lawn will be practically weed-free.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Forsythia are somewhat common shrubs that are a little old school, found mainly in older landscapes. They are deciduous, shedding their leaves during the winter, and sprouting bright yellow flowering blooms with the onset of Spring. Forsythia has always been a good indicator as to when crabgrass germination is near. The lawn care folk lore says that when the yellow blooms of forsythia are at their peak, then it’s time to make sure pre-emergent weed-control is applied, since crabgrass germination is not far behind.

I have found this to be fairly accurate. Crabgrass seed will germinate when the 4” soil temperatures stay at 54 degrees for four consecutive evenings. The forsythia bloom is more tied to air temperature, but the soil temps rise slowly along with the warmer spring air temperatures. Soils in warmer spots, such as long concrete driveways and south facing slopes, will warm up sooner in spring, leading to earlier germination of crabgrass. Overall though, in areas like Oklahoma and North Carolina, late March through early April is usually the time when the first flush of germination occurs.

So if your pre-emergent is applied and watered in, as is the case with our existing LawnAmerica customers, you should be in good shape with preventing crabgrass this summer. Pre-emergents are not perfect, but if applied properly and watered in, they do an excellent job of preventing crabgrass and other summer annual weeks from even germinating.

And if you have a Forsythia plant in your garden, enjoy those beautiful yellow flowers for the next week or so. After the blooms are done and your shrub starts to leaf out, it’s a good time to prune your shrub to shape it and prevent it from becoming too large and gangly, as they can if left un-pruned.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Some people call it watergrass, some call it crabgrass, but every spring these weeds seem to invade lawns in our area. As the weather warms in March especially, these large green clumps of weeds stick out like a sore thumb in brown, dormant bermudagrass. They are actually fescue clumps, which have germinated into the bermudagrass turf and are green and growing now.

Fescue is a cool-season grass, while bermudagrass is totally opposite, a warm-season grass. Many homeowners seed fescue in the shade, so it’s a desirable turfgrass in about 15% of the lawns we service in the transition zone of Oklahoma. In other areas such as North Carolina, fescue is the predominant turf type. With so much fescue seeding being done in Oklahoma every fall, there are millions of seeds blown about, carried by birds and animals, and ending up germinating and growing in an otherwise clean, dormant bermudagrass lawn. Or, the bermudagrass may have been sodded a few years ago over existing ground that may have been farm land or pasture, with thousands of fescue plants or seed ready to come up into the bermudagrass.

Once the bermudagrass greens up later in spring, and the summer heat slows down the growth of the cool-season fescue turf, you don’t really notice the fescue clumps. Now however, with the dormant bermudagrass sitting there, the fescue is growing like crazy, as this cool, wet weather is perfect for growing fescue.

A weed is a plant growing out of place. So when there is fescue growing where bermudagrass is the desirable turf, then it’s a weed, and we try to eliminate it. In February through about mid-March, we can spot-treat the fescue with Roundup Herbicide to control them. Once the bermudagrass begins to green-up, we switch to products such as Monument or Katana Herbicides, which can eliminate these fescue clumps without harming the green bermudagrass. While many companies don’t take the trouble to clean up fescue clumps, or they charge extra for it, at LawnAmerica we do it for no extra charge. Spring and into early summer is the time to attack fescue clumps, and we often cannot get them all at once. So do be patient as we eliminate this weed from your lawn. If there are an abundance of fescue clumps, it may even take two years to eliminate them. Once gone, other than a few stragglers from time to time, they should not be a problem in the future.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

As my wife and I drove to church yesterday, she exclaimed, “Wow aren’t those pretty purple flowers” as we drove past some farmland exploding with purple from thousands of purple flowers. I laughed and told her that those are weeds…..Henbit, which comes up every March in untreated home lawns. In this case, the farmer had not planted anything, and Henbit had overtaken his field.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

As of yesterday, we shot through the 13,000 customer mark at LawnAmerica. We are thrilled to be able to serve more homeowners and businesses with their lawn care needs than anyone in the state of Oklahoma. And now, we are helping folks in Charlotte and Asheville North Carolina, and in the Greenville/Spartanburg area in South Carolina, along with being down the road in Oklahoma City. For all of this we are very grateful!

For customers, it’s a good thing when we are large. For example, because of our size, LawnAmerica is able to obtain better pricing for our lawn care products. This allows us to use better products, such as the unique new pre-emergent Specticle, which we apply in the fall. Most small companies cannot afford to use it because of the price, but we can with our volume. We buy our fertilizer direct from the plant by the truckload, so we’re able to use a super slow-release fertilizer in our Round 2 treatment, a 36-0-5, with 70% slow-release nitrogen. This quality product spreads out the nitrogen release slowly and efficiently over 11 weeks, allowing us to then apply the unique Echelon weed-control product with our Round 3. Again, most companies cannot do these things, because they cannot afford to pay for the quality products and fertilizers that we use.

Having a lot of LawnAmerica trucks in the field also leads to better service for our customers. If one is in need of a free service call to spot-treat weeds, or a lawn problem such as turf disease, chances are your LawnAmerica guy, or gal, is fairly close in the neighborhood. So they can often be there that day to solve your problem.

Although we are large, we have not lost that personal touch either. In fact, because of our growth, quality, and company culture, we attract the best people in the business. Our front-line people are the best, averaging over 6 years in lawn care experience with us. They earn about 35% over industry averages for their great work, which leads to outstanding results on the lawns and a fanatical level of service. Think about it. Who would you want to operate on you if you needed brain surgery? A resident MD practicing family medicine, or an experienced, highly-paid brain surgeon? Not that our guys are as smart as a brain surgeon, but they are pretty darn good on lawns!

We could not grow without our happy customers, referring us to their friends and neighbors, so thank you again. Most of our growth is due to referrals, so we’ll continue working hard in order to earn that trust, becoming larger in order to serve more people, provide more opportunities for great people, and to do more good in our communities.