lawn

Not All Grass Seed Is Created Equally By Jim Hole

Many people believe all lawn grasses are created equally. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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For example, many packages of lawn grass seeds come as a mixture of different species and varieties. Two types of grass seed that dominate these blends are perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Perennial ryegrass grows quickly, but is not particularly hardy; nor is it long lived on the prairies, but it germinates rapidly and emerges quickly from the soil. Kentucky bluegrass is the premium lawn grass for our region, but it is much slower to pop out of the soil.
 
Still, perennial ryegrass is good as a “nurse” grass to protect Kentucky bluegrass until it gets established. You just don’t want too much perennial ryegrass in a blend. Perennial ryegrass seeds are also much larger than Kentucky bluegrass seeds. In fact, a kilogram of perennial ryegrass contains about 500,000 seeds, whereas a kilogram of Kentucky bluegrass contains a whopping 3,000,000 seeds! Therefore, you can see that buying lawn seed strictly by weight is not a great strategy.
 
The bottom line is that a bit of perennial ryegrass is good for helping to protect your Kentucky bluegrass, but a lot of perennial ryegrass is a waste of money.
 
September is a great month for sowing lawn grass seeds, so choose your grass seed carefully! We recommend Manderley Seed. Find it here, at Hole's Greenhouses.

"What can I do about mushrooms in my lawn?"

“What can I do about mushrooms in my lawn?”

By Jim Hole

It’s funny how many of us find mushrooms such a wonderful addition to our pizzas or omelets, but are horrified when they emerge from our lawns. The first thing to remember about mushrooms that pop up on lawns is that the vast majority of species are beneficial organisms, with only one species being a bit of a pest.

Let’s start with the pest. The Fairy Ring mushroom (Marasmius oreades) is the one species that most lawn aficionados hate. Usually, this fungus first noticed as a ring of mushrooms with dead or dehydrated grass occupying the middle of the ring. The reason the grass dies is due to the high density of waxy mushroom ‘roots’ (properly called hyphae) that shed water away from grass roots and compete for space.

There are no registered chemical controls for Fairy Ring fungi, but the “poke and soak” method can be used to, at least, reduce the severity of the fairy ring.

“Poke and soak” involves using a root feeder (hollow metal stake with reservoir on the top), hooking a garden hose to it, and then stabbing it into the ring and turning on the water. Water that penetrates into the ring not only helps to hydrate the grass roots but it always encourages the growth of microorganisms that compete with the Fairy Ring fungi. Adding some horticultural soap to the reservoir will make the water “wetter,” and allow better water penetration around the hyphal strands.

The “poke and soak” method is not perfect, but it helps.

Non Fairy Ring mushrooms that emerge after thunderstorms are just the fruiting bodies of fungi that are consuming organic matter in the soil, including bark, compost, dead roots, and more. They are not plant diseases, but instead, are saprophyte which means they are fungi that eat non-living organic matter. Saprophytes are, actually, beneficial for soils in lawns and gardens. Rather than trying to kill these mushrooms, I say, grow to love them…if you can!

Now if you are thinking that you would like to add some of these lawn mushrooms to your pizza, don’t do it unless you can - with absolute certainty - correctly identify which ones are edible and which ones might be poisonous.

There is a great aphorism that I love about mushrooms. It goes like this: "There are old mushroom pickers and there are bold mushroom pickers, but there are no old, bold mushroom pickers!”

How To Properly Water Your Lawn

Watering is an important part of a healthy, green lawn. 

While watering anytime will work, there are serious advantages to watering at certain times of the day that will save you a whole lot of time, money, and most importantly water.

Watering during the daytime can work well. Generous amounts of water can be applied and allowed to soak in, but since the sun is out in full force, a lot of the water you're applying will be lost to evaporation. Which means it will take a lot more water, and time, to fully soak your lawn.

Watering in the night or early evening seems like the most convenient time to water your lawn. Since the sun is down, very little water will be lost to evaporation. However, the major disadvantage of this is the water will not soak into the grass at this time; it will only sit on top of the blades of grass, therefore providing a breeding ground for molds & fungus.

So when is the perfect time?

Watering before daybreak, or right at dawn is the most ideal time. Evaporation is at a minimal, and the rising sun will quickly dry the grass, reducing the likelihood of disease.

Of course, if you have things to do, waiting for your sprinkler to finish can be a pain. That's why a water timer from Dramm is so handy.

This timer easily attaches to your hose to automatically shut off your sprinkler for your desired time. Up to 120 minutes. And like all Dramm products, it comes with a lifetime warranty. (And comes in a variety of colours!)

When it comes to choosing a sprinkler type, there are lots of great options to choose from. Here are a few great options:

Spinning Sprinkler - Spinng sprinklers work well with water pressures between 20 and 80 psi, and are ideal for "well" systems with low water pressure.


The head atomizes water into fine droplets for less water usage and thorough watering. And creates a very unique and beautiful spray pattern covering an area up to 38' in diameter


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Oscillating Sprinklers - Oscillating Sprinklers are designed for increased stability, and deliver water over a rectangular area.  They feature large pattern controls for easy use with variable settings to cover up to 3,000 sq. ft.


Whirling Sprinklers - Whirling sprinklers give great even water distribution over a square area, and spray droplets rather than mist, so there is much less evaporation.  

Water coverage is up to 68" in diameter.


 

Spike Sprinklers - Spike sprinklers are mounted on a spike to push into the ground.  They give good even coverage. It has adjustable height, and the spray is easy to adjust between mist, stream, or spray, so it can be used in other parts of the garden if needed, such as flower or perennial beds. They also feature a  flow-through spike base so that multiple sprinklers can be connected into a series of sprinklers. 


Turret Sprinklers - Turret sprinklers give great, even coverage. Great for lawns as it covers square areas and holds the square pattern quite well. It gets into the corners and spreads the water perfectly for lawn and turf.  

Turret sprinklers spray droplets rather than mist, so there is much less evaporation.


Stop by Hole's Greenhouses to see all the Dramm watering accessories we carry. All backed with a lifetime warranty!