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Archive for the ‘Lawns’ Category

Mowing the Lawn-Half-Cut

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Late summer is a great time of year for many things, but is putting in a new lawn one of them? According to the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension, late summer is the best time of year to seed a lawn in Maine. Why? The soil is still warm enabling grass seed to quickly set roots and establish themselves. Furthermore, weeds are on their way out, meaning less competition with newly seeded grass.

Best Type of Grass Seed

There is no doubt that Maine is a cool weather state with only a few short months of summer sun. This makes choosing the best type of grass seed for a new lawn all the more important. Cool season grasses are the best option because they flourish during the hot days of summer after a long, freezing cold winter. When putting in a new lawn, choose from a variety of cool season grasses depending on traffic and time available for maintenance.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Grows dense and bright green to deep blue-green in color. Best used in low-medium trafficked areas.
  • Fine Fescue: Grows bright green in color and grows great in shady areas requiring little maintenance and moisture. Best used in moderately trafficked areas.
  • Tall Fescue: Grows thick and deep green in color. Tolerates highly trafficked areas, heat, and drought. Offers superb disease resistance.
  • Perennial Rye Grass: Grows bright green in color and is known for quick germination. Tolerates highly trafficked areas and requires little maintenance.

Help Putting in New Lawns in Maine

No time to put in a new lawn, no problem! Contact Beaulieu Industries today for a free site evaluation and estimate. We’ll be happy to do the work for you at an affordable price.

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Lawn_grassNow’s a good time to start reseeding your lawn and fixing any dead or bare patches. Before heading to the store and picking up any old bag of grass seed, there are a few things to consider. Choosing the right type of grass seed makes a big difference in how well your lawn grows.

Tips for Choosing Grass Seed

  • Cool/Warm Season Grasses: Choose according to the area in which you live
  • Use of Lawn: Consider use of the lawn and how much wear and tear it will receive and choose a grass that can handle its use
  • Maintenance: How much time do you have to mow, rake and water the grass? Choose a high or low maintenance type of grass seed accordingly

New Lawn Installation in Central Maine

Image: MichaelPloujnikov

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Before the snow covers the landscape and lawn maintenance is the last thing on your mind, head outside and winterize your lawn in 4 easy steps. This isn’t a huge project, in fact, it can be done in as little as one afternoon and is a project homeowners can take on themselves.

Step 1: Spread a Slow Release Fertilizer

The first step to take to winterize your lawn is to spread a slow release fertilizer. Choose one for cool season grasses (grown in the north) and make sure to follow the instructions on the package. Spreading too much fertilizer can do more harm than good to a lawn and you could end up burning your grass or even killing it off. Use a seed spreader to apply an even coating of slow release fertilizer which takes its time releasing nutrients over winter and into the spring.

Step 2: Provide Ample Oxygen by Aerating

Aerating the lawn is a great way to provide the roots of grass with ample amounts of oxygen. This is one of the most important steps to take should you choose to winterize your lawn. Aerating removes small plugs of grass allowing oxygen to seep in. Aerators come in different varieties including manual and motorized. Motorized versions are more expensive but many lawn and gardens centers have them available to rent.

Step 3: Reseed the Lawn in Fall

Fall is a great time to reseed dead patches of lawn. For those of us in the north, a cool season grass is the way to go. Cool season grasses are a great fit for cold climates. Opt for a variety that suits your needs including use and the amount of maintenance you’ll be able to provide. You can use the same spreader used to spread the fertilizer but make sure you give it a thorough cleaning first. Cover the reseeded area with a fine layer of mulch hay to keep the seed protected.

Step 4: Water the Lawn with a Gentle Spray

Even though the north gets plenty of snow, the lawn needs a moist send off before going dormant for the winter. Set the hose to a gentle spray and give the lawn a good soaking. It’s best to keep your lawn moist before winter sets in.

