PRFCT Tips

Mold on grass

Are You OVER Overseeding?

September 30, 2016

Fall's officially here, folks. Have you started overseeding your lawn? Are you OVER seeding? What's the difference?

Overseeding is the process of spreading seed over an existing lawn to fill in bare patches. How much seed to apply? Depends on the type of seed you are using. Look on the package for recommended rates.

Over seeding occurs when too much seed is applied over a given area. Why isn't more better? Too many grass plants growing too close together leads to overcompetition and die-off. In humid conditions, it can also cause mold and other fungus diseases like in the picture above. Gross.

Grass seed germinating

What do grass seeds have in common with pumpkin spice lattes, apple pies, and hay rides? They’re all best in fall.

Turf grasses are cool-season plants—they germinate and grow roots best in cool weather. Seeding your lawn in fall allows grass to become established and better able to out-compete warm-season weeds when they emerge in the spring.

This month is a good time to cut down (weed wack!) or pull out warm-season weeds in your lawn to make room for new cool-season grass seed. Don't worry about removing crabgrass roots—crabgrass is an annual, so those roots will die when cold weather hits. And then they're free organic material for your soil!

Miscanthus

Miscanthus or Mis-CAN'T-thus?

September 16, 2016

Miscanthus sinensis (Japanese or Chinese Silver Grass) used to be the ornamental grass of choice for landscape designers. Showy, low-maintenance, year-round beauty... What's not to love?

Plenty. Those pretty flowers? Full of seeds that quickly disperse in the wind. As a result, this drought-tolerant, sun-loving grass is taking over meadows, roadsides, and forest edges across the country. In fact, Miscanthus is so invasive that it is now banned for sale on Long Island.

What to do if it's already in your garden? Prevent seeds from spreading by cutting off the flowers when they start to resemble a dandelion puff. If you see any baby Miscanthus sprouting, pull them up right away. Baby Miscanthus are easy to remove—mature Miscanthus not so much.

Looking for alternatives? Try native grasses like Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, or Indian Grass.

Photo credit: Ian Alexander Martin on Flickr

Milkweed and clover

Plants sprout from seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, and more, but weeds always originate in the same place: our minds. A weed is simply a plant you've been taught to view as undesirable.

Who taught you? Mostly chemical companies marketing products to keep "weeds" under control. For example, milkweed was long considered unattractive—now we view it as a vital tool to saving the monarch butterfly population.

Times change. Perceptions change. Fashions change: We once thought shoulder pads were a must-have accessory. Isn't it time to rethink our landscaping must-haves? Clover, anyone?

Tags: weeds
Lawn puddle

Are You Feeling the Squish?

August 11, 2016

Mosquitos sucking the fun out of your summer?

Reduce the mosquito population on your property by reducing the wet conditions where mosquitos breed. PRFCT watering techniques—seldom and deep—prevent lawn puddles and surface moisture that attract mosquitos.

How to tell if your lawn is mosquito party central? If it hasn’t rained recently, but you hear a “squish squish” sound when you walk across your lawn, time to cut back on your watering.

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