The information here may serve as a guide to a lawn's health and condition. Once you become a ChemPro customer, we will work together with you to incorporate these finding and recommendations into a comprehensive lawn care program.
- Grass Types: Most lawns are made up of a blend of several types. It's important to know which types are in your property's lawn in order to provide the best care.
- Grass Color: The color of the grass says a lot about its health. A light colored lawn may mean it is lacking important nutrients. You should know that different varieties of turf have different color optimums.
- Turf Density: It is vital to keep the lawn thick because dense, healthy turf discourages weeds, crabgrass and other wild grasses.
- Soil Type: It is important for you to know the type and condition of the soil, so you can determine various lawn needs. If soil is compacted, core aeration is recommended.
- Thatch: This is a layer of living and dead leaves, stems and roots just above the soil. Too much thatch will reduce a lawns response to fertilizers and affects watering practices. Disease and insect problems are greater where thatch is excessive.
- Problem Grasses: Some grasses are classified as weeds because they disrupt the appearance of the lawn. With timely service visits by ChemPro, we can reduce annual grassy weeds. However, most perennial grassy weeds are difficult to control.
- Broadleaf Weeds: Certain weeds can be difficult to control, since they spread very rapidly and can quickly choke the grass. That is why it is important for you to have the lawn professionally maintain by ChemPro.
- Lawn Diseases: There are different diseases that can affect the appearance and health of a lawn. Because diseases are difficult to predict, we cannot guarantee a lawn will not be affected by diseases. If diseases become a problem, a ChemPro Specialist will determine what steps can be taken to help the lawn recover.
- Insects: There are thousands of insects in the grass. Some are beneficial, while others threaten a lawns health and vitality. It is essential for you to know if damaging insects are present in the area, so they can be controlled.
- Watering: The right amount of water is crucial to a lawns health. Improper watering may cause pale, sparse turf and many diseases and weed problems.
- Shade: It is important to be aware of a lawns exposure to sunlight and shade, since that helps determine the type of grass that grows best in the lawn.
- Mowing: There are proper and improper ways to mow. For example, cutting certain grass types too low or infrequently can cause the lawn to turn brown and increase its susceptibility to weeds, diseases, crabgrass and other wild grasses.
- Potential: Unfortunately, no matter how much work is put into them, some lawns will never look as lush and healthily as others. We will, however, do everything humanly possible to enhance your property's lawn and make it a beautiful focal point.
- Current Conditions: Even great looking lawns require continual care. With our full service, annual lawn care program we can help lawns look their very best.
- Management Team Responsibilities: It takes a cooperative team effort between ChemPro and yourself to best protect your landscaping investment. Grass, plants and trees are perishable and require proper watering and general maintenance practices (such as mowing, pruning, edging, etc.). Only by working together and sharing responsibility can we insure a healthy vigorous lawn.
Fertilizer is a mix of different elements used to help the growth and appearance of our lawns and landscape.
WEED and FEED are fertilizers that contain herbicides as well as fertilizer. These products can work great IF you follow the label directions. If the temperature is above 80 degrees, damage may result by the use of these products. St. Augustine and Centipede are very sensitive to herbicides in the heat of the Summer. Know which grass type you have as you shop for any product. Each type of grass has different requirements.
The three numbers on a bag of fertilizer represent N - P - K. N stands for nitrogen. P stands for phosphorus. K stands for potassium.
The numbers represent the percentages of each element. A 100 pound bag of 16-4-8 contains 16 pounds of Nitrogen, 4 pounds of phosphate, and 8 pounds of potash. These are primary plant foods, and are called a complete fertilizer since they are all present.
Macroelements are needed in greater quantities than microelements. These should be listed on the bag. Buy a bag that contains what is recommended on your soil test
Common macroelements are nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and sulphur.
Common microelements are iron, copper, manganese, zinc, chlorine, boron, and molybdenum.
Soluble and slow release
Some fertilizers are available immediately to the grass; others are broken down slowly as the grass needs the nutrients. Both are necessary for good turf grass. Soluble type fertilizers have a higher tendency to burn if misapplied so caution is warranted.
Inorganic and organic
Both types have advantages and disadvantages. From an environmental standpoint, both are safe when used correctly.
Inorganic: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Readily available as N
- Low cost
- Little residual
- Possible greater efficiency
- Leaches rapidly
- Danger of fertilizer burn
- Must be applied frequently at low rates
- Acid forming
Organic: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Slow release of N
- Does not leach as fast
- Small risk of burn
- May be applied at high rates
- Usually more expensive
- Soil temp must be elevated to activate
- Application response may be slow
- May contain weed seeds
Aeration is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve soil aeration.
- Increases organic matter content of soil
- Improves soil percolation rate
- Reduces soil compaction
- Reduces thatch
- Supplies plant nutrients
- Can biologically control turf diseases like fungus
- Improves the exchange between the soil and atmosphere
- Stimulates root development
- Increases resistance to heat and drought stress
In most home lawns the natural soil has been seriously disturbed by the building process. Fertile topsoil may have been removed or buried during excavation. In Florida our soil is not ideal for growing grass. These lawns need aeration to improve the depth and extent of turfgrass rooting and to improve fertilizer and water use.
Intensively used lawns are exposed to stress from high traffic frequency. Walking, playing, and mowing are forms of traffic that compact soil and stress lawns. Raindrops and irrigation increase soil density, by compacting soil particles and reducing large air spaces where roots may readily grow.
Compaction is greater in heavy clay soils than sandy soils. Aeration helps heavily used lawns growing on compacted soils by improving the depth and extent of turfgrass rooting, allowing better water uptake, enhancing fertilizer use and speeding up thatch breakdown.
Most home lawns are subject to thatch accumulation. If thatch is left unmanaged, it can lead to serious maintenance and pest problems. Core aeration reduces thatch accumulation.
Topdressing involves the direct application of a layer of compost and/or other organic matter to turfgrass. The thickness of this layer varies according to your needs but generally, we recommend a thickness of around ⅛ to ¼ of an inch. Topdressing can be used with sand or organic matter. It can also be used to take out unevenness in turf caused by wear patterns and settling. Careful attention to not totally bury the existing turfgrass must be observed. Thick applications of topdressing can cause a layering effect and make problems worse in a lawn. Frequent thin layers of topdressing are recommended.
Topdressing helps to increase decomposition by bringing soil microbes and moisture into contact with the thatch layer.
This should be the first step in your lawn care. A doctor pulls blood from your body to test for a host of different things to see if you are healthy. Often by looking at a person, one can't tell if they are diabetic or not. The same is true with a lawn. A proper soil test will tell you what is in your soil and more importantly what is not in your soil.
ChemPro's annual service includes a detailed soil analysis by CLC Laboratory
Soil tests can be obtained from the University of Florida (call your local Cooperative Extension Service) or several other retail outlets.
The information gained from the soil test will aid you in the proper fertilization of your lawn and the proper pH adjustment.