Steps for Successful Fall Lawn Renovation

Steps for Successful Fall Lawn Renovation

If your lawn looks a little tired, it may be time for a facelift. A few changes will help you get a turf that will be healthier for the spring and summer. With a few steps, you can revitalize your yard. Before you break out the shovels, there are a few things that you can do for a successful fall lawn renovation.

Remove That Weed and Thatch Buildup

At the surface of your soil, you might notice some undecomposed roots and stems. This debris is called thatch, and you will need to remove it from your lawn. You can take a shovel and dig up about several inches of turf. Dethatching should be done in the spring or fall. At this time, your lawn is healthy and can handle this removal process. If your yard has any weeds, you want to apply a herbicide to remove them from the turf. You want to remove all those unwanted elements from the surface of your grass.

Fill Those Depressions

Many things can cause bumps or depressions in your lawn. As you start the dethatching process, this is the perfect time to check for those uneven spots. If you are looking to save some time, make sure to spray the area with paint. When it comes time to fill in those spots, you will have no problem finding them again.

To fill in a depression, you can apply a combination of compost and topsoil. Once that is applied, you need a landscaping rake to level out the surface. For those large surfaces with sod, you may want to use a mix of fertilizer, soil, and humus to even out your space. You can gently lift the sod and fill in the depression. During this stage, you want to moisten all the sod. If the sod dries out, the edges could turn brown and die.

For those bumps in your yard, you can lift the grass with a sharp spade. You only want to remove a small section of the turf, or the grass will end up drying out. When the soil is exposed, you should mix in fertilizer and compost. It is important to soak the area with a hose and place the turf back into its original place.

Test Your Soil’s pH Levels

Your lawn needs the right pH level to stay lush and healthy. If you want to get the best pH levels for your space, then you might want to have professional service complete the test. For those lawns with high or low pH levels, some amendments might be needed for your yard. With this information, you can correct the level of your soil’s pH.

Add Some Nutrients

For those nutrient-starved lawns, you may need to use a slow-release fertilizer. You want to avoid putting down excessive amounts of fertilizer. If you add too much nitrogen, it can affect the cell walls of the grass. In turn, your turf will be more susceptible to diseases. You also want to avoid excess fertilizer since it can leach into your local waterways. This stage is the perfect time to increase the organic matter and microbes in your soil. You need to have a certain percentage of organic material in your lawn for a healthy space.

Start Aerating Your Compacted Lawns

When you aerate your lawn, you must penetrate the soil to allow the organic matter and fertilizer to reach the roots. However, you never want to aerate your lawn during the summer. At this time, the turf is already stressed, and it may get damaged. For those lawns with weeds, aeration can also create a ripe environment for a more widespread weed infestation.

Overseed Your Surface

Before you start your project, you want to overseed your lawn. Depending on your area and lawn species, you can use several tools to spread the seeds. Slit-seeders will cut slits into the turf and allow you to sow seeds throughout your yard. These machines can also help remove any thatch from your lawn. You want to plant seeds in those bare spots. Once that is done, you can cover the seed with a mix of topsoil and compost.

For the most part, overseeding should be done in the late summer or early fall. Fall gives your seeds a better chance to germinate and establish robust roots. In addition to that, your seedlings can store up food that will last throughout the winter.

Protect Those Young Seedlings

Finally, you want to take special care of those young grass seedlings. If you have new seedlings, they need more water than other areas in your yard. You want the soil to stay moist. When the soil dries out, the young seedlings will wither and die.

If you are planning on sowing seeds, then you need to soak your lawn. Your soil should be moistened to a 1-inch depth. You want to keep up this watering schedule until the grass reaches a height of 2 inches. It is recommended that you water the lawn for a few minutes in the morning and evening. While some species grow faster, you can expect to be on this schedule for about four to six weeks.

Once you have planted seeds, it is important to stay off those areas. You might want to add more fertilizer at this stage. However, if the grass is close to going dormant, you can hold off on fertilizer. When it is time to mow the grass, make sure to use a sharp blade for the job. If you cut the young grass with dull blades, then it can damage those seedlings.

We Can Help With Lawn Renovations

If you want a professional team to handle your lawn renovations, we are ready for the job. We can help you boost the health of your yard. You don’t have to fuss with fertilizer, aeration, or overseeding. We will take care of all those hard jobs, such as mowing, tree trimming, and snow removal. To schedule a consultation with Charlestown Landscaping, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

Grass Growing in Clumps or Patches? Common Culprits in Pennsylvania

Grass Growing in Clumps or Patches? Common Culprits in Pennsylvania

Everyone wants a thick and healthy lawn. Unfortunately, there are times when you might notice some grass clumps throughout your yard. These clumps are often the result of weeds mixed into your grass. These grassy weeds can diminish your lawn’s appearance, and they can be harmful to the health of your yard. If you are ready to get rid of these clumps, you need to identify those weeds in your space. Here are some of the common culprits for grass clusters in Pennsylvania.

Control Those Clumps

Grassy weeds are not uncommon in Pennsylvania. Some of these weeds can be difficult to control. However, there are ways to remove these grassy weeds from your space. Throughout the state, some common weeds can be an eyesore for your yard.

Orchardgrass

This cool-season grassy weed has a rough texture and blue-green color. You typically find these weeds in shady areas, and they grow quicker than regular grass. Orchardgrass is most prevalent in the spring. You can thicken up your turf to hide small patches of orchardgrass. For those severe cases, a non-selective herbicide can kill orchardgrass. However, these chemicals might affect healthy grass. After treatment, you may need to reseed your lawn for several seasons.

