Every homeowner wants a beautiful, green lawn, but doesn’t usually have the time required for lawn care and maintenance.
Lawn care companies in NJ who provide professional landscape services can help you keep a lush green lawn that’s healthy year-round.
Take a look at 10 professional lawn care tips for a beautiful Northern New Jersey lawn.
1. Provide Regular Lawn Care and Maintenance
Regular lawn care and maintenance is essential to a healthy, well-maintained landscape.
Without it, your lawn, shrubs and plants will become overgrown, weeds will take over your yard and your home will quickly lose its curb appeal.
Most professional lawn care companies in NJ provide regular lawn maintenance on a weekly basis to keep these things under control.
Professionally trained crews, such as the team at Borst Landscape and Design, provide weekly maintenance services that typically include:
- Weekly lawn mowing
- Regular weeding
- Border edging for sidewalks, walkways and driveways
- Hardscape cleaning of pathways, walkways and driveways
- Spring yard cleanup of dead winter growth and debris
- Fall yard cleanup of dead summer growth and preparation for winter
2. Control Weeds and Thatch
Regular lawn care and maintenance services will keep weeds to a minimum, but herbicide treatments may be required to eliminate them and keep them from returning.
Most weeds are aggressive invaders and hardy growers that will invade your lawn at the first opportunity lawns that are ill-maintained, improperly watered and lack adequate nutrients will create easy targets for weeds to flourish.
Weeds fall into two main categories: broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds.
- Broadleaf Weeds – Broadleaf weeds have wider leaves and include varieties like dandelions, chickweed, purslane, thistle and clover. While some broadleaf weeds bloom and can be confused for flowering plants, they are still weeds and should be eliminated.
- Grassy Weeds – Grassy weeds usually grow closer to the ground. They spread rapidly and can quickly take over your lawn. Varieties that include crabgrass, dollarweed, perennial creepers and creeping charlie will rob your grass and soil of moisture.
- Thatch – Thatch is a mat of yellowish dead grass that blocks moisture and air in your lawn and prevents healthy grass growth. It spreads quickly and is difficult to get rid of. For proper de-thatching, it’s best to hire professional lawn care companies NJ with knowledge about de-thatching procedures and the right equipment.
Proper weed control typically requires a pre-emergent herbicide in early Spring to prevent weed growth, but post-emergent weed controls may be necessary if weeds are visible and actively growing.
Before herbicides are applied, the soil must contain adequate moisture. Drought and heat stressed weeds will not absorb herbicides easily. The cool temperatures and abundant rainfall of early Spring provide ideal conditions.
Heavily weeded lawns may require repeated herbicide applications for best control.
3. Control Outdoor Pests
All lawns and landscapes are susceptible to outdoor pests that can cause damages.
Without regular pest control from professional lawn care companies NJ, your lawn and landscape can fall victim to a variety of outdoor pests.
They can destroy your lawn, plants, shrubs and trees and pose dangers for your family and pets. Small insects that live in the soil like grub worms, army worms, chinch bugs and fire ants can cause lawn diseases.
Larger outdoor pests like moles, voles, gophers, rodents and raccoons can damage your lawn and plants. Japanese beetles and boring insects can destroy your trees.
Once outdoor pests invade your landscape, they can be very difficult to eliminate without professional pesticide treatments.
For best year-round pest control results, an Integrated Pest Management Program should be part of your professional landscape services.
An Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) focuses on safe, organic pest control solutions that keep your lawn and landscape insect and pest free.
If you have existing insect and pest problems, a knowledgeable, experienced landscape professional can identify the pests and offer the right pest control solutions to clear up the problems.
At lawn care companies NJ, like Borst Landscape & Design, an Integrated Pest Management Program provides:
- A property visit from an IPM specialist during the season to evaluate your lawn and landscape health.
- An inspection by an IPM specialist of your lawn, shrubs and trees at each visit, followed up by recommended treatments for insect and pest problems found.
- A detailed report after each inspection that outlines any pest problems found and how those problems were treated.
4. Invest in Organic Lawn Care
Organic lawn care provides a safe, chemical-free environment for your home, family and pets.
By using natural, organic lawn care products, you can promote green living principles and protect the environment from harsh chemicals that are often found in many over-the-counter lawn products.
Organic lawn care also promotes a natural aeration and drainage system in your soil that helps to promote strong turf roots, healthy grass growth, weed control and prevention of lawn diseases and outdoor pests.
Organic lawn care solutions will establish a natural eco-system in your landscape where beneficial insects and organisms exist in the soil.
Talk to lawn care companies NJ, like Borst Landscape & Design, that specialize in organic lawn care throughout Bergen County. Organic applications for your lawn, shrubs and trees are usually done in the Spring, Summer and Fall.
5. Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn will provide essential nutrients that help to keep it lush, green and healthy year-round.
Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient, but each type of grass demands different amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for optimal growth and performance.
Nitrogen helps plants make the proteins they need to produce new growth.
