Pages

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Spring 2018 Lawn Services have had great success




Spring 2018 has had it ups and downs this season for the lawn care service industry.  However it has mostly produced many "ups" or positive results across the Antioch- Gurnee area.   A very slow to warm up spring kept lawns brown and with no growth through early April followed by a nearly two week cold and snow on the ground period of early to mid-April.  Although the cooler temps and snow cover  were a little abnormal, the moisture left behind allowed for good green up and new leaf tissue growth in the warmer weeks that followed.   
Late April 2018


















Snow cover on April 15, 2018





May brought many additional challenges as it was warm but very wet.  This caused some delays again including many spring seeding services.  Seeding in spring is a great opportunity to thicken up some shady areas however the moisture and temperature swings can create a lot of difficulties in scheduling and performing these services on time.  With that being said the seeding and fertilization services have performed with great success as the temperatures, sunlight availability and rain has been very helpful towards the end of the month and through Memorial Day Weekend.






May 2018 Lawns in Lake Villa


The cool and wet spring has also contributed to a heavy outbreak of mosquitoes so far this season.  These populations will continue to grow and multiply every several weeks through summer as there is a lot of standing water and moisture in wooded and shaded areas right now.  Mosquitoes continue to be a nuisance in the Midwest as their bites result in many uncomfortable allergic reactions and can also spread serious and fatal diseases.  If you have not tried or have our Yard Armour mosquito control service, this year would be a great time to get started so that you can enjoy the warm weather outside.

Looking for a better lawn this year or help controlling mosquitoes?


Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook



Instagram



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Another Lawn Season is Completed

2017 Lawn care season


Every lawn season is unique and contains a new set of challenges each year.  Some seasons are hot and dry presenting insect issues while others are wet and cool and more prone to disease development.  2017 was no different in its own set of unique conditions it brought to the lawns across northenr Illinois including Antioch, Lake Villa, Lindenhurst, Gurnee and the surrounding areas.  A warm start to the summer was flipped over to a cooler and very wet (including many flooded areas) mid-summer followed by a dry and warmer early fall.  While these conditions are fall within averages for the most part the timing and scheduling of them was quite unique.  With all challenges in mind, Lawn Doctor of Antioch maintained and provided a very consistent return of results with our lawn program this season.



Early summer is normally the beginning of heat and drought stress to the lawn.  The 2017 season was very different however, with lawns looking great through June with extended leaf tissue growth from cool soil temperatures and adequate rains.  July took a turn for the worse but not for usual July heat and drought stress but from flooded retention ponds, lakes, streams and rivers.  While grass is usaully able to cope with short lived flooding, a lot of lawns were under water for a week or more due to the heavy rains in the area.  Most grass that was only covered for a day or two at the peak of water levels did not show any damage however areas that were under water for more than 5 to 7 days were completely destroyed from suffocation.

Flood damaged lawn


Areas that were destroyed by lack of oxygen from the water cover and were replanted by Lawn Doctor all came back and popped due to the sufficient moisture left behind in the soil for weeks after the waters receded.  The higher temperatures of late summer in September did not extend the damage any further for the lawns that were seeded and watered in properly in early September.  Most of these lawns came in better than in previous years due to the saturated soils and sunny conditions that followed.

Power seeded lawn after damage


Although the 2017 season brought many hurtles to the lawn care industry, Lawn Doctor maintained a great lawn service program for most of our customers.  Our 2 spring, 2 summer, and 2 fall application schedule allowed us the neccesary flexibility to adjust fertilizers and rates in order to stay ahead of stresses and changing weed conditions this season.  Please feel free to check out our service reviews online or leave us one at: Lawn Doctor of Antioch Reviews


Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook





Instagram

Friday, August 4, 2017

Flood Damaged Lawns





Beautiful summer lawn in July 2017

This summer has been a roller coaster ride of weather and growing conditions for lawns across Northern Illinois.  From a wet spring we jumped right into heat and drought stress in early June resulting in some heat tracking and stressed out lawns.  July followed with cool temperatures and weekly rains followed by record breaking flooding.  As a result lawns have performed well with the exception of those close to waterways that were covered in water for several days after the flood.  Lawns that were flooded will need some extra care and attention in the coming weeks.