You can winterize your lawn without having to spend a lot of money. Compare the cost of renting an aerator or walk-behind seed spreader to the cost of buying one. Factor in how much you’ll use the equipment to see whether or not they are worth buying. When spring rolls around, your lawn will be off to a well-fed growing season.

A Guide to New Lawns: DIY Start to Finish

New Lawns: Should you Hire a Professional or DIY?

Image: Andrew Bain/Wikimedia Commons

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Fall is the time of year when lawns really benefit from a little maintenance before going dormant for the winter, especially in the north. It’s important to nudge cool season grasses along into winter to give them a healthy head start come spring.

Fall Maintenance Tip #1: Fertilizing Schedule for the North

Fall is one of the best times of year to fertilize grasses in the north. The north’s cold climate sends grass into dormancy much like trees and shrubs during the long winter months. As your lawn prepares itself to go dormant, give it a good dose of nourishment so it can come back healthy and strong in the spring. Cool season grasses, commonly found in the north, benefit from a dose of nitrogen rich fertilizer in early autumn.

Fall Maintenance Tip #2: Mowing at the Right Height

Once fall rolls around in the north, the lawn will slowly begin to grow less and less. As long as it’s growing, keep on mowing it. Wait for the grass to dry and mow it like you normally would making sure not to chop more than 2 ½” at a time.

Fall Maintenance Tip #3: Watering Schedule for the North

Even though the lawn is preparing to go dormant during this time of year, it still needs to be watered. In areas that receive plenty of autumn rain, letting nature water the lawn should be efficient. In areas where it tends to dry up, cool season grass should receive an inch of water every 14 – 21 days.

Fall Maintenance Tip #4: Combating Weeds

Fall is a great time of year to hit those stubborn weeds in the lawn with an herbicide of your choosing. When using any type of herbicide, follow the directions on the back of the bottle to ensure proper application. If you prefer to maintain your lawn organically, remove weeds by hand using a weeding fork.

Fall Maintenance Tip #5: De-Thatching in the North

Fall is a great time to de-thatch the lawn. Thatch is a layer of leaves, twigs and other debris that’s become embedded in the grass. This can easily be removed by raking. When thatch is removed, air, nutrients and water have a much easier time penetrating the lawn.

Fall Maintenance Tip #6: Rake and Mulch Leaves

If you happen to have a mulcher that attaches to the back of your mower, mulch over the layer of fall leaves covering the lawn. The tiny pieces of leftover leaves will break down over the course of the winter and into spring, providing nourishment for the lawn. If you don’t own a mulcher, rake the leaves so they don’t smother the lawn.

Besides taking care of the lawn and preparing it for winter head outside and enjoy the crisp, fresh autumn air. Make a fun afternoon out of raking leaves and remember to have some fun before the snow starts piling up.

Related Articles

A Guide to New Lawns: DIY Start to Finish
New Lawn Installation in Central Maine

Image: Aktron / WikimediaCommons

 

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There are several reasons why you may need a new lawn. Your existing lawn is in poor shape and all hopes of reviving it have passed, the lawn was sacrificed for other work to be completed on the property or a new lawn is needed where one wasn’t before.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to take the right steps when putting in a new lawn. Depending on the size of the area to be seeded and how much topsoil must be brought in, the workload can go from small to large pretty quickly.

It’s important to take a step back and decide whether or not you have the time, ability and know-how to put in a new lawn yourself or whether it would be better fitting to hire a professional to do the work for you.

Steps for Putting in a New Lawn

  1. Prepare Site: Spread topsoil/fertilizer, till and level
  2. Seed
  3. Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide: Keeps weeds from growing
  4. Apply Mulch Hay: Keeps seeds from washing away while allowing sun and moisture to penetrate area

Do-it-Yourself

Beaulieu Industries provides a great guide for putting in a new lawn for all you do-it-yourselfers out there. Our guide is better suited for Maine and the northern U.S. based on the seasons and growing conditions in our area.