Bentgrass

Bentgrass grows low and creates those light green patches in your lawn. In the summer, these weeds will turn an unpleasant shade of brown. Bentgrass is useful as a species for putting greens. However, for homeowners, these grassy weeds are an eyesore and can crowd out your turfgrasses. Bentgrasses also produce horizontal stems on the surface of the soil. If left untreated, this grass can spread aggressively and take over a lawn. Over time, it can be challenging to control bentgrass in your yard. If you are at this stage, your only choice may be a herbicide treatment.

Zoysiagrass

Zoysiagrass is one tough grass that can stand up to extreme temperatures and weather changes. With a hardy and dense root system, this grass can be hard to control. These grasses are very persistent in those Pennsylvania lawns. They can come back after the current growing season. If you have zoysiagrass in your yard, you need some professional lawn care help. These grasses tend to stick around even after aggressive herbicide treatments.

Rough Bluegrass

Rough bluegrass can tolerate partial shade, and it is another aggressive clumping grass that can smother out your healthy turf. The rough bluegrass is not related to the prized Kentucky bluegrass. This grass produces yellow clumps. You can thicken up your turf to choke out the clumps of this invasive bluegrass. For those lawns with several clumps, you may need to take a more assertive approach to remove it from your yard.

Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass is the most aggressive grassy weed in Pennsylvania. You will recognize this grass by its rough texture and dark green color. With these characteristics, bermudagrass will stand out in your yard. You can grow your lawn higher to cover up those clumps. It takes some effort to remove bermudagrass from your yard. This clumping weed is exceptionally hardy, and you may need a lawn care professional to help you get rid of this weed.

Kentucky 31 Fescue

Kentucky 31 fescue is also called K-31. This tall grass is known for its coarse appearance and light green color. Kentucky 31 can even tolerate droughts. At one time, K-31 was the top choice as a pasture grass for livestock. If you want to get rid of this grass, it is not as resilient as other clumping grasses. You can spray the clumps in the late summer. Once that is completed, you will want to reseed with your turfgrass species to even out your yard.

Crabgrass

This lime-green grass is an eyesore for many lawns. If left untreated, it can spread throughout your yard. Crabgrass is known to distribute thousands of seeds. In a single growing season, one crabgrass plant can produce over 75,000 seeds. You need specialized crabgrass control measures to contain the problem for your turf. In most cases, a commercial-grade product might be your most effective control method.

Nutsedge

This grassy perennial loves to grow in warmer weather, and it thrives in your yard’s moist areas. Nutsedge is unique as it reproduces with underground tubers called nutlets. It can be an aggressive growing plant, and you might need repeated applications to control it. However, with managed weed control, you can remove this pesky weed from your turf.

Find a Solution for Your Lawn

When you notice some grass clumps, it is important to find out what weed is growing in your space. Many of these weeds have a similar appearance, and you can easily misidentify them. You want to make sure you know the specific weed causing trouble in your yard. With this information, you can take the best approach for weed control.

If you are still confused about these common culprits of lawn clumps, it may be time to hire a professional company. These professionals will inspect your lawn and help you find the solutions for your grass. Home treatments might not be powerful enough to rid your yard of these winter weed problems. Professional lawn care services have commercial-grade products and tools that can eliminate these weeds. Once your yard is free from weeds, your lawn will remain lush and healthy throughout the year. With a professional service, you can get top-quality lawn care without any hassles.

We’re Here To Help With Weed Control

At Charlestown Lawnscaping, we have the experience to handle these common weeds in the Pennsylvania area. Our team will design a plan that can tackle those pesky weeds. We can use manual methods or herbicides to prevent these weeds from establishing themselves in your yard. Once the weeds have been removed, we keep inspecting your space so that you don’t have to worry about these harmful grassy clumps. If you are tired of dealing with these eyesores, it may be time to contact a professional team. Make sure to fill out the contact form to learn more about our lawn care services.

Common Grass Diseases In Pennsylvania

Common Grass Diseases In Pennsylvania

A healthy lawn is lush and green. However, if you notice some brown or yellow spots in your turf, it could be the result of a disease. There are several types of infections that can be found in Pennsylvania. Once you have identified the problem in the yard, there are ways to treat it. Here is a look at the most common grass diseases in the state.

Brown Patch

Brown Patch

Brown patches often occur in the summer, and they tend to infect bentgrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass. If you look at the infected grass in the morning, you can see a white layer of fungus on the blades. In most cases, the lawn will have a sunken appearance. Your grass will also look very patchy and thin. For those tall fescue lawns, there will be evidence of light brown or tan lesions on the grass blades. You can treat brown spots by reducing the moisture on the grass blades. For those severe infections, a fungicide application will need to be applied.

Fairy Ring

In the late summer or early fall, the fairy ring starts to affect lawns in Pennsylvania. You will notice a ring of discoloration in your turf. Some of these circles will have mushrooms on the outer edge of the ring. Many of the bands will infect about 4 to 12 inches of your grass. Fairy rings are caused by mushroom fungi that thrive in thatch and soil. While you may want to grab a fungicide to control this problem, these methods are often unsuccessful. For most lawns, you will need to remove a few inches of the topsoil. Once that is done, you should replace the soil and seed for new grass.

Dollar Spot

Dollar spots can appear in the early to late summer. These white or tan dead turf areas are about the size of a silver dollar. You will usually see several dead spots on your lawn. In some cases, the spots appear next to each other and create a larger dead turf area. When the temperature and humidity are high, there is a higher chance of an outbreak of this disease. Dollar spots occur in lawns that are regularly irrigated, and they are more prevalent in turfs that are low in nitrogen.

