The have dead grass (or tan), and I have been watering is it grubs?

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More than likely its fungus….


In the transition zone from warm season turf and cool season turf we have a difficult time getting anything to stay looking great! In the Spring, your cool season grasses (Bluegrass and Fescue) look great while your warm season looks dead and just the opposite in the middle of the summer unless… You water! Even with watering cool season grasses can have problems. With the temperatures being higher we tend to water more. With watering more, we keep the grass blades wet longer that can cause issues as well. The major issue is Fungus!

What is Fungus and what causes it?

 

Fungus is a disease that attacks the plant’s leaves in a few different ways. Some will start at the tip, some with start in the middle of the leaf and others will start at the crown of the plant. With little air movement and water, the plant (grass) doesn’t dry out. This will cause the grass to start to brown, without looking at the blades of grass most people just add more water. This is just like adding gas to a fire!
Other causes are heavy rains in the morning and water standing or ponding for a while and the temperatures go up during the day and the humidity is up, again not allowing it to dry out.
Not mowing at the right height or allowing the grass to get too long can cause this as well. Brummel Lawn keep all turf at 3.5” during the summer months, while its long enough to keep the grass green its short enough to help air move.

If I have it what do I do?

 

First you can call Brummel Lawn, we can come out and help you know what you have! With fungus it can get costly, as the chemicals are not cheap.

  1. Chemically treat it once you have it, it must be sprayed twice, within 21 days to ensure its knocked out.
  2. Cut back on the water to help the grass dry out between the watering cycles.
  3. Wait for the temperature and humidity to come down, once the night lows drop below 65 and the humidity come down the likely hood of the fungus to continue is low.
  4. Do nothing and wait unit fall and call Brummel Lawn to reseed the lawn.

What can I do to prevent it?

  1. Manage your water and the times you water
    • Don’t water at night
    • Water early mornings
    • Try not to water every day, longer and deeper is better!
  2. Brummel Lawn offers a preventive once a month application May-July or August, to control most fungus.
  3. Aeration and verti-cutting in the fall and/or spring to help the air and water move though the leaf blades.
  4. Proper fertilizing amounts, at Brummel Lawn we adjust our fertilizer program year to year to keep a green and healthy lawn. Nitrogen can be great to give you a green lawn quickly but can also help fungus expand, so there is more to it then just buying a bag of fertilizer! Timing is everything!

Please call your Brummel Lawn specialist with any questions, as we would love to help you have a great looking lawn like the Kansas City T-Bones!

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2016 News

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Re: 2016 News

I wanted to thank you for the helping us to have a successful 2015 season. Brummel lawn and Landscape is looking forward to another great year in 2016. Our growth has been amazing. We want to say THANK YOU. We sincerely appreciate your business. You have made it happen for us!

Again this year the prices will not increase. In 2016 we are planning on continuing emailing out a monthly newsletter via email. If you would like to receive the email please send your email address to contactus@brummellawn.com. Also please check out our website as we now have a blog and will be adding educational items or important news.

We are also on other social medias, like on Facebook at Facebook.com/brummellawn or Linkedin at linkedin.com/company/Brummel-lawn-and-landscape-llc

Please take a moment to go online and submitting a review for us!

We have some exciting new to announce! As some lawn companies have taken on pest control for the perimeter of your home and inside, we have taken a different approach as we believe that we should focus on what we do best, so we have teamed up with SOS Pest Control, and can offer you the complete package with experts in both fields. SOS has done my personal home for a couple of years, and I can say that they have done a great job. I don’t have to worry about my pets or little daughter with SOS and my home is bug free! We have included their information packet, and if you only want to deal with one company we can handle it all for you! Brummel Lawn will take care of the yard pest while SOS will do a three step program to keep your home pest free!

Thank you again for making 2015 great! Please let us know if there is anything else you need, or would like us to change or look into, as we feel we can be your one call for all your lawn, landscape, irrigation and now pest control needs!

Thanks,

 

Nick Brummel

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2015 Fall Seeding Issues

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As the fall seeding season is coming to an end, it has been one of challenges.  After speaking with some sod farms, that will plant the seed in middle of August, they have faced major issues as well and some are saying it’s been the worst in 15 years!  A positive that we had going for us is the warm temperatures.  It kept the soil temperatures up.  With the soil temperatures up grass seed was coming up in 4-8 days!  Now that we are into October and the soil temperatures are down that same seed could take 14-21 days to come up!!!

Now on to the issues of the fall.  The first major issue is that we have not had the rain that we have seen all season long!  Some places in the Kansas City Metro have had less than 1 inch this fall.  When we have had rain, it hasn’t been a soaking rain.  It has been a quick hitting rain and then moves on.

