No matter what plants you grow on your property, it is always important to understand the amount of sunlight that your growing location receives. Along with water, soil nutrients, and other requirements, sunlight is one of the most vital factors in the success of your plants. In this article, we’ll detail a few ways that you can tell how much sunlight your yard gets.
Observe Sun and Shade Patterns
The simplest way to learn how much sunlight your yard gets is to observe sun and shade patterns throughout the day. Throughout diligent observation, you can begin to understand which parts of your yard receive sunlight and for how long during each day.
Be sure to take note of any large structures, including your house, neighboring houses, sheds, and other garden features, that have the potential to cast shadows on your lawn. It is also important to observe sun and shade patterns throughout different times of the year. As you do, you’ll quickly learn that the amount of sunlight your yard receives can be dramatically different during winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Observing and noting the sun and shade in your yard throughout the year is an effective but tedious task. Fortunately, as the next section will show, there is a much more efficient way to get this job done.
Use the Sun Seeker App
The Sun Seeker app is a convenient tool for anyone who needs to understand how much sunlight their yard receives. This app includes many sunlight-related features, including a sunrise and sunset tracker, a compass, and a 3D augmented reality view to give you a clear understanding of your yard’s sun and shade.
Using the Sun Seeker app will also let you understand the differing levels of sunlight your yard receives at different times of the year. This feature alone saves you considerable amounts of time compared to the old-fashioned method we mentioned above.
The Sun Seeker app is useful to many different types of people, including photographers, surveyors, gardeners, and more. Fortunately, the Sun Seeker app is also available for both iPhone and Android operating systems.
Why is it Important to Analyze Sun and Shade?
Simply put, knowing how much sun your yard gets is necessary for raising healthy plants. After you know how much sun and shade is present in your yard, only then can you begin searching for plants that will thrive in that degree of sun exposure.
Failing to recognize and respect the amount of sunlight your yard gets will inevitably cause your plants to fail. By contrast, being able to anticipate sun and shade lets you pick out the perfect plants for your growing location.
For anyone who cares for a lawn, sun analysis is vital. Once you know the amount of sunlight each area of your yard gets, you can choose the grass species that will grow best in those areas. So, next time you are planning a lawn space, give it the greatest chance of success by figuring out how much sun your yard gets before you begin seeding.
Where to find the Sun Seeker App
When it comes time to seed your lawn area, there is a surprising amount of seed options for you to choose from. As you might guess, each of these seed options comes with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
When we aerate and seed our client’s yard, we choose tri-blend seeding over single seeding.
Let’s detail why tri-blend seeding is a better option than single seeding your lawn.
What is Tri-Blend Seeding?
While the term tri-blend seeding can seem confusing at first, it is simpler to understand than you would first expect. A tri-blend seeding involves spreading three different varieties of a single grass seed species. By contrast, single seeding involves spreading a single grass seed variety. As you’ll soon see, there are several factors that make tri-blend seeding a better option.
Advantages of Tri-Blend Seeding Compared to Single Seeding
The primary advantage of choosing tri-blend seeding is that it leads to greater overall biodiversity within your lawn compared to single seeding. That increased genetic diversity leads to a few positive outcomes for your lawn’s health.
Since tri-blend seeding leads to greater diversity, your lawn is far more likely to remain healthy even during extreme weather changes or other fluctuations in environmental factors. By contrast, if you use single seeding, the entirety of your lawn will face equal amounts of damage from drought, fungus, and other adverse factors, making it less likely to survive and remain healthy.
Each variety within your tri-blend will have a different ability to overcome issues related to insect infestations, drought, fungus, and other common lawn problems. That differing degree of strength gives your lawn a better chance of remaining lush throughout the entire season. As such, anyone who wants a healthy lawn will be wise to select tri-blend seeding over single seeding.
Which Seeding Option is Right for You?
Ultimately, the decision over which type of seeding to use is up to you. However, there is very little value to any argument that claims single seeding is the ideal option. Instead, tri-blend seeding proves to be a better option than single seeding as it will make your lawn more biodiverse and, thus, more resilient.
Give us a call to aerate and seed your yard!
