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February 13, 2017

Chemical Basics For Lawn Care and Ornamentals

Perfect lawns don't pop up overnight. They require watering, mowing and other standard maintenance practices just to look presentable in a neighborhood. For really great landscapes, it's a game of fertilizing, aerating and dethatching. Some homeowners and professional lawn maintenance experts go the next level by topdressing and over seeding the lawn. But there's something almost everyone can agree on: It's the added chemicals that really make a difference.


Why Use Chemical Products on Lawns?


A residential or commercial landscape is an ecosystem that's filled with numerous insects, both beneficial and detrimental. Various organisms dwell in the soil, bugs crawl and fly above the ground and wildlife invades on occasion. Some organisms attack grass roots and compromise a lawn from beneath the ground. Certain pests feed on grass blades and ornamental leaves while others build colonies and turn green landscapes into sand mounds.


A lawn doesn't just harbor insects; it's also the ideal environment for weeds. A weed, no matter if it's a dandelion or crabgrass, competes with ornamental plants and turf. It steals vital nutrients, strangles the plants beneath the soil and spreads like wildfire in the right conditions. It's this fight against detrimental pests like weeds and insects that birthed the chemical product industry.


Without the use of maintenance products, either natural or chemical, lawns and gardens wouldn't have a chance to flourish. Insect pests and weeds would be out of control and damage grass and edible crops. Rarely does anyone ever see a lush, emerald green lawn that hasn't had a chemical treatment.


What Defines a Lawn Pest?


A lawn pest can be any organism that negatively affects the health of a plant. It can be anything from sawfly larvae to fungi and bacteria. It can even be a one-celled organism like algae. Other common lawn pests include:

  • Broadleaf and grassy weeds
  • Earthworms, nematodes and roundworms
  • White grubs and sod webworms
  • Spider mites
  • Wildlife such as raccoons, squirrels and deer

Because of the diversity of turfgrass and ornamental pests, numerous chemical products such as pesticides and deterrents exist to combat infestations, to ward off future pests and to maintain healthy plants.


What is a Pesticide?


A pesticide is a chemical or a natural substance that effectively kills, prevents and repels any nuisance pest. It may also attract, sterilize or regulate the pest in question. In the landscaping world, pesticides play an important role in turfgrass and ornamental pest control management.


Some people have a misconception about pesticides and believe that each product contains toxic ingredients. Though some have higher levels of toxicity than others, many of the modern pesticide products contain forms of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Others contain chemically organic compounds that mimic natural pesticides in nature, such as pyrethroids, which are similar to pyrethrins from chrysanthemums.


Pesticides control any plant, animal or disease-causing organisms that damage turfgrass, ornamental plants and any associated greenery throughout the landscape. They not only target and kill turf-damaging pests but also any biting or stinging pests that bother people and animals in the vicinity. However, it's important to note that pesticides should not only be used to kill pests. They're part of a much bigger pest management program and should be combined with cultural practices to limit their use as much as possible.


What is the Best Pesticide?


There really isn't a "best" pesticide – just the right pesticide for the situation. When choosing a product, always consider the problem first. It should target the specific pest with quick action without harming beneficial organisms, people, animals and the environment. Some pesticides leave behind a residue that continues to work; however, it should only last as long as necessary to achieve the desired effect.


The ideal pesticide would also have no odor, making it useful in public places. After all, no one would tolerate the stench no matter how well the product works. It should also have the power to kill the pest in a way that no resistance would occur. The pesticide should also prevent infestations long after it's been applied yet break down naturally without staining surfaces or impacting the surrounding ecosystem.


Unfortunately, it's not always possible to get an all-in-one pesticide that does everything mentioned. Therefore, one should know the limitations of the product and choose a pesticide that controls the specific pest in question. Afterward, it's all about combining the product with other products and using best practices to create a turfgrass management program.


Turfgrass Pest Management


It's important to know the most common pests before creating a turfgrass pest management program. The three common types are weeds, insects and diseases. Each pest affects the landscape in different ways and causes widespread damage if it's not contained, controlled and eliminated.