Powdery Mildew

For those Kentucky bluegrass lawns, you want to keep an eye out for this powdery mildew. Those shady areas of your yard are more susceptible to this disease. While this species of bluegrass suffers from powdery mildew, tall fescues are resistant to this affliction. High humidity, shade, poor air circulation, and cold air temperatures provide a favorable environment for powdery mildew. This disease will produce a gray-white powder growth on the grass blades. You can use a fungicide to control this grass disease.

Red Thread

Red thread occurs in the spring when the temperatures reach 65 to 75 degrees. This disease loves humid and moist weather. At the tip of the grass blades, you will see a pink fungus. If you want to remove this fungus from your grass, you can control it by balancing your nitrogen levels.

Gray Snow Mold

Gray Snow Mold

When the snow starts to melt, you might notice this grass disease. You often find gray snow mold in areas with massive snow accumulation. Once the turf is visible, the grass blades will appear matted and dead. Gray snow mold can affect a few inches to several feet of your lawn. While gray snow melt does destroy the blades of the grass, the roots are still healthy. Fungicide will not help you get rid of this disease. You can use a rake to fluff up the affected area to allow more airflow and growth.

Summer Patch

As you guessed, summer patch occurs in the mid-summer when the temperature starts to reach over 80 degrees. This disease can affect fine fescues and Kentucky bluegrass. Summer patches can affect those areas with insufficient drainage, poor circulation, and heavy foot traffic. It starts in small circular patches and can increase into larger areas. Most summer patches are yellow or brown in color. If left untreated, the fungus will destroy large areas of your lawn. Fungicide can help, but you will have better results with aeration and overseeding in the fall.

Pythium Blight

When the air temperature reaches over 85 degrees, then pythium blight can be a problem for your lawn. High temperatures can cause the disease to infect and damage your yard. Pythium blight causes your grass to look water-soaked, and it will eventually start to wilt the grass blades. These patches are gray to light brown in color. Some severe infection areas may even have a white cobweb of growth. If you are looking to avoid this disease, your lawn needs to have the right nutrients. For those infected lawns, a fungicide may help. You will want to apply the fungicide before your area experiences hot and humid weather.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is another disease that mainly strikes Kentucky bluegrass. This disease occurs during April and May. During the cool and wet weather, the fungus becomes active. Excess nitrogen in your grass can cause this disease to thrive throughout your lawn. The good news is that fungicides can help get rid of leaf spots. You will want to apply the fungicide in early April before the grass starts to green. For the best results, continue with the fungicide until the end of May. If you are looking for a permanent solution, aeration and seeding in the fall can help curtail this disease.

Don’t Stress With Your Grass

Grass diseases can be frustrating. You want to identify the problem and find a solution to prevent any damage to your lawn. However, those household remedies might not be enough to fix your problem. At Charlestown Landscaping, we can help with your grass disease issues. Our team can come up with solutions to keep your turf green and healthy. We’ll go that extra step for your lawn. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please fill out the contact form.

Tips for Planting Grass in the Fall

Tips for Planting Grass in the Fall

As the leaves and temperatures start to drop, you might want to take steps to improve the health of your lawn. Fall is a great time to plant, especially for certain varieties of grasses. For those who are looking for a lush and healthy lawn, there are a few tips that you will want to follow. With this handy guide, you can ensure that you have the best-looking lawn in the neighborhood.

When To Plant Your Grass

Like many homeowners, you want to know when to plant your grass. However, the answer is not always straightforward. Depending on the type of grass, fall or spring plantings work the best. If you have a cool-season grass, then fall is the best time to seed. These grasses love the milder temperatures, and they can thrive with the shorter days and cooler nights.

For those warm-season grasses, you will want to plant in the late spring or early summer. It is important to seed after the last frost in your area. These grasses will all thrive when you stick to this schedule.

You Need To Plan for the Future

Now that you know cool-season grasses do exceptionally well with a fall planting, you should think about seeding your lawn around Labor Day. With this schedule, you can give the new seedlings time to establish before the cold winter days. In addition to that, you can avoid those scorching hot summer temperatures.

You should always keep a watchful eye on the weather forecast. If you live in an area that experiences a late heatwave or early cold snap, it can affect the seeds’ germination process. It is important to get your grass seeds off to a good start. For those areas expecting heavy rains in the forecast, hold off on the planting. All your hard work could get washed away with a downpour.

If you usually add a weed control product to your yard, you need to take extra precautions. Before you use this product, consult the label for additional instructions. Some of these chemicals are harmful to those newly planted grass seeds.

Prepare Your Space

If you are ready to plant your grass seed, these tips can help you prepare your soil. For the first step, you want to remove all debris, stones, or wood from your planting area. You want a clean soil base for your seeds. Once that is done, you should take a spade and create a row in the soil. For those areas with hard dirt or clay, you can till the ground to break up those compacted clumps.

At this stage, add a layer of seeding soil and smooth it out with a landscape rake. Areas with recessed areas can be leveled out to give your planting space a smooth surface. Grass seeds need about 3 inches of rich soil for the best results. You can also use seeding soil with a fertilizer to help accelerate the growing process.

Plant Your Seeds

If you want to have a healthy lawn, you must add high-quality seeds to your turf. With better quality seeds, you can ensure strong growth for your lawn. Before you add the seeds, make sure to measure the planting area. The grass seeds’ packaging will recommend the right amount of seeds to use per square foot. For the most part, you want to use about 4 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of yard.

You may be tempted to add more seeds for a thicker lawn, but it can lead to overcrowding. As a result of that, overcrowding can choke the growth of the grass. A drop spreader is the best tool to ensure uniform coverage. If you have a small area, then a hand spreader can do a great job.

