Lawns

MARCH
13
2015

FILED UNDER

Selecting the Perfect Grass

Warm season lawns thrive in Hampton Roads’ hot, sultry summers. The warm season grasses tend to grow hardiest and look their best when temperatures exceed 80 degrees F; making them ideal for the summer. During the winter months, warm season grasses will usually turn brown and go dormant. One of the best features of warm season lawns is their drought tolerance. They have the ability to survive on little water during peak growing times.

Before deciding on the ideal warm season lawn, you should familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the different grasses. Depending on your situation, they each have traits that will determine your best choice. You might have more shade or no shade; or want low maintenance or love to work in the yard. You might even want a lighter green or darker green. No matter your preference, there's a warm season grass to fit your fancy.

St. Augustine is a fast growing grass with a green to blue-ish color. It flourishes in sunny and humid conditions but can perform in the shade. It is used extensively in areas of high salt content (beaches). It spreads quickly and forms a dense turf and once established will act as a natural weed barrier.

Zoysia offers good drought and heat tolerances, along with insect and disease resistance. It wears really well in high traffic areas. The fine, wiry leaf blades will act as natural weed barrier once established. It doesn't grow quickly, so that means a lot less time mowing the grass.

Bermuda is good warm season grass that likes heat and is extremely drought resistant. It has fine leaves and grows with little maintenance and is a good lawn grass with normal care. It is a medium green, a vigorous grower, and provides a dense turf.

Centipede is a good low maintenance lawn grass for homeowners who want a general purpose lawn they can forget about. It has very low growth, therefore requiring less mowing than most other grasses. Once established it will act as a natural weed barrier as it crowds out weeds. It is the lightest green of the warm season grasses with a medium texture.

AUGUST
25
2014

FILED UNDER

What’s a Gardner to Do?

SOLUTIONS TO LAWN WEEDS

August lawns are right in the middle of the dog days of summer – the hot and humid month. This month, gardeners will start to see the grass growing slower and the weeds growing faster. You may think your lawn care work is over for the season, but the truth is late summer and early fall is one of the most important times for lawn care. It's this time of year when warm days are followed by chilly, dewy evenings that encourage weed growth. The best time to get ahead of winter lawn weeds is now. So, if you take the time to care for your lawn properly during the early fall, it will have a better chance to be healthier when it begins to grow again the following spring. And remember, fescue season is upon us, so be sure to stop in and have one of our lawn experts give you tips on how to maintain and establish a lush fescue lawn using our special fescue mix that is designed specifically for Hampton Roads lawns. Here are our recommendations on some of the best products to beat weeds:

Weed Control for Warm Season Lawns

Weed-Out Lawn Weed Killer - controls over 200 broadleaf weeds including Dandelion, Chickweed, Clover, Spurge, Wild Onion, Dollar Weed, Ground Ivy and many others listed.

Atrazine Weed Killer (32 oz) - controls Henbit, Dollarweed, Chickweed, Clover, Sandspur and others listed on label. Controls both emerged weeds and weeds from seed in St. Augustine and Centipede grass.

Application Rates:
5 teaspoons per quart covers 100 sq. ft.
4.3 ozs per gallon covers 500 sq. ft.

Weed Control for Cool Season Lawns

Weed-out with Q (New Formulation. Proven Performance) - controls over 200 weeds - both grassy and broadleaf in one easy step including Crabgrass, Barnyardgrass, Foxtail, Black-Eyed Susan, Buttercup, Catnip, Chickweed, Dandelion, Dollarweed, Ground Ivy, Jimsonweed. Morning Glory, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Ragweed, Sunflower, Thistle, and other broadleaf weeds.

NOTE: DO NOT APPLY WEED OUT W/Q TO ST. AUGUSTINE LAWNS AND IT IS RECOMMENDED TO SPRAY Fescue lawns WHEN TEMPS DO NOT EXCEED 90 DEGREES.

McDonald Lawn Tips:
To help your grass beat the heat and reduce lawn maintenance, keep your lawn mower blade on the highest setting and mow no more then once a week.

The taller the grass the cooler the roots will stay and the less weeds you will have.

Always use spreader sticker when putting down weed control products, it makes your spray twice as strong.

Spray for weeds in between mows, never spray immediately before or after a mow.

Spray on calm and sunny days, with no rain in the forecast for 4-5 hours.

JULY
25
2014

FILED UNDER

Keep Your Lawn Happy

SUMMER LAWN CARE TIPS

The dog days of summer have officially begun. And in these hot and humid summer months, it can be a challenge to keep your lawn looking green and healthy. So, we've had our lawn experts put together a few simple tips to help you keep that lawn looking lush all summer long.

For Warm Season Lawns: If you have Bermuda, St. Augustine, Centipede or Zoysia, follow these steps this summer...

