- Keep it Tidy! Removing leaves and debris is important, especially if you’ve got a lot of moisture. Leaves, pine needles, and the like will easily mold or mildew. A rake is your best friend in this situation, because raking also helps to keep your grass from matting, improves airflow, and helps prevent disease.
- Check the Soil. If your turf gets a lot of foot traffic, it can easily get compacted. Look for moss, which can be a sign your soil is compacted. If you notice compaction, contact AELMI to schedule core aeration to make sure your soil is getting enough air. Winter or early spring is the best time to aerate your warm-season grasses (this includes Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, and St. Augustine grasses).
- Check the Soil Again. While you’re at it, check your soil’s pH. It’s best if it’s a neutral pH. If your grass is acidic, don’t panic–AELMI can help you solve this issue with a specialized application of fertilizer and lime.
- Check your Gear. Have your lawn mower cleaned and serviced, check on the state of your tools, collect anything you “loaned” to neighbors last year, and get ready for all the yard work you’ll enjoy come spring!
Almost every year in late summer, caterpillars invade turfgrasses across Georgia. Damage to established turf is mostly aesthetic, but newly planted sod or sprigged areas can be severely damaged or even killed.
Several caterpillars can damage turfgrass, but in late summer most of the problems are caused by fall armyworms. Their favorite turf to feed upon is bermudagrass.
Adult armyworm moths are active at night. Females lay eggs in masses of 50 to several hundred. Eggs hatch in a few days, and the young larvae begin to feed on leaf tissue. As the worms grow, they consume entire leaves of grass.
Armyworms are most active early and late in the day, spending the hotter hours down near the soil in the shade. Larvae feed for 2 to 3 weeks before pupating in the soil.
Weather conditions fuel the development of armyworms. Some UGA Cooperative Extension agents report this season as the worst they have seen in 25 years.
Daily observation is key in recognizing fall armyworm damage. Young caterpillars may be present but not causing noticeable damage to the plants. Fall armyworms are usually more active in the cooler parts of the day, but in extremely thick grass they can remain active while under cover. Learn more about armyworms from the UGA Extension.
We carry an effective treatment for armyworm infestation. The product is a curative, preventative and an exciter to get the worms moving to get them in contact with the material. It is not only a contact killer but a systemic as well, so it gets down into the soil to kill grubs that are not developed into the adult stage that you see in the lawns. Please contact us today to get pricing and availability of our treatment programs.
Get An Urgent Armyworm Quote
Dollar Spot fungus is popping up in many lawns this 2021 Season, and without treatment, it can spread swiftly and end up devastating your turf. The disease starts out as small honey-colored circles about the size of a silver dollar and left untreated it will start to form larger brown patches.
Dollar Spot usually starts when our nighttime temperatures are higher than 68 degrees F, and the turf stays moist from higher humidity or PM showers. The disease will infest yards with different degrees of fertility (green) and is not picky.
Dollar spot quickly spreads and can join together and “melts out” lawns. This damage can be so severe that it may not recover and require replacement.
Mycelia the vegetative part of a fungus – its appearance looks like thread-like webbing may be present in the active area during heavy dew.
The most severe cases of dollar spot occur on turf receiving closely-spaced summer irrigation. It’s best to water turf in the early morning while the dew is still present. Do not water during the day! The disease may also occur on non-irrigated turf when humidity is high from prolonged muggy summer weather.
The causal fungus spreads via mycelium on infected plant parts (mostly clippings). Mycelium may be carried by the wind, water, shoes, and even your lawn equipment. Fungicides are almost always applied on a curative basis for controlling dollar spot. Both contact and penetrant fungicides are effective in controlling this disease.
Please call our office at 678-840-4449 or fill out the form below to get pricing and availability of our treatment programs.
Get An Urgent Dollar Spot Quote
Let’s face it, lawn care can be straight up intimidating. It’s easy to overlook essential steps when it comes to keeping your grass green no matter where your intentions lie. But at Alternative Environments, we’re about to give away some industry secrets that’ll turn your yard into the envy of your Northwest Georgia neighbors.
Lawn Mowing Tips and Tricks from the Pros
It’s important to remember that your yard is one huge living organism. And just like any living thing, your yard is going to react to how it is treated. Here’s how to keep it green and happy.
- Don’t cut too short! This is really the most important step in having and keeping a healthy lawn. We know it’s tempting to to give your lawn a nice tight buzz, but resist the urge! You should never take more than 1/3 off at a time. If you’re not sure what that means in terms of setting your mower, just play it safe and keep your blade at the highest cutting level.
- Don’t mow during peak heat. Mowing at high noon is not fun for you or your grass. Everyone will be happier if you jump on the mower closer to dusk or dawn.
- Keep your blades sharp! Dull blades will rip your grass rather than cut it. This leaves ragged cuts that become more susceptible to disease and exposure from harsh weather.
- Leave your clippings where they fall. Grass clippings will decompose back into your yard, adding nutrients and helping to nourish the grass you just cut.
There are quite a few more tips out there to keep your lawn looking great, but these four things are at the top of the list as far as we’re concerned. Take our words to heart and try these techniques out. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make for your yard’s health and appearance. And don’t forget to contact us any time for more great tips on keeping your landscaping green and vibrant throughout the Kennesaw, Georgia area!
Spring is right around the corner! Here’s a tip to get your lawn off to a great start – Schedule your Core Aeration!
Core aeration is one of the best ways to ensure your lawn has a healthy growing season. Benefits of core aeration include:
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere
- Enhanced soil water uptake
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use
- Reduced water runoff and puddling
- Stronger turfgrass roots
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance
- Improved resiliency and cushioning
- Enhanced thatch breakdown
- Soil decompaction that promotes root growth and strength
Core aeration is also an excellent way to mitigate soil compaction. Core aeration reduces compaction and allows water and oxygen to get to the roots. Core aeration can also stimulate root growth in sod lawns that need to connect to the soil. Thatch, a mat of above-ground roots that prevents air and water from getting to the soil, will also be broken up with core aeration.
For many years, professional golf course greenskeepers have known that the secret of a beautiful course is to aerate two or three times each year, allowing the healthy grassroots to thrive. Now your lawn, too, can enjoy the benefits of professional aeration.
Now don’t confuse spike aeration with core aeration. Core aerators actually removed plugs from your lawn providing all the benefits. While spikes simply puncture and cause more compaction. And, the best results come from expensive commercial equipment.
Warm-season lawns should be aerated in mid-spring to summer. The team at Alternative Environment is currently taking reservations for Core Aeration. If you book early, in addition to guaranteed a spot, you also receive $25 off this service.