You Can Expedite Germination

For those who want to encourage sprouting and protect the seeds, there are a few things that you can do for a successful growing season. Losing the seeds is a big problem for many homeowners. Birds can eat the seeds, or the seeds can blow away. You can use a lawn roller to tamp down those seeds. These tools can be rented from a home improvement store.

If you want to further protect your seeds from washing away in the rain, then you might want to add a thin layer of mulch. However, you don’t want to add too many layers to your lawn. With a heavy layer of mulch, your seeds will not be able to push through the surface.

Finally, the proper watering schedule is a vital component of the growing process. You want the soil to remain moist throughout the germination stage. Water should penetrate the ground down to 6 inches. Early morning and night are the ideal times to water your seeds. For those dry areas, you might want to water about three to four times a day. A hand sprinkler is gentle enough to avoid washing away your seeds.

What To Expect for Your Grass Seeds

Those cool-weather grasses will begin to sprout in two weeks. If you do not see any seeds after two weeks, you might need to reseed your space. Once the seeds are visible, you still need to continue with your watering schedule. Daily watering should proceed until the grass measures up to an inch.

When the grass is ready to be cut by a lawnmower, you can reduce the watering schedule to once or twice a week. However, you still want to add enough water to reach and hydrate the roots. Once the roots have been established, you can be assured that your grass will survive the harsh winter season.

We’re the Grass Experts

At Charlestown Landscaping, we will help answer all your grass-related questions. Our team can also handle all those other lawn care needs for your grass. In addition to that, we offer landscaping and snow removal services. If you would like to discuss your maintenance needs with us, please fill out the contact form.

Will a Shrub or Tree Fungus Treatment Really Help? What To Expect

Will a Shrub or Tree Fungus Treatment Really Help? What To Expect

If your shrubs or trees have a fungus problem, you will want to treat them with the right products. However, do these treatments work in all situations? Certain fungal diseases can turn aggressive and damage your trees. In some cases, you may not be able to save your tree or shrub. Before you start the treatment process, you need to know about the effectiveness of these products.

Identify Tree and Shrub Fungus

If you want a successful treatment of your shrub or tree, you need to identify the disease. In some situations, these diseases are not worth the cost of treatment. The severity of your tree or shrub disease must be evaluated. For those trees or shrubs that are ravaged by an infection, you may have to replace it.

There are some cases where the problems affecting your tree are not the result of a disease. Some environmental factors cause symptoms that mimic a disease. In reality, it is the lack of water or nutrients that can create problems for your shrubs. Before you start treatment, proper identification is important for the health of your tree or shrub.

Common Tree and Shrub Diseases

In Pennsylvania, several types of diseases can affect your trees and shrubs. While you may want to handle these issues by yourself, you should hire a professional to identify these diseases. In the early stages of the infection, treatment can be successful. If the tree is too sick to save, you may have to remove it from your property.

Verticillium Wilt

If you have a deciduous tree, you need to keep an eye out for these fungal diseases. The leaves of the tree are greatly affected by this disease. They will be smaller than average and have browning edges. In some cases, the foliage only appears on one side of the tree. One telltale sign of verticillium wilt is the discoloration of the branches. There will be a distinct streaking pattern along the branches. While verticillium wilt cannot be eradicated, you can stop some of the severe effects of this disease.

Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Bacterial leaf scorch is commonly found in Pennsylvania. Trees with these diseases will experience a browning of their leaves. Like verticillium wilt, bacterial leaf scorch cannot be cured. You can suppress this disease with the right treatment. The symptoms can be slowed so that you can enjoy a few more years with your favorite tree.

Cedar Apple Rust

Crabapple and apple trees are susceptible to cedar apple rust. This is another fungal disease that can also appear on red cedars and junipers. When this disease is present in a tree, it will cause pale yellow spots on the leaves. For those trees in the late stages of the disease, those spots will turn orange. When the condition is treated early, it can be eliminated from your tree or shrub.

Apple Scab

Another affliction of apple and crabapple trees is known as the apple scab. The first sign of infection produces lesions on the flower buds. As the disease progresses, the lesions will appear as brown, yellow, or olive-green spots. The tree’s leaves will be deformed and start to fall off. The fruit of the tree will have lesions and prematurely drop from the tree. When treated early, apple scab can be eliminated.

Should You Invest in a Shrub or Tree Fungal Treatment?

Before you start treatment, you may want to consult a professional tree care company. They can help you decide whether treatment is a suitable investment option. Unfortunately, not all trees or shrubs will respond to treatment. In some cases, the shrub is too far gone for a successful treatment. Diseases that are difficult to treat or have spread in the shrub are not worth the treatment plan’s cost. At this stage, tree removal is your best option. You don’t want to invest in a treatment that will not produce optimal results for your tree or shrub.

However, if a tree or shrub has a special meaning, then it might be worth the cost of fungal treatments. Some homeowners are willing to spend money to get a couple of years out of their beloved shrub or tree. You need to decide on the right course of action for your landscaping. Many homeowners might choose to replace the tree rather than spend money on costly treatments. You should make an educated decision on what will work best for your property. Whatever you decide, you should always ask for help from a trusted lawn care company.

Prevention Is Key

If you want to prevent these diseases from affecting your trees and shrubs, then you need to invest in a great care plan for your landscape. With these programs, you can stop most fungal diseases in their tracks. Specialized care professionals will watch out for potential problems with those trees and shrubs. They know the first signs of a disease and can effectively treat these problems. You will never have to worry about your shrubs and trees getting to the point that treatment is not a practical option.

Let Us Help With Tree and Shrub Care

You want to keep your trees and shrubs healthy throughout the year. If you are struggling with your landscape chores, then it may be time for some help. At Charlestown Landscaping, we can visit your property and assess your concerns. In most cases, our team can catch those problems before they significantly affect the tree or shrub. We can even help you to develop a program to protect your property. With the right care, you never have to worry about these fungal diseases again.

