Dealing with drought in lawns

Dealing with drought in lawns may seem a bit untimely for our area. It seems like it has rained every day for months now. Even if we aren’t in an official time of drought today, your lawn may be in a bit of distress due to the extreme heat. However, a time of drought is probably inevitable at some point in the upcoming months.

Be prepared

With our recent extreme heat, you may be seeing some brown appear. As rain becomes less frequent, this may become more evident. Don’t worry too much, most of our grass species can take three to four weeks of dormancy without dying.

Dormancy doesn’t mean “dead”

Dormancy just means your grass has gone to sleep. You can tell if your grass is dead or dormant by tugging on the plants. If the plants pull out from the ground easily, they’re probably dead. If the roots hold fast when pulled, the plants are dormant. Brown grass is not the only sign of stressed out grass,  another sign is “footprinting”. 

What is footprinting?

Walking over the same areas of lawn compacts the grass and compacted soil can’t absorb water.  On a lawn that is already parched, these are the areas that suffer first. Footprinting is when you step on your parched lawn and footprints don’t disappear right away. 

Preventative measures to fight drought

  • Your lawn needs about an inch of water or rain per week to thrive. At the first sign of stress, begin watering!
  • If using a sprinkler, that means about 20 to 30 minutes/three times per week.
  • Skip at least a day between waterings. 
  • Move sprinklers around to cover all areas of your yard.
  • Water in the mornings, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Watering before the sun rises helps to keep evaporation to a minimum.
  • Don’t mow the lawn too short or too often during times of drought. 
  • Stay off the lawn!

Are you feeling hesitant to use these methods to deal with drought in your lawn? Just remember all of the time, money and effort you put into your lawn and landscape. It is less costly and certainly easier and quicker to water your lawn than to replace it when it’s too late. The same goes for your landscape plants and trees. 

Your lawn and landscape is an investment. We work year round with our customers to protect their investments. Whether preventing and treating disease and invasive pests or nurturing with fertilization and aeration we want your lawn to look the best it can! 

A little water and care will go a long way when dealing with drought in lawns. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, our licensed lawn technicians can help you achieve your lawn goals and maintain them all year long. We serve the Memphis, TN area as well as all over North Mississippi. You will see our trucks and techs in Oxford, Tupelo, New Albany, Germantown, Olive Branch, Fulton and more. You can contact our office 24/7 to get started with our program. 

Don’t Pull That Weed!

Can’t you just hear your mom scream, “Don’t pull that weed!”. Why wouldn’t you want to reach way down, gently extricate the weed from the bottom, lift the roots and all from the moist soil? And why wouldn’t you want to do this 10,000 times a day, every day? Pulling one weed is oddly satisfying. Pulling a lawn full of never ending weeds is a chore

What’s wrong with a few weeds?

It is easy to think of weeds as just something ugly that sprouts up in our lawn. Some weeds aren’t really ugly at all. Surely all of us have at one time wondered “should I pull that?”. In a newly landscaped lawn, every homeowner has played the game of “weed or plant?”. But weeds aren’t all about looks…weeds are robbing your lawn of nutrients from the soil and moisture. The lovely lawn you have spent so much time, money and love to nurture is being robbed of all the “good stuff” and weeds are the culprit.

Pulling weeds vs. Treating Weeds

Pulling weeds is something that doesn’t seem daunting as you stroll around your yard. You spot one, bend over, pull up the entire root system. Good pull! Now you are left with a big chunk of weeds, roots, soil and what do you do with it? You can’t throw it back in your yard. You didn’t bring a bag or a cart or a box…and now that you look around, there are one million more weeds. 

Fun fact… when you pull weeds, you can end up spreading the seeds to create even more weeds than before. Some might compare weed pulling to sweeping up glitter. It never goes away. Scroll to the 6:54 mark of this video to see a very high definition, slow motion example of how easily seeds fly off of weeds.

The slightest disturbance of a weed can cause thousands of seeds to fly all over your lawn. Whether that disturbance comes from you mowing, the wind blowing or even a bird walking, the seeds are being spread. Sometimes you can even wake up dormant weed seeds by digging in the ground to remove or plant new material. 

So, don’t pull that weed!

