News, Info, and Specials from our October Issue.

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918 Lafitte Street

Mandeville, LA  70448

(985) 674-9001

www.groundhoglandscaping.net 

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Doc Green's

Top 10 Mowing Tips

1. Is There a Right and Wrong Time to Mow My Lawn?

In terms of time of day, there really is not a right or wrong time to mow grass. If the facility has lights, turf can be mowed even at night. If "time" refers to environmental conditions such as heat or drought stress, then it is a good idea to raise the height of the cut and allow the grass to grow a little higher than normal during those times. The cutting height should also be raised if the turfgrass is recovering from disease, insect or other types of damage. To ensure good cutting quality, turfgrass should not be mowed when it is wet.

2.  What's the Rule of Thumb for Grass Height Before it Should be Mowed?

The general rule is that no more than one third of the leaf blade should be removed at any one mowing. Another way to think about this would be to mow the grass when it reaches 50 percent higher than the desired height. For example, if you are maintaining the turf area at two inches, ideally it should be mowed when it reaches three inches in height. Of course, turfgrass can be mowed more frequently, but the one-third rule establishes the maximum time between mowings.

3. Is There a Right and Wrong Way to Mow the Lawn? What are the tips? 

The one-third rule mentioned above is the most important. If possible, try to change the mowing pattern at each mowing. In other words, try to alternate the direction of travel each time the grass is mowed. This helps to reduce compaction problems (traveling in the same path over and over) and also helps to keep the grass from leaning or growing in one direction.

4. What's the Recommended Mower Height Setting?

St. Augustine: 2.5 - 4.0"

Centipeed 1.0 -3.0"

Zoysia: 0.5 - 2.0"

Common Bermuda: 1.0 - 2.0"

Hybrid Bermuda Gras: 0.25 - 2.0"

5. Should I Use this Mower Setting Throughout the Season?

As mentioned above, the actual mowing height depends on many factors. However, as a general rule, as the stress conditions increase (high temperature, low temperatures, drought, shade, pest damage), it is advisable to raise the cutting height towards the upper limit of the recommended range.

6. Aside from the Aesthetic Issues, Can I Wait Longer Between Mowings, Cutting the Lawn when the Grass is Higher and Reducing the Overall Number of Cuttings?

Of course this can be done, but it is not advisable. The one-third rule should be adhered to as much as possible. We know if more than a third of the leaf tissue is removed at any one mowing, the turfgrass plant can experience physiological shock. Root growth is often suppressed when this occurs and if the practice is repeated regularly, turf density will decline. Maintaining my lawn mower is important to keep the equipment in excellent running order, but does it also affect lawn health in any way? A poorly maintained mower can affect the health and appearance of the turf area. Dull cutting blades will tend to tear the leaf tissue rather than cutting the tissue cleanly. The frayed ends of the leaf turn brown and give the lawn an overall brown or tan color for several days after mowing. The "jagged" ends are also excellent entry points for disease organisms. Oil and gas leaks should also be avoided, certainly.

7. Should I Bag Grass Clippings, Mulch Them, or Allow Them to Remain on the Lawn?

"To Bag or Not to Bag,

That is the Question!"

a). When Should I let the Clippings Lie? If mulching is possible, and if the use or the appearance of the area will not be affected, mulching is recommended. If mulching is not available, it is strongly recommended the one-third rule be strictly adhered to. Keeping the clippings short allows them to more quickly fall down off the surface of the turf to the soil surface and begin decomposing. The shorter the clippings, the more rapidly they fall to the soil surface and the less disruption there will be to the appearance of the turf area.

b). When Should I Mulch? If possible, clippings should be mulched every time the turf is mowed. Exceptions to this would be when the grass is unusually high and/or wet. In such cases it probably will be necessary not to mulch but rather bag or rake the area after mowing.

c). When Should I Bag? Bagging should be done only when mulching cannot be done or the presence of even a small amount of clippings left on the lawn is objectionable.

8. How Can I Control Weeds with Mowing?

The best weed control is a thick healthy lawn. Proper mowing is an important part of maintaining a healthy turf area. Height of cut can influence weed invasion. A thick or dense turf that is mowed at the higher portion of the recommend range discourages most weeds. The best weed control is to do the things (i.e. proper mowing, fertilization, irrigation, pest control, etc.) necessary to ensure a thick and healthy turf area.

