Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fertilizing Lawns

On a bag or label of fertilizer it has 3 numbers for example 32-10-10 these numbers tell you the rate of availability and solubility of nutrients it contains. The first number which in this case is 32% always stands for Nitrogen. The second number 10% is Phosphorus. The last number is 10% and is potassium. An easy way to remember what these numbers mean and how they effect the plant is, UP nitrogen to the leaves or blades of grass, DOWN Phosphorus helps the roots, ALL AROUND potassium helps the overall plant.
Nitrogen is the most important element to help develop a dense attractive turf. If you are not fertilizing you may notice slow growth, narrow leaves, and a light yellow green color.
Phosphorus and Potassium vary in the amounts that are available. A soil test can help determine the amounts. According to the USU extension there test have shown that 90% of lawns in the Salt Lake Area are high or very high in on phosphorus and potassium. Lawns that are deficient in these elements are not as obvious as that of nitrogen, but may cause stunted growth and winter damage.
Fertilizer Application
Always follow the instructions on the lawn fertilizer bag. When spreading the fertilizer you want to travel in two different directions at right angles to each other this allows the fertilizer to be applied more uniformly and with less streaking. There are different types of spreaders the common ones are cyclone and rotary type. You have to make sure that you calibrate them correctly. Again check your bag of fertilizer and it will tell you how many lbs. per square foot. General rule of thumb is 1 pound fer 1000 square foot.

General review and guidelines
Fertilizer bag contains 3 numbers for example 32-10-10 Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium.
  • 1st number is amount of Nitrogen UP .
  • 2nd number is amount of phosphorus DOWN .
  • 3rd number is amount of potassium ALL AROUND

Fertilize on a regular basis every 4-6 weeks to maintain an attractive lawn. Begin when the lawn starts to green up in the spring, mid-to late April. Summer applications of nitrogen fertilizers will not burn lawns if you apply them to a dry lawn and then water them immediately. Fall applications are important for an extended fall color and fast spring green-up. Following a schedule will help you maintain a healthy lawn. USU extension has a easy to follow schedule for fertilizing that you can follow. Always remember for a barefoot desirable lawn you need to make sure you are not only fertilizing but also mowing at correct heights and watering correctly.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Have questions?
Let me know

Chandi Winder Hurd
t. 801.674.8149

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weeds in you lawn?

You may have received letters and handouts on your door wanting you to subscribe to a lawn care service. I am often asked if these services are better then doing it yourself. My answer is your buying a service not magic! Weed and pest free lawns depend on how you want to spend your time and money. Beautiful lawns are a result of timely and appropriate care.

Pre-emergent weedkillers are often confusing to many. These products are by definition are designed to be applied prior to the time a weed seed germinates. They do not kill weed seed. They only work after the seed germinates. The herbicide is absorbed by the first tiny shoot put out by the newly emerging seed.

The best time to put on this product is before the seed germinates. After the seed has germinated and is growing these products are not effective. Timely and applications are most important. Most failures can be traced to improper timing or sloppy application.

Some common weeds in out lawns that we want to take care of now are Crabgrass and Spurge.


This weed is preventable problem. With proper cultural practices of higher mowing and timely fertilization these will help prevent major problems. Crabgrass germination happens when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees. We are probably not taking the lawns temperature everyday some things that we can watch for other plants to tell us what is going on with the soil temperature. Forsythia is a spring blooming shrub with bright yellow flowers. The other shrubs that will be flowering soon are Lilac bushes bloom pink,purple, lilac, and white. They are also very fragrant. My rule of thumb is when you see the forsythia blooming you can put on your pre-emergent on your lawn. Depending on what type of pre-emergent you apply some last longer than others so make sure you always read your labels.


This is another type of lawn weed that can be prevented and by using a pre-emergent. Spurge does not germinate until later in the season, so this is why it is important to read your labels to see how long the pre-emergent last. You may need to apply again.

IFA Intermoutian Farmers Association has a great 4 step program that will help you get going on helping you prevent weeds on your lawn. Don't over look solutions to your problems in a can, bottle, or bag. Good cultural practices are the best preventative for almost any weed problems.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Power Raking

Have you wondered or heard of people power raking their lawns? Here is some information on power raking. Power raking has often been recommended to control thatch. Research shows the practice removes tremendous amounts of organic material, but reduction in the actual thatch layer is minimal. It has little value in reducing thatch on cool season grasses in our area. I do recommend power raking though if you are over-seeding an existing lawn. What is over-seeding? It is a technique for sowing grass seed over and existing lawn. It is done usually for two reasons.
1. To thicken or invigorate an existing lawn
2. Introduces desirable grasses into your problem areas.
Thin or sparse lawns can be thickened by seeding over existing turf grass. Before seeding is done you need to prep your area. This is where power raking comes in handy. Power raking should be done in fall or early spring. This will remove the thatch layer so that the new seed can lay in the soil. Water as if you were seeding a newly seeded lawn. Use only top quality seed. If your lawn is Kentucky bluegrass use a blend of straight Kentucky bluegrass varieties. Go to your local nursery or IFA they have grass seed that you can purchase. Taking a fan rake and raking over the dead and matted down grass will be sufficient enough to remove the dead grass from last season. Power raking should not have to be done if you are practicing correct lawn maintenance. Which are; aerate, do not over water lawns, mow your lawn at a correct height, do not over fertilize. I hope this post was helpful and you get going on the basics for lawn this season. Make sure you come back for more tips on lawn care. April is National Lawn Care month. I want you to be prepared to celebrate National Lawn Care Month and take the right steps for your barefoot lawn this season.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What is Core Aerating?