Weeds are by far the number one cause of unhealthy turfgrass throughout the country, especially in the western states like Colorado and Wyoming. Therefore, the go-to product for killing and controlling weeds in turfgrass and ornamental gardens is an herbicide. Herbicides are separated into two classifications: systemic and contact. Both provide effective weed control but have two different methods of action:

  • Systemic herbicides work in one of two ways: They are either taken in by the roots and circulated throughout the entire plant, or the weed absorbs the herbicide through its leaves and transports the chemical to the roots.
  • Contact herbicides work at the site where the chemical contacts the weed. It's not transported throughout the plant. Instead, it kills the weed on target.

Herbicide Categories and Plant Life Cycles


Herbicides are also separated into two categories: pre-emergent and postemergent. They should be used during a specific time in a weed's life cycle in order to work effectively.


Pre-emergent Herbicides


A pre-emergent herbicide must be applied to the soil before the weeds emerge or the seeds germinate. If it's applied after the fact, it will fail to eliminate the weeds. Once it's applied, the herbicide is taken in by the roots and systemically moved throughout the plant. Timing is everything with these herbicides. Therefore, it's important to know when the target weeds will germinate and emerge from the soil. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide several weeks prior to weed emergence provides the most successful control.


Postemergent Herbicides


A postemergent herbicide works effectively after the weed has emerged from the soil. It's best applied as a contact foliar spray directly on the target weed. Using a postemergent herbicide in an area where the weeds have yet to emerge will result in failure. Postemergent herbicides come in two types: contact and systemic.

  • Contact herbicides are most effective on annual broadleaf weeds. They work on contact and don't harm turfgrass when they're applied according to the label.
  • Systemic herbicides work best on perennials, which can regenerate from their root systems. A systemic herbicide works through the leaves and makes its way to the roots and stems, killing the entire plant along the way. Runoff and drift can kill beneficial plants, so take extreme caution during application.

Herbicide Modes of Action


Herbicides have several modes of action, or unique ways in which they affect the target weeds. To select the right herbicide for the job, it's best to have a general understanding before choosing any herbicide for a given situation.


Amino Acid Inhibitors


Amino acid inhibitors have a mode of action that prevents amino acid synthesis, which is vital for normal plant growth and development. These inhibitors are limited to foliar applications since they become inactive when they're mixed with soil. Some examples of amino acid inhibitors include:

  • Round Up with glysophate
  • Oust with sulfometuron
  • Image with imazaquin

Cell Growth or Cell Division Inhibitors


Cell growth or cell division inhibitors are typically pre-emergent herbicides and applied to the soil. They disrupt the growth of plant tissue and only target certain weed species. Some cell division inhibitors include:

  • Super with paraquat
  • Reward with diquat
  • Basagran with bentazon

Growth Point Disintegrators


Growth point disintegrators target the growing point of turf weeds. They're applied at early postemergence and are effective on both annual and perennial grasses, especially when they're used with an adjuvant. Affected weeds show various symptoms such as yellowing and other discoloration. Some products include:

  • Acclaim with fenoxaprop-ethyl
  • Poast with sethoxydim

Growth Regulators


Growth regulators are available as contact and systemic herbicides. They're applied during postemergence as a foliar spray, disrupting the weed's growth and causing everything from leaf cupping to dark coloration. Drift and runoff can damage nontarget plants. Many growth regulators contain 2,4-D as the active ingredient, but other known regulators include:

  • Banvel with dicamba
  • Turflon with triclopyr

Photosynthetic Inhibitors


These postemergent herbicides are applied to the soil and interfere with photosynthesis, thus preventing food production in the weeds. They provide long-term control and will continue to work for weeks or months depending on the amount that's applied. Some common photosynthesis inhibitors include:

