TURF CARE – the care & management of your turf. However, it’s more than just ‘cutting the grass’ (although we do mow a lot of lawns at True North). It includes aeration, overseeding, leaf cleanups, grubs, fungus, & YES… TURF FERTILIZATION!
Most things are simple. Some of our healthiest, most vibrant lawns are NOT on a Turf Care, Fertility, or Weed Control Program. All we do is cut their grass, no fertilizer ever goes down! Why is that? Quite simply, the soil is healthy. Healthy soil = healthy roots = healthy/full grass = a greener, lusher lawn with less weeds.
If you’re going to have a lawn, why not let it be green & look good? That’s not vain, that’s being a good steward, taking care of & enjoying what you have.
Many books have been written, & many people make a career out of studying & understanding turf. The purpose of the information provided here is basic & ‘big picture’ information. Here are some answers to the most common questions we receive. Most of them can be answered by the link below (this is a VERY SIMPLIFIED by Purdue standards resource, but is excellent, practical, & user friendly information). Pages 8 – 14 are of particular interest in regards what we’re discussing here… promotion of HEALTHY TURF.
‘Taking Care of Your Yard’ – Purdue Extension
COMMONLY ASKED TURF QUESTIONS:
How quick will I see results? This is our most common question, the answer is… IT DEPENDS! Sometimes your lawn will look worse than better as weeds begin getting killed out, revealing the sparse amount of turf that is actually there. Over the years, we’ve observed noticeable difference on lawns that stick with the program, especially in the 2nd & 3rd seasons! In particular with their ability to recover from drought conditions. Additionally, conditions out of our control every year (rain or lack thereof, homeowner watering practices, timing of rain, humidity/heat combinations that may cause fungal issues, excessive foot traffic, animal urine burn, etc…) play into & effect how lawns look each season.
In short – THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET! One thing for certain, you HAVE to give it time.
How often should I water? Slow, deep, & randomly is better than often, shallow & regularly. The 1st promotes deep roots, vs. the 2nd which promotes shallow roots.
What is Herbicide? – Simply put, a substance that is toxic to plants & is used to destroy unwanted vegetation.
Should I treat my own lawn? In my opinion, there’s 3 things most home-owners shouldn’t do on their own. 1 & 2 are hardscape or water feature projects – they’re way more physically demanding & require more technical know how than the vast majority of people have capacity for (& they usually end up ‘not looking good’, to put it kindly!!). The 3rd is fertilize your own lawn. By the time you purchase, store, & maintain a spreader/applicator, wade through all the information & then finally go purchase your product, then hope you get your application rate correctly… you’re just not dollars or time well spent, vs. simply hiring a professional applicator w/the proper experience & certification.
Should I aerate & overseed? In many cases, YES & it is essential. September, early-mid October is excellent timing for this. See the PURDUE provided resource above for more information.
What about Grubs? See PURDUE provided resource above for more information.
The bottom line is this. Grass is a living thing. All living things need to be fed & watered. In central Indiana, our clay & often compacted soils, are a poor recipe for healthy root systems to survive. That’s where aeration, overseeding, adequate & timely watering, proper mowing, & YES… proper timing & application of FERTILIZATION & WEED CONTROL (what we commonly call ‘Weed & Feed’ or simply our ‘5 Step Turf Fert Program’) all come into play…
TNL Traditional 5 STEP TURF FERT PROGRAM
1st. App. – Seasonally appropriate mix of N – PH – PO, combined w/Prodiamine Pre-Emergent to assist with control of Crabgrass (March)
2nd. App. – Seasonally appropriate mix of N – PH – PO, combined w/Prodiamine Pre-Emergent to assist with control of Crabgrass. Broadleaf Weed Control will also be applied (late April/May)
3rd & 4th App – Seasonally appropriate mix of N – PH – PO. Broadleaf Weed Control. When timing/temperatures coincide, excellent weed control can be achieved during 4th (Fall) application (late June – early October).
5th App – Seasonally appropriate mix of N – PH – PO. Slow release granular to feed roots going into winter/dormancy (November).
TNL ORGANIC 5 STEP TURF FERT PROGRAM*
*NOTE – Will still spot spray weeds w/3 way Trimec Herbicide Broadleaf Weed killer unless Client requests otherwise
1st. App. – Healthy Grow 11-0-3 Organic + .37% Prodiamine Pre Emergent, 50 lb. bag covers 12,500 sq. ft. at 4.0 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
2nd. App. – Same as above with Pre Emergent but with Healthy Grow 10-3-2.
