Aerating Lawns in Georgia

Aerating your lawn once a year is incredibly beneficial in the south, where the temperatures can get unbelievably high. As temperatures begin to increase, you need to be sure your warm-season grass will have all of the needed nutrients throughout the year. (Autumn is the better time to aerate your cool-season grass.) The only way to do this is aeration.

Aeration is the process of poking large enough holes in your grass to improve the quality that water and nutrients pass through, into the soil. Aeration is necessary for proper growth and complete health of your yard while building a strong foundation for the entirety of it.

Your grass begins to grow at the very beginning of spring, therefore you want to aerate before it hits the peak of its growth. You also want to aerate before the warmer temperatures hit because if not, it is hard for the nutrients to travel deep enough to make a difference in the growth. Aeration allows your lawn time to fill in all of the holes you punctured earlier in the season.

Encouraging deeper roots, aeration is essential to keep your yard green and healthy year-round. How often should I aerate? It all depends on how hard your soil is. You can get an idea by doing this: Wait five days after a rain and try to poke a Phillips head screwdriver into the soil. If it only penetrates easily an inch, it’s time to aerate. A lot of folks aerate once each year and say it does their lawn a great deal of good.

Summer Lawn Prep

You can ask just about any homeowner, and they will tell you one of their top concerns is maintaining a healthy-looking lawn. Between maintaining the bright, healthy green yard of your dreams and keeping up with the length of the fast-growing grass, here are a few tips to help you out.

The best way to begin your yard prep is by gathering limbs, sticks, twigs, leaves and other litter surrounding your home. You can use a rake or leaf blower to do this.

Next, fertilize your lawn. The type of fertilizer varies depending on the type of grass you have, so be sure to research before purchasing. Fertilizer adds to the natural nutrients in your grass to help it grow thicker and fuller. Apply it at least twice a year, and cut back 30 days before the hottest summer temperatures hit.

You also may want to apply weed killer and pre-emergent, which is used to prevent crabgrass. If you don’t treat your lawn for crabgrass before it shows up, you won’t be able to get rid of it by autumn. Most lawn care brands offer a 2-in-1 solution which helps reduce the time and money spent in this part.

Mowing every five days for the first six weeks of spring instead of once a week will help avert roots from being stunted. If the grass grows too much before being cut, it prevents them from reproducing properly, which will affect your lawn for the rest of the year.

Choosing a good mulch greatly affects how your lawn looks and performs over the course of the warmer months. Trim dead branches on bushes before replacing the mulch under them.

Do not try to fill in brown patches with grass seed if you are applying pre-emergent or weed killer. Wait to seed until the fall, so they will begin to sprout and grow.

If you would rather trust your lawn to a seasoned professional, we offer services year-round to keep your lawn looking it’s best. Call or email today for your free estimate. In the meantime, give our tips a try and let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

Winter Lawncare

While you get a break from mowing this time of year, there are things that will help ensure your turf and your property will stay in tip-top condition:

  • Avoid excessive traffic on the lawn during the harsher winter months.
  • Remove leaves, pine straw and debris from your lawn so that it can get the most from applications and receive the sunlight and moisture that it needs to thrive.
  • Because winter is usually a rainy season in our area, it’s a great time to check to see if you have any drainage issues that need to be solved.
  • Be on the lookout for opportunistic weeds that thrive in the winter. If you see them, call us and we’ll come out and re-treat.
  • Examine the trees and shrubs in your yard periodically for problems. Issues are easiest to solve before they get too far along. Looking ahead, February is a good time to begin pruning.

Planting a Live Christmas Tree

Perhaps you’re looking to start a new family tradition for the holidays by planting a live Christmas tree in your yard. Though many of the varieties we think of as ‘Christmas Trees’ grow better in areas to the north of us, there are some that will fare better than others in our Georgia climate. With some careful care and attention, you can have a living tree grow successfully in your yard.