  • Princep with simazine
  • Hyvar with bromacil
  • AAtrex with atrazine

Pigment Inhibitors


Pigment inhibitors work by stopping the formation of carotinoid pigments, which protect the chlorophyll from light. This pre-emergent inhibitor exhibits foliar and soil activity and halts photosynthesis. It's effective on both grassy plants and broadleaf weeds. Some products include:

  • Ronstar with oxadiazon
  • Amitrole T

Disease Management


Turfgrass not only has to fight against competing weeds but also harmful pathogens. Turf diseases occur when these pathogens enter the plant through the root system or the leaves. They disrupt the turf's metabolic process and cause discolored patches in areas of the lawn and spots on individual blades. To fight against turf diseases, a fungicide acts as both a protective and a curative measure.


Fungicides prevent disease-causing fungi from forming and spreading and are grouped by formulation:

  • Inorganic fungicides contain various minerals such as copper and sulfur. They don't easily decompose in nature and are now limited in use.
  • Organic fungicides are carbon based and decompose naturally in the environment, posing little risk of long-term contamination.

Contact Versus Systemic Fungicides


Contact fungicides only protect the part of the plant on which they cover, not the roots. A fungus can still affect parts of the plant that aren't covered, so it's important to apply the product thoroughly. Contact fungicides have broad-spectrum activity, control numerous species and have very few resistance issues. Rain, irrigation and chemical breakdown can render the contact fungicide inactive, thereby shortening its control.


Systemic fungicides, however, do not break down so easily or get washed away by rainfall and irrigation. They're taken in by the roots, and the active ingredients are distributed throughout the plant in a process called translocation. Mowing will not remove the fungicide either since the chemical is stored in the roots and the stems. Even new growth will obtain some of the translocated protectant. Unfortunately, systemic fungicides do have a higher possibility for resistance due to their very specific mode of action.


Classifications of System Fungicides

  • Benzimidazoles: Inhibit cell division of fungi
  • Dicarboximides: Inhibit invasion of hyphae, the invading rootlike filaments of the fungi
  • Sterol Inhibitors: Inhibit growth of the fungi biochemically by disrupting the cell wall membranes

Turfgrass and Ornamental Insect Management


Pest insects vary throughout the country and cause more problems in some places than in others. In the humid South, pests thrive in turf and damage crops, gardens and ornamentals. Pests such as chinch bugs and grubs eat grass roots and cause numerous problems for homeowners who want a lawn without visible damage.


Colorado has a dry, arid climate and fewer insect pests to destroy the turfgrass. However, pests learn to adapt to any environment. Billbugs and white grubs are found in the state and can damage turf or attract skunks and other foragers. The wildlife causes a mess of its own as the animals dig up yards in search of insects in the soil.


Homeowners and lawn care professionals target turf pests with insecticides. These products range in strength and may only target specific pests by using minerals, chemicals, organic compounds or other ingredients. Insecticides are divided into groups based on their modes of action.


Inorganics


Inorganic pesticides have been around the longest and contain minerals as the active ingredients. They have a slow killing mode of action and are used primarily in the structural pest control market. Some types of inorganic pesticides include:

  • Boric acid
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Silica aerogels

Organics


Organic pesticides range in type and contain either carbon-based or all-natural, "organic" ingredients. Some manufacturers create organic pesticides with sesame oil to combat pests such as spider mites and certain fungal diseases.


Botanicals


Botanical insecticides are often referred to as natural insecticides since they contain chemical compounds that are derived from plants. Some common botanicals include:

  • Pyrethrum
  • Rotenone
  • Ryania
  • Nicotine

Pyrethroids


Pyrethroid insecticides contain six distinct chemical molecules with similar structures. Compared to natural pyrethrum, pyrethroids have an improved mode of action and provide faster knockdown, greater killing power and longer residual effects.


Neonicotinoids


Neonicotinoids contain synthesized compounds that are similar to the nicotine molecule. They provide longer residual effects and systemic activity than similar pesticides of their type.


