How to Improve Grass Health for Utah Landscaping Projects

How to Improve Grass Health for Utah Landscaping Projects

Grass's Role in Landscape Design

Grass is an important part of every landscape design. Your property’s curb appeal can influence your customers’ perception of your business. Utah is the second most arid state in the United States. Keeping turfgrass green and healthy through our hot, dry summers requires a substantial amount of care. Additionally, Utah lawn care is especially difficult due to possible attacks by several insects and fungal problems. At Lawn Butler, we use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to keep the turf we manage healthy and free of weeds, harmful insects and fungal problems. Various pest control options used in a turfgrass IPM program include cultural and chemical controls. Cultural practices are methods of pest control if they result in a healthy and more pest-resistant turf. These practices could include the use of certified seed or sod to reduce the introduction of weeds into a newly established turf. They could also involve mowing the desired turf species at the proper height, correcting nutrient deficiencies, and practicing good irrigation techniques. Chemical control of turfgrass pests with conventional synthetic pesticides is also an important part of an IPM program. It is essential to choose the proper pesticide for the target pest (including weeds), to apply pesticides only when necessary, and to alternate pesticides so that pests are less likely to develop resistance to the chemical. Fertilizer is important for healthy, vigorous plant growth and development. Because many of the required nutrients for turfgrass are found naturally in the soil, fertilization practices focus on the supply of three primary nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is the only nutrient that turfgrass needs on a regular basis. Lawns may occasionally be deficient in iron, and fertilizers containing iron may be supplemented. As nitrogen is applied, both root and shoot growth increases. Weeds are the number one pest problem in turf areas. They are aggressive competitors for sunlight, moisture and nutrients and prolific multipliers even under adverse conditions. Weeds present a challenge for even the most experienced turfgrass managers. We treat weeds throughout the season with pre and post-emergent herbicides coincided with our fertilizer applications. Lawns in Utah are susceptible to several fungus problems. Some of the most common are Necrotic Ring Spot, Snow Mold, and Melt Out. Typically fungus problems are addressed reactively once they are noticed, rather than with preventative pesticides. However, most are effectively prevented with cultural methods like proper irrigation practices and mowing at the correct height. Several insects infest and damage to turfgrass in Utah. White grubs, billbugs, and sod webworm are common. Turf insects are usually not detectable until after they have caused damage to the grass.  Much of the damage from these insects is irreversible without planting new turf, so preventative treatments are a prudent choice for high visibility turf areas where insect damage is unacceptable. Lawn aeration is the process of removing small cores of soil from your lawn. Aeration reduces soil compaction and promotes root growth for healthier grass. It is one of the easiest and most important ways to maintain or improve the health of any lawn. Many factors are involved in maintaining healthy and beautiful Utah turfgrass areas.  Lawn Butler employs some of the industry’s best local plant health experts.  We can help answer any of your questions and provide hands-on solutions for all of your landscape needs.
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