4895 34th Street N
Saint Peterburg, Florida  33714
STORE HOURS:  Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5 pm  Sat: 8:00 am - 12 noon
 
 


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Seasonal Tips

Overseeding

Homeowners assume, incorrectly, that fertilizer is all that is needed to keep a turf thick and free of weeds. Grass gets tired. It needs to be revitalized every few years. After five or six years, grass plants will slow down their reproduction rates; they get tired just like we do as we age. Thin grass invites weeds. Overseeding compensates for that natural slow down of the turf's reproduction. There are two major benefits to overseeding every three or four years. First, you insure your lawn stays thick and dense, or if it has thinned, you will make it thick again. Thick grass has few if any weeds if it is mowed over 2 inches tall. Also, overseeding pays off by reducing the amount of fertilizer, water and pesticides required.

The second benefit is disease resistance. The new varieties of seed you sow this year will have better disease resistance than those varieties already in your lawn.

  • How do I know that my lawn needs to be overseeded?  Go outside and check your own turf to see if by spreading the grass blades you can see any soil. It is likely the soil will be readily visible. That means your lawn needs to be overseeded.
  • When is the best time to overseed?  Early September is the best time to overseed.
  • What kind of seed should I use?  Since a root system is already established, quick-cover grass like annual rye grass should not be used. It is worth spending the extra money for professional perennial turf mix containing Kentucky bluegrass and creeping red fescue.
  • Equipment needed:

Aerating

Aeration is an important part of a lawn care program. A healthy root system is a must for an attractive lawn. Oxygen in the soil is vital for healthy roots, but root growth is inhibited by clay and compacted soils. Aerating promotes rooting and improves problem soils by allowing air into the soil. An aerator does this job mechanically without destroying the turf. A stronger, deeper root base makes the lawn more heat and drought tolerant, improves fertilizer uptake and use and reduced water runoff and puddling.

  • Core aeration or spike aeration? The simplest and cheapest way to aerify a small lawn is with a spading fork or spike aerating machine. One limitation of using a spading fork or spike aerator is that, as you are make a hole, you are also forcing soil particles around the hole closer together, causing more compaction. This method is also rather labor-intensive for treating large areas.

A core aerator does a better job. Unlike the spike aerator, the core aerator removes cores of soil from the lawn instead of pushing the soil aside to create holes. The earthen plugs that are deposited on the lawn after each successive plunge actually benefit the lawn. They contain microorganisms that help to decompose any layers of thatch present.

Dethatching

Thatch is the tightly interwoven layer of living and dead stems, leaves, and roots between the green grass and the soil surface. A layer of thatch less than a half inch in thickness can be beneficial to the grass, as it is similar to mulch and provides many of the same benefits. Too much thatch provides a habitat for insects and disease and makes the grass less tolerant of heat and drought. Dry thatch also absorbs water like a sponge, preventing it from penetrating into your lawn.

  • When is the best time to dethatch? Timing is critical; dethatching should be done during low-stress periods. Kentucky bluegrass and other cool-season grass lawns should be dethatched in early fall or early spring. Dethatching machines use a series of free-spinning flail blades to efficiently remove matted thatch with centrifugal force, then deposits the thatch debris on top of the lawn where it can be raked up, disposed of or composted.
  • Equipment needed:

 


  
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