Heat stressed lawn early June

Lawns that are covered with flood water generally suffer from several different types of damage.  Most turf grass species are able to withstand a few days of flooding.  However after a few days of being submersed under water, grasses can begin to die from a lack of oxygen and or light.  Other factors that can lead to grass dying after flooding include heavy soil and sediment deposits,  water contamination from petroleum or oils, algae scum, and increased weed pressure from weeds seed left behind.

Flood damaged lawn

The best thing to do to a lawn that was covered with flood waters is to remove any debris left behind once the water recedes.  This could be gravel, limbs, stumps, dead fish or animals, garbage or any other debris left behind on the lawn.  These items could smother the grass or prevent it from growing back if not removed.  After removing any physical debris, rake up any muck or damaged leaf tissue to increase oxygen availability to the grass and roots.  Hosing off any muck or debris may also be needed but make sure not to use too much pressure as this could damage roots and crowns of the grass plant.  Once the area is initially dried out and raked, watering may be needed to prevent it from additional stress if rains are not sufficient.  About 1-2 inches per week is ideal for grass.

The grass plant will generate new leaf tissue in the weeks after the flood water has receded if it was able to survive.  After a few weeks you should begin to see this new leaf tissue emerge.  This is a good indication that the plant was able to survive and will continue to grow.  During this time the best thing to do is nothing.  Try to stay off of the damaged areas as they come back for a few weeks with the exception of watering if needed.  During this recovery time other seeds and weeds will probably germinate as well.  Be patient with this process as it will take some time.  After a few weeks of regrowth you should be able to tell if the grass is coming back or not.  Early fall is the best time to seed any areas that do not come back and to weed spray any unwanted weeds that may grow as well.


Flood damaged lawn 

Even though the lawns on Northern Illinois were damaged from flooding this summer most lawns would grow back before late fall.  If areas do not come back in the coming weeks, power seeding or aeration with over seeding may be needed in early fall to get these lawns back in shape before winter dormancy.

Looking for a better lawn this year or help controlling mosquitoes?


Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook



Instagram

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Turf Alert - Heat stress is coming to a lawn near you!



 100 plus soil temperatures in the sunny areas have already been reached this week

Summer months bring warm temperatures and sometimes periods of dry weather to the lawns of Northern Illinois.  Grass lawns across Antioch-Gurnee-Waukegan and Lake Forest enter survival mode to withstand the stress associated with this time of year.  There are several cultural practises that can help maintain a healthy green lawn through these periods of stress.  Proper mowing height and watering practises are two of the most important things to do properly as summer begins.

Watered lawn area next to non-watered lawn - 2016

With the forecast of multiple 90 degree days ahead and no rain in the forecast, begin watering now to prevent or assist with heat stress on the lawn.   A bluegrass-based lawn needs about 1 inch of irrigation per week to keep adequate moisture levels and to prevent the onset of browning and dormancy.   Although this amount of irrigation is adequate for moisture needs it doesn't always keep a lawn from going dormant, but it does give it the best chance to stay green during heat stress.

When soil temperatures get above 90 degrees bluegrass can begin survival mode which consists of opening stomata (cells that release moisture in an effort to cool the plant) making the lawn look thinner as the leaf tissue dries out.  Next it will begin to draw moisture back into the crown of the turf leaving the grass blades to turn brown.  This doesn't mean the grass is dead, just beginning to show signs of dormancy which helps it survive summer stress.  A well planned watering program will help keep the lawn healthy and green as the stress begins.  Watering before or at the beginning of a dry spell can delay the effects of heat and lack of moisture.  When the forecast doesn't call for rain for more than 5 days, begin a deep and infrequent watering schedule for the dry spell.  With summer temps in the upper 80's, windy days and longer periods of direct sun rays the evapotranspiration rates of the lawn escalate quickly, which can leave your lawn with inadequate moisture for ideal plant health in just a few days.