9. How Dry Must the Grass Be When I Mow It?

As dry as possible. If the grass is wet, it won't mulch properly and the clippings will tend to clump together or stick to the mower deck. It is a good idea to let the dew evaporate before mowing. You should be able to pass your hand over the surface of the grass and not detect free moisture.

10. What Should I Do Differently if I Must Mow Wet Grass?

Move slowly across the lawn. To reduce the volume of clippings that might cause the mower to bog down, it may be necessary to raise the cutting height. It also may be necessary to turn the mower over and scrape off the packed-on clippings that accumulate under the mower deck housing.

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HOG Clean 

 A Great Way to Begin

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HOG Clean is our introductory clean-up and pinestraw mulch package.  October is the perfect time for us to trim your shrubs; weed your garden beds; remove any dead plant material; and touch up your mulch... chopped pine straw is Tim's favorite for many reasons. 

3 hour clean-up  - $450.00

50 bags of chopped pine straw mulch - $475.00

Indirect Job Costs (materials and equipment) - $65.00

Total - $990.00

October's schedule is filling up fast.  Call today - 985-674-9001.

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Plan Now

For Your Winter "Wow!"

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Not sure what you like or need? No problem... we make recommendations according to the location, sun or shade, color of the home and your preferences (pastels, bold colors, monochromatic or mixed colors, layers and textures within the existing landscape and more).

We're ordering varieties like Snapdragons, Alyssums, Pansies and Violas. The color pallete available for these flowers can add life to any landscape.  And, our secret fertilizer will make them last so your home will be the envy of the neighborhood for months to come.

Knowing the right time to plant ensures your flowers last throughout the season.  Rather than plant just to fill the space at the time. We feel it's important to make the most of your budget. So waiting for the appropriate time ensures your Fall flowers bloom throughout the Winter.

Leave the Planning and Planting to Us!

Contact kim@groundhoglandscaping.net to get on the list for fall flowers.

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Introducing the Next Generation of Soil Sensors

NEW Toro Precision™ Soil Sensor

...another GroundHOG Irrigation Product Spotlight

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The Toro Company recently introduced the next generation Irrigation solution with the Precision Soil Sensor. Leveraging the same sensing technology used on high-end commercial sites, the Toro Precision Soil Sensor continuously measures moisture levels in the soil and determines when to allow the irrigation controller to water, maximizing the efficiency of your irrigation system.

There are two "wireless" components to the system - a receiver that hooks up to the irrigation controller, and a sensor that installs in the ground. Once installed, the sensor calibrates itself to determine the soil type. Any time the moisture level exceeds the user-defined optimum level for the plant material, the controller is prevented from running any irrigation programs. This prevents unneeded watering and provides the possibility for significant water savings.

Communication between the sensor probe and the receiver is completely wireless, with an operating range of 500+ feet. Installation doesn't require any digging so the soil is left undisturbed, allowing the sensor to take accurate moisture readings starting as soon as it's put in the ground.

"What's especially great about this product is that it will work with any irrigation controller, including all non-Toro models," said Dalton Fetters, Managing Partner at GroundHOG. "You can easily turn any controller into an extremely accurate smart controller in just a few minutes." And since the temperature sensor is located right at ground level, it's more accurate than even the best rain sensors on the market."

"What's especially great about this product is that it will work with any irrigation controller, including all non-Toro models," said Fetters. "You can easily turn any controller into an extremely accurate smart controller in just a few minutes." And since the temperature sensor is located right at ground level, it's more accurate than even the best rain sensors on the market."

For more information on Toro's Precision Irrigation Soil Sensor,

Give Us a Call!

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Call us anytime for a FREE estimate for your landscaping project!

(985) 674-9001

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Proudly Serving the Southeastern Louisiana Area.

The GroundHOG service area includes: Abita Springs, Covington, Hammond, Madisonville, and Mandeville communities.

Leave us a MessagePhone: (985) 674-9001918 Lafitte St., Mandeville, LA 70448