Landscaping & Lawn Service Questions



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1What if it rains the day I’m supposed to be mowed?
We make every effort to try and make it there on your scheduled day, however if a complete washout occurs we will be there the next day to complete the task at hand. We do ask for the convenience of our mowing crews you don’t water after 5:00pm the night before your scheduled mowing, the day of scheduled mowing and until after 5:00pm the day after. We do understand during hot times of the season this may be difficult, but it is important so that our mowing crews are able to provide the best possible mowing service to your property.
2When can I mow or water after a fertilization application?
We would recommend waiting at least 6 hours before watering and before mowing. Contrary to belief, even our strong commercial lawn mowers are not able to “suck-up” the fertilizer after it has been applied.
3When is it safe to be on the lawn?
When application is dry, the lawn may be used as normal. In most cases waiting a couple hours after the application is adequate.
4Are the applications harmful?
They applications are not harmful to your family or pets when they are applied according to the products label and when you follow instructions left by Priest Enterprises. All of the products that we use are mixed and applied according to the stringent requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.
5Is four (4) applications enough?
The answer to this question is yes. The fertilizer we use is of the highest quality ingredients. While many companies try to sell you on 6, 7, or 8 applications the products we use allow us to put down the same rate of nitrogen without as many trips. Current recommendations from Michigan State University’s Extension Service indicate that 4 to 5 pounds of nitrogen should be applied per thousand square feet of the course of a growing season.
6What about weeds?
Our normal fertilization and weed control program will take care of 90% of these weeds. For the hardest to control weeds we offer specific weed control treatments. These treatments need to be applied during specific times of the year, sometimes requiring multiple applications.

If you see something that you think is crabgrass, and it is April it may not be crabgrass. Chances are it is probably a wild grass. Our pre-emergent crabgrass control is applied from late March-early May and will control the crabgrass for the season. Some weeds are harder to control than others to kill these weeds a specialized treatment may need to be applied during specific times of the year, sometimes requiring multiple applications.
7Do I have to be home during an application or treatment?
No. Most of our lawns are serviced during normal working hours.
8What are these brown spots?
Diagnosing the proverbial “brown spot” in a lawn can drive even a seasoned professional crazy. There are so many variables that can cause the lawn to turn brown. One thing you never want to do is to apply a control material without knowing exactly what the problem is. IF you apply the wrong stuff, you may end up causing more problems than you are trying to solve.

So where to start?

Have you been watering correctly? Lack of water will cause lots of yellowing and spots. Plus, other problems will become worse if a lawn is not watered correctly. Over-watering can also yellow a lawn and can kill trees and shrubs. What about mowing? If a lawn is mowed too short or not often enough brown spots can and do appear. Is it a problem from pets? Both dogs and cats can cause spots…even if you don’t own one of your own.

If all that has been taken care of we start to look for diseases or insects. While there are millions of different insects in this world, only a select few will cause damage to a lawn. So it is pretty easy to know what to look for. Diseases are a little harder to pick out, but again, there are only a relative few that routinely cause damage, so knowing the symptoms and signs can help narrow down the cause.
9Watering Guidelines- What is recommended?
Proper water is one of the most important maintenance practices required for maintaining healthy, beautiful lawns and landscapes. Good water practices will also save you money. To help prevent diseases in your lawn it is best to water in the early morning. We do ask for the convenience of our mowing crews you don’t water after 5:00pm the night before your scheduled mowing, the day of scheduled mowing until after 5:00pm the day after. This does allow us a little breathing room if there is a rainy day or holiday. (If you see our crews have been there and you feel you need to water the mowing please do so. We do understand there are times when this is necessary).
10What are some basic mowing guidelines?
The general rule you should follow is to not cut more than one third of the blade of grass off at any one time. If you cut the lawn once a week that will usually comply with that guideline. One of the most common mistakes people make when cutting their grass is to cut it too low. The kinds of grasses found in Michigan lawns are meant to be cut at heights of 2.5-3.5 inches tall. If they are routinely cut lower than that they will not be as healthy and may begin to thin out and die. Priest Enterprises will mow with a sharp lawn mower blade. The blades of our mowers are sharpened daily. WE also like to encourage our customers to allow the grass clippings to remain on the lawn. With the benefits your lawn will receive, allowing the grass clippings to stay on the lawn makes good sense. The grass blades will not contribute to thatch because they all decompose within 4-6 weeks, adding about 5% more fertilizer to the soil.
11Core aeration guidelines?
Core Aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. This is the process of making thousands of holes in the turf to open up the soil and break up thatch. The core removed by the aerator breaks back into the lawn and immediately begins to improve thatch breakdown and begins to stimulate microbial activity in the soil. This helps fight several diseases that can negatively affect your lawn. The root system of your lawn is constantly renewing itself by sending out new growth. This new growth needs loose and open soil. If your lawn is compacted, has a lot of clay, or is saturated with water, the new roots will stay hear the surface or grow in the thatch layer. Aeration breaks up compacted, heavy soils give the roots a place to go. Water penetration will be better and rooting will improve as well. Every lawn can benefit from Core Aeration.

It is suggested that a lawn be aerated a least every other year, but preferably every year. There is no bad time to have your lawn aerated. Spring/Fall is often mentioned as a “better” time only because of the high level of activity of the root system. Core Aeration brings cores of soil up from below the lawns surface. We recommend that these cores be left on the lawn. By allowing these cores to mix back into lawn surface these cores add back microbial agents which are needed to control thatch. This is not an immediate fix for a serious thatch problem, but is the best way to manage a thatch condition or help prevent thatch from becoming a problem. As a general rule we do not recommend rolling your lawn as rolling compacts the soil. Having compact soil promotes weed growth and eliminates open space in the soil which makes it harder for good nutrients (like fertilizer, air and water) to work their way into the soil to feed the grass. As an alternative we would recommend core aeration be done once a year. Core aeration opens space up in the soil allowing the grass roots to spread and become stronger.
12Is Priest Enterprises licensed?
Yes. All commercial lawn care applicators are required by the Michigan Department of Agriculture to be licensed, bonded and insured to apply pesticides of any sort. All lawn care application technicians are required to be tested, certified and re-certified every 3 years.