Phosphorous improves plant vitality and seed size, promotes new buds and flowers and stimulates root growth. Potassium improves overall plant vigor. It’s important to follow proper fertilization schedules and use the right products based on your grass type.
Qualified, professional lawn care companies NJ can provide proper fertilization for optimal lawn care.
To keep your Northern NJ lawn looking its best year round, fertilization should be done in Early Spring, Late Spring, Summer, Fall and Late Fall.
6. Use Mulch
Mulch is one of the simplest and most beneficial products for your lawn and garden.
You can use organic mulches like bark chips, straw and grass clippings or inorganic mulches like brick chips, stones and plastic materials.
Both types provide numerous benefits such as:
- Retains moisture in the soil
- Maintains even soil temperatures
- Prevents soil erosion
- Reduces soil compaction
- Prevents weed growth
- Provides a “finished” appearance for your landscape
Organic Mulch – Organic mulch naturally decomposes and add nutrients to the soil. When absorbed, natural materials help to aerate the soil, improve root growth and increase soil moisture. Organic mulches also promote a balanced environment for beneficial earthworms and other organisms.
Inorganic Mulch – Inorganic mulch is great for Northern NJ homes built on hillsides or slopes. Although the inorganic materials don’t decompose and provide nutrients for the soil, they do offer good protection for soil erosion, drainage problems, hard to reach landscape areas and terraced hillsides.
Lawn Clippings – When mulched back into your lawn, grass clippings add great nutrients and beneficial organic matter to the soil. Professional lawn care companies NJ have mulching mowers with special blades that make mulching with lawn clippings easier and faster.
7. Aerate Your Lawn
By aerating your lawn, you can promote good drainage and airflow to keep your lawn green and healthy year-round.
Lawn aeration, perforating the soil with small holes, allows water, air and nutrients to penetrate turf roots. This promotes deeper root growth, thicker, stronger grass growth and less soil compaction.
The best time to aerate your lawn is in the Spring when new growth is developing. This will give your grass plenty of time to heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed.
Cool-season grasses, typical in Northern NJ lawns, are usually aerated in the early Spring or Fall. Lawn aeration can be done with two types of tools – a spike aerator and a plug aerator.
You can aerate your own lawn, but it’s a difficult and tedious process.
Hiring lawn care companies NJ with aeration knowledge, experience and proper equipment will give you the best results.
8. Plant the Right Grass
If you want a beautiful lawn, you need to plant the right grass.
Climate and weather conditions, soil type and light conditions have a big impact on the growth patterns and root systems of grass, so it’s important to plant the right type of grass for your existing landscape conditions.
Grasses are divided into two types – cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses.
- Cool-Season Grasses – Cool-season grasses grow best in fall, winter and early spring. They like mild, wet winters and do well in colder weather with snow and ice. They like summers that are warm or hot, but not dry and grow best in areas with at least 30 inches or more of rainfall each year. In Northern NJ, cool-season grasses like bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine and tall fescues and wheat grass are common.
- Warm-Season Grasses – Warm-season grasses grow best in late spring and summer. They like mild winters and summers that are hot, humid and dry and grow best in areas with 20 inches or less of yearly rainfall. Warm-season grasses like buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass and zoysia are typically found in the southern and western regions of the country where temperatures are temperate and mild year-round.
9. Prune Your Shrubs and Trees
Overgrown shrubs and trees create an ill-maintained landscape and invite diseases, insects and pests that contribute to hazardous conditions for your home.
Overgrown trees can get top-heavy and out of shape. They’re more likely to drop large limbs and branches or fall in storms and high winds.
Overgrown shrubs close to your house make you a target for burglars who can easily hide. Take time to prune your shrubs and trees, but make sure you do it correctly and at the right time of year.
Although pruning may seem like a simple task, you can cause serious damage to your shrubs and trees with improper pruning techniques.
Most pruning is done in Spring or early Fall after old blooms fade or before new buds sprout.
This maximizes flower and foliage production for the following year. Pruning in late Spring or early Fall makes it easier to examine the plant’s structure and make proper cuts.
Pruning tall trees and shrubs can also be dangerous, so it’s best left to a professional lawn care companies NJ with proper equipment.
10. Test Your Soil
The texture and pH balance of soil is determined by the amount of sand, silt and clay that are present in the soil.
Sand, the largest particle in the soil, creates soil that drains quickly and doesn’t hold moisture or nutrients. Silt, a soil particle whose size is between sand and clay, feels smooth and powdery.
When wet, it creates a rather slippery surface that helps drainage. Clay soils are often referred to as heavy because they hold in a lot of nutrients, but the thickness doesn’t allow moisture or air to penetrate well.
Particle size has a lot to do with soil drainage and soil’s ability to hold important nutrients. To help determine your home’s soil type, take note of the color, texture, smell and consistency.
To test your soil, start by doing a soil test for pH balance to determine if you’re working with acid or alkaline soil conditions.
You can purchase a soil test kit at a local garden or home improvement store, or call a landscape professional to do a soil test for you.
Professional lawn care companies NJ who provide regular lawn care and maintenance usually do a soil test as part of their regular services.