When thinking of Ohio lawn care here in our local communities in Northeast Ohio there are many factors to consider.
Our grass species – There are many different kinds of fescues found in our neighborhoods, some of the most popular are fine fescue, tall fescue and creeping fescue. Other species found include zoysia, bentgrass, ryegrass and kentucky bluegrass.
Soil types and conditions – We have many different soils found in our area but many if not almost all of us have at least some clay soil. Clay is a soil that is made of mostly clay particles. There is no doubt that Northeast Ohio communities were built on top of a huge mounds of clay that becomes stone like hard, cracks when dry and nothing much likes to grow in it. Among other negatives, clay soil is very slow draining and takes more time to warm up in spring than other soils. In winter it heaves and it leans towards alkalinity in ph. Clay soils are so very compacted that plants root systems are unable to access essential oxygen required for growth.
Fertilization – Fertilizer has three major components nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, The three numbers you always see on bags of fertilizer indicate the levels of these components on the bag in that order. Certain times of the year and different species of turfgrass require different levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Weed control – Here with Ohio lawn care we have thousands of different kinds of invasive weeds. Many weeds we find in a lawn are hard to kill and require specific types of weed control instead of a broad spectrum application. To name a few of these weeds that require specific products: thistles, wild violets, knotweed, prostrate spurge, plantain buckhorn, ground ivy, foxtails, wild onions and yellow nutsedge.
Climate zone – Here in Northeast Ohio we span across three different climate zones: 5b, 6a and 6b. For this amount of land area in Northeast Ohio it is unique to have that many different climate zones. For example in Central Ohio in The Columbus area they only have one zone 6a. It is due to our varying elevations we have, lake effect and the jet stream. It is very important to know your zone in relevance to lawn care and landscaping. So you will have the knowledge to understand what to plant and how to care for it.
Soil ph – Soil ph is the alkalinity or acid levels found in your soil. Certain plants and grass thrive in different levels of soil ph. Applying the right or wrong products to certain ph levels can make all the difference for your lawn or landscape.
Weather – When it comes to weather in Ohio lawn care products. There are certain products that need to be applied when the turfgrass is wet or dry. Also there are applications that would not be effective when it is to cold. Applying certain products when it is to hot or dry can damage or kill your lawn.
Core Aeration – Core aeration is a popular practice here with Ohio lawn care. It pulls cores of soil from your lawn. Pulling these cores with a core aerator will allow water, nutrients, air and fertilizer reach your lawns root zone. Other benefits include alleviating soil compaction and thatch in the lawn. For a terrific lawn practicing core aeration is a must in Northeast Ohio and is recommended to be done once a year.
Lawn pest – Lawn pests can destroy a lawn and one of the most popular everyone should know is grubs and there is many different species of grubs found locally. Other lawn pests found here people do not here often about, but remain to still be a large problem in our lawns are: billbug, sod webworms and chinch bugs. The best action against these pests is proactive treatments instead of reactive treatments.
Watering – Proper watering of your lawn and proper drainage is a must for a beautiful lawn. To little or to much water for your turfgrass can cause damage or even death.
Lawn diseases – The are many lawn diseases associated with Ohio lawn care such as: red thread, dollar spot, yellow patch, necrotic ring, pythium blight, melting out, fusarium blight and many other diseases. The best way to fight lawn diseases is with cultural practices and proactive treatments. Many diseases once established can be very difficult to eradicate.
Soil temperatures – Soil temperatures are very important in Ohio lawn care, they tell you when to or not to plant grass seed. Soil temperatures also dictate when to apply fertilizers, weed and insect control products.
Timing of treatments and proper rates – Having the proper timing of treatments is very important here in Northeast Ohio. Since we have a shorter season than most of the United States it makes the windows for applications smaller and harder to hit. Proper rates with applications can be the difference in a great looking lawn or much worse.
So in review all the variables of performing Ohio lawn care can be a difficult task. It's always a great idea to leave proper lawn care to a state certified lawn care specialist if you do not have the time or knowledge. Many times hiring a professional can be very comparable in price as doing it yourself and they have access to products that a non state certified person wouldn't have.