Insect Growth Regulators


Insect growth regulators affect the growth and development of turf pests. They pose little risk to mammals and disrupt the normal processes of insects at different life stages. Some of the effects include:

  • Disruption of hormones that are responsible for development in immature pests
  • Sterilization of adult insects
  • Inhibition of important enzymes needed for growth

Weed Control Ideas for Colorado Turf


Weeds thrive in the Colorado climate and would take over the landscape if not for the many herbicides on the market. Whether it's a postemergent foliar spray or a pre-emergent granular, it's possible to treat and to prevent weeds with one or more weed-control products. For those who want thicker, fuller and greener lawns, these products can help tame the weeds and improve the look of residential and commercial landscapes.


Pre-emergent Herbicides


Granular formulations may not provide quick results, but they're great for controlling weed growth before it happens.

  • Snapshot has two active ingredients to control more weed species. It's an excellent bedding pre-emergent for early spring applications. Apply it to rock and mulch areas.
  • Pendulum 2G works best on grassy weeds that invade rocky areas and mulch. It's great for early spring applications.

Liquid formulations go to work quickly and yield faster results when compared to granular herbicides. However, it's possible to apply too much and damage the lawn. Following the application rates on the label is recommended.

  • Prodiamine 65 WDG can be applied in the spring and the fall and works effectively on turf and bedding.
  • Pendulum AquaCap has a nonstaining formula and works best on grassy weeds. Apply it in the spring to prevent weeds from emerging from the soil.
  • Surflan is a bedding pre-emergent and provides control for up to six months. Because it's harmful to cool-season grasses, it should not be used on Colorado turfgrass. Apply it to bedding in the spring.
  • Dimension 2EW should be applied in the spring on turf and bedding. It's colorless and has some post-emergent activity.
  • Gallery is a turf and bedding pre-emergent with an increased weed spectrum. Apply it in the spring and the fall, and combine it with label-recommended pre-emergents for even greater weed control.

Postemergent Herbicides


It's not always easy to catch weeds before they emerge. For established weeds in turf and bedding, a postemergent herbicide is the ideal choice.

  • Shredder 2,4-D Amine is a cost-effective product for controlling specific broadleaf weeds. It has greater temperature sensitivity and lower volatility and works well when it's combined in the tank with glysophate to increase the control.
  • Strike Three contains mecoprop, dicamba and 2,4-D as the active ingredients, targeting a wider spectrum of weeds on turf.
  • 4-Speed XT contains triclopyr for increased efficacy on hard-to-control weeds. It provides immediate visual results and helps to kill weeds quickly.
  • Horsepower contains MCPA, triclopyr and dicamba and knocks out hard-to-control, turf-invading weeds without the need to use 2,4-D.
  • Quincept contains dicamba, quinclorac and 2,4-D and helps to knock out invading grasses on turf while providing good broadleaf weed control.
  • Fiesta is an organic-based, selective herbicide that controls weeds in turf. It contains a chelated iron source and kills broadleaf weeds without effecting desired grasses.
February 08, 2017

Fertilizer Basics: A Guide for Turfgrass Management

Fertilizer Basics: A Guide for Turfgrass Management

A vibrantly rich, green lawn makes any homeowner proud and every neighbor envious. Unless it's newly laid turf, it takes time and regular maintenance to grow such thick, healthy grass. Though turf requires plenty of sunshine and water for proper growth, it needs more than a few sunny days and occasional rain showers to look its best. Fertilization is the key to maximize a lawn's appearance and to promote healthy roots and shoots for resisting diseases and overcoming environmental stresses.


What Grass Needs for Growth

Just as humans need vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy bodies, grass requires various nutrients in which to grow healthy and strong. In fact, grass needs a minimum of 16 micro- and macronutrients for proper development. If it lacks any of these vital nutrients, the grass will not grow or develop as well as it could, leading to bald spots, brown patches and thinning throughout the landscape. These 16 nutrients include:

  • Boron
  • Calcium
  • Carbon
  • Chlorine
  • Copper
  • Hydrogen
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Oxygen
  • Sulfur
  • Zinc

Grass always has plenty of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen as these nutrients are available through the air and in the water. However, it can never get enough calcium or magnesium. It may also need higher quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – nutrients that aren't readily available without fertilization.