In the fall people normally think about leaf clean-ups, pruning, and maybe aerating and seeding their lawns depending on the type of grass. In general, we recommend adding a herbicide treatment to your lawn in the fall, as it is the best way to prevent spring weeds from germinating. In this article, we’ll expand on that idea and share more information on why spraying your lawn in the fall is a great approach.
Why Spraying Your Lawn in Fall is a Great Idea
The main reason why the fall is the best time to spray your lawn with herbicides is that doing so allows you to compromise the root systems of the weeds in your lawn. By targeting the root systems, your fall herbicide application will be incredibly effective for killing unwanted plants.
By contrast, spraying your lawn in the summer is more likely to kill the above-ground portions of your weeds. This often produces a satisfying effect in which the leaves and stems of your weeds will shrivel and die before your eyes. However, it is not as effective for preventing future weed growth.
Spraying in the fall does not provide the satisfaction of watching your weeds die before your eyes. However, it does make it far more difficult for your weeds to germinate, meaning that you’ll see fewer undesirable plants appearing in the following spring season.
Additionally, spraying your lawn in the fall is the more convenient option. The reason for that convenience is that you can apply your herbicide at the same time that you perform your fall seeding. By combining both of those essential lawn care tasks, you can save time during your fall lawn care routine.
When to Apply Herbicides to Your Lawn in the Fall
You now know that the fall season is the best time to apply herbicide to your lawn. However, it is also crucial to note that not all times during the fall are equally advantageous for herbicide application. Instead, you should wait for a few key factors to be in place before you spray.
Mainly, you’ll want to spray your lawn on a sunny day when there is no rain in the forecast for the following day. Choosing to spray when the weather is right will make your herbicide application all the more effective in the long run. When it comes to which month to spray your lawn, September and October are often best.
Other Times of Year to Spray a Lawn
Although spraying your lawn in the fall is an excellent choice, there are other times during the year that you can apply herbicide. As it turns out, the spring is also a viable time in which you can spray your lawn with herbicide.
The reason why spring and fall are the best times of year to perform herbicide applications is that your lawn will be in a stage of active growth, meaning that it will be less likely to receive damage from the herbicide itself. During winter and summer, your lawn will be in a dormant growth period, meaning that spraying is not advisable. However, when in doubt, you can rest assured that spraying your lawn in the fall is a smart option.
Call now to add spraying and fertilization to your lawn care routine!
If your lawn is made up of warm-weather grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia, you should be aware that the turf will need aeration sometime during the growing season. Aeration is essential to prevent compaction in the roots, and to allow water and nutrients to penetrate the soil more effectively. You may also choose to spread some seed over thin spots, or to overseed your whole lawn at the time of aeration. It is important to know when the right time for this maintenance. You may wonder: when should you aerate and seed Bermuda and Zoysia grasses?
Benefits of Aeration and Seeding
When you aerate your lawn, you remove plugs of soil from the turf, leaving space for the roots and soil to relax and spread out. This prevents compaction of the roots, which is the worst thing for grass. When these plugs are removed, the water, nutrients, and seeds that are added will be able to penetrate the soil easily. This gives the roots direct access to these elements needed for growth. These practices will benefit any lawn, but it is important to consider which time of the season will yield the most benefit.
When Should You Aerate and Seed Bermuda and Zoysia Grasses?
For warm weather grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia, you want to aerate and seed anytime from late-spring to early summer. Aerating after the danger of frost will protect the exposed roots from danger, and as the seasonal growth of the grass picks up, it will make the most of its enhanced access to nutrients and water. If you choose to spread seed in thin spots or to overseed the whole lawn, directly after aerating is a great time for this. The holes in the soil will give the fresh seed a place to take hold and prevent them from being washed away. Ideally, seeding will be done after the last frost, but before the intense heat of the summer. This will give your seed the best chance of developing healthy roots.
What Not to Do
Aerating and seeding is best done while the growing season is still mild, but only in the spring. Aerating and/or seeding in the fall will expose the roots of your grasses to the elements. While a lawn that is aerated in the spring has a long growing season to bulk up and repair its root system. If a warm sesaon grass is aerated and seeded in the fall will not have ample time to root before the winter. This could result in dead patches. Seeding too late into the fall will most likely cause the germinated seed to be killed by a light frost.
