Have you seen this type of false advertising on TV?: “Fantastic results are guaranteed! Are you tired of wasting time and money? Our Special Grass Seed never needs water or fertilizer; it grows in sun and shade and grows so thick, it crowds out the weeds. Stop wasting your weekends being a slave to your lawn and stop paying those high prices for professional lawn care. Buy our Special Grass Seed for only $19.95 and have a beautiful lawn and more time for barbecuing, fishing or just hanging out by the pool. That’s right, just $19.95 does up to 500 square feet of lawn, buy today and we’ll double the value and give you 1,000 square feet of our Special Grass Seed for just $19.95!”
Does this sound too good to be true? Well, that’s because it is. Yet, thousands of people fall for such advertising, throwing common sense and their money out the door.
Consider the facts: Turf grasses need at least 5 to 6 hours of full sun to grow year-round into a good lawn. Interestingly, grasses do not need any light to germinate, just warm temperatures and moisture. So those advertisements that say grass seed is “Guaranteed to Grow” never say “Guaranteed to Survive,” do they? If your lawn is shady and the grass is starting to thin out and disappear, then you have a shade problem, not poor grass seed.
There are no magic bullets, magic grass seeds, or any other magic when it comes to growing things, for that matter. There are sound horticultural and maintenance practices, backed by actual science and years of practice, utilized by professionals who have made lawn care and landscaping their vocation.
Summer Lawn Care and Gardening: With plenty of rainfall and warm temperatures, insects, weeds and diseases are having a great summer. We’re seeing Brown Patch Disease in neighborhoods from Bethesda and Potomac, to Derwood and Germantown. Additionally, brown spots, broadleaf weeds, crabgrass, grubs, etc. need attention in the Transition Zone, which includes Montgomery County, Howard County, Frederick County and Washington, DC.
Japanese Beetles and Northern Masked Chafer Beetles have the highest populations we’ve seen in years, and, along with the regular rainfall, 2014 will most likely translate into a major year for beetle grubs, which will begin feasting on turf-grass roots soon. Lawns that peel up easily or are turning brown may be victim to beetle grubs.
On a positive note, hopefully, you’re harvesting the fruits of your labor if you planted a vegetable garden earlier this summer. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans should all be at their finest over the next few weeks. Happy Gardening!