In addition to arbor care, Charlestown Landscaping can assist with those other landscaping issues. We are ready to help with everything from mowing to aerating. Along with that, our team is here to keep your outdoor spaces safe with snow removal and deicing services throughout the winter. If you would like to learn more about our services, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

When Should You Overseed a Fescue Lawn?

If you want to have a luscious fescue lawn, then you should start overseeding in the fall. During this time, overseeding fescue grass seed is ideal. Many homeowners overseed about three weeks before the first autumn frost. However, the right time may be different for your specific area. When you overseed fescue in the fall, your seeds will have plenty of time to germinate. With this fall project, you can enjoy a beautiful fescue lawn for the upcoming spring and summer.

Overseeding During the Fall

Fescue grass needs to have constant moisture during the germination process. In the fall, the season produces enough water for the seeds without the threat of heavy rainstorms. When you overseed in the fall, there is less competition from those grassy weeds, such as foxtails or crabgrass.

The autumn temperatures are still warm for your fescue seeds. These temperatures are vital for germination. With the cooler autumn air, the fescue grass will grow healthier and stronger throughout your yard. Your grass seeds also benefit during the spring. They can begin another season of root development before the summer heat.

How To Overseed Your Fescue Lawn

Before you start to overseed your fescue lawn, you need to complete a few steps. You should do a little preparation before tackling this project. For starters, if you use a pre-emergent herbicide, these treatments can be harmful to your seeds’ health. You should stop any application a few weeks before overseeding. These pre-emergent herbicides can prevent any germination from your fescue seeds.

A soil test is another crucial step in the overseeding process. You might want to run a soil test about two weeks before your overseeding project. With this test, you will know if you need to raise your lawn’s pH levels with a lime application. In some cases, you might have to add fertilizers to improve the health of your turf. By conducting this test, you can be confident that your pre-existing lawn is ready for the overseeding process.

If you need to add any soil amendments, you can easily purchase them from your local home and garden store. For those who need to add fertilizer, there are some alternatives to chemicals. Organic composts can provide nutrients for your soil. With these nutrients, you can get your lawn ready for the grass seeds.

Finally, the last step is aeration of your lawn. With aeration, you can break up those clumps of compacted soil and provide some room for your fescue seeds to germinate. If you don’t have an aerator, you can rent one or hire a professional company to take care of this step.

The Day of Overseeding

On the day of your overseeding project, there are a couple more steps to follow. If you have excess vegetation, then you will want to mow the lawn. With this process, the seeds will be able to root into the ground without any obstructions. Shorter blades of grass can also help the seeds reach the soil.

If you are looking for other ways to improve your seeds’ germination, you may want to rake your lawn to remove any other debris. By removing excess leaves and debris, the seeds can reach the soil for germination. When you are raking the lawn, look out for those low or high points in your yard. Any of those spots should be leveled out before you overseed.

For those who haven’t aerated the yard, now is the time. With the aerator, you want to start in a grid-like pattern to cover the yard. The aerator should move from north to south, and then you want to come back in an east to west direction. As you aerate, you will create pockets that allow for water, nutrients, and air movement near the root line.

The right fescue seeds make a big difference for your yard. You will want to add high-quality seeds. Depending on your specific fescue, make sure to check the label for the appropriate amount of seed for your space. Generally, lawns require about 4 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet. However, the rate can change depending on the thickness of your yard. If you are overseeding every year, then you will not need to add large amounts of seeds.

In most cases, you can complete the job with a hand-held spreader. Many of these spreaders have several settings that allow you to adjust the distribution speed of the seeds. These fescue seeds should be spread out in a grid-like pattern. You will want to start in a north-south direction for one section of the lawn and finish off the other side in an east-west pattern.

Once the seeds have been planted, add a layer of protection. Many people will use wheat straw, but this layer can introduce foreign seeds into your grass. If you are looking to avoid this problem, you may want to add organic compost to your lawn. Some compost can help you increase your soil’s nutrition and act as a fertilizer for your seeds.

Watering Is Important

All these steps can help improve the germination stage of your fescue seeds. Once the seeds have been planted, watering is essential. You want to water immediately after planting. It is important to make sure you wet the seeds. For the best results, water your grass twice a day until the fescue starts to germinate. During the germination process, the soil needs to stay moist. With the proper care, your fescue will begin to grow in two weeks. Once the seeds have germinated, you can cut back on the watering schedule.

Fall Is the Best Time To Overseed

If you are looking for the ideal time to overseed fescue, then you cannot go wrong in the fall. At Charlestown Landscaping, we can help with your overseeding project. Our team will prepare your lawn and make sure it is ready for the seeds. We will even come out and plant the seeds for you. To schedule a consultation for your property, please fill out the contact form.

Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch

Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch

For those who want a way to make your gardening more manageable, you should consider adding mulch to your outdoor spaces. Mulch is a great way to improve the look and health of your yard and gardens. These materials can help to produce healthier plants and flowers with less maintenance on your part. There are usually two types of materials used for mulches: inorganic and organic products. If you are wondering about the type of mulch to use in your yard, here are a few things that you will want to consider.

What Are Mulches?

Mulches can be made of organic or inorganic materials. These mulches have many benefits, including moisture retention, soil insulation, erosion control, weed reduction, and beautification. For those who want to reduce weeds in your yard, mulch will work to minimize the sunlight to these harmful plants. Once sunlight is limited, the weeds do not have a chance to grow. Weeds compete for water and nutrients with your plants. These weeds can even stunt the growth of trees. By reducing them, you can have a healthier garden and yard. However, different mulches offer different benefits to your yard.