Every nutrient plays an important role in turfgrass development. For example, nitrogen helps the grass to resist diseases and to tolerate stresses while affecting its density, growth and color. Iron is important for photosynthesis and chlorophyll formation, and phosphorus affects root growth and maturation. Potassium is also important as it helps the grass to build a tolerance for cold weather, droughts and diseases.


What Makes Fertilizer So Important?

Because grass can't get certain nutrients from the environment, it may not reach its full potential for color, thickness and hardiness. Fertilizer helps to fill in the gap, to boost turfgrass development and to maintain the lawn's health over time. It contains three important nutrients for growth: nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. These nutrients help the grass to thrive and to grow strong and vibrant while resisting traffic, pests and other stresses.


How Much to Fertilize

Fertilizers come with varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, so it's not recommended to purchase just any bag and to start applying it on the grass. The amount that's required on any particular grass depends on a few factors:

  • Maintenance Goals: Thick, healthy turf will need more fertilizer compared to a thin, lightly colored turf. Fertilization spurs growth, so the grass will require more irrigation and mowing than normal. Keep these things in mind as fertilization increases lawn maintenance chores. However, the results are always worth the effort.
  • Location: Growing seasons in the South are much longer than growing seasons in the North. A handy tip to remember is to apply 0.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet for each growing month. For example, in Colorado and Wyoming, which has a six-month growing season, the grass would require approximately 3 pounds of nitrogen during those six months.
  • Grass Species: Some grasses respond better with little fertilizer while others require more in a growing season. Grass species such as tall fescue and western wheatgrass show adequate results with very little fertilization. Kentucky bluegrass and similar species need more fertilizer to produce the same results.
  • Weather: Fertilizer must be applied more frequently during rainy summers than in drought-ridden summers. Irrigated turf also requires more fertilizer than nonirrigated turf.
  • Soil Type: If turfgrass sits atop sandy and heavy clay soil, it will require more fertilizer than turf that's grown on silt loam soil. The soil's type and pH levels also affect the required amount of phosphorus and potassium for fertilization.
  • Turf Age and Quality: Newly planted turf needs more fertilizer during the first few years to help with establishment and to improve its density. The same application rates and times apply for thin or neglected turfgrass.
  • Clippings: Returning the clippings to the turfgrass stand help to reduce the amount of required annual fertilizer. Return the clippings back to the stand whenever practical. By doing so, it's possible to generate one pound of nitrogen per growing season.

The Numbers: Understanding Fertilizer Composition

As mentioned in the previous section, fertilizers contain three main nutrients to improve turf growth and development: nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. These nutrients show up on the package in the form of three numbers. For example, a bag may have the numbers 20-5-10 on the front label.

Each number represents the percentage of the three main ingredients. So if a label reads 18-24-12, it contains exactly 18 percent nitrogen, 24 percent phosphate and 10 percent potassium in that order. The label may also include other micro- and macronutrients with their respective percentages. Nitrogen fertilizers are characterized by the speed in which they release nitrogen to turfgrass and plants.


Quick-release fertilizers

Quick-release fertilizers supply the plants with nitrogen in just a few days and cause quick growth and color response. Because they have a higher nitrogen percentage, they work quickly and require less handling. They have numerous benefits but require special care to avoid damaging the turf and ornamentals.


