The Emerald Ed
Information, Resources & Articles
Keep informed and updated with the latest news, tips, specials and educational items surrounding Emerald Outdoor and our Green Services.
Picture a healthy green lawn......
... one that is well cared for, manicured, green and freshly mowed. A perfect place for lounging around cooking some burgers on the grill, listening to a Saturday afternoon Tiger baseball game as the kids practice there soccer moves. Wow, what a real asset to your home that your lawn provides.
Although it would seem unnecessary to state the obvious... did you know that your lawn—and how you take care of it—can also help the environment?
Grass Reduces Greenhouse Gas:
Grass absorbs greenhouse gas and converts it into life-giving oxygen. Grass does this at a much higher rate than native plants because grass has higher leaf density and a faster growth rate. A 2500 square foot lawn converts enough carbon dioxide into oxygen to sustain a family of four!
Grass Is Nature's Air Conditioner:
Trees seem to get all the credit for naturally cooling the air because they provide shade, but grass lowers surface temperatures through "evapotranspiration" which is a process similar to that used by old-fashioned evaporative coolers ("swamp coolers") for home air conditioning. On a hot summer day, lawns will typically be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt, 14 degrees cooler than bare soil and a huge 35 degrees cooler than artificial turf! Aside from just creating a comfortable setting, grass also reduces energy demand by lowering the ambient temperature around a home.
Grass Purifies Water:
Turf (grass) roots act as a natural environmental filter, and in combination with soil biology make lawn root zones an ideal medium for the biodegradation of contaminants that are carried in runoff water.
Grass Purifies the Air:
Grass absorbs particulates and some of the worst atmospheric pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and ozone.
Grass Provides Urban Habitat:
We think of cities as places where people live, but they are also places where native birds and animals reside. Landscapes provide the habitat and forage areas for our wildlife co-inhabitants. Turf is a highly productive forage area for birds and small mammals.
Caring for your lawn properly can both enhance its appearance and contribute to its environmental benefits.
Emerald Outdoor can help you reach those goals of having a great looking lawn, all while being a responsible steward to our environment. An important aspect of our techniques relies on what is known as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.
What is crabgrass? Why do I care? How do I control it? And other useful information surrounding the mystify-able green grass weed that will consume a lawn if the proper cultural and chemical guidelines are not met. A time sensitive must read before spring arrives early this year. Or, if you prefer, just give us a call and rest easy knowing we will take care of the issue without question, you decide.
When, Why and how to properly fertilize your lawn
In the not so distant past, the homeowners plan of action to green up and beautify his stake of God's green earth was an easy choice. Simply grab a bag of fertilizer off the shelf, dust off the spreader, and unknowingly, or with little regard as to how much is used, why and what nutrients, it was time to get fertilizing the lawn! Within the past several years, improper and untrained lawn fertilization and control products applications have become a much more scrutinized practice.
With today's extensive data, research, and state regulations, lawn fertilizer applications are quickly becoming a rather complex and daunting environmental responsible "hot button". As we as a nation become smarter and better stewards of our environment, we realize following "Grandpas Methods" may no longer meet the necessary appropriate and responsible solutions of our future generations.
While we encourage contracting with only a trained, insured and certified lawn care firm such as Emerald Outdoor to make all the proper applications, we are also committed to providing you with the additional online educational material and resources to arrive at your own conclusions. We furthermore hope taking advantage of these educational resources and articles will lead you to a higher level of confidence in our entire industries lawn care processes and actions.
Protecting your plants from frost damage
When a late spring or an early fall frost threaten garden and landscaping plants, there are ways plant lovers can protect them. A small amount of effort can provide tender Spring buds and a longer season in the Fall by protecting plants from frost if you are prepared—and aware of the pending weather.
Lawn weed identification & research
Follow the link to the MSU Turf Weeds.net site: Helping you identify, understand, and control lawn weeds. This site is designed so you can easily learn key identification characteristics of common and not-so-common turfgrass weeds found in lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, and sod farms in Michigan and the midwest. Correct identification is the first step to proper management.
Turf diseases can be serious when weather and/or lawn management favor disease development. Plant diseases, including the common lawn diseases described in this publication, develop when several conditions occur simultaneously and persist. Fungi, the most common cause of lawn diseases, are microscopic, thread-like organisms that spread by means of air- or water-borne spores. The spores function like seeds, producing new infections whenever the environment is favorable for a period of time and the host is susceptible. Disease develops when the pathogen (fungus) is present on a susceptible host (bluegrass) in a favorable environment (temperature, moisture/water, light, nutrients, and stress factors).
Lawn diseases are not always easy to diagnose. Some key factors and symptoms to help recognize disease include: size and shape of dead and dying plants, specific spots on leaves, quality of root system, leaf color and growth characteristics, time of year, and temperature when disease developed. When diagnosing a lawn disease it is helpful to have a record of treatments such as fertilizer, herbicides, mowing height and frequency, watering frequency and amounts.
Grass disease can ruin a lawn's appearance. However, good turf management practices usually are adequate to prevent serious damage. Integrated cultural practices for turf management and pest control will limit the need for fungicides. Disease development often is associated with the lack of proper application of these turf management practices: 1) selection and planting of an adapted grass variety 2) sufficient water at the correct time 3) timely fertilization with the right amounts and balanced nutrients 4) regular mowing at the recommended height 5) provision for adequate sunlight and air movement 6) maintenance of good soil aeration and drainage 7) thatch management.