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  • Weed Control
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St. Louis Lawn Maintenance Information

Ballpark Cuts has compiled some important information about lawn service in an effort to educate people about lawn maintenance in the St. Louis area.

Watering Lawns

Watering your lawn in St. Louis is a critical part of maintaining a healthy turf. From the time of day, amount, and frequency; lawn watering can greatly effect your yard.

Read this section for some basic guidelines!

To avoid severe loss of turf and to conserve water, homeowners should manage their lawns each year in anticipation of water restrictions.

Good lawn care practices save water and harden turf in preparation for dry periods or local lawn-watering restrictions. Taller mowing and fall nitrogen fertilization develop a hardy and efficient root system that reduces the need for supplemental irrigation. Irrigation schedules should be kept flexible and associated with identification of lawn wilting. Choose a sprinkler that best fits the size and shape of your St. Louis lawn. Determine the amount of water the sprinkler applies to accurately water your lawn. During establishment of newly seeded or sodded lawns, water daily. After a new lawn has been mowed a few times, water deeply and infrequently.

Identify best time of day to water lawn
Early morning is the best time to water a lawn (4 to 8 a.m.). During this time, water pressure is highest and disruption of the water pattern from wind is low. Cooler morning temperatures reduce water loss from evaporation. Watering early also has the advantage of reducing the chance of lawn diseases that require extended periods of leaf moisture from dew. Avoid irrigating your lawn during midday (higher temperatures), during late evening (extends leaf wetness period promoting disease), and during windy conditions (water patterns fluctuate).

St. Louis, Mo. lawns may require as much as 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week from irrigation or rainfall during summer to remain green and actively growing.

Turfgrasses in St. Louis Missouri rank as follows in resistance to leaf wilting and browning during summer dry periods ó bermuda, zoysia, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass.

When managed properly, tall fescue requires 25 percent less water and zoysiagrass requires 50 percent less water than Kentucky bluegrass to maintain a green, actively growing lawn in Missouri.

Good Lawn Mowing Practices

Mowing height and frequency directly affect the performance of a lawn. The shorter turf is cut, the more frequently it should be mowed. The common practice of mowing a lawn short under the assumption it will require less frequent cutting is responsible for much lawn deterioration.

Lawns mowed weekly at a taller mowing height are less likely to be scalped. Scalped lawns lose density and have shallow root systems. Taller grass provides shading of the soil surface and reduces lethal temperatures near the base of grass plants. Taller grass has deeper roots and a lower tendency to wilt.

Clippings need not always be removed. When they are short enough to filter down to the soil surface, they decay and recycle nutrients back to the soil. Remove lawn clippings when they remain on the surface or when excessive thatch is already causing a problem.

Lawn Fertilizing St. Louis

Regular applications of fertilizer are an important part of achieving a beautiful, healthy lawn. However, many people do not know how to properly apply fertilizer to their lawn. Misinformation can lead to over fertilization of your Bluegrass, Fescue, Zoysia, and Ryegrass lawn. Thus wasting time, money, and burning the lawn. Personal expectations, uses of the turf, and maintenance preferences will dictate how much fertilizer should be applied.

Fertilizers are available in a wide variety and choosing the correct fertilizer for your lawn can be confusing. Select a complete fertilizer formulated for turf grass. Turf grass formulations are fertilizers that contain mostly Nitrogen and have lesser amounts of phosphorus and potassium. When fertilizing in spring and fall select a fertilizer that has at least one fourth of the nitrogen being supplied from slowly available nitrogen sources. When fertilizing in early winter, select fertilizers that have quickly available nitrogen sources.

Fertilizing is just one step to having a healthy, weed free lawn. Over fertilization can lead to excess growth that requires frequent mowing and increased danger of thatch build-up. Learning how to properly apply the correct amount of fertilizer to the lawn will save time and money. It will also help minimize the risk of fertilizer runoff polluting our streams, rivers, and lakes.

Weed Control in Lawns

The best weed control is a healthy, dense, competitive turf. Correcting cultural practices to achieve this will keep out most weeds. Chemical weed killers are useful but should not be relied upon entirely to cure lawn weed problems.

Steps To Reduce Weeds In Your Lawn
Weeds can be controlled much better before you plant your grass... but for existing lawns a couple of things can help to reduce weed problems.
  1. Correct lawn mowing... The right height for your grass helps to shade weeds out of existence.
  2. Mowing frequency.... By mowing your lawn both often and regular, you remove the flowing seed parts of many weeds thus making it harder for them to seed their next crop.
  3. Soils play a factor in weed control - Dry, wet and compacted soils all encourage weed growth in lawns because your grass usually struggles under these conditions. A weakened turf grass allows for the weeds to grow.
  4. Soil fertility is also a factor. Weeds love poor, under-fertilized soils, While turf grasses require a certain amount of nutrients for best growth.
  5. Practicing good lawn maintenance is the best weed control policy you can undertake.

Lawn Diseases

Prevention is the best approach to disease problems in home lawns. Often by the time the disease is diagnosed, the damage has been done. Controlling thatch, avoiding frequent sprinklings and fertilizing properly for healthy but not succulent grasses are simple lawn-grooming practices that aid disease prevention.

Managing turf grass diseases Environmental conditions strongly influence lawn disease occurrence. Although many of the causal agents are always present in turf, diseases do not occur until conditions are favorable for pathogen development. For example, brown patch disease requires wet, humid conditions during warm to hot weather. Being aware of the conditions that increase disease potential is important in taking preventive measures such as applying fungicides before symptoms appear. But before fungicides are considered, there are several lawn management practices that need discussion in hopes of reducing the potential for disease.

