When it comes to curb appeal and property value– your Chicago lawn care can be a huge part of how people perceive your home, office, or real-estate space. In Illinois the lawn requirements for caring, growing, and nurturing are unique to this region. You must take special care not to treat your lawn like just any standard type of grass. You need to address the specific nature of the lawn, the weather- which is a big part of how the lawn grows and matures, and what you feed it, how, and how often you water it and more. Once the owner establishes their lawn successfully and took careful attention listing and nurturing the variables involved- taking care of it is pretty easy.
Lawn Care in Chicago is Hard Work
The owner should have given thought and attention to watering it on a specific schedule, making sure to mow it regularly, remove thatch and fresh cut grass so the yard looks attractive. More importantly this is done to assure the healthy growing grass doesn’t suffocate or become deficient in its ability to absorb the sun and thrive. Choosing the right grass for your lawn care is critical. Watering it and supporting its growth/health with the right fertilizers and lawn food on a regular schedule is vital for maintaining beautiful presentation and assuring that your lawn is at its peak health, growth, and usefulness. Lack of attention to details (like feeding it vs. just watering it, and watering it every day as opposed to watering it once a month, or watering your lawn at the wrong times like on hot sunny days where watering the grass would be akin to boiling it alive) is essential to overall look, feel, and an integral part of your lawn care regimen.
Part of your lawn service should take into consideration the water draining (as not to over water it) and thatch removal on a regular basis. Grass that is well established and well maintained will grow faster, stronger, thicker, and will appear incredibly healthy (and be healthy). Once you move into your new home and are ready to start planting, updating, rebuilding, your lawn, you should take a good look at your existing conditions- has this grass been neglected? Did the last owner install the right type of grass for this region? Was it taken care of or simply ignored? If the grass is mostly dead, then your best bet will be to simply dig up the old stuff, till the soil, add soil if needed (with fertilizer as well as nitrogen to strengthen the new grass and stimulate growth), then before you get stared- do your homework to find the right type of grass seed or sod for your home, and needs. You can hire a lawn care company to do every step, and if you have no idea about lawn care, grass economics, or simply don’t know anything about grass or landscaping – it’s advisable to hire a team to come out and survey, plant, and give you information about how to take care of it. This assures you, you get off on the right foot and any issues that arise will undoubtedly be easy to spot and treat. It does you no good to hire a landscape company to come out and do this and then not follow through with the work needed.
When You Neglect Your Chicago Lawn Care
Turf can easily suffer from neglect, and will show it by dying, turning yellow and becoming riddled with weeds, thatch, and worse- trash people will throw on it because they think, trash won’t make it any worse! You may only have to do some touch ups to your current lawn, filling in bald spots, growing new grass in a section or if you’re lucky you may only need to pick up and take care of it better than the last owner did. It’s possible that they took great pains at proper turf maintenance of it before but when the house went on the market they may have neglected it since they moved out. Grass is pretty resilient, and sometimes you can revive it- even if it’s been through a lot of suffering and neglect, but held on despite these conditions. To assure you get the right type of grass, cut a small chunk (down to the roots) of grass from a mostly invisible part of the lawn (behind a tree or at the edge of a garden for example) and take it with you to the lawn store, or you can hire a service to come out and take a look. Often they will give you advice, an estimate, and if it can be done easily by you they will tell you. Standing water can drown grass. If you have spots in your lawn that are bare, yellow, or simply seem to be less vibrant than the rest of the lawn- chances are the ground around that area is sunken in, possibly unperceived so. The solution there is to till the area out, making sure to even it out then plant new seeds or add sod pieces to fill it in.
Hiring a Chicago Lawn Care Company
This is a lot of work and it may be best to hire a company to do this for you. You must take great care to use the same type of grass and don’t over nurture this new piece or it may come out uneven or simply look healthier than the rest and cause an uneven patch. Proper drainage can eliminate this problem as well. This is why you should survey your lawn consistently to assure that all things are working properly. If you catch a pothole that is drowning your grass in a certain section- you can save the grass and simply nurture it back to health by utilizing professional companies. There are techniques for draining one part over another to even the irrigation out. Some of the types of grass typically grown and/or used in this region are Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescues and Rye Grass. You will find both horizontal growing grass (typically thick roots and a sponge like feeling when you walk on it), and vertical growing grass that you see everywhere. The thicker root grass is essentially a bed of roots that have a thick layer of grass on top of it and is very hard to mow and take care of. The vertical grass is more typical and generally easy to care for. Some grass is thick as in wide and tall while others have more narrow blades (typical grass you see everywhere) and taking care of this type of grass is incredibly easy. Thatch build up will need to be taken care of immediately and maintained to assure the lawn can get proper air, sunlight, and can get to the food, fertilizer, or nitrogen often sprayed onto the lawn in a distributor, a plastic contraption with a handle you turn to spray the mixture evenly across the whole lawn manually. All of these are services that can automated for you.