Advantages of Quick-Release Fertilizers

  • High nitrogen content so there's less material to handle
  • Fast-acting with plant response in two or three days
  • Lower cost per pound of nitrogen
  • Applicable with urea and ammonium sulfate in the solution

Disadvantages of Quick-Release Fertilizers

  • Limited to one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application
  • Labor costs rise with repeated applications
  • May result in burn as the fertilizer salts dry out the plant tissue
  • Increased clippings at mowing time due to overstimulation
  • Susceptible to leaching and to losing some nitrogen after application
  • More applications per growing season for short turfgrass

Types of Quick-Release Nitrogen

  • Ammonium Sulfate: 21-00-00
  • Ammonium Nitrate: 34-00-00
  • Calcium Nitrate: 15-00-00-15.5
  • Potassium Nitrate: 13-00-44
  • Urea: 46-00-00

Slow-Release Fertilizers

Slow-release fertilizers gradually release nitrogen to the plant by way of microorganism breakdown. They contain either chemically stabilized nitrogen or a water-soluble or water-insoluble nitrogen that has a coating, which restricts solubility of the fertilizer.


Advantages of Slow-Release Fertilizers

  • Have a high nitrogen content except with natural organics
  • Can apply larger amounts at a time
  • Less likely to burn the grass
  • Residual nitrogen release for a longer time
  • Less susceptible to leaching
  • Less clumping during storage

Disadvantages of Slow-Release Fertilizers

  • Twice the cost of quick-release fertilizer per unit of nitrogen
  • Limited availability to be applied in a solution
  • Slow initial response
  • Strong odor
  • More difficult to spread as a natural organic

Why Consider Slow-Release N?

Not everyone applies fertilizer at the most opportune time. In fact, people often apply it only when it fits their schedule and not when the conditions or the timing is right. Nitrogen is subject to environmental losses such as leaching to groundwater and denitrification, a process in which bacteria reduce nitrate and produce nitrite, nitric oxide or nitrous oxide.


What Does Controlled-Release Mean?

Controlled-release means the same as slow-release and is used interchangeably. It's also possible to hear the term delayed-response when reading about fertilization. The preferred term for all of these products is fertilizer technologies.


Fertilizer Technologies

Fertilizer technologies are separated into three categories: uncoated, coated and bio-inhibitors. Each one has a special way of providing nitrogen through a controlled-release method:


Uncoated, Controlled-Release Fertilizers

  • Decompose in the soil by chemical and biological processes
  • Can contain various organically derived sources such as fish meals and sewer sludge
  • Contain isobutylidenediurea and decompose through microbial action
  • Also contain magnesium-ammonium-phosphate as the inorganic salt

Coated, Controlled-Release Fertilizers

Coated, controlled-release fertilizers use polymer, sulfur coatings or a combination of the two in order to deliver nitrogen to the plant.

  • Sulfur-coated urea releases nitrogen through oxidation of the sulfur coating.
  • Polymer-coated urea has a special polymer coating. As water moves through the coating, it dissolves the urea and releases the nitrogen.

Bio-Inhibitors

Bio-inhibitors are not truly classified as slow-release fertilizers but do somewhat slowly release available nitrogen to the soil. They contain chemicals that cause microbes to convert the nitrogen to plant-available forms. This microbial process makes the nitrogen susceptible to environmental losses but also results in an increased availability to the plant. Bio-inhibitors come in two different types: urease and nitrification.

Urease inhibitors kill the soil enzyme known as urease. By inhibiting this enzyme, the urea will not decompose as quickly and will have a chance to move farther into the soil through rainfall. It's important to control volatilization and to incorporate the urea into the soil. If measures are not taken, it can result in as much as a 20 percent nitrogen loss.

Urease inhibitors have several benefits, such as being added to UAN, a urea-ammonium nitrate solution. They can also be added to urea and may inhibit the soil enzyme for two weeks or more depending on the conditions. However, warmer temperatures may cause the urease to repopulate more quickly, thus shortening the control.

Nitrification inhibitors slow the denitrification process by bacteria in the soil. They prevent ammonium-nitrogen from converting to nitrate-nitrogen and reduce overall environmental losses due to leaching. These inhibitors keep the nitrogen in a special form that isn't easy for the plants to absorb. They delay the conversion for up to four weeks depending on the temperature and the soil's pH.