  • Warm season lawns, with the exception of Bermuda, should be fertilized with St. Augustine Weed and Feed. It will give your lawn the right amount of fertilizer while killing weeds.
  • To fertilize Bermuda grass, we recommend Fertilome Classic Lawn Food.
  • To control weeds, we recommend Weed Out or Atrazine. This product will take care of weeds without damaging your lawn. For disease control, use F-stop to prevent Zoysia Patch, Brown Patch, Take-All Patch and others.
  • Don’t forget that you should also think about insect control during the summer months, too. White Grubs, the offspring of the dreaded Japanese Beetle, can damage lawns during the later part of the summer months. To control them and insects use Bug Blaster or Hi Yield Turf Ranger.

For Fescue Lawns (or cool season lawns): If you have a fescue lawn (or cool season lawn), follow these steps to ensure that your lawns stays happy and healthy this summer...

  • The most important factors in keeping you fescue lawn healthy through the summer are mowing and watering. Raise your mower height to 3-4 inches for the summer months. Taller grass helps keep the root system cooler and helps to choke out weeds. Water once or twice a week, slow and deep during the warm months to promote deep and vigorous root growth. Lawns require 1 inch of water per week.
  • Second, no matter how much you think you should fertilize your lawn this summer…DON’T.
  • Third, to control weeds in your lawn, use Weed Out with Q and Dimension as a pre-emergent. This product will kill hundreds of weeds, including over 200 varieties of broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds.

As the summer continues on, lawn fungus can become a problem in our area. If this is the case in your yard, use F-stop. This is a systemic preventative and curative fungicide. Use F-stop to control Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, Leaf Spot and more.

Nutgrass can also be a bothersome weed in the summer, and the only way to rid your yard of this invasive weed, is to use Hi-Yield Nutsedge Control. But remember to use Spreader Sticker with this and any liquid weed killer to make it stronger and faster acting.

FEBRUARY
25
2014

FILED UNDER

Stay Ahead of the Weeds

While it's way more fun to think about the blooms and lush lawns that spring brings... it’s never too soon to start thinking about those weeds that creep in. By starting early, you can prevent weeds from germinating in your yard this spring and keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape.

The two most important things you can do for your established lawn is to apply the following:

PRE EMERGENT
A pre emergent will prevent weeds and unwanted grasses that will germinate when the weather gets warms. This is a granular that you spread and we recommend using this with a little water to activate it.

POST EMERGENT
A post emergent will rid your lawn of cool season weeds that are actively growing and getting ready to lay seed. This is a liquid that you spray in between mowings. Best conditions for this weed killer are sunny dry conditions. And, a major benefit is that you can use this weed killer right now when temperatures are low.

Our Early Spring Weed Control Kit gives you complete weed control. We recommend starting this process now through early spring for best results. Each kit contains Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper and Ferti-lome Weed Free Zone. Hi-Yield can be used on Fescue lawns, as well as, warm season lawns such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia and Centipede. This will provide weed and unwanted grass control for up to four months. An added benefit of this product is that it can be applied to your beds. Ferti-lome will provide quick control for cool season weeds such as Henbit, Chickweed and clover that are present in lawns this time of the year. Unlike most weed control products, it works during the cool weather. This kit is designed for a 5000 square foot lawn. We recommend using one bag of the Hi-Yield now and in 2-3 months you may you apply the second bag to prevent weeds through the summer.

SEPTEMBER
10
2013

FILED UNDER

Local Seed for Local Lawns

Did you know that the most successful time to seed your lawn is now? Basically 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after Labor Day offers the perfect time for your new seeds to build and establish roots. Why you ask?

The hot, hot temperatures of summer are past and fall brings cooler temperatures making it easier to keep the seeds moist during germination and watering is less of a problem. The young plants have better growing conditions without the extreme heat. The soil is still warm and there is still lots of sunshine to establish a strong root system. Also in fall, most of the weeds that compete with grass are dead and diseases are under control for the rest of the year. Weed and disease chemicals cannot be sprayed on new grass without injuring or killing it.

The new grass will have the fall and spring seasons to mature before facing all the stress of summer: heat, traffic. And, by starting now, your lawn will be in tip top shape for next spring.

A great lawn can only be grown from great grass seeds so, look no further than McDonald Premium Grass Seed. This seed mixture is the perfect blend for Hampton Roads’ lawns and well suited to this area.The improved grass seed varieties used in our seed mixture are more drought tolerant, disease and insect resistant and naturally darker green in color than any other turf grasses, which have previously been available. This seed has been tested and is a recommend seed blend by Virginia Tech. TIP: Be sure to keep up with mowing, as the grass is growing at a rapid pace this time of year. Mow often enough to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mowing. Continue to mow your lawn at the highest setting recommended for your lawn.

