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5 Common Summer Turf Issues

Do you see the same issues with your lawn every summer, such as brown grass, patches of dirt, and a whole lot of insects? You and countless other homeowners deal with these summer turf issues that happen like clockwork and lead to more work. A well-maintained, lush lawn is the pride of any homeowner, especially during the summer months when outdoor activities are in full swing. However, these problems get in the way of achieving that. So we have gathered a list of 5 common issues your yard faces every summer, what causes them, and what you can do to resolve or prevent them.

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1. Brown Patches

Brown patches are circular areas of dead grass that can appear during high heat and low humidity periods. These brown patches of grass can be the result of drought stress. Drought can be a significant issue during summer and early fall. Other issues that occur during droughts are turf wilting, thinning, and firmly rooted grass stalks.

To prevent brown patches, ensure proper drainage with deep watering and core aeration. Deep watering can alleviate stress from summer drought, which is easy to do with an irrigation system that provides consistent water. Core aeration (removing small plugs of soil and thatch to allow deep penetration of nutrients, air, and water) and fertilization can also help mitigate drought stress.

2. Thatch

Thatch is a layer of dead grass, roots, and other organic matter that accumulates around the base of grass plants on the soil surface. A thin layer of thatch (less than 1/2 inch) can be beneficial, acting as an organic mulch to help retain moisture and insulate the soil. However, excessive thatch can have negative effects on your lawn. The results are brown patches or spots and a “spongy” feeling when you walk across your yard. In

hole in grassy earth from aeration and overseeding l| Burkholder Brothers Landscaping

addition, thatch can repel water or invite fungal diseases depending on the dryness of the thatch layer.

Soil correction that targets the lawn’s pH balance will help control thatch, and aerating will help break up particularly thick layers of thatch.

3. Insects

If you like to spend time outdoors, you will know that many insects come out in hot weather seasons and can cause issues for your lawn. Insects such as grubs, chinch bugs, and sod webworms can cause significant damage to your lawn by feeding on grass roots and blades. For example, root-munching insects like white grubs can cause the grass to turn yellow and attract other animals like raccoons and skunks to dig up your property. Other insects like sod webworms eat grass blades, which causes lawn patches to be cut too close to the ground.

With so many other insects that can cause problems, the best solution is to contact a landscape or plant health care professional to inspect your lawn and devise a lawn care solution for whatever insects are currently affecting your property. These plant health care professionals can monitor your lawn for signs of insect activity and apply appropriate insecticides when necessary. Beneficial nematodes can be used as an eco-friendly alternative to chemical insecticides.

Spotted lanternfly on plant | summer turf issues | Burkholder Plant Health Care

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4. Diseases & Molds

Along with insects, diseases, and mold can cause significant problems for your lawn. In summer, many lawn diseases attack and can be highly effective due to the turf and plant life being stressed and weakened from drought or other afflictions. These diseases often occur when lawns are stressed due to poor soil conditions, inadequate watering, or improper mowing practices. Some common fungal infections in summer include dollar spot, red thread, and pythium blight. Infections also arise from consistent watering after dark and mowing with a dull blade that tears grass, creating more openings for diseases to infect the turf.

The best way to resolve insects is to meet with a landscape professional to evaluate your lawn and determine the best course of action. Some treatments may include proper lawn care practices, such as regular mowing, proper fertilization, and adequate watering. Others may require a fungicide designed for the disease affecting your lawn.

5. Bare Spots & Thin Lawn

Bare spots and a thin lawn are familiar sights during summer and early fall. Spots in your yard with little turf and exposed dirt can be caused by excessive foot traffic, poor soil conditions, grub infestation, fungal disease, and more. A thin lawn may result from soil compaction, improper watering or mowing, or insufficient fertilizer. Each of these summer turf issues has a different solution:

  • If you have a thin lawn, aerate and overseed.
  • If your yard has bare spots, fill up the areas by reseeding.

Both of these actions will help bring a thicker, more vibrant look to your grass.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for Turf Care Services & to Resolve Summer Turf Issues

Is your yard suffering from any of these summer turf issues? If so, contact Burkholder Brothers. We have a team of passionate, knowledgeable, certified landscape professionals, each of whom has years of experience in turf care. Our team offers many different turf care services to address your needs. For more information on our services, request a free consultation today.

