Take Care Of Your Lawn Like An Expert

They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but there’s no need to be green with envy when you can have your own beautiful lawn. It depends on how much time or money you’re willing to invest. “At TPC Sugarloaf we have a staff of 50 people during the season and we mow every day,” said Mike Crawford, golf course superintendent for the home of the annual AT&T Classis PGA Tour tournament. “It’s much more work than the average homeowner is probably willing to do to keep a residential lawn manicured and mowed with this much detail. However, they can still have beautiful lawns by following the right approach.”
Charlie King, owner of King Green Lawn Care Service, has helped homeowners across the metro area maintain lush green lawns for 30 years. “When I started, 80 percent of the lawns were Fescue, and now most are Bermuda,” he said. “Fescue is a cool-season grass that requires a lot of care; Bermuda thrives in the heat and is more drought-tolerant. That means a lot to homeowners and to builders.”
People today are inclined to hire professionals to maintain their lawns. From mowing to fertilization, these services can make lawn care easy. Rosi and Amoldo Fiedotin in Buckhead use a lawn service and landscaping firm.
“I love to look at the beautiful lawn, but I don’t like to be out in the heat,” said Rosi Fiedotin. “I couldn’t match what Pathways Landscape Service and King Green do to keep our yard gorgeous.”
King said that the most important factor in have a great lawn is education.
“Know the best grass to plant for the conditions,” he said. “Bermuda needs full sun for the majority of the day. Centipede and Zoysia are more shade-tolerant.”
King also urges homeowners – and their lawn services – to have their soil tested periodically to assure that the balance between acidity and alkalinity are right, so that the grass absorbs the necessary nutrients to keep it healthy.
“A healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds and disease,” and Dennis McMaster, owner of Ameriscape Landscaping Inc. in southwest Atlanta. “Consistent mowing to the proper height, an appropriate fertilizing program and watering correctly will help ensure the well-being of your lawn.”
Experts suggest that homeowners educate themselves about lawn care and the various varieties of turf grass suitable for the metro area. Although cool-season Fescue grass and warm-season Bermuda grass dominate, other varieties used in Atlanta include Centipede and Zoysia grass. Both are more shade-tolerant than Bermuda, but they are more expensive to install.
Zoysia typically requires special mowing with a reel-type mower; other grasses can be cut with a rotary blade.
Proper mowing height can help control weeds and disease, and help with tolerating drought and heat. The proper heights for the most popular grasses are two inches to three inches for Tall Fescue and one inch to two inches for Common Bermuda.
All experts agree that watering properly is one of the best things homeowners can do for a beautiful lawn.
“It’s better to water deeper and longer, but lass frequently to encourage good root growth,” Crawford said. “If the water is running off the lawn and into the street, it’s not soaking in. Try watering to a depth of one to 1.5 inches once or twice a week to maximize root growth.”
King concurs, “When you water properly and have a good maintenance program, you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous lawn.”
By Pamela A. Keene
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Summer 2007 Issue

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