It’s best to start with a tree that can tolerate Georgia’s temperatures. Though many people prefer the trees woodpecker 996685 1280of their childhood Christmas memories, Fir, Scotch Pine, and Spruce trees have a hard time surviving Georgia’s hot summers. The trees that grow best in Georgia include:

· Sand Pine, White Pine, Virginia Pine

· Red Cedar

· Arizona Cyprus, Leyland Cyprus, Murray Cyprus

· Canadian Hemlock, Carolina Hemlock

If you are also using the tree as your inside tree for the season, keep in mind that the tree will do best if not kept inside for more than 2 weeks. It’s best to buy the tree as close to Christmas as possible and be sure not to place it near heating vents. You will need to water it slowly and thoroughly from the top of the root ball every day that it is indoors. Before planting, let it sit in the garage for a day or so to get reacclimated to the outside temperature.

When deciding where to plant your live Christmas tree, remember that many of these trees can grow very large. Avoid planting them too close to your home or too close to other trees. Location of powerlines should also be something you consider. Different trees will require different amounts of shaping and shearing. It’s best to do some research on the type of tree that lends itself to your schedule and skill set before you choose.

When you’re ready to plant, choose an area that drains well. Dig a hole 6-feet wide and approximately 1 foot deep, backfill, water well, then mulch. And remember, the tree will need to be watered weekly until the spring. With the right care, the tree can be a festive part of your landscape year-round for years to come!

Managing Fall Leaves

What’s there not to love about the fall? The colors are beautiful, the air is crisp, football games are plentiful and there’s a pumpkin spice version of just about anything you can think of.

With the summer months behind us, the mowing that used to take up so much time on the weekends is on hold until the spring.

But by late October and into November, your lawn will need a little TLC again. The leaves that were so beautiful on the trees when they started changing colors aren’t as beautiful accumulating in your yard. And unfortunately, leaving them there isn’t healthy for your lawn either.

When the leaves pile up, they come between your lawn and the nutrients, sunlight, moisture, and airflow that it needs to stay healthy. Additionally leaves on a lawn that stays wet invite disease and fungus.

While jumping into freshly raked piles of leaves was fun as a kid, as a homeowner, raking can feel like a never-ending, time-consuming chore. Since leaves fall in stages, it may require you clear them weekly until the large majority of them have fallen for the season.

One of the easiest ways you can manage leaves if you don’t want to rake or blow and then bag them is to mulch them with your mower. If you don’t have a mulching mower, your regular mower will suffice but may take a few passes to get the leaves to the desired size.

To do this successfully, raise the blade to its highest level and remove the bag from your mower. Next, proceed to go over your lawn like you regularly do until the pieces of leaves are the size of a dime or smaller. In addition to being a much easier way to deal with leaves, mulching them adds valuable nutrients to the lawn as they decompose resulting in a turf that’s better able to withstand winter conditions and greens up nicely in the spring.

Maple Trees: The Crown Jewel of the Fall Season fall color change small

The Maple tree is considered the crown jewel of the fall season. With dozens of varieties, Maple leaves are brilliantly colored and can run the gamut from green to yellow to orange and finally, red. Maples are hardy trees and certainly thrive in north Georgia’s landscape hardiness zone. It is rare for a Maple tree to be afflicted by disease or insect infestation.

Like most trees, Maple trees do best when planted in the fall when it’s cooler and they are less stressed. Before planting a Maple tree, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Maple tree roots grow close to the surface. Be sure you plant the tree a good distance from driveways and sidewalks so the roots won’t eventually break up the concrete
  • Plan for plenty of space for your Maple Tree. They can grow to be anywhere from 20 to 100 feet tall. At full growth, the Maple tree will develop a large rounded canopy and should not be located too close to other trees or buildings. They will also provide lots of shade at full growth
  • Choose a well-drained area with lots of sun for your Maple
  • You’ll want to dig a hole that’s 1 or 2 feet wider than the root ball. Be sure to break up the sides of the hole if there is red clay compaction 2/3 soil, 1/3 compost or manure is the ideal planting medium
  • Water slowly 2 or 3 times per week with 3 to 4 gallons of water as the roots get established. Mulch will help retain moisture but should not touch the tree’s trunk.

Fall Bulb Planting

When it comes to landscaping, knowing when to plant is critical. Though they won’t bring immediate gratification, planting bulbs in the fall will bring beautiful blooming color come daff smaller next spring. It’s definitely one of those cases where your patience will be greatly rewarded.

Some of the bulbs that must be planted in the fall to produce these Georgia favorites include Bluebell, Crocus, Daffodil, Grape Hyacinth, Iris, Ornamental Onion, Star of Bethlehem and Tulips.