The second issue is the warm days.  Although it does help the seed come up quicker; at the same time it dries out the soil quicker.  As we talk about all the time with seeding you must keep it moist to soften up the shell of the seed and allows the seed to germinate.

The third issue is the windy days we have had.  With the windy days it also dried out the soil, so it has been a challenge to keep the soil moist.  Even with irrigation systems we have seen areas that just won’t stay moist.  If you were seeding areas without irrigation, it has almost been a full time job.

We still have some time for things to change and the seed is still there and will come up when conditions are right and gets what it needs.  Stay the course is the direction we are giving, keep watering!

Remember if you have seeded weeds can’t be sprayed until the new grass is mowed two times.  This is an issues as most don’t want weeds in their yards but they want to seed.  If you seed early in the fall, you still have time to get those weeds sprayed out in late fall before the end of the season.

Brummel Lawn is completing round 4 of their Standard Turf Fertilizer Program in the next few weeks and will be getting ready for the final round.  The final round will get the turf ready to make it through the winter and come out in the spring with a bang!

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Irrigation Winterization, Should I?

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Your irrigation system is one of the best tools to keeping your lawn and landscaping looking its best. It is also an expensive item that needs to be taken care of. With those two things in mind, you winterize your irrigation system. Irrigation winterization starts in the middle of October and runs through November and into early December if the weather permits.

I waited to call until late November and now the temperatures are going to be below freezing!!! What can I do?!?! If you have a basement tap, by that I mean if your irrigation shut off is in your basement, go ahead and turn it off. That way even if one of your lines does break you won’t have a major leak. After you have the water shut off go ahead and turn your system on. By turning the system on it will allow water to run to the lowest points of the system. You will not see any heads pop up but water should drain. **This doesn’t mean you don’t have to winterize your system, this should buy you sometime.** With basement taps you normally have a pipe exposed on the side of your home that is more than like to break as the ground isn’t insulating it.

How is the system winterized? Brummel Lawn winterizes irrigation systems by putting air to each zone to push the water out. We do this by high volume of air with low pressure. You do you want to have any more than 65 psi of air running through your pipes as that can cause issues with valves, connection and even heads.

So if you haven’t called to get it scheduled please call now, even if you don’t want to do it until mid-November go ahead and get your appointment set!

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My Grass is green why should I do anything?

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My Grass is green why should I do anything?

 

This year grass has really done well, except for some fungus out there. But even with green grass that might look like its healthy, you might start to see issues next spring…. With the wet spring, summer and looking like fall, the pores in the soil are closed up, not allowing the roots to get the air they need.  This is very true with clay soils and even sandy loamy soils.  The best way to solve this problem is by aeration, either single pass or double.

Aeration will help in many ways.

  1. Allow more oxygen to get to the roots, which will help with root development
  2. Even Core Aeration will break up the thatch level and increase the microbial activity in the soil to help with the decomposing organic matter (grass clippings) which is basically Free Fertilizer!!!
  3. Help with fungus issues
  4. Loosens compaction for better water absorption and nutrients
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These are the major ones but there are many more.  In most cases it will also help the lawn be more drought tolerant the next season.  Brummel Lawn starts its fall aeration the last week of August and will aerate until Thanksgiving.

Do I have to do it every year? No you don’t have to do it every year, but every other or even every third year will make a big difference, on wet years it is good to get it opened back up!

How deep do the plugs go? Normally we try to get the core to come out about 3”.  If the lawn is wet we will be able to get it a little deeper and if its dry maybe only 2”, so if you have an underground dog fence you may want to have it marked or let the technician know.  Also if you have an irrigation system, you can mark the heads, in most cases the technicians are able to see where heads and boxes are and are able to avoid those items.

With aeration an over seed can be done? Yes with the plugs and the holes you do get soil to seed contact.  But, if you have a lot of bare areas it would be best to drill-seed or verti-cut and seed.

So if you have a thick lawn, or haven’t aerated in the last couple of years, or have paths where people/dogs or even vehicles might have ran over,  you might want to think about aeration this fall.  It could save you money in the long run and you could just aerate and not seed!  A great fall fertilizer and aeration will take a good yard and make it great!

Remember you can always call our office and have one of horticulturist come out and make a recommendation on aeration, fertilizer, verti-cut, drill seed or recommend nothing!

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My Annuals

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MY ANNUALS!!!

Annuals were planted the first part of May and were healthy and fertilized.  Normally by the middle of June they are big and filled in. Well….. this year with the weather it has been a struggle with all the rain and lack of sun light that most annuals look stunted and in some case are turning yellow due to too much moisture.

The vinca flowers we planted have turned yellow instead of green because of all the water we have received.  Yes flowers, like all other plants, require water but in the case of this year have been over watered by Mother Nature to the point that they are dead or on the way out.

