Better Grass Package
We offer several different options for lawn treatments. Our most popular plan is the Better Grass Package. This package mixes the best of nature with the best of science! It is a hybrid plan that is made up of about 70% organic lawn treatments and 30% synthetic weed control. Different types of grasses need different amounts of fertilizer according to the type of grass. We also apply fertilizer at the appropriate time frame needed. Be careful of companies that fertilize with every application! Studies have shown that fertilizing at the wrong time drastically increases the chance of disease in your lawn.
One of the best ways to know how much fertilizer you need is to have a soil sample diagnosed with the NC Department of Agriculture. Soil is a living substance that like us, needs replenishing. Using organic fertilizers and compost tea liquid soil conditioning treatments helps the soil by replenishing beneficial microbes and other microorganisms. It’s like probiotics for the soil.
We also offer 100% organic programs. Our fully organic program has NO weed control. It is a program that is based off of organic fertilizers and Compost Tea treatments.
You may have heard of using Corn Gluten as a pre emergent. We do NOT use that as part of our organic plan. Corn Gluten works because it stunts root development. That sounds good until you realize that it not only stunts root development on the weeds, but it also stunts root development on grass! With our clay soils that make it so hard for roots to develop anyway why would we want to put something down that is going to make it even harder for the roots to develop?
There are currently no organic selective weed control options that truly work on a wide range of weeds. We do hope in the future there will be some options for better weed control with organic programs.
Pre-emergent weed control is applied before weeds pop up. Timing of this is very important! Weed seed germinates under the right soil temperature conditions. If the pre-emergent is applied too late – such as when the soil temperature is right for germination, then it will not be effective. Pre-emergents will not keep every weed from coming up, but if applied properly will cut back tremendously on the amount of weeds. Post emergent weed control is sprayed on the weeds that are already growing above ground. We rotate what we spray for weeds so that the weeds cannot build up a tolerance to the weed control.
We do offer a variety of disease control options. The #1 disease issue that we face is Brown Patch on Fescue Lawns.
Chances are you have brown patch or another type of fungal activity breaking out in your lawn. This is caused by environmental factors such as, temperature and moisture. The disease can begin to develop when night temperatures exceed 60º, but is most severe when low and high temperatures are above 70º F and 90º F. The grass blades must be continuously wet for at least 10 to 12 hours for the fungal activity to develop.
Other reasons for brown patch or other fungal diseases to form is poor soil drainage, lack of air movement, shade, cloudy weather, dew, afternoon thunderstorms, over watering, and watering late in the afternoon. We typically see fungal problems between May/June through September.
We do offer a Preventative Brown Patch treatment package. We strongly recommend signing up for this if you know your lawn is susceptible to brown patch. These treatments are more expensive than normal treatments because of product cost. Each treatment lasts for a maximum of 28 days. That doesn’t mean that you will definitely get Brown Patch again in 28 days, but if conditions become likely for its redevelopment then you could get it again. This treatment will hold off new fungal development from forming or spreading for up to 28 days. This is the best hold that any product on the market has. We base this treatment process on studies done by NC State.
If you chose not to go with the package, we do recommend doing an individual treatment sooner rather than later. This will help lessen the damage and give the grass a better chance of repairing itself. If you see signs of this in your lawn contact us as soon as possible and/or email us a picture of the affected area.
If you notice brown spots, take a closer look at the grass blades in the affected areas. If it is truly fungal related, you will see little dot like fungal spores on the blades. If you don’t, it could be the grass is just dry. As always, you can always contact us and we’ll send out one of our experts to take a closer look.
We do offer a variety of insect control options. The #1 insect issue that we come across is Grubs in the lawn. We also offer services to treat Fire Ants as well as Fall Armyworm and many other pest options for the lawn.