Apps. 3-4-5 – Healthy Grow 10-3-2 Organic coated with Holganix, for those clients wanting Grub Control also apply 0-0-7 All Mineral + Merit.
Healthy Grow organic fertilizer is a truly unique product as it is coated with “Holganix” which is a organic super charged compost bio-stimulant containing endo & ecto mycorrhizae, humates, yucca which is a natural wetting agent, amino acids, rich carbohydrates and trace minerals.
The HG 10-3-2 w/Holganix is an all natural slow release, non burning organic blend that produces vigorous root growth for strong healthy turf. The iron sulfate provides a beautiful deep dark green coloration without the flush growth you see from synthetic fertilizers.
More info. on Organic Fertilizer – Healthy Grow coated with Holganix
Healthy Grow is a granular, organic based fertilizer created from egg laying poultry manure. Healthy Grow has an ACCM (Aerobically Composted Chicken Manure) base, which means the manure is aerobically composted over a 45 – 60 day period. After composting, it is further processed with other organic and traditional ingredients to create a nutrient rich, biological, and user-friendly hybrid or organic fertilizer.
Ultimately, this means Healthy Grow isn’t pasteurized (doesn’t inhibit living biology) and the smell associated with manure-based fertilizers is kept in check. What else is so special about Healthy Grow? Healthy Grow is packed with organic matter containing carbon sources.
When you combine Holganix with Healthy Grow, it’s like giving the product Red Bull and as the saying goes, Healthy Grow “gets wings” and results are amplified. Not only do you get the benefit of adding a carbon source to your roster of turf products, but you also get all the holistic benefits contained in a jug of Holganix.
What is Holganix?
• Holganix is an all natural, food-grade organic soil stimulant.
• Ingredients include but are not limited to: 100% plant-based compost from grasses and other leaves, crab shells, oyster shells, vegetable waste. In addition, ingredients in the compose and added to production include humic and fulvic acid derived from Leonardite ore – peat extracted, endo and ecto mycorrhizae fungi, corn syrup, nitrogen fixing bacteria, normal flora, protozoa, nematodes (non-parasitic), tea tree oil, brewer’s yeast, molasses, calcium, iron, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum and magnesium.
What insects will Holganix control?
• Holganix will not “control” any insects. Holganix promotes healthy plants that are more able to resist insect damage.
What diseases will Holganix control?
• Holganix will not “control” diseases. Holganix promotes a strong soil ecosystem that supports healthy, vigorous plants. Healthier plants are more able to resist pathogens and if affected by disease are better able to recover. Holganix is not a bactericide or fungicide.
Can I over apply?
• No, you can’t over apply and the potential for striping is minimal.*
Are there any sensitive trees/shrubs?
• No, there is no phytotoxicity..
Is it a danger to pets?
• No, it is food grade and FDA approved.*
Will the product stain?
• Temporary discoloration may appear but water/rainfall will remove it. Holganix may also stick to windows but again will disappear with water/rainfall.
How long will the product take to eliminate man-made pesticides?
• Eliminating pesticides in the soil varies from pesticide to pesticide and is dependent upon bacteria and fungi populations present in the soil as well as the amount of rainfall and/or runoff. With Holganix, you are adding beneficial bacteria and fungi to the soil, aiding in the elimination of pesticides in the soil. However, it’s not possible to make a blanket statement for all pesticides in all soils in answering this question.
Can I get the material on my skin?
• Yes, Holganix is not harmful to your skin. Any material accidentally sprayed on your skin can be rinsed away with water*
What are the safety precautions needed when utilizing Holganix?
• None, Holganix is not toxic to humans, pets, livestock or wild life.*
• Normal safe use of spray equipment is required.
Are there any weather conditions to consider?
• Do not apply in heavy rain or above 98 degrees.
• It can be applied during a light rainfall, and it can be beneficial because the plants’ stomata (pores) open for the rain.
How long do I recommend customers stay off sprayed areas?
• There is no time limit. Holganix is food grade-edible and many of our products are FDA approved.*
*Holganix alone. Once you combine products, follow labeling guidelines.