Along with watering regularly during hot and dry summer months the lawn should also be mowed properly.  Less frequent and at a taller height will keep activity on the grass to a minimum and allow for full shading of the soil below with longer leaf tissue.  Also be sure that when you do mow the lawn, never remove more than a third of the leaf tissue height or else additional stress and moisture removal will be unnecessarily added to the lawn that is already stressed out.

Non-watered lawn that is dormant - 2016

For more watering and mowing suggestions please visit us online or feel free to contact us at Lawn Doctor of Antioch-Waukegan

Looking for a better lawn this year or help controlling mosquitoes?


Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook



Instagram



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April showers should bring plenty of beautiful flowers and lawns in May!


April showers have produced an amazing amount of precipitation across the Antioch- Gurnee -Waukegan area this spring.  Antioch received over 6" of rain throughout the month of April, well over the historical average of 3.5" for the month.  Although temperatures were slightly above normal in the early part of the month the last weeks of the month were mostly cloudy, cool and slightly below normal or at normal.  The result was a cool, wet month leaving many lawns soggy, saturated but green and growing.  Wet springs encourage growth of all plants including grasses, perennials and even weeds.  As we dry out and warm up a lot of weeds will begin to pop up as temperatures raise.  Late spring should bring a lot of leaf tissue growth from all plants and flowers should produce full vibrant blooms in May just as the old saying goes.

Wet springs are great for turning grass green and germinating new seed.



A wet and cool spring has brought many delays to outdoor activities including all lawn care and landscape projects for all outdoor contractors across the area.  Many lawn mowing services, aeration's and seeding projects have been delayed as the ground has been too wet and soft for heavy equipment.  Lawn Doctor of Antioch has been trying to keep up with the demand for these services as dry days present themselves but have been a little behind in completing these services by early to mid spring.  A wet spring will be beneficial for seeding projects as the extra moisture will greatly help new seed germinate.  The extra moisture will also help grass generate new and green leaf tissue as we begin mowing lawns.

Dollar spot on a golf course

Along with green lawns, germinating seeds and blooming plants extra spring rains can also produce some problems for lawn care this year.  More weed seeds will germinate as a result of the saturating rain.  More insects later in spring and summer can also be a result of a wet spring, so we will have to monitor that as the season continues.  Mosquitoes and other insects that lay eggs that last over winter will also have a healthy population rate as well.  Some lawn diseases also like the cool wet cloudy conditions that this spring is offering.  Dollar spot is common disease found in the area when cool wet conditions exist in the spring.  It is a little early to see anything as of now but a keen eye should be looking out for this later in spring.


Looking for a better lawn this year or help controlling mosquitoes?


Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook



Instagram

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Early Spring lawn Preparations



Early spring brings excitement and joy to many homeowners in the Antioch-Gurnee-Waukegan area as humid warm air and extended sunlight hours bring the lawns and plants out of their winter slumber.  The thoughts of enjoying the outdoors once again brings a lot of anticipation along with a list of things to do.  There are many projects and plans racing through our minds as the warmer days allow for open windows and sunroofs throughout the neighborhoods.  One way to eliminate the uncertainty of lawn tasks and projects is to get develop a plan to have in place once the warmer weather is here to stay.

A spring lawn plan should include the following lawn care activities to either "enjoy" doing yourself or make sure you have hired to get done for the season.  A lawn fertilizer application consisting of spring fertilizer with a pre-emergent weed control for annual grassy weeds, mainly crabgrass.  A soil enrichment product such as a soil conditioner or pellet compost to provide soil nutrients and organic matter to encourage microbial activity.  And a core aeration with over seeding as needed to allow oxygen to penetrate the soil profile and begin filling in any bare or thin spots in the lawn.  Spring conditions are very favorable for new growth and developing a lawn for the duration of summer so don't miss this opportunity to get the lawn growing in the right direction.