The process for planting bubs isn’t super technical and your chances for success are pretty good if you follow a few general guidelines. The good news is, with a little supervision, kids can have fun with this too.

  • Choose areas that receive lots of sun and are well-drained
  • Purchase more bulbs than you think you’ll need and plant generously. It’s a given that despite your best efforts, some bulbs will not sprout
  • The guideline for digging holes for your bulbs should be depth equals 3 times the width of the bulb
  • Apply fertilizer and water right after planting to give the bulbs a healthy start
  • Mulch will help keep weeds out and help the ground retain needed moisture

Spotlight on the Sassafras Tree

Though the Sassafras tree is native to North America, many people consider it quite the novelty. The tree has 3 distinctive leaf patterns on the same plant: Oval, mitten and 3-pronged.sassafras tree small

This hardy tree, which shows yellow leaves in the spring, green in the summer and yellow to fiery orange in the fall, has been used for many purposes throughout time. Native Americans used its leaves and roots for medicinal and aromatic purposes. Tea is often made from its roots and is the main ingredient that flavors Root Beer. Sassafras leaves are also used in Creole cuisine to add a licorice-like flavor.

If you are considering planting a Sassafras tree, find a space that is sunny to partial shade. This area should accommodate a tree that could reach 30 feet in height with a 20-foot spread.

You can grow from seed by planting in cool soil in the fall. It will stay dormant until the spring when its tap root will begin to form. For those less who are less patient, start with a sapling in a container from a garden center. Successfully transplanting a Sassafras tree is difficult due to the tree’s long tap root.

When Is The Best Time To Mow Your Lawn in Georgia

Lawn mowing might seem like a mindless task, but since our Georgia lawn is a living organism, it actually does need careful attention in order to thrive.

Just how and when you mow your grass is a pretty important detail in your lawn care regimen. So when is the best time of day to mow your lawn?

The perfect time of day for lawn mowing generally depends on the area you live in. Any part of the country that isn’t in an arid climate experiences morning dew. Because of this phenomenon, mornings generally are not a good time to cut your grass. The dew causes the lawn shoot to clog and the blades will be duller with wet grass clinging to them. So keep your mornings for other gardening tasks and leave the lawn mower alone.

The afternoon seems like an ideal time since the sun is up and the grass has had time to dry. However, if you mow your lawn in the afternoon, the grass will experience double stress. The sun is already a lawn stressor, especially if the grass has grown too high. Cutting the tops of the blades will allow the sun to be exposed upon vulnerable parts of the grass. Additionally, lawn mowing is in itself causing stress to your lawn. Lawns that are stressed will be noticeable. So although afternoon might seem like a good time to get out the lawnmower, keep it parked for just a bit longer.

Evenings are a time when you want to wind down and relax. But once or twice a week you might need to sacrifice your downtime after work and bring out the mower. The evening is the perfect time for cutting grass because the sun is not as hot, the grass is dry and after the stress of being mowed, it will have time to heal overnight without additional stress from heat.

Don’t take mowing your lawn lightly. For optimal results, give your lawn the TLC it deserves. Get GrassRootsTurf and Tree Care a try if you need the help. That’s what we are here for.

Home & Lawn Maintenance To Dos For Spring

Now that the time change has extended our daylight hours and everything outside is covered in pollen, it’s safe to declare that spring has sprung. Though you may have a few weeks before you’re back on a regular mowing schedule, there are some things you can do now to make the transition into the summer months much easier:

· Be sure to get your mower blades sharpened. Sharp blades cut rather than tear the grass keeping it healthier and making it less susceptible to disease

· Change the fluids and filters in your small equipment

· Turn your irrigation system on and make sure it’s working properly

· Check to be sure any hoses that you stored for the winter are in good condition

· Prune overgrown shrubs that need to be resized

· Schedule your core aeration for Bermuda and Zoysia lawns

· Change your air conditioner filters

· Change the batteries in your smoke detectors

· Check to make sure your grill is ready for those backyard barbecues coming up

· Clean outdoor furniture and replace cushions if necessary

· When the pollen is clear, pressure wash your home and driveway for a fresh look that will go along beautifully with your healthy, green lawn

Though your mowing schedule is about to start back, the good news is it won’t be long before you’re enjoying yourself poolside, at the lake or grilling out on the deck too!