Thatching Your Turf
Often some of this, depending on the level of severity of the buildup, will require tools and resources you may not have and cannot purchase economically. It would be better to hire an expert company to look at it and help you treat the problem. Even if you hire a landscape company just to come out once, then show you how to maintain it- you will be ten steps ahead of doing it yourself and “guessing” the condition and treatment. If your lawn is big you may want to mow it yourself because it would be a waste of your valuable time to do this yourself all day. If you have a large piece of land this can be a daily and all day job. You can spend your time making money and pay them to adopt your lawn and nurse it. Once you have your lawn in optimal shape, you must maintain a strict regimen of nurturing your lawn. The hard part, however, is over and you really only need to water, feed, and mow it to maintain its vibrancy and charm. Curb appeal will be yours and people will actually ask you how you get such amazing grass that seems perfect- You will, of course be proud of your lawn and will gladly refer them to the landscaping service that made your yard nicer. You especially want your neighbors to take care of their lawn as well, as if you end up selling your home, how their lawn looks, regardless of how perfect yours is- will affect people’s perception of the sale, the price of the home (based on environment factors) will go up if more people around your home do what you’re doing. It is essential to understand this. Your best bet is to hire an expert to come out and at least survey where your lawn stands, what you may need to do to revive, enhance, or grow it. You may also need to know if your current lawn is even the right type of grass to survive in that region. If you’re constantly mowing, feeding, and watering your grass only to run into weeds, yellow grass, and perpetual problems- chances are the wrong grass was installed and needs to be replaced. Other factors to be aware of are the soil the grass will live in, the type of water (hard, soft, toxic) that is piped into your home. A lawn service professional will know all of this information and can tell you quickly where you stand. Once you get the right grass, the right food, and a schedule for and list of care options- you can sit back and enjoy yourself and no longer worry about your yard.
The Benefits of Hiring a Chicago Lawn Care Service
Your lawn sets the stage for your home. Without the proper nutrients, it will thin, turn brown and be susceptible to insects and disease. A lawn service will use a complete analysis N-P-K liquid fertilizer which includes all the micro-nutrients needed for your lawn. We can also customize your program to include a professional-blend N-P-K granulated fertilizer that is sulfur- and polymer-coated for a slow-release systematic feeding.
They will come out to your property and analyze your lawn and soil to determine the exact nutrients needed along with the type of weed, insect and disease control necessary to grow a beautiful green and healthy lawn. Most offer free estimates on individual services and entire lawn care programs.
Many companies offer six treatments per year. The timing of service applications may vary depending on weather and environmental conditions. It includes:
Fertilizer is administered four times a year and consists of three forms of nitrogen together with potassium and phosphorous (N-P-K). These formulations also include secondary nutrients consisting of sulfur, iron, manganese, boron and zinc. At different intervals, granulated slow-release fertilizer will be used to balance the liquid fertilizer program.
Spraying for weeds, which is administered twice a year in the spring and fall is essential for healthy turf. The weed spray is designed to control annual weed problems and contains both pre-emergent and post-emergent qualities.
A pre-programmed insecticide schedule, designed to defend against insecticide over spray, bacteria breakdown and turf insect infestation in your lawn.
In between regularly scheduled applications for unforeseen insect problems from chinch bugs, army worms and sod webworms at no additional cost.
Fungus treatment is applied only if needed. For most companies this would be an additional cost.
A lot of companies offer specific weed control programs. Experts will formulate a lawn program designed specifically for your lawn that will include a spring and fall application and free spot treatments as needed. Often they will use Garden Weasel Crabgrass Killer. It’s a natural weed killer used to get rid of crabgrass, chickweed, clover and similar weeds. The active ingredient is cinnamon bark and is said to pose no threat to the environment. Disease occurs when susceptible turf is invaded by a pathogen that thrives due to environmental conditions. It can be difficult to diagnose since its symptoms are similar to that caused by pests and poor maintenance.
Turf grass disease is usually caused by fungi. They’re parasitic plants that take nutrients from your grass plants. There are several different kinds of disease and many kinds of fungicides. Experts will properly diagnose the disease living in your lawn and administer the proper treatments to allow your lawn to grow green, lush and healthy.
Along with diseases, insects also attack Illinois lawns. They live in the soil and grass plants and take precious nutrients from your lawn. Professionals can determine what critters are living within your turf and decide the best plan of action to eradicate them. They should provide a re-treatment guarantee. Meaning, they will re-treat your lawn in between regularly scheduled treatments at no additional cost.
Types of Lawn Pests in Chicago
For the proper lawn care in the Chicago area, it’s important to treat beetle larvae or grubs. They live in the soil and feed on grass roots. Lawns riddled with grubs will show patches of wilting and brown grass. If fleas and ticks are living in your lawn, it won’t take long for them to set up shop in your home. Children and pets playing outdoors can bring them inside and leave you with a complete infestation. Before these nasty, biting critters latch onto you, your loved ones or your home, let some professionals. You’ll rest easier knowing that your children and pets are safe outside and inside your home.
Timing and type of treatment can make or break any effort to control Northern Mole Crickets. They’re especially abundant in Illinois. They destroy grass by digging tunnels through the soil and eating grass roots and shoots. To make matters worse, predators like raccoons like to snack on mole crickets so they’ll dig up your lawn to get at them. The trick is to treat mole crickets at the right time and with the proper product
Sod webworms, like a grub, is the larval stage of a beetle, the sod webworm is the larval stage of an adult moth. They can be very destructive to lawns. There are two to three generations per year and each new generation produces even more adults. Sod webworms come out at night and feed on grass leaves.
Chinch bugs are critters that actually survive cooler temperatures by hiding under debris in flower beds, shrubs and trees. They can be active year-round depending on the weather. The females lay eggs in the lawn and “nymphs” are hatched. These creatures ingest the sap from the crown and stems of turfgrass. Chinch bugs live in the thatch of your lawn and can be difficult to control.
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