As you can see these flowers are yellow and not looking good.  The soil is perfect as it is a good mix and held moisture like we normally would like, but with this wet season it has been a bad thing.  After speaking with other horticulturist and greenhouses, we have been instructed that they will come back but will take about a month.

In some cases we have replaced them with a different annual that will do well in wetter areas.

Once this weather pattern breaks, fertilizer needs to be applied and they need watered once a day with smaller amounts of water.  As these plants have not established a root system because they haven’t had to find any water.  Brummel Lawn will be fertilizing the annuals we installed next week and again mid July, and depending on the weather again the first part of August.

We use and recommend a liquid fertilizer.  Liquid fertilizers allow the flowers to take up the fertilizer though the leaves vs having to work through the plants roots.  If you are planning on fertilizing them yourself more doesn’t always mean better and can burn or even kill your annuals.

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Why did you mow….

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Why did you mow… I now have ruts!

 

This season has been one of the most challenging seasons we have seen.  During May we only saw 5 days without rain!  It was the 6th wettest May on record!!! With the rain there has not been a perfect day to mow or a way to make everyone happy.

On a normal week Brummel Lawn will run 5 mowing crews with most crews having 3 per crew, and some days 4 per crew.  The crews routes are set up to run Monday though Friday.  The beginning of the week is loaded with more commercial properties and residential properties are generally scheduled later in the week if its possible. In the Spring with having to double cut and sometimes triple cut, these crews are working hard to be able to keep up and stay current without Mother Nature throwing them a curve ball like this season.

 

In most cases we try not to mow while it is raining or if we get over a 1/2″ of rain.  Also in most cases a 1/2″ of rain should drain and can still be mowed.  However it will still be wet. Anything over that we call it a day, pull off the yard, or do a delayed start.

 

The following day we pick up where we left off and try to play catch up.

This season we have had to go down different avenues to ensure that your lawns were mowed each week.  For instance, we had to add an additional 3 crews for a couple of weeks to try and keep up or even complete the weeks mowing before we moved on to the next week.  This season, for the first time, we have also had to have all mowing crews work entire weekends to stay caught up. So, unfortunately we have had to mow grass that was still a little bit wet.

 

The crews were instructed to be as careful as they could and skip any areas that were really wet and we would cut them the following week,.  Unfortunately there were times when the following week came and we had to skip those areas again due to more rain.

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In a couple areas there were some mud tracking.  Mud tracking is when the tires lift the muddy water to the surface and it attaches to the blades of grass.  Therefore it gives the appearance of a painted muddy line. Yes it looks awful BUT there is good news, in most cases, yes I said most cases it didn’t rut or harm the grass, it just looks bad

The tires we use are wide to help with compaction and rutting.  Did you know that our big mowers put less pressure per square inch than the wheels on a standard 21″ push mower! Another fun fact that a golf course would rather an elephant walk across a golf green than a lady in high heels, as the same applies that the elephants step is softer on the grass then the lady’s heel!

Ok now that we have armed you with some knowledge on how we operate and why we do what we do, hopefully you will continue to be understanding as we fight the battle with Mother Nature, and do the best we can to keep your turf looking better than the rest!

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What Height Should My Grass be cut at? What height does Brummel Lawn cut at?

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This is the million dollar question.  Brummel Lawn does our spring cut (first cut of the year) at 3” and rest of the season we mow at 3.5”.  We don’t change up our heights very often due to the fact that it is very difficult to change on the large commercial mowers.  We run mowers that have fixed decks vs the floating decks.  With the fixed deck it takes the variables out of setting the mowing height by having to adjust anything onsite.  The front wheels are set and we just have to put 2 spacers on each blade.  Our current mowers run with three 18” blades but only cut a 52” path. During seeding season, early fall we will drop the height down to 3”.

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On freshly seeded lawns (complete renovations) the first mow should be done at 2.5” and will help simulate the grass to grow.  This is only if it is a complete lawn, if it’s just an over seeding the normal mowing level will be fine.

 

 

On newly sodded yards we recommend waiting as long as possible, the longer the grass is on the top normally the longer the roots are in the soil.  If it has gotten too long bagging might need to be done.

 

Brummel Lawn doesn’t recommend bagging as the cuttings offer free nitrogen to the turf.  Without bagging your lawn, your lawn can get up to 1 additional pound of nitrogen.  The general rule of thumb is not to cut more that 1/3 of the grass off, but with the springs and only cutting one time per week this doesn’t always happen.  Double cutting helps prevent cuttings from sitting on the top of the lawn is done. Besides the additional nitrogen you receive by leaving the cuttings you also will get a thicker lawn, by getting some thatch.  I know in the fall everyone talks about de-thatching, and so on, but some thatch is good to ensure a healthy lawn. As long as you don’t have more than ¼” of thatch you are in great shape!