If you’re going the DIY route, make sure you have the proper equipment and materials before starting the project. Follow the directions carefully on fertilizer, seed and pre-emergent herbicide packages for the best results.

Tip: Buy grass seed that is suited for your area. Grass seed falls into 2 main categories: warm-season and cool-season. Consider growing conditions, pests/diseases prone to the area, and use and maintenance when choosing seed.

Hiring a Professional

Hiring a professional to put in a new lawn for you has several benefits. The job is done correctly and in a timely manner and you don’t need to worry about hauling in topsoil or tilling and leveling, which works great for large areas. Also, a professional knows which types of grass seed are best suited for your area and your needs, which takes the guess work out of putting in a new lawn.

All the work and labor is left up to the professional and all you have to do is sit back and wait for the grass to grow.

Hiring a Professional in Central Maine

If you live in central Maine and are looking to hire someone to put in your new lawn for you, contact Beaulieu Industries of Lewiston today to set up a date and time for a free site evaluation and competitive estimate. If you like what we propose we’ll get started right away and complete the job from start to finish.

About Beaulieu Industries of Maine

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Beaulieu Industries 2013 Topsoil Price List

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

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Standing water on the lawn is caused by poor drainage as a result of water runoff from higher elevations, lawn depressions, and poor gutter installation. There are ways to fix a drainage issue starting with identifying the problem.

Identify the Problem

Where is the standing water coming from and why won’t it drain away? That is the first question you need to ask and answer before attempting to fix the issue.

Your lawn should have a continuous slope away from your home to allow water to drain properly. This is done in a way that is hardly noticeable.

A lawn that slopes toward the house will collect water near the foundation. Couple this with poorly installed gutters and downspouts, and you’ll have a real problem on your hands when it comes to water leaking into your basement.

Notice how this lawn slopes towards the pathway. Water is most likely to collect near the pathway after a heavy rain or snow melt. 

Fix Depressions in Lawn

If your lawn has a depression where standing water collects, this can be fixed by adding topsoil to the depression. Make sure to add the right topsoil such as loam to reseed the area. Other soils like gravel and sand will easily wash away and prohibit grass from growing.

Install Better Drainage

In some cases, a French drain is installed to add efficient drainage to the lawn. A French drain is installed underground and is used to divert water away from the foundation. Instead of pooling, water is diverted to a drainage area such as a pond or ditch away from the lawn. Lawns can be reseeded or landscaped over the buried French drain.

Properly Installed Gutters

Make sure gutters have been installed properly and the downspouts allow water to drain away from the foundation. Keep your gutters clean to prevent blockage and damage and to ensure water drains properly.

Additional Reading

French Drain Definition
French Drain to the Rescue: When Your Yard Drains Where It’s Not Supposed To
French Drain How To: What to Expect
DIY French Drain System Materials List

Image: thisreidwrites, on Flickr

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Standing water on the lawn is an unsightly and damaging problem that effects many homeowners especially after heavy snow melt or rain. Before the problem can be fixed, the cause of the standing water must be identified.

Water Runoff from Higher Elevations

Lawns that are surrounded by higher elevations, for example at the base of a slope, often have standing water. Water moves downhill and when it reaches a low lying area and has nowhere to go, it pools on the lawn.

Lawn Depressions

A depression in the lawn is an optimum place for water to pool. A depression is a low lying area below other areas of the lawn – sort of like a big, grassy pothole in the lawn. Standing water collects in these depressions because it has nowhere to drain.

Poor Gutter Installation

Improperly installed gutters and downspouts let water drain too close to the foundation often leading to standing water around the home which makes its way into the basement. This can lead to costly repairs as a direct result of damage and mold.

Fixing the Problem

After identifying the problem, ensuring the lawn has proper drainage is key. Installing French drains and making sure water drains away from the foundation are often the best ways to stop standing water in its tracks.

Image: Seishin17 on Flickr

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