Author: Julie Kane

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April is National Lawn Care Month

Every year, members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals celebrate National Lawn Care Month in April in a combined effort to educate consumers of the ecological benefits of maintaining a healthy lawn.

Many homeowners hire landscape professionals to keep their properties looking their best, to save time, and to increase curb appeal and property values. Did you know that hiring landscape professionals to promote a healthy lawn also has positive impacts on climate change? Here are just a few ways:

  • Healthy lawns filters dust, absorb pollutants, and reduce erosion; and provide oxygen. In fact, a 50-foot by 50-foot yard provides enough oxygen to sustain a family of four for one year!
  • Turfgrasses slow down the speed and reduce the force of flowing water, allowing more of it to be absorbed into the soil to the benefit of groundwater reserves. Also, any settlement that has been picked up by water is invariably trapped within the stand of turfgrass. This prevents many of the pollutants and other chemicals that rain water gathers from ending up in our water system; instead they go in the soil where they can be broken down safely. 
  • Turfgrass is excellent at capturing carbon and turning it into organic matter that improves soil quality. Keep your lawn healthy with proper fertilization and weed control to capture more carbon and filter stormwater. If you aren’t sure how to improve your soil condition or build stronger turfgrass, a lawn care professional can help determine your yard’s care plan.
  • Turfgrass, like that found in our lawns, is much cooler than asphalt or cement, acting as an “air conditioner” for the surrounding area (lawns can be more than 20 degrees cooler than urban asphalt “heat islands”).
  • Healthy turfgrass has many miles of fibrous roots that hold soil and filter rainwater. (National Arboretum Grass Roots Project)  A single grass plant can have more than 300 miles of roots.
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The Grub Conspiracy

As Cicero warned his fellow senators of the threat brewing within the walls of Rome, so we now warn you of similar threat to your lawn.  Of course, the cabal that history refers to as the Catiline’s Conspiracy aiming to destroy of Rome lead by a handful of dissidents in the Roman senate is not on par with the destruction of your lawn.  Nevertheless, deep in the soils of your yard lurks a potential threat that has yet to reveal itself- GRUBS.

The most insidious things about the havoc that grubs can wreak on turf areas is that you can’t see it coming.  All the nefarious deeds are done below the soil.  While your lawn may look great now, grubs can be below the surface, eating away at the roots of your grass and disrupting the water and nutrient supplies that help maintain a healthy lawn.  And, unfortunately, as soon as you start to see the signs of grub destruction, it is already too late.  Brown and yellow patches are the sure sign that your lawn is being destroyed by a grub infestation, at which point your lawn’s root system is in total decay. grubs-turf damage 001

Right around late spring to early summer, mature beetles burrow their way into the ground to lay eggs.  In late summer and early spring, those eggs hatch.  The young grubs feed on your lawn’s root system, storing up nutrients for their winter hibernation.  In early spring, the grubs emerge from their slumber, as adult beetles, to roam the land waiting for their turn to continue the life cycle in early summer.

Luckily, there is a preventative option.  Applying grub control in early summer targets the grubs as they are hatching. When the grubs ingest the grub control, they are reduced to the roll of lawn fertilizer. Good grub control targets only the grubs and does not harm beneficial, soil-dwelling insects like earth worms.

Kane Landscapes includes grub control in all its basic Lawn Care packages and will begin Grub Control Applications this week.  

By: Justin Hill; Office Manager