Treat the weeds BEFORE they grow. Treat the weeds before they spread. Reduce their growth. If the weed doesn’t grow in the first place, you never have to pull that weed. Realistically, you are always going to be dealing with weeds. It’s just a matter of control. How are you going to control them, reduce them and keep them from completely taking over your lawn? 

Using a lawn service like Lawn and Pest Solutions can end your weed control issues. A year-round program like Lawn360 will take care of existing weeds as well as those weeds lurking just under the ground. Remember, it’s easiest to deal with weeds that never actually grow! Our lawn technicians apply pre-emergent and post-emergent to take care of weeds at every stage of development. 

Whether you have a newly landscaped lawn or a mature one, you are going to have weeds. Don’t pull that weed! Let our licensed technicians handle this issue. You can Google “how to pull weeds” all day long. There are more “oddly satisfying” weed pulling videos on YouTube than you can imagine. It’s a thing. Lawn and Pest Solutions is based in New Albany, MS. We service neighborhoods and businesses from Memphis , TN to all over North Mississippi. You can Google us and read our reviews, we hope you do! 

Should I treat lawn fungus?

Should I treat lawn fungus? Of course you should!  Why wouldn’t you treat a fungus that could destroy your beautiful lawn? Don’t feel bad. All healthy lawns contain millions of fungi spores at all times. Most fungi will never cause problems , but we never know when one is going to decide to show off. If you know and care enough to even notice a fungus in your lawn, you are probably going to take care of this matter.

It was too hard to resist.

No good blogger can pass up the rare opportunity to mention and link to the Lamisil commercial. How could you not connect a fungus article to a cartoon toenail fungus who lifts up the human toenail and climbs in? Moving on to the real mission here, treating lawn fungus. A fungus can be easily treated by our trained lawn technicians. You just need to watch for it and call us if you see the signs. 

What are the signs of lawn fungus?

The main types of fungus that tend to grow in our popular grass types include:

  • Dollar Spot/Bermuda grass: can cause spots of brown or straw-colored that start as small as a grapefruit. Beware, they can grow to take over your whole yard.
  • Rust/Zoysia grass: to check for rust fungus, take a white tissue and rub a few grass blades. If an orange color comes off on the tissue, you have a rust problem.
  • Gray Leaf Spot/St. Augustine grass: leaves large gray spots on your grass blades that grow larger as the infestation gets worse.

When should I treat lawn fungus?

There are a few causes for fungi to grow, so as they say… “If the shoe fits, wear it”

  • Fungi can become a problem when we have had too much rain.
  • Fungi can become a problem when we haven’t had enough rain.
  • Fungi can appertains when we mow our lawns too low.
  • Fungi can appear when we have a dull mower blade.
  • PRO TIP: if you have a really large lawn you should sharpen your mower blades a second time mid season!

What can be done to rid my yard of this fungus?

If you suspect you have lawn fungus, call us. A licensed lawn technician will investigate your issue and determine the best plan of treatment. A fungicide will be applied to your lawn and have the fungus problem under control in no time.

As with any lawn health issues, when you are working with professionals like Lawn and Pest Solutions, we are only a phone call away.  Let us know now before more damage occurs. Your lawn is your investment and we want to help you not only maintain it, but allow it to thrive.  If you aren’t already a customer of ours, please contact us here. Our office system receives messages 24/7. We serve the areas of Memphis, Tennessee and North Mississippi. If you need more references, feel free to read our Google reviews.

Should I bag or mulch my lawn clippings?

Should I bag or mulch my lawn clippings? Does it matter? In order to have a weed free, beautiful dark green lawn you need to consider these three things:

1. Mowing

During this time of year (from May through August) you need to mow at least once a week. Sometimes you need to mow every five days. Grass is growing at a super fast rate right now! Mow your lawn with your blade set at the correct height for maximum effectiveness (Check previous blog for info on blade height). Proper mowing can make all the difference in the look of your lawn and set it apart from the rest. 

2. Bagging or mulching, which is better?

Bagging your lawn clippings is one option to consider. If you can’t commit to once a week (or more) mowing, bag it! If you leave clippings piled up on your lawn all summer during this rapid growing season, you will have weed problem in the form of thatch.

