Slit-seeding is the mechanical process of planting premium site-specific grass seed through an existing stand of turfgrass, directly into the soil.
Unlike general over-seeding where a spreader is normally used to simply broadcast seed over a lawn (hoping grass seed will eventually reach soil to begin the germination process), mechanical slit-seeding ensures critical seed-to-soil contact by slicing through the lawn and planting the seed directly into the soil. Mechanical slit-seeding is best performed in late summer/early fall, but can be completed in the spring as long as NO crabgrass prevention herbicides are used (pre/post slit-seeding). For even better results, core aerate the targeted lawn areas before slit-seeding and apply a granular seed starter fertilizer (high in phosphorus) shortly after. While slit-seeding may not be the most efficient or cost-effective way to plant an entirely new lawn from bare soil, the process really excels when rebuilding an existing lawn that has declined from such issues as disease, heavy physical use, drought, etc..
Mechanical slit-seeding provides excellent seed germination rates and should be incorporated into any professional long-term lawn improvement program.
Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn care or mechanical slit-seeding questions you may have. Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!
Since we have had absolutely no snow covering the ground over the past few winter months, experienced a fairly steady rise in soil temperatures recently and have had only occasional rainfall, you can be fairly certain that your Chicago area lawn will have little chance of suffering through a gray snow mold outbreak for this 2017 spring season.
Gray snow mold is an early spring season turfgrass disease that usually occurs shortly after a cold and snowy winter. Normally begins when soil temperatures warm well before any/all lingering snow cover melts away.
Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or assistance you may need for this 2017 growing season and beyond. Thank you for visiting!
With the abundance of rain we have enjoyed over the past few months, you may have noticed a few odd looking circular shaped dark green colored rings (3′ to 10′ +/- in diameter) located across your lawn. If so, you are not alone. In all likelihood, the saturated soil below your lawn has initiated a very common fungal based disease called Fairy Ring.
The first signs of Fairy Ring disease are usually the appearance of dark green colored circles, arcs and/or mushrooms across the lawn’s surface. Of course, the mushrooms are a reliable sign that an abundance of buried decaying organic material is in the soil (old tree roots, stumps, etc.). As the fungi break down the excess organic matter in the soil nitrogen is produced giving the lawn located just above/around a healthy dark green color and a decent growth spurt (beyond surrounding non-affected lawn areas).
If Fairy Ring effected lawn areas prove to be seasonally persistent at your property and grass fails to grow/survive, then you may want to consider removing a 6″-10″ layer of soil located just below the plagued lawn areas, add clean topsoil and plant premium grass seed to repair the specific areas. There is no guarantee this soil replacement approach will be 100% effective, but may be worth the investment over the long term if your lawn continues to struggle.
In most cases, just by power raking (mechanical dethatching) the entire lawn in the spring, mowing frequently and providing routine lawn fertilization will increase the vigor/growth rate of the entire lawn and adequately conceal most Fairy Ring outbreaks that may occur over the course of a growing season.
If you recently had a tree removed from your property and it’s stump ground down, this information may prove beneficial to you. Please find a few steps listed below that will ensure a successful lawn repair.
1). Be sure that any/all tree stump and large roots (above and below grade) get mechanically ground out via stump grinder. Usually a stump grinding depth of 12″+/- (below final grade) is adequate to eventually grow grass atop area.
2). Remove any/all wood chips and other woody root material from the area. Any/all excess wood chips possibly left in the hole (strongly discouraged by the way) will decompose over time and will steal much needed nitrogen from the grass plants. Excess wood chips and other root material left will also increase the chance of settling in the area.
3). Remove any/all elevated soil and grass that may exist around the previous stump area. The goal will be to level the entire area (as needed) to a satisfactory degree before new grass is planted. A somewhat flat soil grade is worth the extra effort now to ensure less mower scalping of elevated lawn areas and will eliminate the “pitcher’s mound effect” so often found on sub-par lawn repairs made across previous tree/stump areas.
4). Begin to add soil to fill the hole. Try to compact the soil (every 2″-4″ added) to slow down short term settling within the area. Regardless, expect slight soil settling within the area over the first few years. Additional soil may need to be added to fill in low spaces that form over time. The majority of soil settling takes place in the first 5 years +/- following a tree/stump removal.
5). After additional soil has been added and raked to meet the surrounding grade, plant premium grass seed, apply a granular starter fertilizer and cover with either peat moss or seed germination blanket to complete the repair.
Now that the snow has finally melted and warmer temperatures are upon us, many lawns are showing signs of a common fungal disease called snow mold (gray snow mold in particular). Snow mold occurs when spring conditions allow warm unfrozen ground that was recently covered by melting snow to activate an existing pathogen. The issues start when a pathogen is present, spring temperatures are between 30-40 F and the soil/turfgrass is fairly saturated. Snow mold may be found in lawn areas where drainage and air-movement is poor and especially where snow has been piled and/or is slow to melt. Damage can be as minimal as just a few small circular shaped yellow/matted down lawn areas or more widespread (conditions dependent). As the lawn dries and warmer weather moves in the disease becomes dormant until the next opportunity arises (late fall/early spring). Damaged lawn areas should be repaired by first raking the problematic areas (very important), add a light layer of topsoil (as/if needed), plant a premium disease resistant grass seed blend and finally cover the repaired lawn areas with a light layer of peat moss to complete. After the lawn repairs have been completed and soil temperatures warm beyond 50 F your lawn will rebuild its lost density and look as if a problem never existed.