Over seeding with new grass species
Some diseases can be avoided by selecting grass species that are not susceptible to certain pathogens. Over-seed with locally adapted, disease-resistant species. Grass seed blends and mixtures are preferred. Summer patch is a problem on Bluegrass but has little to no effect on fescue. Every year scientist make better, more disease resistant seed for lawns! So I suggest to over-seed every fall after aerating.

Soil

Poor soil is a common cause of failure to grow vigorous, attractive lawns. Topsoils vary greatly from one location to another. Topsoilís ability to support plant growth can differ from block to block and from the bottom to the top of a slope.

Dark color and crumbly texture may indicate good soil but are not a guarantee that the soil contains all the necessary nutrients. Have soil tested before preparing soil for planting so that nutrient deficiencies and pH may be corrected. After receiving the soil test results, apply the recommended amounts of fertilizers and soil amendments (lime, elemental sulfur) and apply them into the top of soil.

Organic matter is very important to a successful lawn. In general, St. Louis, Missouri soils have about 2 to 3 percent organic matter. Soils with at least 2.5 to 3 percent organic matter are preferable for growing lawns. Flowers, gardens and landscapes will do well in soils with 4 to 6 percent organic matter.

Adding organic matter to the soil improves the soilís structure, aeration, water- and nutrient-holding capacity, root penetration and workability. Top dressing with compost is one of the most effective practices for lawn services providers and home owners to build up a rich, healthy lawn full of organic matter. To get the greatest benefit from top dressing, aerate before and over seed after spreading 1 to 2 inches of compost on your lawn.

If a soil pH is less than 6.0 (acidic), then a lime application is needed. Lime applications of established lawns should be done in the cool spring or fall following core aeration and watered in to help move the lime into the soil and increase the rate and efficacy of pH change. The pH range between 6.0 and 7.5 is the optimum range for turfgrass. Have Ballpark Cuts do a soil test to make sure your lawn is balanced.

Spring time in St. Louis, Mo

Itís finally time to break out the glove, clean up the yard and enjoy the weekends outside barbequing with family and friends. To make it even more enjoyable, give Ballpark Cuts Lawn Care and Landscaping a call at 314-783-7803 to help take care of those spring chores. From mulching, clean-ups, and lawn services to complete landscape make-overs, we have the means to make this spring in St. Louis better than the rest.

Early spring is a good time to give St. Louis lawns a jump-start with aeration and fertility. Cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass, grow favorably during the cooler weather of spring and fall. Improving air, water and nutrient movement through the soil during this time significantly increases the quality of your lawn. Producing a healthy lawn will improve competition against weeds as well as combat diseases and insects.

Aeration reduces soil compaction, increases air exchange and allows water to infiltrate more quickly into the lawnís soil , creating better root mass. Increasing root mass at this time of the year greatly improves the chances of grasses to reduce stress and survive the heat of the summer.

Applications of fertilizer after aeration will move nutrients immediately into the root-zone of your lawn. This gives excellent results in the density and color of cool-season turfgrasses in preparation for summer stress.

When caring for your lawn and trying to keep it weed-free, the saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds true. Weeds are opportunistic and invade weakened lawns, thus the best weapon to fight weeds is a dense, healthy stand of grass. There are several good management practices that give lawns a fighting chance against weeds, such as planting the appropriate grass for a particular location, re-seeding bare areas in the fall, proper fertilizing, and correctly mowing and watering. The height of mowing influences competition against weeds such as crabgrass - the higher the cut (3.5 to 4 inches) the lower the crabgrass infestation. Optimum watering practices involve less frequent deep-soak watering that encourages a deep, healthy root system and maintains a dry surface area where weeds get their advantage. Frequent light sprinkling encourages shallow-rooted weeds and seed germination. The best time to water is early morning when temperatures are cooler.

Crabgrass is a summer annual weedy grass species. It is a course, textured grass that germinates in the spring and grows well throughout the heat of the summer. Its wide leaf blades, heat tolerance and prostrate growth habit make it an eyesore in the lawn and allow it to smother desirable turfgrasses. During the summer, crabgrass will produce seed heads even at low mowing heights. Crabgrass plants will be killed by the first hard frost in the fall, and will drop their seed heads. In the spring, the new crabgrass seedlings emerge around the previous yearís plant, unless this open space is re-seeded during the fall with a desired grass and a pre-emergent herbicide is applied to kill the germinating crabgrass seedlings.

Pre-emergent herbicides are so-named because they must be in place before crabgrass seedlings and other weeds begin to emerge. Pre-emergent herbicides will not kill crabgrass that has already emerged. A pre-emergent herbicide barrier must be present in the soil surface to kill the crabgrass seedling when its first root contacts the soil. Therefore, it is important that the pre-emergent be applied at the right time and watered down into the soil surface either by light irrigation or rainfall.

Landscape St. Louis

St. Louis residents are well known for their Cardinal baseball spirit, hanging out with friends, and just simply having fun right outside their homes! So lets kept these traditions going and take pride in our St. Louis landscapes. Ballpark Cuts Lawn and Landscaping appreciates being a part of this and is ready to go house to house, business to business to better landscape St. Louis.

Whether itís talking with the neighbors in the front yard, or playing ball with the kids in the back, itís all about atmosphere. Ballpark Cuts realizes that your lawn and landscape creates the best atmosphere. Have us decorate your home with mulch or gravel, build you a patio, provide you with a thick, healthy lawn and our signature striping, and you will feel like the ballpark is right outside!

Call 314-783-7803 or contact us online for Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Hardscape construction.

Ballpark Cuts, LLC | St. Louis, MO

We serve Chesterfield, Wildwood, Ballwin, Fenton, Ladue and the greater St. Louis communities