Organic mulches are made from by-products of other industries, and these materials will decompose, such as grass clippings, straw, bark chips, compost, sawdust, and rice hulls. These materials are anything that you can find in a natural setting. On the other hand, inorganic mulches are made from man-made materials, including rocks, rubber chips, or plastic sheeting. While these materials are the opposite of each other, they are both used for aesthetic reasons and have their advantages.

Benefits of Organic Mulches

Organic mulches are known to deliver more benefits than inorganic mulches. These mulches consist of materials that would have been discarded. When these materials break down, they can provide nourishment into the soil. With an inorganic material, those mulches can look nice, but as they age, they will break down into non-recyclable pieces.

Those organic mulches will help nutrients reach down to the plant’s roots, and they can nurture beneficial worms, insects, and bacteria. These organisms control pests and harmful bacteria. Organic mulch provides insulation and keeps the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. These materials reduce erosion by absorbing rainwater and soil-borne diseases that can form by the splashing rain. Organic mulch is known to eliminate soil crusting, which is a condition that can make it difficult for rain to penetrate the ground.

Roots develop better when planted in organic mulches. In addition to that, you can purchase organic mulches at a lower cost than inorganic materials. While there are many benefits, there are some drawbacks to these materials. For example, since the materials are organic, they can create a habitable environment for pests near the base of trees or plants.

Inorganic Mulch Benefits

These mulches are made from materials that do not quickly decompose in your garden. These mulches are used for different purposes than organic mulches. You can use stone, landscape fabric, plastic film, or shredded rubber as an inorganic mulch. Inorganic mulches are not appropriate for all yards, and they tend to be more costly than organic products. Depending on the material, these mulches can be hard to install.

However, like organic mulches, there are many benefits to these materials. If you want to create a barrier for weeds, you should add inorganic mulches to your yard. While they do not add any nutritional benefits, inorganic mulches have a lower need for replacement and help retain moisture. These materials are also highly versatile and can be found in many commercial garden centers.

Choose the Right Mulch for Your Yard

When choosing the right mulch for your space, you need to see which one will align with your landscaping goals. Organic mulches will provide your yard with nutrient-rich soil that can help your trees and plants thrive. Inorganic mulches will last longer and help with preventing weeds from taking up residence in your yard. Organic mulches do provide more benefits with natural materials. Inorganic mulches are man-made but not considered harmful to your yard. Before you decide on your mulch, you should consider your maintenance goals, yard health, and aesthetics of your outdoor space. Once you have done that, you can decide which one will work best for you.

Select the Right Materials

With any choice, you want to know about the source of your mulch. You should choose a material that is free from contaminants or pesticides. Fine materials, like sawdust or clippings, can stick together and prevent water from penetrating the ground. Depending on your mulch, you need to make sure that all the mulch is free from weeds. Since organic mulches are natural materials, they are known to attract bugs, such as pill bugs and earwigs. With inorganic mulches, you want to choose materials that will not pose a safety risk in your yard.

When to Apply Mulch?

Whether you choose organic or inorganic mulch, you want to apply these materials at the start of the growing season. Many people choose to use mulch in the late spring or fall so that the soil can still retain moisture. However, you should know that mulches, especially organic materials, will settle down into the ground. If you are applying these materials for the first time, you need to add more layers throughout the season. With a new layer of mulch, you can ensure that your yard will have continuous weed control as you create an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Regular mulching will help your yard to reduce water usage with fewer weeds in your garden.

Charlestown Landscaping can give you a few ideas for your outdoor space if you still cannot decide on the right mulch for your yard. Our team can help you select the best materials for your garden. We will let you know which ones will work best for your landscaping needs. To schedule a consultation for your space, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

The Landscaping Benefits Of Installing Sod

The Landscaping Benefits Of Installing Sod

You might want to consider adding sod to your outdoor space as a way to improve the appearance of your lawn. While sod does cost more than grass seeds, there are many benefits to using this product in your yard, especially if you want a lush lawn without the hassles. Before you rush out to the store and purchase some sod, here are some things that you need to consider for your yard.

Instant Lawn

With a sodded lawn, you never have to wait to achieve that well-manicured yard. Sod can turn your bare patches of soil into a grass-covered lawn in a matter of hours. There is no wait to enjoy a gorgeous green space. For those who want instant satisfaction, this is the product for you. A sodded lawn will also allow you to maximize your time for outdoor activities, such as entertaining. If you are waiting for a seeded lawn, you cannot use part of your yard until the blades have started to mature.

Sod comes to your home already grown and is ready to use once it has established on your soil. You do want to wait at least two to four weeks before heavily using the lawn. Sod does need time to adjust and grow into its new environment. After that time, you might want to conduct light activity for a few weeks.

When you seed your lawn, it may take weeks to see signs of growing grass. In some cases, it can take up to 18 months before your grass starts to fill in. For those months, your lawn will look unattractive and bare. Once it does begin to grow, your grass will have a patchy appearance. Young grass blades are susceptible to damage as they are very delicate. Some activities, such as walking on the grass or playing, can result in trampled grass. In addition to that, your lawn will be covered with straw or other materials to protect the seeds, and that can make your outdoor space look messy and unattractive. If you don’t want to wait for a lawn grown from seed, then you should consider sod as an excellent alternative for your yard.

Less Irrigation

Once you have installed the sod, you don’t need a regular watering schedule. While sod does need regular irrigation to keep the roots moist until it is fully established, it will not dry out like a grass-seeded area. With a seeded lawn, you should water it about four times a day for the necessary moisture to start seed germination. Sod only needs to be watered twice a day for the first couple of weeks. Frequent watering can be time-consuming and costly. With sod, you will not have the intense maintenance workload to keep it growing.

