We Build Thick Green LawnsLocally Owned and Operated Since 1988
Request Your FREE, NO OBLIGATION Estimate!
We take the time to accurately measure the square footage of your lawn since this is essential for our applicators to ensure your lawn receives the right amount of fertilizer and weed control.
Frequently Asked QuestionsThis collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provides brief answers to many common questions we receive about our services, lawn care and general maintenance. We provide these FAQs as a general guide. If you have any questions that are not covered here or anywhere else on our website, please do not hesitate to call us at (414) 529-1500!
Click on a question below to expand additional information.
I have wide bladed grass in my lawn. Is this crabgrass?
Why is my lawn posted?
Why is my lawn posted with only (1) one flag for the winterizer application, when there were always (4) four with the previous applications?
How long should I wait before putting my pet out or letting children play on the lawn?
Are ants a problem to the lawn?
Should I be concerned about fertilizer pellets in my flower or shrubbery beds?
If there are leaves in my yard at the time of the application, will the fertilizer application still be effective after I rake?
What is Quack Grass?
Many people mistakenly identify quack grass as crabgrass. They become frustrated when the crabgrass treatment doesn't work. Quack grass cannot be selectively removed from a lawn with a herbicide without killing or damaging other grasses.
Quack grass is very aggressive. It spreads by white, underground stems called rhizomes. They are very difficult to remove due to their widespread growth underground.
If you have only a few, small areas affected by quack grass, the plants can be dug out, along with the underground stems. This can lessen the growth. If you have a significant area of quack grass (more than 10% of your lawn) the following steps can be followed:
- Apply a herbicide (Round-up, Quick pro, etc. which will kill or damage any regular grass too)
- Wait two weeks, then rake the area.
- Add new soil and seed.
- Regular watering and a touch of patience will finish the job.
It is always important to mow as high as possible during the season (3 to 3.5 inches). This will help reduce many noxious plants from getting a firm hold in your lawn.
What can I do about mushrooms?
Mushrooms are fruiting bodies of soil fungi. They appear in lawns during wet weather in spring and summer. Mushrooms live on organic matter such as roots, stumps, and boards in the soil. Most don't harm the lawn, but are unsightly.
Time is the best cure. Once the buried wood has completly decayed the mushrooms will disappear. Break mushrooms with a garden rake or lawn mower for temporary control. This helps dry the mushrooms and reduces the risk of children eating them.
Control individual mushrooms by removing the organic matter. Dig up the wood and reseed or sod as needed.
Mushrooms that grow in arcs or circles of dark green grass are called fairy rings. The arcs enlarge from 3 inches to 2 feet each season as the fungi grows outward. The fairy rings may interfere with water flow through the soil and stress the lawn.
To reduce the unsightly appearence of fairy rings, aerate the soil and water properly. You can supress the fungus by removing the soil 12 inches below and 18 inches on either side of the ring.
Don't spill infected soil on the surrounding area. Dispose of the infected soil and replace with fresh soil. Reseed or sod the area.
"Homeowner's" mushroom control recipe
1 part vinegar to 10 parts water
Use a watering can to apply to mushrooms in lawn. This must be reapplied after it rains.
What can be done about snow mold and voles?
When we have winters that have good snow accumulation, there can be snow mold problems. There are two types of snow mold: gray and pink. Both are caused by fungi, infect cool season grasses, and are active in cold tempatures when moisture is abundant.
They first appear as yellow-green spots a few inches in diameter, then grow in size and become grayish-white or grayish-pink. The infected leaves turn light tan and become matted.
The conditions to promote these diseases are perfect under the cover of snow. Prolonged snow cover, followed by cool spring weather can result in severe infection.
As temperatures warm to above 40 degrees for gray snow mold, and 60 degrees for pink snow mold, these fungi are inactivated and die. The turf areas will generally recover on it's own, however, raking the patches and overseeding in some areas may be necessary. Being in contact with your lawn care company is the BEST thing to do when new seed is being planted.
The best way to control these snow molds is prevention. Mow the lawn slightly shorter for the final mow, therefore having less foliage susceptible to infection. Remember to raise your mower to at least 3 inches before the first cut of the season.
Voles, or meadow mice, can also be a problem in snowy winters. These rodents are larger than house mice, have stubby tails, and prefer to live outside. They make their homes in areas of longer grass under snow. When the snow melts, we see the trails running through the lawn. Their activities do not kill the grass, but it may take some time to recover. Mowing the grass slightly shorter in the fall will also help make the lawn less appealing to voles.
What is Red Thread?
Red thread occurs in the spring and fall during humid periods when the air temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees. The disease is especially severe on slow growing, nitrogen deficient turf. Bluegrasses, fescues, ryegrasses, and bentgrasses can be affected. Fine-leaved fescues and some ryegrasses are particularly susceptible.
It rained after my application, will this affect it?