Now that you know the best time to aerate and seed Bermuda and Zoysia grasses, you may want to schedule this essential lawn maintenance. Our team can provide this service, ensuring a beautiful lawn for years to come.
Have you noticed your lawn care specialist is mowing in a different direction each time? If so, there’s a good reason for this and it is not just for a change of routine. Why is alternating mowing patterns so important? (Hint: it shows that your lawn specialist cares about your lawn.) Let’s answer this question in detail.
Why Alternating Mowing Patterns is So Important
There are a few reasons why this is the best practice for regular mowing. Not only does alternating the mowing pattern contribute to the good health of the grass, but it also influences appearance.
First and foremost, the health of the grass depends on the roots’ ability to gather enough nutrients and water from the soil. When a lawn is mowed in the same direction over and over, things happen that can impede its ability to do this.
Flattened Growth Habit
The individual blades of grass are knocked over, and over time, they begin to grow like this. This acts as a barrier that can potentially keep water out. This can also shade the grass that is trying to grow from underneath. It is important for the blades of grass to be standing vertically. Alternating mowing patterns will ensure that this can happen.
Another harmful thing that happens when grass is continuously mowed in the same direction is compaction. This is when the soil around the roots becomes so tightly packed that water and nutrients cannot make it into the root. If the lawn is mowed in the same pattern repeatedly, the weight of the lawn mower will always be focused on the same areas of the soil. This can lead to compaction in these areas and can ultimately lead to a patchy lawn.
Let’s face the facts, one of the most important reasons to have a well-maintained lawn is for the neat and clean appearance that it gives to the outside of your home. One of the reasons why alternating mowing patterns is so important is that it can keep the lawn looking its best. Not surprisingly, this goes hand in hand with having a healthy lawn.
Lush and Healthy
As mentioned before, the flattening of the blades that comes with repeated mowing in the same direction also detracts from the appearance of the lawn. A lawn that is made up of flattened blades will look as you’d expect, flat and lifeless. It is important not to train the grass to grow in this way. Constant mowing in the same direction will eventually lead to blades that grow in this direction, and that will detract from the lush appearance of the lawn.
Patchy and Lumpy
Mowing in the same pattern all the time will also create ruts in the soil. This is not only a bad thing because of the compaction of the roots, it will eventually make the lawn appear lumpy and rutted. However, if this continues, the compaction will eventually make the grass unhealthy where the soil is constantly driven on. Now, not only will the lawn look lumpy where the ruts are, the grass may also be yellowing or dead in those areas.
The health of the grass will directly affect the appearance of the lawn, and after all, the appearance is one of the best things about having a well-maintained lawn. This is why it is so important to alternate mowing patterns. If you notice that your lawn care professional is doing this, that is a great sign, as it shows that they take pride in the health and appearance of your lawn.
Watering is a necessary task for anyone who has plantings and landscapes on their property. Some install irrigation to cut down on maintenance time, while others enjoy the meditative activity of watering their gardens by hand. Since there can be problems with overwatering plants and shrubs in the summer, it’s important to know when your plants have had enough.
Problems with Overwatering Plants and Shrubs in the Summer
Plants and shrubs that are used in landscapes do need plenty of water to survive, especially in the hot summer months. There is a point, however, where the soil becomes saturated and is not able to drain all the water that it is receiving. Plants and shrubs do not like to be in standing water. This can lead to several problems for the plants, including disease, pests, and deficiencies.
Lack of oxygen
A plant not only receives water and nutrients through its roots, but it also uses them to breathe as well. A plant absorbs oxygen from the space that is existent between each grain of soil. When the soil around a plant’s roots becomes saturated with water, the roots are not able to access oxygen in the soil. In good soil, this water will be able to drain out relatively quickly. In poorer and heavier soils, the water may drain very slowly. This will weaken the plant’s overall health, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
A plant that is weakened by overwatering can be unable to fend off bacteria and fungus that may exist within the soil. This can lead to root-rot and other diseases. When a plant begins to wilt after overwatering this may indicate that the roots have become damaged. In extreme cases, shrubs can become soft where the crown meets the soil.