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The 4 Elements of Professional Turf Care to Help Your Lawn

Everyone will attest to the beauty of a well-cared-for, healthy lawn in a landscape. And while homeowners know the general principles for maintaining a lawn, professional turf care can elevate a lawn from okay to excellent with carefully customized lawn treatment programs.

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4 Elements of Professional Turf Care

The process of turf care is a combination of science and art. As professionals, we are familiar with the scientific aspects of turf care, and we apply the principles through practical knowledge of the art of turf grass management. Today, Burkholder discusses some elements of professional turf care that can improve your lawn’s condition, aesthetics, and value.

1. Irrigation

One of the significant elements of professional turf care is installing a smart irrigation system to keep a lawn watered properly. Homeowners often take care of watering their trees and plants, but yards are too large for homeowners to ensure the correct amount of water to all areas. For best results, a landscape professional will advise the installation of an irrigation system.

Pennsylvania summers can scorch and dry up grass. Maintaining the right soil saturation across a landscape is another factor of keeping a lawn healthy, along with watering at the right time of day consistently. A landscape professional working on lawn and turf care will understand all of these factors and can design an automatic sprinkler irrigation system to save money, water, and hassle.

2. Mowing and Fertilizing

Mowing reduces the work required by the lawn’s root system, and a freshly mowed lawn greatly increases curb appeal. In addition to watering and mowing, other tasks are performed regularly by professional turf and lawn care specialists.

Irrigation sprinkler in flower bed | professional turf care | Burkholder Landscape

Lawn fertilizing is one of those tasks. The frequency, rate and timing of fertilization depend on the species being grown, site conditions (e.g., sun or shade), and other factors such as soil type and pH (acidity or alkalinity). Fertilization increases the amount of nutrients in the soil. These nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, provide numerous benefits. For example, nitrogen is a very beneficial element to add to the grass, helping the lawn recover from environmental stresses, sustaining plant health, and assisting in the production of genetic material that allows plants to grow and reproduce.

Front view of house and lawn | professional turf care | Burkholder Landscape

3. Weeds and Pest Control

Another significant component of professional lawn and turf care programs is the removal and management of unwanted aspects, such as weeds and pests. Removing weeds is effective, but prevention is a weed control focus among landscape professionals. Pulling out unsightly weeds can be the first step, but professionals may use more extensive solutions such as herbicide and other treatments.

Pest control is another essential piece of good lawn care. While some pests can be annoying, others can cause damage to plants and a landscape, especially ones with gardens. Landscapers have a number of pest control solutions, and the best solutions are those that effectively control pests while maintaining the health of the turf.

4. Plant Health Care and Maintenance

Good turf care is an ongoing, long-term process. That process requires ensuring that your turf and soil get the right amount of nutrients. One way to keep your lawn healthy is to aerate periodically. Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate lawn thatch. As a result, grass roots grow deeper and produce a healthier lawn.

The ultimate goal of a professional lawn care company is to keep the entire ecosystem of a lawn healthy. and the payoff of a beautiful, lush yard is more than worth the effort.

Contact Burkholder for Professional Turf Care Today

Burkholder Brothers has been serving Main Line communities for decades, providing a wide range of landscaping services. Our landscapers and designers have years of experience helping many homeowners turn their lawns into beautiful, vibrant landscapes. To see how our professional turf care can help your lawn, contact us today for a consultation.

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What is Turf Care?

Cultivating a beautiful, pristine lawn requires care, and turf care is a significant component of caring for and maintaining a property. But what is turf care, and what does turf care involve? Many people think that turf care is the same as lawn care or yard care. This article will inform you about what turf care is, what is involved, and describe turf care mistakes to avoid.

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What Is Turf, And How Do You Care For Turf?

Before getting into what turf care is, we first need to be clear about what turf is. You have probably heard the words turf, lawn, and yard used interchangeably throughout most of your life. While each of those words is quite similar in terms of their meaning, some notable differences lie between them. Turf is the soil on the ground surface that contains vegetation, usually grass. So when a landscape professional talks about turf, they refer to the layer of soil where the grass is planted.