Spring fertilizer should consist of a medium rate application of Nitrogen (13-19%) and a low Potassium rate (1-6%).  The source should be of a fairly quick release form for fast release and uptake as the plant needs it during the warmer and wet conditions that vary from day to day.  The herbicide should be the broadest range of weed control to prevent the most seed from germinating and taking root before the grass has a chance to generate new growth.  Most products are designed for stopping the establishment of crabgrass.  Although you wont generally see it until June or later the germination process for crabgrass can begin with a string of 5 or more days with soil temperatures above 50 degrees.


Spring is also a great time to core aerate a lawn in order to increase oxygen to the root zone of the topsoil.  This activity also relieve soil compaction from freezing ground or extended snow cover.  By alleviating the soil and allowing more oxygen to the root zone, the turf is able to green up and begin growing in tune with the air temperature increasing.  Aeration is one of the best natural activities for the improvement of the lawn without forcing any nutrients or chemicals onto the lawn.



Spring is also a great time to introduce or add organic matter to the soil to boost microbial activity.  The most effective way to do this is with the addition of soil conditioners or organic compost made into pellets that can be easily applied to the lawn similar to fertilizer.  The organic matter feeds the soil microbes as the temperatures warm up,which leads to a healthier and more rich topsoil.

These early spring lawn tips are a great way to get the lawn growing in spring and can be done by homeowners alone or can be hired out to be done by a lawn care provider.  Lawn Doctor not only suggests these services but we also provide them for you.  Contact the lawn professionals at Lawn Doctor of Antioch to take care of your spring lawn to do list so you can enjoy the warming spring days on a golf course, walking or biking or just relaxing on your patio.



Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook








Instagram

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fall is the time to improve your lawn


                                  

Many homeowners ask throughout the season each year, "what is the best thing I can do for my lawn?"  My answer is always "to aerate and over seed in the fall with desirable grass types- bluegrass, ryegrass and turf-type tall fescue.  In addition to regular fertilization and weed control".  However, this question is rarely asked now in the fall, which is the perfect time to implement the answer.  Now is the time to repair the lawn from any and all thins spots or damaged areas form the stresses of summer heat, insects, grubs, diseases or general compaction from heavy traffic.


Lawn suffering from summer stress


Same lawn several weeks after early fall aeration and over-seeding


Lawns across the Gurnee, Antioch, Lake Villa and Waukegan area are enjoying the cool temperatures and sunny days of mid-fall.   Lawns love this type of weather, which produces cool night time temperatures and warm soil from sunny days.  This combination of cool nights and warm soils produces the right combination for both new seed germination and root growth for the existing lawn.  This is the exact reason why fall services like over-seeding and aerating are so beneficial to the lawn right now.  New seed helps thicken up and fill in summer damaged lawns and aerations allow oxygen and nutrient penetration into the root zone.


                                                               
Have patience - results from fall services like aerations and over-seeding are not an immediately satisfying.  Aerations leave dirt plugs and can trample down grass leaf tissue while they dissolve over a couple of weeks.  New seed takes 2-3 weeks to germinate and up to 8 weeks to become full enough to mow.  There are no immediate results with any of these lawn services.  However if you take pictures and compare before and after months or even seasons apart, you will begin to notice the improvement these services can make over time.  As part of an annual program these services generally are maintaining an adequate level of lawn appearance.  If you already have a great lawn these services are sometimes just needed as a way to maintain the lawn at a great appearance.  Lawns that have never had these services or were damaged from grubs or summer stresses will greatly improve over the coming weeks with a little watering and a lot of patience.


Please share or follow us on Facebook for more helpful lawn care updates.

Contact us today at:  847-395-0940 or at: group593@lawndoctor.com



Or Find us on Facebook








Instagram