Get a Dense Lawn

For many people, they want that lush grass throughout their outdoor space. With a seeded lawn, you will have bare spots in areas where the seeds do not germinate, or the blades are not growing as expected. When that happens, you need to do extra work for your lawn, such as reseeding. Those pieces will fit together to give you an even and lush yard if you choose a sodded lawn.

Added Soil Protection

Since grass seeds rest on the top of your ground, they are more susceptible to the elements, such as wind. When you seed a lawn, you need to keep them protected so that they can germinate and establish into the soil. If the seeds are young, they are more likely to blow away in the wind or get washed away with rain.

Sod is a thick mat of established grass, and it can control mud, dust, and erosion. With this type of grass, your soil will be kept in place with an adequate cover. When you cover the ground, there are fewer spots for mud to build up in the yard, and that means less dirt tracking into your home.

When sod is installed on steep slopes or hills, it can help to stabilize the area. A sodded lawn also absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen in the air. As a result of that, you can enjoy cleaner air around your yard. A sodded lawn has another added benefit as it can muffle noise for a more serene environment throughout your outdoor space.

Add Value to Your Home

You know that a well-landscaped lawn can improve the look of your yard. There are other benefits to a sodded lawn, including adding value to your home. In some cases, you can add 15 to 20 percent to your home’s value. Natural grass is a soft and clean surface for your children and pets to play. You can also enjoy a more comfortable and fluffier lawn with a sodded yard. With a seeded grass yard, you always run the risk of growing in sparse and uneven blades.

Reduce Heat in Your Yard

If you are looking to reduce the heat around your outdoor space, you should consider sod for your home. On a summer day, your lawn can be 30 degrees cooler than those areas with rock or asphalt. In some cases, sod can be 15 degrees cooler than bare soil. For those who want to take advantage of these benefits, you can add sod to help keep your yard cool and comfortable throughout the summer.

Sod Is a Great Choice for You

Sod is an excellent choice for your home. Once it is installed, sod can be used in two to four weeks, and you can install it throughout the year. Sod can save on the water bills since it needs less water than seeds.

If you want to add sod to your outdoor spaces, Charlestown Landscaping can give you the lawn of your dreams. After we help select the right product for your home, we can maintain it with our lawn care services. For more information about our lawn care and maintenance services, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

What Is The Difference Between Turf Builder And Fertilizer?

What Is The Difference Between Turf Builder And Fertilizer?

Many homeowners want that luscious, weed-free grass in their yards. However, the process of avoiding dying grass and battling weeds can be challenging. If you are looking for your yard to grow healthy and stay green, you will need certain nutrients for your lawn. You can achieve a beautiful lawn with a few products. These lawn products can decrease the number of weeds as they feed the nutritional needs of your lawn. While you may think that all fertilizers are created equal, there are a few distinctions between them. Here are a couple of things that you should know about the differences between turf builders and fertilizers.

The Basics of a Healthy Lawn

If you want your grass to thrive and grow, it will need hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. You can usually get the first three from the natural environment, including the air and water. However, the last three nutrients are hard to find in nature. Nitrogen will help your lawn to look green and grow stronger. Potassium is added to help grass with stressors, such as drought and disease. Root growth and seed sprouts are stimulated with a healthy dose of phosphorus. Since you cannot find these nutrients in your local environment, you will need to add some lawn care products to make the grass healthier in your yard.

Since these macronutrients are unavailable in the natural environment, you will need to use fertilizer to add them to your lawn. Most fertilizers will have phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. In addition to those nutrients, fertilizers also contain chlorine, boron, copper, iron, zinc, and nickel. If you are looking for a certain percentage of nitrogen and other chemicals, you can check the numbers on the fertilizer’s bag. For example, a bag with 12-10-8 means that the product contains 12 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus, and 8 percent potassium. Other nutrients are listed on the bag as various percentages.

While it is vital to add nitrogen to your lawn, there are a few variations with the products. The type of nitrogen makes a huge difference for your grass. For the best results, you need to know how the nitrogen is released and distributed on your turf. Many low-cost lawn fertilizers will contain fast-release nitrogen. As a result of that, your grass will stay green for about two weeks, and then the color will fade. With a professional fertilizer, there is a mix of fast- and slow-release nitrogen to help your lawn look green throughout the season.

Fertilizers and Turf Builder

You now understand the importance of fertilizer for your grass, but what product should you choose? With the right product, your lawn will steadily grow throughout the season. When looking for fertilizer, there are various types of products available for your soil.

At your local garden center, you will find two types of fertilizers: organic and synthetic. The organic fertilizers are created with natural products, such as compost, manure, and bone meal. With these organic products, your lawn will reap more benefits than using synthetic products. In addition to that, natural products are less likely to cause harm to the environment.

Synthetic fertilizers use inorganic compounds or chemicals to provide nutrition to your lawn. For many homeowners, they choose these products because the plants can quickly absorb the products for faster results. However, these fertilizers can runoff into the drinking water and contaminate the supply.

When choosing a fertilizer for your yard, you want to choose one that will meet your needs. For many people, they select the fast-absorbing products for their lawns. There are some downsides to these products. If the plants do not absorb the fertilizer, then those essential nutrients can be lost. These issues are usually found in synthetic fertilizers. With a natural fertilizer, the nutrients are more likely to remain in the soil for a more extended period.