Turf is also an artificial substitute for natural grasses, which is what you will likely find in sports fields. Turf grasses fall into 2 main categories: warm-season and cool-season grasses.

  • Warm-season grasses like Zoysia and St. Augustine thrive in hotter conditions.
  • Cool-season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and perennial ryegrass can handle colder weather.

Turf care is the process of studying and making corrections to soil and grass. Some components of turf care include

  • soil analysis
  • fertilization
  • weed treatment

The goal of turf care is to make turf and lawn healthier, more resistant to pests and disease, and more beautiful and vibrant.

Person laying sod | what is turf care | Burkholder Landscape

Turf Care Mistakes People Make

Turf care may seem simple for most homeowners who want to keep their properties pristine. But on the other hand, many subtleties go into caring for turf and lawns that some homeowners may overlook or be unaware of. To help you avoid these issues and keep your turf and lawn healthy and beautiful, here are 4 turf care mistakes to avoid.

1. Underfeeding Lawns

Grass needs a fair amount of resources to grow throughout the year. Providing too little fertilizer will prevent your grass from looking great year-round. In addition, grass needs to have fertilizer at specific times during the year to maximize the benefits and the chances of looking good during challenging winter and summer seasons. Burkholder can provide turf and lawn care services, giving regular fertilizer and nutrients to your grass and ensuring all areas of your property receive the best care.

Landscaping backyard turf | what is turf care | Burkholder Landscape

2. Improper Watering

Another common turf mistake people make is improperly watering their grass or plants. For example, some homeowners opt to water their grass and plants for 5 to 10 minutes each day. In reality, watering for a longer amount of time and less often would be better. Deep watering provides enough water to travel deeper into the soil and absorb the roots. Weather can also affect how much to water grass. Hot temperatures mean additional watering, while rainfall may mean less or more depending on how much rainfall you get.

3. Mowing a Lawn Too Short

Grass plants grow root systems in proportion to their top growth, which means that when someone cuts their lawn too short, the grass is unable to make enough sugars for the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Those shallow roots can cause further turf and lawn issues, such as allowing the ground to absorb more sunlight, leading to weeds growing. Each grass type has a different ideal height, so reach out to Burkholder Landscape if you want to make sure your grass is the proper height.

4. Letting Weeds Grow

One of the other turf care mistakes people can make is inaction regarding weeds, letting them spread. Even a single weed can produce seeds to spread throughout an entire lawn, leading to more weeds down the road. By the time homeowners remove them, bare spots could appear that are fertile ground for even more weeds. A landscape professional can help you identify weeds early and has the tools and methods to remove them without harming your lawn.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for Turf Care Services

Do you want turf care services to enhance the look and vigor of your property? If so, contact Burkholder Brothers. Our team of passionate, knowledgeable, certified landscape professionals has years of experience in turf care. We offer various turf care services to address your needs. For more information on our services, request a free consultation today.

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Fall Grass Planting Tips

While every homeowner wants their lawn to be lush and vibrant at all times, some issues like drought, disease, and pests can lead homeowners to need new grass planted on their properties. With fall just around the corner, the time to plant fresh grass is now. We will share some advice on fall grass planting, such as why fall is an excellent time to plant grass, which grass types you should plant, and more.

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Why You Should Plant Grass in Fall

Many homeowners struggle with figuring out the best time to plant grass seed for their lawns. Generally, planting grass or sod in early to mid-fall is ideal. The cool temperatures and relatively frequent rainfall will provide enough water for your grass to prevent damage by excessive heat or dryness. In addition, by planting in the fall, you will ensure that the roots have enough time to develop before winter.

Best Types of Grass for Fall

If you need or want to revitalize your lawn with new grass during the fall, you will need a cool-season grass species, like the following:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Kentucky bluegrass is a fine-textured, dark-green grass that withstands cold winters and hot summers and spreads fast, making this species a great choice to fill in bare spots.
  • Perennial Ryegrass: Perennial ryegrass germinates and establishes quickly. This species has a dark green color, medium-fine texture and is suitable for erosion control.
  • Fescues: Fescues are a popular grass choice (mainly mixed with other grasses) due to their ability to thrive in the shade, tolerate heat and drought, and grow quickly.

