The way to achieve a great looking lawn is no secret, it is discipline. It is having the discipline to maintain a scheduled lawn fertilization and weed control program. Our lawn care program is consistently providing your lawn with the nutrients necessary to sustain a healthy lawn right here in the Nashville area. Our licensed technicians know how to perform the service properly using the highest quality products and taking the time to do the job right!
Benefits of Fertilization & Weed Control
- Weed Free Lawn
- Increased Drought Tolerance
- Lush Green Appearance
- Promotes Healthy Root Growth
- Replenishes Nutrients and Enriches the Soil
- Fights Disease
Our Fertilization & Weed Control Program
At Performance Lawns we spend a great deal of time on researching and testing the science of turf nutrients and management methods. We work hard to provide cutting edge technologies in Fertilization and Weed Control. Years of experience have provided us with specific details and proprietary methods that make us an above average turf management company. When developing a turf fertilization program, we consider a number of factors including:
- Minerals required for turf growth and development
- Natural soil fertility
- Fertilizer selection
- Turf/grass species, desired quality, and use
- Environmental and management conditions
- Application schedule
The purpose of lawn fertilization is to provide nutrients to encourage healthy active turf growth. Many stresses are placed upon lawns: weekly mowing and foot traffic alone are stressful! Turfgrass needs to out-compete weeds, recover from disease outbreaks, insect infestations, and drought damage. To do this turfgrass needs to be kept actively growing, although cool-season turfgrasses such as turf type tall fescue will recover if allowed to go dormant in the summer. Fertilizer should be applied according to a lawn fertilization schedule: too little fertilizer results in thin, sometimes yellowing turf that has a higher susceptibility to disease such as, red thread and rust; too much fertilizer also contributes to turf problems. Problems Caused by Over-fertilization
- Increase in maintenance practices, such as mowing and de-thatching
- Lower drought tolerance
- Increase in insect damage
- Greater susceptibility to lawn diseases, such as leaf spot diseases
- Burning of roots and foliage, especially if applied in the summer or applied in excessive amounts
- Contributes to excess nutrients that filter into and pollute local water systems
These are nutrients that are necessary for plant growth in very small amounts and are sometimes referred to as trace elements. Micro-nutrients include iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, and chlorine. Deficiencies are more likely to occur in sandy soils. With the exception of iron, the addition of micro-nutrients is usually not necessary or beneficial. In alkaline (high pH) soils, iron binds to soil particles and becomes unavailable to the plant. The result is iron chlorosis, which causes yellowing of grass blades. If the soil pH is kept within the proper range for turf there is little chance that a micro-nutrient deficiency would affect the growth of turf, especially if grass clippings are allowed to break down on turf.
The Importance of Grass-cycling
Grass-cycling benefits both your lawn and the environment. If lawns are mowed on a regular basis, grass clippings quickly decompose providing free fertilizer for your lawn. It is a misconception that grasscycling contributes to a thatch buildup or spreads lawn disease. Thatch is an accumulation of partly decomposed grass roots and stems that develops below the actively growing turf. Grass clippings are largely composed of water and decompose rapidly.
Soil testing provides us with important information regarding the condition of your soil. Unnecessary applications of lime and fertilizer are avoided when lawns are limed and fertilized according to soil test results. Our soil test provides information such as:pH.Levels of phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.Lbs. of nitrogen*, potassium, and phosphorus per 1000 sq. feet that needs to be applied.Soil texture.Special tests (soluble salts, organic matter, micro-nutrients, and nitrates) are available, but in most cases are not necessary.
Role of pH
Soil pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline the soil is. Any value above 7.0 is alkaline and any value below is acidic. Turf grows best in slightly acidic soil (6.0-6.8). Lime should only be applied according to soil test results. Fertilizer and lime can be applied at the same time in two separate applications.
Weeds tend to thrive at the expense of the more desirable grass, flowers, or shrubs. They provide competition for space, nutrients, water and light. To prevent their germination and growth, we use a combination of pre-emergent herbicides applied to the soil, and some organic techniques. We will fight those hard to kill weeds until they are gone.
Chemical Weed Control
Herbicides are chemicals that kill or alter the normal growth of weeds. They can be divided into two main groups: selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides are those that control the target weed(s) without damaging desirable turfgrass species. Non-selective herbicides kill all vegetation (including turfgrasses) and are used in lawn renovation or on weeds not controlled by selective herbicides. Herbicides can be further divided into pre-emergence and post-emergence categories. Pre-emergence herbicides are applied prior to germination and emergence of weeds. These are typically used for controlling annual weeds. Post-emergence herbicides are used for controlling weeds that have already emerged from the soil. They are either contact or systemic in nature. Postemergence-contact herbicides affect only those plant parts that they contact and are not translocated to other portions of the plant. Postemergence-systemic herbicides are translocated throughout the plant; hence they are effective in controlling perennial weeds that can generate new foliage from underground vegetative structures. Herbicides can be applied to foliage or soil. Postemergence herbicides are usually foliar applied, whereas preemergence herbicides are soil applied. A foliar-applied herbicide must contact and be absorbed by foliage, and is less effective if washed off the leaf surface by rainfall or irrigation. Soil-applied herbicides can be applied as either liquids or granulars; they should be watered into the soil during or following application.
Organic Weed Control
The first step is to test the soil's pH - it should read between 6.5 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic. Dandelions thrive at a pH level of about 7.5, and are a sign to add gardeners sulfur to lower the pH. Clover and medic are sign that your lawn may be nitrogen poor, and needs compost or an organic nitrogen-weighted fertilizer. Lawns grow best in loamy soils that have a mix of clay, silt and sand. Too much clay in the soil mix, or heavy use, can compact the soil and prevent air and nutrient flow. Compacted soil may need aeration, a process of lifting small plugs of turf to create air spaces in the soil. An aerator will remove "finger size" plugs which improves aeration. Aeration is best done before top dressing and fertilizing. Organic matter, such as compost and grass clippings, will benefit any type of soil; it lightens soil which is heavy in clay, and it builds humus in sandy soils, which helps retain water and nutrients.