Some pests, such as aphids, target weakened plants and/or may more easily overtake a weakened plant. If a group of pests is colonizing a plant and can be seen all over it, this can be a sign that it was already suffering some other problems.
When water is constantly running through the soil around a plant’s roots, there are nutrients being washed away with it. This can result in less food being available for the plant. A plant that has become deficient in certain nutrients may turn yellow, brown, wilt, or lose leaves.
Knowing When to Stop Watering
To avoid problems with overwatering plants and shrubs in the summer, it is important to recognize when there is enough water in the soil. For a quick test, dig about an inch or two into the soil with your finger, if there is moisture in the soil at that level, the garden does not need watering. If the top inch or two of soil is completely dry, it is time to water. Different soil compositions will hold and drain water differently. If you notice that plants are dropping leaves or changing color, it is worth checking the soil around them to make sure that there is proper drainage in the area.
Summertime in the Southeast can present a challenge for keeping your lawn healthy and green. The mowing schedule and the height of the cut will need to be tailored to the current conditions in Greenville, SC. So, how much grass length can be taken off safely during summer mowing? The answer will depend, but experienced lawn care professionals will know how to make this call.
How much grass length can be taken off safely during summer mowing?
Since Southeastern summer weather conditions can range from hot and dry to hot, humid, and rainy, the specific length to be removed can possibly be different for each mowing. The safe answer to this question is that one should never remove more than one-third of the blade length at one time. A safe summer length for most grasses will be between 3 and 3 ½ inches. The detailed answer for how much grass length can be taken off safely during summer mowing depends on the following:
Wet and rainy
As we all know, summer can sometimes bring with it a large amount of rain and humidity. These conditions are great for growing grass, but the mowing schedule may have to be increased during these times. In rainy conditions, it may be necessary to mow once a week, and if the grass is growing quickly, the amount taken off will be greater than in slower growing conditions. For example, if you are trying to keep the length at 3 inches and you have had a wet and rainy week, a third of the blade may be over an inch.
Hot and dry
When the weather has been hot and dry, the grass will grow slowly and may even be deprived of water. During times like this, your lawn maintenance professional may choose to mow less than usual. It is important to keep the grass at a height of 3 to 3 ½ inches, especially when the weather is hot and dry. The blade of grass provides shade and keeps the soil from baking and quickly losing all its water. These are the times when it is extremely important to take off 1/3 of the blade or less. Cutting too much off during a hot and dry period can burn up the grass and seriously harm your lawn. The results of this can range from brown, dried out grass, to a patchy lawn with dead areas.
As mentioned above, growth rate is directly related to the amount of precipitation and light that the lawn is receiving. There may be times when the lawn is growing out of control, and it seems like once-a-week mowing isn’t “cutting it”. These are the times when taking off a bit more can be safe, but it is still important never to take off more than 1/3 of the blade. Keeping the balance of a controlled lawn while leaving a safe amount of the blade will just require more frequent mowing.
So, to answer the question “How much grass length can be taken off safely during summer mowing?”, it is dependent on the conditions, but a general guideline will be to keep the grass at a length of 3 to 3 ½ inches, and never to remove more than 1/3 of the blade at once. This will contribute to a healthy and lush lawn that will look great for years to come.
Picture this: you have just built your dream home in South Carolina and would like to create a lush and full lawn. You have heard stories about the challenges of growing grass in our clay based soil and hot sun. You are probably asking yourself, “What type of grass is best to be planted in South Carolina?” This is an important question to answer in order to choose the most appropriate grass seed for your specific situation. Here we will go over a few types of grass and which conditions they are best suited for.
Consider Your Needs
When asking yourself what type of grass is best to be planted in South Carolina, you must consider your individual needs and the conditions in which you will be trying to grow the grass.
Certain types of grass may require more water, more trimming and maintenance, or a certain soil type to perform to the best of their ability. Before deciding which seed to buy, spend some time evaluating what type of maintenance schedule you will be able to commit to. Take into consideration whether you would like to install irrigation, check out how much sun your yard gets during the day, and if possible, have your soil tested.
Types of Grass to Plant in South Carolina
Below are some grasses that are well suited for the climate and soil conditions of South Carolina.