 

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In early spring leaf cleanup we lower our deck to 2-2.5” to help get the ground up leaves up and also to cut the tops of the grass off to speed up greening up the lawn.

So to recap the right height at the right time:

Early Spring (even as early as Feb)                2-2.5”

Spring (April)                                                    3”

Late Spring and Summer                                 3.5”       (if it gets really dry every other week)

Early Fall (During Seeding Season)                3”

Fall                                                                    3.5”

 

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Watering Landscaping

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If it’s new landscaping watering the correct way is very important. Brummel Lawn will water plants when planted, but after that the responsibility goes to the owner. There are three different ways to get it watered; irrigation spray heads, irrigation drip lines and hand watering. Below you will read the pros and cons of each. We will also address how long you should be running the water.

Irrigation Spray Heads

We normally have irrigation spray heads set up to run three times a week for 10 minutes. If it’s the heat of the summer we will increase to four times a week. With existing landscaping, in the spring we tell people they won’t need to water. However, in the heat of the summer one good soaking a week for about 10-15 minutes would be best and will also help concrete foundations. The pros to the spray heads are that you can see the water and see the coverage that it is giving to the plants. With spray heads it will also water areas other than just where the plants are located. For foundations that can be a good thing with hot dry summers or if you decide to add more plants it will also be easier to just adjust a head then move drip lines. A con is that if you water everything it can possibly cause a weed problem in mulch beds and some rock beds.

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Irrigation Drip Lines

Normally we set drip line systems or zones to run two times per week for 45-60 minutes, with the heat of the summer you could increase to three times a week. For existing landscaping once a week during the peak of the summer will maintain your plants. This might seem like a lot of time, however the water drip is very slow coming out of the line which allows the soil/plant to soak in the water. With drip lines you are able to target just the plant that you want to water and even loop the line around the root system of the plant. With drip lines you don’t have as much of an issue to over watering areas that you don’t want to or run off. The few drawbacks of drip lines are you can’t see the water. This can be a problem, because you can’t tell if the plants are not getting water as well as if there is a leak and just flooding the area. The other issue is if you add plants, then the drip lines have to be expanded or re-routed. On the flip side if the line is run around a plant that you want to remove the drip line from you have to figure out a way to make sure the line continues.

Hand Watering

This is the simplest way and a great way to make sure it gets done correctly. With new plants a simple 10 count per plant is about perfect, again this would need to be done about three times per week and four times in the heat of the summer. With regard to trees 15-20 count is recommended. The down fall to not having an automatic system is we all get busy and can forget to water plants until it’s too late and the plants are gone.
All three ways of watering will work, but even with the auto system, checking plants to make sure they are not getting over-watered is important as well. More plants die because of over-watering than under-watering and will drown as the roots can’t get air to allow the plant to breath.

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Are all Landscape Plant Materials The Same?

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The simple answer is NO!

I hear all the time from people “why don’t you get your plants from the big box store” (they normally use the name of the store but for legal reasons we will just use box store) or from the Membership Stores.

 

Yes, we could purchase them from there and save ourselves lots of money, but the quality is not the same.  The plants that we purchase or the plants  we recommend that you purchase are certified nursery stock.  I was at one of the membership stores over the weekend and they had 3 gal azalea for $10.99!!! The plant looks great from the naked eye, but once you start examining the plant the quality was jut not there.

 

So with that said, if you are looking for average planting material then those places will do.  Brummel Lawn tries to provide the upmost quality in the plant material we install and plant material that we recommend to our customers if they are installing them for themselves. The pants that the local nurseries have are more expensive, but they are normally healthier, older so they have a better root system, and are either grown in this area or are grown for our area.  With the other places they are ordered in bulk so their Colorado and Blue Spring, MO stores will more than likely be getting the same type of plants.  Also its not from a local grower.

 

We believe in the local nurseries so much so that when we buy from them wholesale we don’t get a warranty. Therefore, if the plant dies after we plant them in your home, we are the ones paying to replant them. Therefore, we won’t plant anything that we don’t feel would make it or shouldn’t be planted in that area.

 

As a retail customer both the box store and nurseries do give a one year warranty.  However, with the box store they only have plants in the Spring and Fall, while nurseries will keep getting shipments in all season and will be able to get the certain type plant that you originally purchased again, while the box store might just give you your money back!

 

Getting your money back is great, but if you have a row of plants with a hole in that area and you are unable to get a matching replacement, more than likely you will have to replace them all so they match. If we do the landscaping and the original planting your warranty for that first year comes with a one time replacement of the plant and the labor to remove and replace.  Last year we had a 96% success rate on plants living, so that means we only had to replace 4%!  That is due to the quality of the plant, proper placement of the plant and the fact they were installed correctly!

 

 

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