One type of fertilizing product is called Turf Builder, and it is a brand-name product manufactured by the Scotts Company. There are several types of Turf Builder products, including Weed Control and Summer Guard. All these products are inorganic, and they are usually applied to a wet lawn during the late spring season. You can find Turf Builder in a liquid form that needs to be sprayed on the grass. While this is a name-brand lawn care product, you can also find many generic products that act in a similar manner.

This brand is promoted as a miracle fertilizer that can improve the look of your lawn and help it thrive throughout the year. Turf Builder is known to build a thicker lawn, and it can help control those weeds without the need for an additional weed-killing chemical. While there are benefits for this type of fertilizer, it is still a synthetic product that could harm the soil. If you are looking for a product with limited side effects, you should choose a more natural option, such as manure. While Turf Builder can stay on your lawn longer, you will need to reapply throughout the season. You might want to consider a natural fertilizer if you want those essential nutrients to remain in the soil for a longer period.

Choose a Fertilizer for Your Lawn

Before you select a product for your grass, you need to prioritize the needs of your yard. If you are looking for some extra benefits, you might want to use a synthetic product like Turf Builder. A natural product might be more beneficial for those concerned about the long-term health of the soil.

If you still have questions about the fertilizer and weed control options for your grass, you should contact the team at Charlestown Landscaping. We can help you find the right solutions to achieve that lush and green grass. In addition to helping with fertilization and weed control, we can take care of your entire space with lawn maintenance, landscaping care, and much more. To schedule a consultation, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

What's The Difference Between A Landscape Architect and A Landscape Designer?

What’s The Difference Between A Landscape Architect and A Landscape Designer?

For those homeowners who want to tackle a big project, you might consider hiring a professional for the job. You have probably heard the terms “landscape architect” or a “landscape designer,” but is there a difference between them? These professionals handle separate areas of your project. Before you hire someone, here are some facts that you should know about landscape designing and architecture.

What Is a Landscape Architect?

A landscape architect will develop the land for your use with a practical placement of structures, walkways, and plantings. These professionals must know how to work with steep slopes, outdoor construction, irrigation systems, and varied elevations. A landscape architect will analyze, plan, design, and manage the entire project. You can see the handy work of a landscape architect in the design of a campus, commercial center, or waterfront if you walk through your local community. If you are looking to add a permanent outdoor feature to your outdoor space, you should consider hiring a landscape architect.

If you want to hire a landscape architect, they must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in landscape architecture. Many of the college programs are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). A landscape architect also must pass an exam that is licensed by the state. This profession is one of a few that must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

An experienced and reputable landscape architect will have the experience to work in the most challenging environments for both residential and commercial sites. Steep slopes and elevation problems are common issues for landscape architects, and your professional will know how to incorporate them into your design. In addition to that, a landscape architect will understand the right spots to place essential elements, such as driveways, entries, and parking areas.

Licensed landscape architects are used primarily for the planning and design of outdoor spaces. However, they play a vital role in the design and restoration of natural areas that have been disturbed by humans, including mined areas, stream corridors, wetlands, and forested lands. For many landscape architects, they have a respect for cultural resources and historic landscapes, and you will see them working on preservation projects for local, state, and national outdoor sites and spaces. You can find a landscape architect employed with public, academic, and private organizations.

What Is a Landscape Designer?

As you can tell, a landscape architect requires a lot of education to become licensed to work in your state. Landscape designers do not require the same level of education, and they primarily work on small residential projects. Some landscape designers will have an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, but they lack the state license required to be called a landscape architect.

These designers will focus on outdoor spaces for your home or business by taking into account hardscape and softscape elements, maintenance, and seasonal changes. Since a higher education degree is not a requirement for the job, many landscape designers learn the profession on the job or enroll in local courses for landscape design or horticulture. While you might not think they have the experience of a landscape architect, these professionals still must work hard to be called a landscape designer.

Landscape designers are not licensed through the state, but there are professional groups for these designers. The most well-known is called the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). All the members must adhere to a code of professional standards as they actively continue their education and stay current with the latest landscape design trends. For many members, there is a certification program that is based on their completed projects. These jobs must pass a peer review program for the designer to be certified. You can search for a designer through their website if you are looking for a member of the APLD.

When you work with a landscape designer, there will be a consultation about the project. Your designer should take photos of the yard, and you will be asked about your preferences for garden maintenance and plants. Once the designer has your information, they will create a design with a drawing and plant list. Your designer might even accompany you to the local nurseries to make suggestions for your yard or help shop for furnishings and materials. The main component of a landscape designer’s job is plant placement. Your designer will often work with a contractor to excavate an existing garden or hardscape element, build decks or patios, or install plants.

Who Should You Choose?

Many landscape designers will work with smaller projects at your home, such as the placement of plants. These designers have the experience to help with hardscape elements, especially if they are located in areas with drought-prone regions. If you are looking for a more intense project that involves wall building, electrical work, or earth-moving construction, you should consider hiring a landscape architect for the job.

In general, there are a few differences between landscape architects and landscape designers. Architects have to adhere to strict licensing requirements, but designers also must meet the standards in their professional organization. You will find landscape architects working on larger, public projects throughout your town. Landscape designers will handle those smaller, residential projects. If you are looking to hire a professional for your job, you should choose one based on whether you have a simple or more complex project.

Charlestown Landscaping Can Design Your Outdoor Space

If you want an updated look to your outdoor space, you should choose the professional team at Charlestown Landscaping. We will handle all aspects of your project, including master planning and planting. Our team can take care of the design and installation phase as you focus on choosing the right features and materials to customize your space. Charlestown Landscaping wants to give you an outdoor space that you can enjoy for many years. In addition to design, we will care for your entire yard with our lawn care and landscape maintenance services. If you are ready to create a personalized space for you, make sure to fill out the contact form