Landscaping backyard turf | fall grass planting | Burkholder Plant Health Care

Fall Grass Planting Tips

Now that you know why you should plant new grass during fall and which grass types you can plant, here are a couple of tips on how you should go about planting and seeding your lawn.

Repair Bare Spots

One of the best things you can do for fall grass planting is cover up any bare spots on your lawn. Over the summer, your yard has likely dealt with kids playing, parties, and other outdoor activity. Heavy foot traffic and dry, hot weather can leave bare spots in your lawn, or areas that have exposed dirt without grass.

Take note of all the bare spots of your lawn, and use the fall (which has better growing conditions than summer) to cover these bare spots with grass before winter. These newly seeded patches need deep and thorough (and likely daily) watering. Try to prevent anyone or anything from stepping on the freshly planted seedlings until the grass is at least 3 inches high.

Front yard of house with trees | fall grass planting | Burkholder Plant Health Care

Overseed a Thin Lawn

Another good reason to plant grass in the fall is to correct a thinning lawn. In addition to bare spots without grass coverage, you may also see areas of your property where the grass is thin. Overseeding, which is planting grass seed directly into existing turf without tearing up the turf or the soil, can make your lawn thicker and enhance color before winter.

Ensure your lawn is regularly watered until the seeds are established and the grass has grown at least 3 inches. An irrigation system will help ensure the amount of water your property receives is consistent to facilitate proper and healthy growth.

What to Do Once Your Grass Is Grown

Here are a few tips for what happens after your new grass has been seeded.

  • If your cool-season grass has yet to sprout after roughly two weeks, your lawn might need reseeding.
  • Make sure your lawn is fertilized in early fall and again 6 to 8 weeks later.
  • Once your grass is tall enough to mow, focus on watering deeply and less frequently than when the grass was still germinating.

Contact Burkholder Landscape for Overseeding & Turf Care Services

Do you want to revitalize your lawn with fall grass planting? If so, contact Burkholder Landscape. Our team of passionate, certified landscape professionals has years of experience in turf care. In addition, we offer many services that will benefit your lawn, from plant health care to irrigation and more. For more information on our services, request a free consultation today.

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Is Overseeding Lawns in Spring Ideal?

Every homeowner wants to keep their lawn looking full and beautiful, but sometimes issues arise to make that difficult. Hot, dry weather, pests and disease, and many other factors can leave lawns looking thin and unhealthy. When those problems occur, overseeding is a solution that can help mitigate and prevent some of the issues homeowners face. But when is the best time to overseed a lawn, and why? Spring is an ideal time, and we will also show you the many benefits of overseeding lawns in spring.

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What is Overseeding?

Overseeding is the process of spreading grass seed over an existing lawn without turning the soil. Landscape professionals overseed for various reasons, from correcting a thinning lawn to adding more color or introducing enhanced grass varieties. While overseeding is an essential part of maintaining a healthy, lush lawn, like other landscaping processes, choosing the best time is crucial to success.

Why Overseed Lawns During Spring?

The best time to overseed your property depends on where you live, and for Pennsylvanians, that means overseeding lawns in spring. Spring brings favorable conditions for the new turf seeds. During spring, the soil retains moisture well enough and is warm enough to support germination. The weather is also more temperate than in summer, which is ideal for newly planted, tender grass to develop and grow. Grass will also get plenty of sunlight, since your trees will likely have fewer leaves than in summer.

If you decide to overseed your lawn during spring, reach out to a turf care professional as early as possible to give the grass the most time to grow before the hot, dry summer kicks in. Fall is another option for overseeding, as the environmental conditions needed for proper turf growth (cooler air, moist soil, sunlight) are suitable. Summer and winter are generally poor times to start overseeding, as the temperatures are too extreme and can be a detriment to the new grass.

Lawn with holes | overseeding lawns in spring | Burkholder Brothers
Landscaping backyard turf, plan your 2020 backyard paradise, Burkholder

What Are The Benefits of Overseeding Lawns in Spring?