JULY
23
2013

FILED UNDER

Say Goodbye to Brown Patch

It’s hot and humid and with that comes the threat of Brown Patch in many local lawns. Brown Patch presents itself in a circular pattern appearing brown, yellow or tan anywhere from 6 inches to several feet in diameter and spreads rapidly. This fungus is more prominent in fescue grasses and is common when there are moist conditions and night temperatures are above 60 degrees. It is most severe when low and high temperatures are above 70 degrees and 90 degrees. When turf grass is wet for 10 or more hours, the fungus will infect grass quickly. Applying a nitrogen product this time of the year may also contribute to brown patch. Improper irrigation methods add to the growth to this fungus as well. We suggest all watering be completed before 10:00am. Once Brown Patch is detected, a fungicide should be applied to your lawn to prevent further spreading of the fungus. We recommend treating your lawn with F-Stop by Fertilome - a granular systemic lasting up to 4 weeks; or try Liquid Systemic Fungicide II by Fertilome. Visit your local McDonald Garden Center for information on treatment of brown patch and other grasses that may be more tolerant to Brown Patch in your area.

F Stop by Fertilome is $22.99 and covers 200 square feet
Liquid Systemic Fungicide II by Fertilome is $24.99 and covers approximately1500 square feet

MAY
17
2013

FILED UNDER

Selecting the Perfect Grass for Your Lawn

Warm season lawns thrive in Hampton Roads’ hot, sultry summers. The warm season grasses tend to grow hardiest and look their best when temperatures exceed 80 degrees; making them ideal for summer. During the winter months, these varieties usually turn brown and go dormant. One of the best features of warm season lawns is their drought tolerance. They have the ability to survive on little water during these peak growing times.

Before deciding on the ideal warm season lawn, you should familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the different varieties. Depending on your situation, they each have traits that will determine your best choice. You might have more shade or no shade or want low maintenance or love to work in the yard, you might even want a lighter green or darker green. No matter your preference, there is a warm season grass to fit your fancy!

CENTIPEDE
This is a good-low maintenance grass for homeowners who want a general purpose lawn they can forget about. It has very low growth, therefore requiring less mowing than most other grasses. Once established, it will act as a natural weed barrier as it crowds out weeds. It is the lightest green with a medium texture.

BERMUDA
This is good warm season grass that likes heat and is extremely drought resistant. It has fine leaves and grows with little maintenance and is a good lawn grass with normal care. It is a medium green, vigorous, dense turf.

ST. AUGUSTINE
This is a fast growing grass with a green to blue color. It flourishes in sunny and humid conditions, but can also perform in the shade. It is used extensively in areas of high salt content (beaches). It spreads quickly and forms a dense turf, and once established will act as a natural weed barrier.

ZOYSIA
Offers good drought and heat tolerances, along with insect and disease resistance. It wears very well in high traffic areas. The fine, wiry leaf blades will act as natural weed barrier once established. It doesn't grow quickly ~ so that means a lot less time mowing the grass.

{ Happy Gardening! Posted by McDonald Garden Center, May 17, 2013 }



OCTOBER
10
2012

FILED UNDER

Feed Your Lawn... the Local Way!

Looking for a fabulous lawn - look no further than McDonald Premium Grass Seed. This seed mixture is the perfect blend for Hampton Roads’ lawns and well suited to this area.

The improved grass seed varieties used our seed mixture are more drought tolerant, disease and insect resistant and naturally darker green in color than any other turf grasses, which have previously been available. This seed has been tested and is a recommend seed blend by Virginia Tech.

The McDonald Premium Grass Seed Mixture is composed of elite turf-type tall fescue grasses including Kentucky bluegrasses and perennial ryegrasses. Some of these varieties possess an invisible waxy cuticle coating, much like the wax on an apple, which causes it to shine when you polish it on your sleeve. This waxy cuticle preserves the moisture in the leaf by lowering the evapo-transpiration rate of these grasses, making them more drought tolerant than any other grass seed varieties on the market today. Most of these grass seed mixtures also contain beneficial endophytes.

These are naturally-occurring organisms that live off the grass plant host. They produce defensive chemicals called alkaloids, which are toxic to many insects, such as, chinch bugs, sod webworms, cutworms, aphids, chafers and Japanese beetles. Endophytes are all natural and do not diminish over time. Endophytes reduce the need for pesticide treatments on your lawn.

The fall grass kit contains one 25-pound bag of grass seed. The rule of thumb is 6-7 pounds per 1000 square feet for a new lawn or bare ground and 3-4 pounds per 1000 square feet for an established lawn. It also contains two 25-pound bags of Fall Fertilizer.

MARCH
12
2012

FILED UNDER

Early Spring Lawn Care Musts

The two most important things you can do for your established lawn in early spring is to apply:

Pre-Emergent
A pre-emergent will to prevent weeds and unwanted grasses that will germinate when the weather gets warms.

Post Emergent
A post emergent will rid your lawn of cool season weeds that are actively growing and getting ready to lay seed.

This can easily be accomplished with McDonald Garden Center’s Early Spring Weed Control Kit. Each kit contains Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper and Ferti-lome Weed Free Zone. Hi Yield can be used on Fescue lawns, as well as, warm season lawns such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia and Centipede. This will provide weed and unwanted grass control for up to four months. An added benefit of this product is that it can be applied to your beds. Ferti-lome will provide quick control for cool season weeds such as Henbit, Chickweed and clover that are present in lawns this time of the year. Unlike most weed control products, it works during the cool weather.