If you drive down any street you see signs on power poles that say Lawn Aeration. Or you may have seen shoes with spikes on the bottoms of them. You might also have a husband say while wearing his golf shoes and holding his golf club and wiffle balls on the lawn say "I need to do this it is helping our lawn". None of these work. You want a soil core to be removed from your lawn. I will tell you my thoughts on the benefits of aerating your lawn.
For an attractive healthy lawn this is a must. Aerating is the practice of making holes in the lawns surface. There are many advantages to having your lawn aerated.

The Advantages:
  1. Allows water movement into the soil.
  2. Allows air movement into soil.
  3. Helps decompose thatch layers in turf. (will talk more about thatch in the next posting)
  4. Encourages deeper movement of applied fertilizers.

The Disadvantages:

  1. If you have kids they will throw cores at one another.
  2. Looks like a dog had one two many accidents.

If you don't like the of your lawn after it has been aerated. Rake them up and mulch them or go over them with your lawn mower and break the cores up. If you decide to leave them on the grass they will just decompose. If you look at the list of advantages and disadvantages, I hope you decide to aerate your lawn. An aerated lawn will need less water and respond to fertilizers and soil warming faster than a poorly aerated lawn. Aeration is needed about once a year on the average home lawn with light traffic. Personally like to do it in the fall and early spring. If your lawn slopes and faces south or west It is smart to aerate. These slopes dry out quickly and have little chances to absorb water if water is applied at a rapid rate.

How to get this project done?

You can rent core aerators form rental companies. If you decide to rent one talk to your neighbors and and go in together to rent it. That will cut the cost of down on the rental also one good reason to meet your neighbors. Lawn care professionals also provide this service. Adair's Landscape can help you with your lawn care needs. Mention this blog and you can receive 5% discount on your lawn aerating. Call 801.253.1621 or email at to make your appointment. Make sure when you have it done by yourself or a lawn care company that you mark your sprinkler heads so you don't damage them while aerating. Also make sure your aerator is removing cores 3/4 inches in diameter to 23/4 inches deep from the thatch and soil layer. Don't make a casual pass with the equipment. Go over several times until you have holes 3-4 inches deep, spaced 4-5 inches apart. This will be the most effective way to help you achieve your barefoot lawn this summertime. I hope this post was helpful you get going on the basics for your lawn this season. Come back for some more tips on lawn care this month.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Plant the Seed

I recently attended a gardening conference here in Utah. As I was waiting for the speaker to start I looked around the room and noticed that I was the youngest one in the room. No offence to those who are older. You are much wiser and are always young in heart. This was also the case when I attended the Master Gardening courses for Utah. It got me thinking about the young kids and adults who have not been taught the joys of gardening. If you were the one that was sent out to always weed the garden you might not have fond memories of gardening. Many of my friends and family members ask me questions on How,What, and When on gardening subjects. My goal with this blog is to share my knowledge that gardening is much more than weeding. Whatever your case may be, I want to help you see the different elements that the earth has given us. I want you to learn how to use those elements and create something beautiful from vegetables gardens, fruit orchards, container gardens, and floral arrangements from fresh cut flowers out of your own garden. Let's share and plant the seed of knowledge and experiences of gardening in our young children. Let's teach them the joys and benefits of gardening so they can do the same with their generations to come.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sharing Seeds


Sage Floral and Design Co., wants to help plant the seeds in our young children. We are going to hold a drawing for your young gardener's. We will be giving away 3 Young Gardener Gift Crates away. Please if you know someone who would like to receive this Young Gardener Gift Crate filled with gardening products to get your gardener ready to help you out in the yard this season. Please send us your name, phone number, address and your young gardener's name, with parents or guardian name, number and address. We will contact the person who nominated the young gardener as well as the winner of the Young Gardener Gift Crate. Make sure we have all your contact information. Please email us with your young gardener nominee to Sage Floral and Design Co. will take your nominees starting March 3rd, 2010 and ending April 30, 2010. Young Gardener must between the ages of 4-10. Young Gardener Gift Crates will be given out after May 1, 2010. You may only nominate one person per family. Nominee must live within Salt Lake County, Davis County, and Utah County.

Let's plant that seed and watch the joys of gardening GROW!