Lawn Dawg

Date: June 12, 2017
Relaxing lawn
Today’s blog topic is the cost of DIY lawn care versus hiring a lawn care company. So, when tasked with such an assignment, I get out paper and pen and calculator and set to replicating what it would cost for Joe Homeowner to drive down to the Big Box hardware store and buy enough of the big-name national brand fertilizer and pest control product to service a 5,000 square foot lawn. That’s not too big; it’s about the size of a lawn in a crowded suburban neighborhood. Once I had finished all…
Date: June 9, 2017
The Perfect Lawn
And there it was, the perfect lawn. It was perfect in every respect: color, uniformity, vigor. It was an acre and a half of flawless turfgrass, not a weed to be found, not a blemish or bare spot. You could have brought in a sod harvesting machine and sold every single square foot of it at a premium price. The reason that it was in such great condition was the quality of the soil. This lawn was growing in the rich farmland of the Finger Lakes region of New York. Unfortunately, most of us…
Date: May 31, 2017
Soil Testing for Grass
A soil test is a tool to evaluate the supply of nutrients in the soil that are available to the turfgrass plants. This test provides a snapshot in time as to soil chemistry; forces of nature are constantly at work changing the amounts of each nutrient. This is why we retest soils on a three-year cycle. Unfortunately, soil test reports can be confusing. The purpose of this article is to explain the various data points found on a soil test report. Soil Test Overview Lawns require certain…
Date: June 20, 2016
Bumble Bee Pollinator
It’s Pollinator Protection Week, and here at Lawn Dawg we take our responsibility for caring for pollinators of all kinds very seriously. There is a wealth of information about the plight of our honeybees here and what you can do to help them along, but I’d like to take a minute to talk about what we are doing here at Lawn Dawg to address this situation. I have to say that of all the fascinating topics that I have encountered in the thirty plus years since I began working in horticulture,…
Date: February 3, 2016
Mosquito & Zika
The news is full of reports regarding the Zika virus spreading throughout the topics, carried by the Asian Tiger Mosquito. While the Zika virus is mild in humans, typically a low fever, headache, sore joints, etc., the virus has been suspected in causing a devastating birth defect known as microcephaly. Health officials are advising pregnant women to avoid to traveling to areas of the world where Zika is becoming epidemic. As it stands now, only the Asian Tiger Mosquito is a vector of this…
Date: January 29, 2016
Frost A frequent question that we are asked is whether frost will injure lawns. The short answer is no, it won’t. But (there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) it’s a different story if a frost-covered lawn is subjected to traffic. Frost is composed of crystals of frozen water that have condensed on the surface of leaves during the night. If subjected to foot traffic or tires rolling over them these crystals are very sharp and will easily penetrate the cell walls killing them. The…
Date: September 28, 2015
In my role as the agronomist at Lawn Dawg, I am the person that winds up seeing the worst of the worst of problems; when something goes terribly wrong and the answers evade the lawn specialist and the branch managers, I’ll get a frantic e-mail, usually with a plethora of photographs pleading “Bob, what the heck is this?”This is what makes my job endlessly fascinating and entertaining.  Sometimes I find myself apologizing to a customer who is frantic about their lawn…
Date: August 18, 2015
Who is this guy who shows up at your front doorstep once every three to four weeks and what is his day like?  He’s a busy guy, there’s no doubt that and a lot is expected of him.   Route Managers at our Hartford, CT branch listen intensively at a branch meeting. A Route Manager's day starts at 6:30 AM when his punches in at the branch.  Once he has a clean uniform on and his paperwork for the day, he has to perform a thorough safety check of his truck and his equipment. …
Date: August 5, 2015
Lawn Dawg Aerators
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged, but I have a good reason.  I’ve been having fun at work.  I know, I know… it’s work and you’re not supposed to have fun but this is lawn care – if you aren’t careful you might have a good time.   The incomparable Professor Pat Vittum, turfgrass entomologist, discusses white grubs What am I so excited about?  Well, for starters, this past July 17th we held our annual training seminar for our lawn specialists.  We shut…
Date: July 22, 2015
On July 20, 2015, I participated in the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) Renewal and Remembrance event at Arlington National Cemetery. This annual event brings together members of the landscape industry to volunteer their time, services and products to beautify Arlington National Cemetery. It was an honor to take part in this for more reasons than I can describe.When I was a teenager I took a trip to Washington D.C. with my parents for a family wedding. My father, being a…