The Prestige Lawn Care Program
Prestige offers a chemical application program consisting of 7 visits for zoysia, hybrid bermuda and fescue. The visits consist of fertilizer, weed control and disease control applications properly timed to maintain a healthy lawn. We take soil samples, in order to determine the pH on your property, so as to provide proper pH management. Problem lawns may require more than the 7 application program.
Minimum cost per treatment is $60.00 ($420.00 per year for the seven treatment program). But an analysis of your lawn will be done to determine the square footage and actual cost.
CORE AERATION for Fescue Lawns for existing customers:
Though the fescue turf always moves into the summer lush and thick, it is a given that by the end of summer the heat and disease will have thinned the turf to the point that reseeding is required. Because of the normal compaction of the soil by foot and lawn mower traffic aeration is also required. Though the seeds do germinate more quickly in the aeration holes, aeration’s main purpose is to reduce soil compaction and increase nutrient, water and air movement into the ground. Because of our heavy clay soil, root systems rarely penetrate more than 3" - 4" deep, thus core aerators with these tine lengths are adequate for the aeration process. You won’t always see the entire length of the plug left on the soil surface after aeration since, in most cases, the plug partially crumbles as it hits the ground.
If you are doing your own aerating and seeding:
- Be sure to use a quality, hybrid turf type tall fescue. Blends of these hybrid, turf type fescues are fine (and in some cases superior to single variety types) but DO NOT use mixes with grasses such as Chewings fescue, red fescue or blue grass. We also do not recommend "Heat Tolerant Blue" blue grass for our area.
- On the seed tag, germination should be at least 90%, purity in excess of 90% and the "Other" (noxious weeds) should be less than 1%. These are ideal numbers and you may have to settle for something slightly less. Also check the date to be sure the seed is not over a year old.
- Prior to overseeding mow the fescue to 2½".
- Always use a core aerator not a spike type or slit type.
- High quality seed is expensive. If you find a exceptionally low price way out of line with other prices then look closely to determine the reason. A deal is not always a deal.
- The seeding rate for overseeding existing fescue lawns is 5-8 #s per thousand square feet. Thicker turf uses the lower rate, thinner turf requires the higher rate. Bare areas require 10#s. DO NOT increase these seeding rates or you greatly increase the chances for disease incidence because of excessive turf density. It may look great now but there will be pay back!
- Keep the seed bed moist until germination. After germination water 1-1½" per week but not until the turf is sloppy wet.
- Do not mow the new grass until it is 3" tall. Then maintain at a height of 3". If the turf is not growing then DON’T mow. Don’t mow just to pick up fall leaves; blow instead!
Core aeration for Warm Season Turf for Existing Customers
You should core aerate warm season turf at least one time each year. If you do not aerate, your compaction level increases. In highly compacted soils, pore spaces are reduced and this decreases the water and oxygen available to the plant roots. This results in poor root growth. Another effect of compacted soils is that the roots must now spend an increased amount of energy and resources pushing through compacted soil. This energy is being taken away from other growth processes in the plant, weakening the entire system. You can see that eventually the plant becomes severely weakened and is more susceptible to pests and weather influences.
While yearly core aeration cannot completely reverse compaction it can manage it within tolerable levels. Aeration can be done before or after the scalping though generally it is more easily accomplished after scalping. If you have someone else aerate or do it yourself be sure to use a core aerator. Never use a spike or knife type as they cause compaction rather than reducing it. After aerating with a core aerator be sure to leave the plugs on the ground and allow them to naturally return to the soil surface.
One exception to the yearly aeration rule is Emerald Zoysia. Emerald zoysia can produce excessive amounts of thatch and consequently may not become heavily compacted each year and may not need yearly core aeration. If the thatch layer should become too thick a correct dethatching should be done. Your maintenance company can do the dethatching.