Aeration and Overseeding
Aeration and overseeding is recommended for Fescue lawns to be performed between September 1st and October 15th each year. Fescue struggles during the hot summer months because it is a cool season grass. It starts browning out and is susceptible to weeds and fungal issues due to the heat and humidity. Per the recommendation from NC State we aerate and reseed Fescue every year to bring the lawn back to life. We do this by using what is called a core aerator. Core aeration is where the machine pulls plugs out of the ground. This plugging allows for air, nutrients and water to get into the root system easier. Overseeding is then performed at a rate of 5 lbs per 1,000 square feet of turf.
There are thousands of varieties of Fescue seed available. All Fescue seed is not the same. It is very common in the industry to buy the cheapest seed available. With cheap seed comes weed seed, fillers, other crops other than Fescue and or old or not the best cultivars. We choose our seed wisely based on the ongoing university studies that NCSU and other turfgrass schools perform as part of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program. We choose a blend of varieties that have tested best for disease resistance, heat tolerance and color.
For lawns with very little established grass we recommend slit seeding. This process puts the seed just slightly below ground which puts it in the right environment to start growing.
With aeration and seeding we do recommend a compost topdressing.
Warm Season Lawns
While warm season lawns don’t typically need overseeding, aeration is still very beneficial for them. Core aeration is where the machine pulls plugs out of the ground. When plugging holes in the turf, you are de-compacting the soil. This allows for air, nutrients and water to get into the root system easier. This plugging also breaks up the thatch layer in warm season lawns. The timing for aeration on warm season lawns is different than for Fescue. Warm season lawns should typically be aerated in either May, June or early July. You have to aerate lawns during their growing season.
Warm season lawns spread by stolens and rysomes instead of growing in clumps like Fescue grass does. Because of that, warm season lawns normally just need to be encouraged to spread more instead of trying to get new grass seed to grow. (The exception to that would be if you have a very thin stand of Bermuda or Centipede grass.)
If you have a newer home, most of the time they compact the soil with tractors and you have a hard clay soil that is really hard for the roots to grow in. Aeration allows oxygen to go into the soil, helping the grass grow but also helps with thatch. According to studies at NC State, aeration is a much better option on warm season grasses than de-thatching your yard. Zoysia grasses with thick thatch can even benefit from 2 aeration a year strictly for the thatching issue.
Compost Top Dressing
An added boost to help your lawn is to do a Compost Top Dressing at the same time as aeration and seeding because the seeds need direct soil contact to germinate. We cannot say enough about how awesome a compost top dressing is for a lawn! It doesn’t matter if you have a warm season lawn or a Fescue lawn compost top dressing makes a huge difference. The timing for when you can top dress lawns is the same as the timing of when you would aerate a lawn. We recommend aerating first and then spreading 1 cubic yard of high quality compost for every 1,000 square feet of turf.
For Fescue lawns, we recommend doing a compost top dressing at the same because the seeds need direct soil contact to germinate. We will aerate and seed first and then come back with a rich layer of compost (about a quarter of an inch), essentially making a seed sandwich. The compost top dressing will ensure the seed receives 100% soil contact. Another great benefit of compost top dressing, it will completely change the soil structure for the better.
For warm season lawns, the aeration and compost top dressing is typically done in May or June. The grass should be fully greened up when the top dressing is performed in order to get the best results from it.
Compost Tea Treatment
This is a revolutionary treatment for your lawn. However, one of the biggest problems we encounter in central North Carolina is compacted soil. Compost tea adds beneficial Microbes to the soil that get right to work, permeating the soil and doing many other things to help get a lawn in great shape. Please check out the video that Harvard University did about Compost Tea.
Our Commitment To Our Customers
We treat each lawn and landscape as a unique entity and come up with specially tailored organic lawn care to fit its special needs as well as the needs that you have for it. While most plans are similar you have to look at individual micro-climates and soil conditions that are unique to that property. For example, you may have plants that are more disease prone than your neighbor. If that’s the case we need to make sure we are treating your plants different from theirs. We don’t just do blanket applications of sprays because the neighbor is doing it, or the national company up the street does it. We come up with a customized plan for what Your landscape needs.