Bagging your clippings doesn’t mean putting them in big piles of garbage at the curb. We now know that the responsible way of disposing of clippings is to return them to compost. 

Mulching grass clippings means returning your clippings to the lawn. These mulched clippings provide great benefits to your lawn. The mulched clippings help retain moisture and nutrients. Deciding to mulch your clippings means that you have committed to the frequent mowing program!

3. Weed control

We can’t let this go without saying, weed control is important and the third element of this bagging or mulching issue. To have that beautiful, dark green lawn you must have a healthy lawn. Weed free lawns will continue to prosper. 

Let’s wrap this up.

Mulching is good for your lawn, but you need a good machine, set to the right blade height and you need to be mowing every 5-7 days. Bagging is not bad for your lawn, especially if you can’t commit to mowing frequently. Weed control is essential, you can’t allow thatch or any other weeds to overgrow your healthy lawn.

Bagging or mulching, whatever you decide, you can always contact our licensed lawn techs at Lawn and Pest Solutions for help. We help people from the Memphis, Tennessee area and all over North Mississippi with weed control. Our licensed professionals can help you nurture your lawn into the one you have been dreaming of. Contact our office here for more info today!

Fire Ants

Living with fire ants is a given in the South. Every kid in our part of the country has at one time or another stepped at least one bare foot into a mound of fire ants. When your foot is submerged in a mound of fire ants, you are going to run screaming with many stings. When the mound is disturbed, the fire ants are angry.

Fire ants as art?

Fire ants are hard working and organized. They create amazing and expansive tunnels underground for escaping those who dare to disturb the mound. The mounds are really impressive to see when artists pour molten aluminum down into the fire ant colonies. It’s truly amazing (and a little scary) to see what is happening right under our lawns!

Stings, not bites.

Fire ant stings hurt a little when you just have one. However, it is more common to be stung multiple times by multiple fire ants. The blisters that develop afterwards are allergic reactions, though some people develop more severe reactions. The areas immediately surrounding the sting may swell, burn, or itch. These stings and/or allergic reactions to the stings can be very dangerous to our children and our pets, especially if they are allergic. 

You are just making them angry!

Many of us watched our dads (or attempted to ourselves) pour concoctions of powders, liquids and even gasoline down into the mounds. Anything to rid our yards of the ugly piles of hardened dirt. As one Lawn and Pest employee said, “You are just chasing them around your yard with those products”. You may get rid of a few fire ant mounds for a while, but you really just made them move a little. 

We can help.

Lawn & Pest Solutions has the technology and expertise to provide season-long control for fire ants. Our fire ant control treatments target the queen, not just the mound. 

Our program is very efficient. With just two strategically timed bait applications we typically wipe out 95% of your fire ants. We will visit two more times per year just to assess the effectiveness or apply more bait (if needed) at no extra charge. 

Give us a call or click here and we will send out a licensed technician to address your issues! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with lawn and pest services. 

Why should I aerate my lawn?

Why should I aerate my lawn? I am already watering, mowing and “feeding” it! Aeration is a process where, to put it simply, holes are poked in your lawn. The holes in the top surface allow for “the good stuff” to get down into the roots. “Good stuff” includes water, nutrients, and fertilizer. Aeration makes everything healthy. When trying to visualize the concept, think about those delicious “poke cakes” where they poke holes in a freshly baked cake and then fill the holes with chocolate, pudding, condensed milk or fruit. Hungry yet? Here’s a link to a few ideas for poke cake. You might need a good snack after the lawn work!

Is aeration really necessary?

Thatch is the layer of dead grass that compacts on your lawn over time. Thatch can rob your grass of necessary rain and nutrients. It’s like a thick covering that prevents the good stuff from getting through to the roots. Aeration can break it up and improve the health and beauty of your lawn significantly.

Does it take a professional to aerate my lawn? 

If you are thinking about aerating your lawn and fancy yourself a DIY kind of person, go for it! People have used anything from pitchforks to baseball cleats. However, aerating your own lawn means you must have a LOT of time on your hands, a lot of energy and hopefully, a really tiny yard. 

Are you fresh out of pitchforks?

