What are the concerns to humans and pets after an application and when is it safe to walk on the treated area?
Once our application has dried, usually an hour or two depending on the weather, or after the treatment has been watered in, it's safe to be on. As professionals, responsible and safe care of your landscape and our environment is our number one priority. The products we choose are thoroughly tested and registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and applied by trained and licensed technicians consistent with label recommendations.
Most of the time it's one of five things. Lack of water, insects, some heat conducting object, fertilizer or chemical burn, or diseases. Sometimes it's easy to figure out, more often not.
If you probe a brown spot or pull up a slice of sod and it's dry, and the green grass around the spot is moist, chances are it's a watering issue. If the brown spot is adequately watered, check to see if the grass pulls up easily, detached from its roots. It could be insects. If the brown spot is shaped like a man-made object (pool cover, tarp, hose) it's likely due to heat generated or magnified by that object. If there's one thing for certain, more is not better when it comes to fertilizer and chemical applications to turf. Too much fertilizer and herbicides will surely burn a lawn. Diseased lawns are the worst. There's rarely a curative, and determining which specific disease your lawn has can be costly, involving off-site laboratory analysis. Treatment for turf diseases often includes both long-term fungicide application programs and mechanical cultural practices including aeration and power-raking (thatch reduction).
Both are very beneficial but in different ways.
Core aeration removes "plugs" from the turf, leaving holes providing better water penetration, root expansion and air flow. The pulled plugs then breakdown and return their nutrients back to the soil profile. The openings also promote the decay of the thatch layer, preventing it from becoming too thick, thus detrimental to the lawn.
When there's too much thatch, some needs to be removed. That's when we recommend power raking or de-thatching. That mechanical process "reaches" down into the thatch layer and pulls it up for removal and disposal. Like aeration, we suggest power raking be done in the spring, early summer and fall, avoiding the hottest time of the year.
Often it best to power rake and then aerate.
Thatch is the accumulation of dead stems, stalks and roots from the grass plant. It's not always bad. Thatch layers of 0.5 - 1 inch is actually beneficial to the turf, insulating it in the winter, slowing down water loss to evaporation and keeping the soil cooler during hot weather. It's when the thatch layer gets too thick that it becomes harmful. Excessive thatch can suffocate the lawn, preventing air, water and nutrients from getting to the root zone. Shallow roots, a weak, unhealthy plant and spongy turf are usually the result.
Most plant problems are caused by insects, diseases or humans.
Insects often leave some type of evidence; drippy frass, chewed leaves, entry/exit wounds, swollen galls among others. However, you may not always see the pest. For instance, some do their harmful work in the root zones of plants.
Diseases are harder to diagnose and many have similar symptoms; a stressed appearance, leaf wilt, limb and even branch die-back. Some diseases can progress rapidly and often times once they're discovered it can be too late to save the plant. Others may not necessarily be fatal and can possibly be managed to prolong the life of the plant.
It's common for us to see plenty of human damage to plants over the course of a season. Topping, tree trunks damaged by mowers and line trimmers, tree support ties that aren't removed and girdle the trunk are all common. Improper pruning or bad trimming are also harmful.
Yes. We're happy to give free estimates. We consider it an honor that you would invite us to your home or business to discuss your landscape needs and how we can work with you to get the most from your landscape maintenance dollar. We sincerely believe that you'll get something of value out of meeting with us, whether you buy from Green Baron or not. Of course, we hope you do.
There are certain times when it's best to fertilize, but it depends on what you're fertilizing.
Turf should be fertilized throughout the season with the correct fertilizer for the time of year. We emphasize spring and late fall applications, yet a well-balanced fertilizer for the months in between can really help grass get through the hot summer months with more vigor and less stress.
Trees and shrubs usually require fertilizing no more than once or twice a year. A foliar fertilizer can be sprayed in the spring and early summer once the new leaves have emerged and the plant is actively growing. Since foliar fertilizers work rather quickly it's important not to use them late in the season. That can promote new growth that may not have a chance to mature or harden off, and could be damaged by early fall, below freezing temperatures.
Another method is to introduce fertilizers through the root zones of plants. Root injections take longer to get into the plant so the timing is either pretty late in the fall or very early in the season.
The choice of fertilizer is critical. It needs to be the right stuff for that time of year and type of plant.
Unwanted grasses in your lawn come in two forms, perennial and annual. It's important to know what kind of weed grass you're dealing with.
Many annual grasses can be controlled with persistent use of pre-emergence herbicides. Simply meaning that the product is applied before the seeds have germinated, watered into the seed germination zone of the soil profile. Then, as the seeds germinate, their initial feeder roots absorb the herbicide and stop growing. It will take a few seasons to get most of the undesired annual grass out of your lawn, but if done properly (good applications of the right stuff at the right time and watered in thoroughly) it works pretty well.
Perennial weed grasses require a different and often times more laborious effort. Usually, the unwanted grass needs to be sprayed with a product like Round-up, usually more than once. When dead it can be cut out and either new sod installed in that space or soil added, then seeded with a grass seed blend compatible with your existing turf.
Crabgrass is an annual grass so it can be controlled with the use of pre-emergent herbicides. Timing is very important to any success in crabgrass control. Most pre-emergent herbicides that do control crabgrass should be applied in the spring and watered in thoroughly in order to set the herbicide barrier that will control the crabgrass seeds as they germinate. A long-standing rule of thumb for crabgrass control is to have the pre-emergent applied and watered in before lilacs are in full bloom.
Only if it's raining hard at the time of the application or immediately after the treatment is made. It only takes a very short time for the spray to become "rain-fast" on the plant and go to work controlling the target pests. We won’t make the application if we don’t think it will work for you.
If we think weather threatens the effectiveness of any application, we'll reschedule with you. We want what we spray to work its best for you.