How To Get the Most Out of Our Lawn Care Services

How To Get the Most Out of Our Lawn Care Services
Achieving a thick, healthy lawn takes more than just lawn care products. It’s a team effort! We need your help if we are going to be successful.

Below are instructions for getting the most from your lawn and our services. Working together, we can help achieve a lawn that we can both be proud of, and one that could become the envy of your neighborhood.

Follow Post Lawn Treatment Instructions

Always be sure to read and follow the instructions left with each service. Instructions can be found on both the invoice and on separate handouts. Seasonal care instructions regarding proper mowing and watering are also left throughout the year.

Please remember, the way you mow, water, and care for your lawn can influence the outcome more than our treatments. If you ever have any questions that are not addressed with the instructions you receive, please feel free to call us.

Keep In Touch With Us

Depending on the program you are on, our inspection treatments are a minimum of 5 weeks apart. A lot can happen to the lawn during this time. This is why it is important to keep us informed on how your lawn is doing.

If you notice any irregular browning, it could mean attacks from insects or disease. It’s best to catch these pests as soon as they are noticed so the required treatment can be applied quickly, preventing further damage.

If you’re on a PFS program, you receive free service calls and weed re-sprays, so there is never an extra fee for us to come back out.

lawn care

Lawn Mowing Tips

  • Your mower should be set on one of its highest settings throughout the year.
  • Try to keep grass blades 3″ or higher. The only time we recommend mowing shorter than 3 inches is in November to prepare the lawn for winter. The leaf blade is the factory of the grass plant; therefore, the taller the grass blade, the more food the plant will produce. The more food, the healthier and greener the grass. Mowing high also aids in water retention, shading and cooling of the soil, fewer weeds, and fewer problems with disease.
  • When mowing, try not to remove more than 1/3 of the blade. It’s best to give the lawn a light trimming, which may require mowing twice a week.
  • Whenever possible, avoid mowing during the heat of the day. The cooler morning and evening hours are always the best times for mowing.

Mower Blades

Mower blades should be kept sharp so they produce a clean cut. Dull blades tear rather than cut cleanly, resulting in brown tips and a greater chance for disease. Have your blades sharpened at least once or twice a year.

Grass Clippings: When To Leave vs. Pick Up

We normally recommend that you leave the lawn clippings when mowing, as clippings return essential plant nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Clippings (if not excessive) are usually beneficial to the lawn and soil.

When Collecting Lawn Clippings Is Beneficial

There are five times during the year when collecting the clippings could be beneficial:

  1. The first mowing of the year. The old grass blades usually have little or no nutritional value.
  2. When grass plants are seeding and your lawn has an existing thatch problem. Seeding usually occurs around the beginning of May and lasts about 4 weeks. Grass plants produce very little grass blades at this time, mostly stems and seed heads. These stems can cause added thatch, as they do not break down quickly in the soil. Note: Seeds are immature and will not reseed the lawn to produce new plants.
  3. Whenever the grass is very tall. Excess grass clippings could accumulate on the surface of the lawn
  4. If your lawn has a foliar disease. Collecting infected clippings helps reduce the chance of spreading the disease.
  5. The last few mowings of the year. Excess clippings left on the lawn in winter can be detrimental, increasing the
    chance for disease and other problems associated with winter.

Wet lawn.

Tips for Watering Your Lawn

In the Northwestern Chicago area, we grow cool season grasses – Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Fine Fescues. These grasses thrive under cool, moist conditions, which is why it’s important to provide your lawn with plenty of moisture.

Water requirements of turf grasses can vary based on:

  • The type of soil you have
  • Weather conditions
  • Management practices

In general, lawns need at least 1” of water, once a week, to maintain good health, color, and growth.

Monitor Rainfall With a Rain Gauge

Monitoring rainfall will determine if your lawn is getting the required amount of water each week. If watering is needed, be sure to water deeply and infrequently to ensure that moisture gets down to the roots deep in the soil. Avoid light, frequent watering, as this promotes shallow root systems and weeds. Exceptions to this rule are newly-seeded or newly-sodded lawns, where moisture is needed near the surface, as roots have not yet developed.