Zoysia-Zoysia is a hardy, warm-season grass that grows in a wide range of conditions. It is tolerant of both sun and partial shade, and it will handle poor soils that may be found in the coastal areas of the state. Being a warm-season grass, this type will flourish and look great during the hot and dry periods of the summer. That said, it is quite tolerant of cooler temperatures as well, making it an excellent choice for upstate South Carolina. If you would like to avoid installing irrigation, Zoysia’s drought resistance may make it a good candidate. Zoysia will need regular mowing and de-thatching to maintain a healthy growth habit.
Fescue-Another versatile grass is fescue. It is a cool- season grass but can survive in the heat of the summer if provided with adequate irrigation. It is also tolerant of poor soil conditions and is a great choice for a shady yard. Despite being fairly heat tolerant for cool-season grass, it can be delicate during extremely hot and dry summers, and reseeding annually in the fall will prevent your lawn from becoming patchy.
Bermuda-Bermuda is a heat tolerant and very hardy grass. It is highly drought resistant and will continue looking its best throughout the hottest parts of the summer. It is a quick grower and will reward even the busiest homeowner with a lush lawn. One condition that Bermuda grass will not tolerate is shade. That said, its tolerance of hot sun and little water will make it a great choice for most environments found in South Carolina. Bermuda will require a stricter fertilization routine compared to others. Due to its quick growth, regular mowing will be a necessity.
Centipede-Centipede is another warm-season grass that does well in the hot summer sun. It will tolerate drought conditions and is well suited for southern and coastal areas of the state. That said, centipede will be a little more tender to cool temperatures and may not be the best choice for upstate. In the right conditions, it will be quite low maintenance, not requiring much in the way of fertilization.
Which is the best grass for you?
These are just a few options to consider, there are many hybrids of each which have been bred to fulfill specific needs presented in certain conditions. If you are having trouble deciding, consider asking a local landscaper for their take on what type of grass is best to be planted in South Carolina. They deal with the conditions and the different types every day, and they may be able to provide valuable insight.
Rain + Summer Heat = The Perfect Combination for Fungus & Disease.
Are you seeing patches of discoloration pop up on your lawn? These could be fungus or disease trying to attack your lawn. Give us a call as soon as you see these patches! The earlier these patches are addressed and treated, the better chance you have of saving your turf.
How do you spot these patches? If you are looking at your yard look for any sort of irregularity. Look for areas that are brown, darker than normal or seem to be lower than your other turf. These patches can come on FAST. You may have just seen a perfectly green yard two days before and then all of a sudden today you have patches popping up. Don’t wait before calling for help. The longer the fungus or disease is able to spread, the more damage that will be done. Fungicide needs to be applied as soon as possible to stop the spread.
If you notice any irregularity at all, send us an email or give us a call so that we can get your yard back to it’s former glory!
By: Hannah Raines
Copyright ALL Outdoors 2022
Have you noticed that your lawn looks damaged and a caterpillar looking creature is crawling around? You may have Army Worms!
Army Worms tend to strike in late summer until the first frost. These pests thrive in warm temperatures! Once it starts becoming colder, thankfully they will no longer survive.
Make sure that you are aware of the signs of Army Worms:
Increased bird activity on your lawn. If you’re wondering why you all of a sudden have birds pecking around, it may be because they’re making a snack out of these worms.
Discolored sod. It may look similar to how it looks when exposed to frost.
Moving Damage. Army Worm damage tends to move from one side of your lawn to the other. This doesn’t always happen like this, but more times than not, this is how you will notice damage.
You’ll especially want to keep an eye out from dusk til dawn! Army Worms may not be seen mid-day or early afternoon, which causes homeowners to believe that none of these pesky pests are present. However, damage can happen overnight.
Be sure to call us at the first sign of what you believe to be Army Worms. The sooner we can get to you, the less damage they can do and the more likely your lawn is to recover.
Give us a call at (864) 275-2039!
By: Hannah Raines
Copyright ALL Outdoors 2022
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We proudly service Greenville, Greer, Taylors, Mauldin, Simpsonville, Five Forks, and surrounding Upstate cities in South Carolina for lawn care and landscaping services. Call us today at 864.275.2039 to see why we are the premier lawn and landscape company of the Upstate.
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