Tag Archives: lawn

Slow Release vs. Quick Release Fertilizer.

         Fertilizers can be confusing sometimes, especially when it comes to the type to use. Many varieties exist, and if you’re just getting into turf maintenance, then by now you’ve probably heard of slow release fertilizers and quick release fertilizers. In truth, neither one is “better” than the other because it all depends on the condition of your lawn. In fact, the nutrients in both types of fertilizers are the same. The question is, “which fertilizer is better for my turf now?”

         Ideally of course you will want a well established and well nourished lawn. If this is the case with your lawn, your best bet is typically a slow-release fertilizer because it encourages even growth and lasts up to two months longer than quicker release fertilizers. In short, your grass’s root system continues to be fed over a longer period of time; it doesn’t need a fast burst of nutrition since it has been healthy and well fed up to the point of the next application. Additionally, already having strong turf combined with a slow release fertilizer greatly reduces the chances of your lawn developing disease, and the green up will last longer as well. Keep in mind, however, that the green up may take longer.

         Alternatively, if your lawn is new or if you have only recently begun taking care of it, a quick release fertilizer may be your best bet because it needs nutrients now. Think about it like this:  If you’re starving, you need food soon, and if you’re not, you can wait and enjoy your meal. A quick boost will help stimulate growth and, depending on the situation, help your turf grow out of a disease (keep an eye out soon for an entry on fungicide when it comes to the topic of disease). On the flip side, if you’re going to use a quick release fertilizer, keep in mind that it is much easier to burn your lawn if you apply too much of it. And while the green up is more immediate if applied properly, it also peaks early and will last only half the time as a slow release fertilizer will. Continual usage of quick release fertilizer will also make your yard more susceptible to disease.

         In the end, each lawn is different and has its own needs, and sometimes it can be difficult or confusing to know exactly what your lawn needs . A lawn care professional can spend the time needed to evaluate your lawn and give it the nutrition it needs so that it remains healthy and green until the winter months arrive. Lightning Landscape and Irrigation is always happy to assist you in this. Call today at 913-441-3900 and have a licensed chemical applicator from Lightning to give your lawn the care and attention it deserves.  

Spring Pre-Emergent:  How Does it Work?

If you have been with a lawn and landscaping service for a while, you are probably aware that the first rounds of fertilizer and weed control include something called a pre-emergent.  

What is it?  Simply put, pre-emergent is a weed killing chemical, but the primary difference between that and a post-emergent, as you can imagine, is that pre-emergent kills the weeds before they germinate.

However, it is important to note that you cannot apply pre-emergent at any time during or before the spring.  For it to be effective, there are a few factors to consider before either spraying it on your turf or even if it is combined with a simple granular application fertilizer. 

  1. Consider the temperature. 
  • A pre-emergent will not be effective at colder temperatures because it may break down without penetrating the soil before it has a chance to activate during the germination process. For best results, apply when soil temperatures are at least 50 degrees. 

2. In order for it to work, pre-emergent must be watered in. 

  • Now, that does not mean you need a sprinkler system. Rainfall of half an inch will suffice if you cannot water it in yourself before seven days after application. 

3. In general, keep in mind that most pre-emergent will not work on some broadleaf weeds like dandelions. 

  • The main weeds controlled by pre-emergent are destructive and unsightly grassy weeds such as crabgrass (Always read the label to know what kind of control you will get). 

4. After temperatures reach a certain point pre-emergent will not be effective because most weeds have already germinated by then. 

  • The idea is to have a layer of protection before they start growing. One caveat: Not all pre-emergent are equal in what they control or their effectiveness. Always read the label.

One final note:  if you are seeding in the spring, you cannot apply pre-emergent because it will kill the seeds that have or will be put down; pre-emergent must be given at least eight weeks to penetrate the soil after application before seeding. If you plan on doing spring seeding, wait until the fall or the next spring to put down pre-emergent (or, better yet, consider seeding in the fall). As you can see, a lot of timing is involved when getting the most out of weed control, which can seem overwhelming without experience and the free time to take care of it. If you are feeling overwhelmed or just want more free time, call Lightning today at 913-441-3900 and let us take away the worry.