It’s Better To Water a Lawn in Early Morning

Avoid watering midday due to evaporation, and at night, as moisture left on the grass blades for long periods can increase the chances for disease. If your lawn needs water and you cannot water in the morning, it’s better to water when you can, rather than not at all.

When watering midday, apply more water to make up for evaporation. If watering in the evening, try to finish watering early enough so the surface of the grass has a chance to dry before nightfall.

Determining How Long To Water Your Lawn

To determine how long to water, place a rain gauge or straight-sided tin can half the distance from the sprinkler and the farthest reach of the spray pattern. Time the operation until the desired inch of water is received, then move the sprinkler, overlapping as needed, to ensure that a uniform coverage is achieved.

Lawn weeds

Controlling Lawn Weeds

Pre-Emergent Weed Control

Crabgrass, annual grasses, and a few broadleaf annual weeds can be controlled with a preventative application (pre-emergent) applied in the spring. All other broadleaf weeds can only be controlled with post-emergent applications, applied to the weeds after they emerge and are actively growing. Our broadleaf post-emergent weed controls are applied in a liquid form for optimal results. Liquids are superior at absorbing into the plant versus dry materials.

Watering After Weed Treatment Is Applied

After a liquid weed control treatment is applied, it is best to avoid mowing or watering for about 12 hours. This is to allow enough time for the weed control to absorb into the plant. This absorption can take as little as a few seconds or up to many hours. The speed of absorption is dependent on whether the pores (stomatas) of the leaves are open or closed at the time of application.

Stomatas are usually open on humid days, rainy days and in the morning when dew is present. They are closed on dry, windy days or when the plants are dormant. Mowing too soon can sometimes remove the tops of taller weeds before the weed control has a chance to absorb and move down into the plant.

Watering too soon can wash the product off before it has a chance to absorb. A common misconception is that rain within 12 hours of the application will have the same effect. Rain normally has a positive effect on control, as the weed’s stomatas open up when the humidity increases just before a rain. Death of the weed occurs when the product has been absorbed and translocated internally to all areas of the leaves, stems, and roots. This translocation can be very quick or very slow, depending on how active the plants are, the amount of moisture, and the temperatures.

Re-Treatment for Weeds

All customers receive free weed re-sprays if a single application fails to control at least 75% of the weeds. To determine if your lawn needs a re-spray, wait 2 weeks and look for signs of dying. Typical first signs are curling and twisting of leaves, followed by discoloration. Once the weeds start to show these signs, it can take several additional weeks for complete death or elimination.

If you are not seeing any signs of curling and twisting mentioned above on at least 75% of your weeds after 2 weeks, call us between the 2nd and 4th week and we will return to re-spray at no charge. When calling for weed re-sprays, be sure your lawn has been well watered before we come out. Soil moisture increases the effectiveness of weed control sprays.

Customers on any of our Premium Full Season programs (PFS – 6 applications) receive free service calls and weed re-sprays anytime throughout the year.

Seeding or Re-Seeding Areas of Your Lawn

If you plan on reseeding any areas of the lawn, please be sure to let us know, as some of our products may affect this new seed.

Contact Us

If you have any lawn care or lawn treatment questions for us, please call 847-304-4144 or contact us.

More Than 2,800 5-Star Reviews

Diana Malone

Lawn Care Customer

“Each time a TurfCare person comes out to service our property, they text me as I have requested. I love the simple text communications with the TurfCare technicians…Just simple communication makes me feel very good about this company.”

Jeff Brown

Lawn Care Customer

“Very professional team, quality work, good results, fair price.”

Allen Prochaska

Lawn Care Customer

“We are happy with the appearance of our yard. Turf Care regularly notes changes and applies whatever is necessary for a good looking lawn. They are on time, good at keeping us informed, and professional. We have used their service for years.”

Karen Burns

“Our yard looks amazing! Our lawn is super green and no weeds. Thanks so much for the great service!”

Doug Ericson

“Great job bringing my 2 acre yard back to life. No more crab grass patches or dandelions. More than a few guests at our house mentioned how nice our lawn looked.”