We fully support your DIY dreams and energy. But aerating your lawn is much easier for us with our equipment. While we are aerating your lawn, you could be inside making chocolate poke cake! You will see a noticeable improvement in your lawn over time if you add an annual aeration service to our Lawn 360 program. Lawn fertilization, weed control and aeration will make your lawn the best on the block! Our licensed and trained lawn technicians at Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS will take care of your lawn, no pitchforks needed. You can contact us here to have one of our nice folks give you a quote on a lawn aeration service. We can make the Lawn and Pest Difference in your lawn today! We serve the North Mississippi and the Memphis, Tennessee areas.

Should I invest in plant health care?

Living in North Mississippi and the Memphis area, it’s not unusual to wake up on April 21 and find that your landscape has suffered yet another freeze. For those who remembered the night before, maybe some shrubs and plants were covered in burlap or with garbage bags or tablecloths or just anything that could be grabbed before bedtime. For most, we all woke up with our fingers crossed that whatever happened last night wouldn’t kill our plants!

We have all filled our carts at the home improvement stores with spring plants and had sticker shock when the total is announced. Some of us have invested much, much more in professional landscaping services that rival the cost of a new car. Why do we spend so much money on shrubs, flowering trees, plants for our yard and then drop the ball? It’s like building a pool and then never putting in chemicals or cleaning it out! Or buying a car but never changing the oil or tires. 

Protecting your landscape is protecting your investment. 

When you invest in a plant health care program, you are allowing a professional to examine your plants, determine what is best for them, and then treating and nurturing them to get the most out of your investment.

What do I get with a plant health care program?

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, a plant health care program includes the following:

  • 6 visits per year from a licensed lawn technician with advanced knowledge of plant health care. 
  • At each visit your plants will be fertilized.
  • At each visit your plants will be monitored for insects, diseases and will be treated for what is found.
  • At each visit you will receive a written report from the technician which tells you what he observed, what he did and what you need to know to keep up the treatment process.

Why replace plants from year to year because they are unhealthy?

The money you spend on a plant health care program will eventually save you from replacing diseased or dying/dead plants. Nurturing your plants and making them the healthiest they can be will help them to become stable and mature in your lawn. An expert eye can detect a problem in your plants before it spreads to others. A healthy lawn and plant landscape will be strong enough to endure April 21 freezes and August 21 droughts. Let Lawn and Pest Solutions take care of your plants and lawn. Contact our office to learn more about our plant health care program. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas. 

How to prepare your lawn mower for spring

It is time to get the mower ready! We have had plenty of rain and now plenty of sun is on the way. The mower may be looking a little rusty and dusty, who knows what has been thrown on top? Looks like a good weekend project has suddenly developed….

First things first.

This is an easy list to follow for preparing your mower.

Are the blades sharp? This is important. Dull blades make your grass weak. Weak grass is not good at fighting disease or pests.

Is the oil fresh? If you oil is from last season, drain it and replace with new.

Did you check the air filter? Experts say we should do this every season. If you have a washable filter, soak it in warm, soapy water. If it’s made of cardboard or paper, just pop in a new one. 

Lubricate all moving parts!

Do you need a new fuel filter? Fuel filters can’t be cleaned because they can easily be damaged, so just buy a new one.

Get a new spark plug! These are inexpensive, no need to clean or reuse old ones.

Replace the belt or battery if needed.

Check your fuel! If you have left fuel in your mower for more than 30 days, go ahead and drain it and fill with fresh fuel. 

Here is a link to a YouTube video to help you get that mower started if you are having trouble. 

And for those of us need a little more help….

While Lawn and Pest Solutions is not in the business of mowing lawns, we want to help you have the healthiest lawn you can and having the proper equipment is very important to achieving a beautiful lawn. Getting your lawn mower ready for spring is one step you can take at home. If you need more help on getting a beautiful lawn, we have a staff of professional lawn technicians. Lawn and Pest Solutions can help you, just contact us today.

Lawn and Pest Solutions serves Memphis and North Mississippi region with knowledgeable and licensed lawn and pest technicians. Our techs are friendly, dependable and trustworthy employees who will go to great lengths to provide you with the best service.