Gerry's Blog



Weed Expectations
Weeds are not easy to exterminate these days with the organic products.
Dandelions are the easiest but will still take time- some weeds do not respond very well to the organic product. We won't tell you that you will never see a weed.
Some companies may be telling you that all the weeds will disappear- but we will not make unrealistic promises.
The weed treatment will cause the tops of the dandelion to turn black and shrivel up. Then as the leaves disintegrate- it appears as if the dandelions have gone. But the tops have died and not the roots. The plant will likely regrow in a few weeks. It takes several treatments to kill it down to the root.
Being on a lawn program is essential as this helps to eliminate the baby dandelions. So our treatments this year are also helping to make the lawn less weedy in the future.
So it is important to feed the lawn as well. As the dandelions are weakened, the lawn is strengthened. It's like tackling the problem from 2 different ends. Over time as the lawn gets better and the dandelions weaker, there will be fewer. It is not guaranteed that they will all be gone in one season. Plus new seeds are deposited each year and new seedlings will sprout.
Creeping weeds are much more difficult to eliminate. The leaf edges will curl and blacken, but the whole plant may not disappear the way dandelions do. 
Some creeping weeds will go if they are sprayed heavier. This can create a risk. The heavier treatment is more likely to burn a lawn- especially in hot and dry conditions during the summmer.
Some folks will say- go ahead and zap the weeds, if the lawn burns, we can re-seed- we'd rather get the weeds out.
Others- will say- no- I'm having a birthday party next month and it's better for the lawn to have a few weeds but to still be green and not burnt.

Can a Rainy Spring Affect Your Lawn? written by: gikundantiphas and Gerry

How a rainy spring can affect your lawn

Lawns play a significant part in improving the attractiveness of your homestead. In order for grass to grow, it requires water. The water source can either be rainfall or irrigation water through sprinklers. Rainfall is essential in providing an attractive green lawn. However, when there is excess rain water like during a rainy spring season, your lawn will likely grow well but it can also get negatively affected. 

There are different lawn problems caused by excess water. A rainy spring affects your lawn in different ways. There are ways to avoid these problems. Having said that, let’s look at how excess rain water in spring negatively affects your lawn and the way forward. 

Rainy Weather Can Affect Your Lawn
Rainy Weather Can Affect Your Lawn

a) Lack of oxygen – excessive rain water causes lack of oxygen by filling the air spaces in the soil. Grass roots require oxygen to grow. Lack of proper supply of oxygen drowns the grass roots. As a result, the grass will die slowly. 

b) Wet soils soft and are thus also susceptible to increased compaction from foot traffic. Lawns will find it harder to grow in compacted soils. Grasses have fine roots that may have difficulty in hard soils.

c) Shallow root growth – The fact that grass roots don’t have to go deep into the soil profile to find water, can cause shallow root growth. The shallow root growth is a recipe for drying of grass when dry weather occurs because the roots lack the necessary depth. As a result, there can be patches of weak or dying grass.

d) Nutrients loss – Excess water leads to increased runoff. The runoff washes away important plant nutrients required by the grass. Additionally, there is increased leaching of nutrients. This makes nutrients unavailable to the grass. As a result, grass growth is hampered.

e) Grass becomes highly prone to insects and diseases – Shallow root system causes a lot of stress to the grass. Due to this, the grass becomes highly susceptible to diseases and insect damage.

f) Fungus Diseases – Soil logging due to excessive supply of water, can cause grass roots to rot. When the roots rot they are easily invaded by fungus. This starts as yellow patches within your lawn. Once the fungus establishes it is difficult to eradicate. Few fungicides are available and/or allowed. You will be required to reseed the bare or dead patches in the fall.

g) Excess weeds grow in your lawn – Too much rainwater can cause weeds to grow in your lawn that has become stressed. Most of these weeds are hard to kill.

h) Increased lawn fertilizer requirement – Since the lawn is not getting the essential nutrients, you have to supplement through fertilizer application. This can add to the cost of lawn care.

The way forward – Improved lawn care
It is important to ensure that you work closely with lawn care experts to make sure that your lawn is properly maintained by professionals. Lawn care experts like Turf King Hamilton have the necessary skills and experience to look after your lawn at all times. The professionals have lawn care programs to ensure that your lawn is in the best condition at all times. Regardless of the weather condition lawn experts help minimize damage to your lawn. 

For instance, during rainy spring lawn experts help your lawn get through this period by ensuring that:

  • Ensuring that there are sufficient nutrients.
  • Aerating the lawn to relieve soil compaction and improve drainage
  • Provide advice on proper yard drainage
  • Treating your lawn at the right time to ensure an attractive lawn
  • Provide lawn programs to address weed and insect concerns.

Bottom Line

Rainfall is helpful in maintaining a good-looking green lawn. However, when the rainwater is in excess like during a rainy spring, it can negatively affect the attractiveness of your lawn. Problems caused by too much rain are, as elaborated above. However, through the help of lawn experts, it’s possible to avoid lawn problems brought about by excessive rainwater.

For Lawns with Chinch Bug problems- we at Turf King Hamilton have always recommended that lawns at risk for chinch bug infestations should be seeded or overseeded with turf-type perennial ryegrass varieties that repel insects. When we overseed lawns we always use a mix with this type of grass in the mix. As well, the small packages of grass seed that we may leave at your home does indeed contain this insect repelling grass seed.

See our Library Article on Grass Species for Lawns

At a retail store this week - I saw a bag of grass seed on the shelf. It is labelled as Lawn Insect Defense Grass Seed.

My assumption is that it does contain endophytic perennial ryegrass. 

Seeding with this grass does not guarantee that chinch bugs will not damage your lawn. However, it is one of the tools that you can use to help reduce the devastation that chinch bugs can do to lawns. This is especially important if we get another hot, dry summer.


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