Overseeding lawns in spring offers benefits to your property. As previously mentioned, overseeding is a good solution if your lawn suffers from thinning, whether from drought, insect, or disease damage. So if your grass looks thin and sparse or has patches with very little grass, overseeding can make your lawn thicker, fuller, and healthier.

The newly planted grass seeds can also prevent future issues. If a lawn looks bare, thin, or has a brown color, the grass may be stressed and vulnerable to pests and diseases. During overseeding, landscape professionals will use new varieties of grass that are healthier and more resistant to disease and that deal better with stress. So when a homeowner opts to have their lawn overseeded, those new seeds can prevent thinning or disease.

In addition to making a lawn fuller and healthier, overseeding is also a great way to have a uniform property without an entire renovation. Instead of having to renovate your current lawn with new sod, landscape professionals can add new seed, along with the proper watering and maintenance, and you can have a lush yard relatively quickly.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for Overseeding & Turf Care Services

Do you want to have a vibrant, healthy lawn? If so, contact Burkholder Brothers. Our team of passionate, knowledgeable landscape professionals has years of experience in turf care. Our professionals are certified and trained in best practices for turf care. We also offer many other services that will benefit your lawn, such as plant health care, irrigation, landscape design, and more. Our history is filled with many examples of working with Main Line area residents to beautify their properties. For more information on overseeding lawns in spring or our services, request a free consultation today.

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When is the Best Time to Lay Sod?

When homeowners want to make their lawns healthier or more vibrant, one way they often choose to do so is to lay sod. Sod, also known as turf, is grass, commonly harvested into rolls, including a thin layer of soil. The rolls are held together by the root system or, in some instances, a thin layer of biodegradable material. You have probably seen sod rolls used on people’s lawns or other places such as golf courses or sports stadiums. If you want to have a healthy lawn quickly, sodding is a good solution. But when is the best time to lay sod? Spring is the preferable time for warm season grasses such as centipede, zoysia, bermuda, and St. Augustine, which become dormant in the winter. Below we discuss laying sod in different seasons.

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The Best Time to Lay Sod is During Fall

Early to mid-fall is generally the optimal time to lay sod on your property. One reason is that landscape professionals need to ensure that the planting area is watered and has enough moisture to support the newly planted sod. Fall tends to have more precipitation compared to spring or summer, which means you can ease up on the watering schedule. The cool temperatures of fall also make the conditions friendlier to laying sod. Even laying sod during the middle of fall allows plenty of the new grass to establish roots before winter dormancy.

Laying Sod in Other Seasons

Spring is the second-best time to lay sod, especially for grasses that thrive during warm seasons. Sodding during spring can be tricky, though, as you need to be sure that cold weather is genuinely gone to prevent freezing. The sod also needs enough moisture to maintain root health during spring, especially as the weather gets hot.

House with sloped yard and maintained lawn | lay sod | Burkholder Brothers
Person laying sod | lay sod | Burkholder Brothers

Sod can also be laid during the winter, although some people believe otherwise. While laying sod in the winter is possible, the sod can appear brown, leading some homeowners to think that the sod is dead. The new lawn can look dormant during winter, but the grass will regain color in the spring when temperatures warm up. Laying new grass in winter is a more viable option in the south, where temperatures are warmer than in northern regions. For Pennsylvania, early to mid-fall or spring is still recommended.

Summer is generally the most challenging time to lay sod. Summer brings sweltering (and dry, depending on where you live) weather. As a result, your lawn needs to be watered more frequently than if you opted to lay the new turf in the spring or fall, which may lead to overwatering, causing additional problems. The dry weather and risk of overwatering make it best to avoid laying new grass during summer, if possible.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for Sodding & Turf Care Services

If you want to lay sod and enhance your landscape with a healthy, lush lawn, contact Burkholder Brothers. We have years of experience designing and maintaining refined landscapes in the Main Line area. In addition to turf care and sodding, we offer other services such as plant health care, irrigation, landscape design, and more. Our passionate team of landscape professionals can make your dream landscape a reality. For more information on sodding or our services, request a free consultation today.

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