Common Fertilizers on the Market

It's not always easy to decide on a fertilizer to use with so many different blends available. In many cases, choosing a slow-release fertilizer will make the most sense and help to prevent burn while achieving positive results over time. With that said, making the choice comes down to two options: granular and liquid. Some of the more common granular slow-release nitrogen sources include:

  • Poly sulfur-coated urea
  • Polyon
  • Duration
  • UFlexx
  • UMaxx
  • NSN
  • Nutrilene
  • Nitriform
  • Meythlene urea
  • XCU
  • DPW
  • Milorganite
  • Nutricote

Many different liquid nitrogen products also exist on the market and provide just as effective results, including:

  • Coron 28-00-00: Liquid methylene urea
  • N-Sure 28-00-00: Urea-Triazone Fertilizer Solution
  • Gradual N 30-00-00: Liquid methylene urea
  • UFlexx 46-00-00: Contains Agrotain and DCD
  • UMaxx:47-00-00: Contains Agrotain and DCD

How to Create an Annual Fertilizer Program

Developing an annual fertilizer program comes down to a few things: the type of turf, the level of desired quality, the number of applications per season and the application technique.


Identify the Turf

With so many different grasses and plants in a yard, it's easy to see why there's a mass production of unique fertilizers. Not all fertilizers are the same, which is indicated by the numbers on the label. Each fertilizer has a different percentage of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium for specific uses. A fertilizer that may work great on new sod may severely damage mature grass. It's important to identify the turf, to understand the differences and the needs of cool- and warm-season grasses and to use the appropriate fertilizer for the situation.


Choose the Level of Quality

The difference between a good lawn and a high-quality lawn is the work that's put into it. A good lawn may only need one application per year. The clippings can be returned to the stand, and the grass may never require irrigation. A high-quality lawn is irrigated and mowed regularly. It may also receive pesticide treatments and up to two or three fertilizer applications per year.


How Many Applications?

Lawns don't benefit from overfertilization. Too much fertilizer can kill the grass; too little can have no effect whatsoever. As a rule of thumb, never apply more than a pound of nitrogen in a 1,000-square-foot area. Whereas some people fertilize in the fall, others fertilize their lawns in the spring and the summer. For example, those who have Kentucky bluegrass can fertilize in April or May to have a vibrant lawn in the winter. It's also possible to apply fertilizer in the fall. It all depends on the grass, the location, the site conditions and the overall quality expectations.


Liquid Vs. Granular

Having options doesn't always make a decision easier, and the debate between liquid and granular fertilizers has a history. It's really a matter of choice and the effects that one hopes to achieve through fertilization. Liquid fertilizers offer several benefits, such as providing immediate results as the plants can easily take in the solution. However, liquid fertilizers have to be applied more frequently, may cause burning and can leach deep into the ground, resulting in loss.

Granular fertilizers don't have to be applied often. Just one application can provide up to nine months of residual absorption. The effects may not show up right away, but there's a low risk of burning the turf. The slow uptake may not help the turf to recover from any nutrient deficiencies, and the granules will need constant watering to work effectively.

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Approved Cannabis Plant Pesticides Released by CDA

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Beneficial Insects and Predatory Mites for use in Integrated Crop Management

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May 08, 2015

Weed Control get a head of it this spring

Homeowners and landscapers everywhere approach weeds with one goal in mind: to remove them all from the property. Weeds grow out of control in yards across the world and steal vital nutrients from the grass, flowers and other plants. They grow in places where you do not want them to grow, ruin a lawn's aesthetic and crowd vegetables in the garden.

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Pesticides, Insecticides, Fungicides, and Miticides safe and effective use indoor and outdoor

Pesticides target a variety of pest species both indoors and outdoors, from bothersome insects to weeds and fungi. When applied correctly and following the instructions for use, pesticides eliminate existing pests and can help prevent future infestations. Pesticides not only protect your home from spiders and other unwanted pests, but they also protect your plants from damage and your home's structure from termite invasions.

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