This is a very common question and not as cut and dry as one would think. We use dry and liquid products so depending on what time of season and what was applied, the rain may affect the results. While we know that our fertilizers always work, there are some times when weed control is not always effective. If your weeds don't show signs of dying 7-10 days after service, we want you to call our office at that time for a retreat. We will be out to service the property in 2-3 days free of charge. Please do not wait 4 weeks to call us as we do not want your lawn to be neglected for such a long period of time. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
Will the temperature affect the application?
There are two answers to this question. Let's take a look at the liquid herbicide application first. Liquid herbicide effectiveness is reduced when our temperatures are under an average of forty five degrees. The herbicide works slower depending on what weeds we are controlling and what the temperatures are. Our program is designed to use liquid applications once the temperatures have risen for the best effectiveness. Our program consists of dry, granular applications in spring and fall when the temperatures have not yet risen. Our dry fertilizers are designed to be applied in many different temperatures and weather patterns. For instance, the first application can be applied when temperatures are low in spring and will be rising, to begin the growing season. The crabgrass control will not be affected in any way. For the summer application we use a dry fertilizer (among other products, please refer to your invoice to see exactly what our professional applicators utilized). This product will provide your turf with essential nutrients to help it recover from (sometimes) very harsh summers. It will lie dormant until rainfall happens or watering occurs. With most dry applications, watering will increase effectiveness and provide better results. As the season winds down, we utilize a heavy granular fertilizer application (also know as our winterizer) to prepare your turf to go into winter and come out in spring with the proper nutrition. This application is also unaffected by temperatures. This is a brief overview of how our program operates, however, with Wisconsin weather ever changing, we tailor our approach to do what is best for your turf. As a result, our program and applications may change. Please refer to your invoicing for the exact products applied and as always please do not hesitate to call our office to discuss your applications.
What is dormant seeding and how is it done?
Dormant seeding is one of the best procedures to rejuvenate turf that has failed for various reasons. It could be drought damage, insect activity or areas of your lawn that now have too much shade from trees that have matured. This process is done late in the season when temperatures are not high enough to allow for germination. Seed is applied in late fall for germination the following year (this is also how crabgrass operates). When done correctly, the spring moisture alleviates the need to water and allows the new seed to correct problem areas.
New strains of grass have yeided more shade, disease, and insect resistant varieties.
The most commonly used method for dormant seeding is utilizing a hollow tyne core aerator. This process involves using core aeration equipment to punch holes in the existing turf. It then deposits the pulled plugs back on to the turf's surface. The more thorough the aeration, the more roughed up the lawn looks. (When we aerate, we try to beat up the troubled areas more, this allows the homeowner to overseed with minimal work on their part.) Once the aeration is completed, seed can be spread over the area(s) at approximately four pounds per thousand square feet. Between the holes the aerator made and the plugs distributed on the turf, the new seed with have ample soil for which to cling. This creates a more financially freindly way to overseed without bringing in topsoil.
After dormant seeding, DO NOT apply any pre-emergent or post-emergent products to the areas. This will sterilize any ungerminated seed and cause harm to new seedlings. Herbicide can be applied after 4-6 mowings of the new turf. With any changes made to your turf, BEING IN CONTACT WITH YOUR LAWN CARE PROVIDER IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO. This will allow us to alter your program to best suit your lawn's needs. A little bit of patience, and the job will be finished off right.
What is core aeration?
Core aeration is an optional service that we provide. This service is great for rejuvinating damaged turf or introducing new strains of seed to your lawn. Please see the "What is dormant seeding and how is it done?" section for more information on this topic.
The quality of a lawn is determined by what you don't see, the root system. Build the root system and you will have a thicker, more drought/disease resistant lawn.
One of the biggest obstacles faced with developing healthy turf is thatch. Thatch can smother a healthy lawn and create problems. It can not be seen from the surface and only by taking a cross section can it be visible. It can accumulate to more than 1 1/2 inches thick and consists of non-decomposed dead grass roots, not grass clippings, which is a popular misconception. Thatch is about 90% waterproof, and prevents the penetrations of air, water, and fertilizers in the root zones. Because grass roots grow towards water, lawns with excessive thatch have their roots exsisting more in the thatch above than in the soils below. Plug aeration is just the catalyst these thatch-heavy lawns need. This is the mechanical removal of plugs of thatch and compacted soil about the size of your index finger. Like removing a core from an apple, it leaves about 60 holes per square yard and allows for the penetrations of air, water, and fertilizers through the thatch and into the soil. This creates a good environment for the roots to grow downward instead of being stranded and locked into the thatch on the surface where there is almost no nutrition.
The result is an improved root system that builds a thicker, healthier turf that crowds out unwanted grasses and weeds.
NOTE: These plugs may or may not be visible on your turf due to the type of soil and moisture conditions, but PLEASE do NOT rake them off your lawn. They will disintegrate by themselves in a week or so and must remain there for proper bacteria distribution.