The Lawn Care Academy Blog

Looking for the latest lawn care tips and trends? You have come to the right place. You will find detailed information for everything from zoysia to fescue and organics to conventional fertilizers and much more.

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Alfalfa Research Using Agrigro's Foliar Blend

Current Alfalfa Research Using Agrigro's Foliar Blend

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Calcium Chloride Uses - Dispelling Myths

There are many calcium chloride uses, but many myths about the product are abundant. See the myth busting facts.

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Time to Prepare for Fall

Beautiful Lawn and Garden

It is now time to start preparing for the fall weather. It is the most important time of the year for cool season grasses. This is because 3/4 of the entire year's nitrogen is taken on in the fall.

The "fall season" as far as grass is concerned begins when temps are mostly consistently in the 70's to 80's. However, you can start now preparing the soil and roots.

Pick up some Bountiful Harvest or Turf Formula and begin using it to promote rapid and extensive root growth.

Not only that, but it also increases beneficial microbes by the hundreds of billions that help keep diseases at bay as well as increasing organic matter, nutrients, while building better soil.

Don't delay, start the process now.

Continue reading "Time to Prepare for Fall"

Ignites2 for Improved Soil and Plant Health

Ignites2 naturally increases plant nutrients and plant health and more.

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Turf Formula Unsolicited Testimony from 7/18/2017

Unsolicited Customer Testimony from a Phone Call Asking About Using Turf Formula in Conjunction with Another Product:

"I have been using the Turf Formula since May (2017). Russ, my lawn is phenomenal! It has never looked this good. It is thick, dark green and looks amazing. I now have grass growing where I could never grow grass before and it looks incredible!"

William K., New Jersey

We have received many testimonies similar to this. We don't sell a lot of products, but what we do sell is because they really do work.

Check out the page and get the product for yourself!

Continue reading "Turf Formula Unsolicited Testimony from 7/18/2017"

Kayak Fishing - Texas Style

Rockport Texas Sunrise

If you ever wanted to expand your horizons and live in the moment, kayak fishing for Redfish may be your answer. Whether you are new to kayaking or an old pro, Redfish is a logical choice.

Redfish hunt for crabs and baitfish in shallow water, often just 6" to 18" deep. You paddle the kayak close to shore over weed beds and spend lots of time casting along the edges of the salt grass and in the channels that snake through the grass.

If you are new to kayaking or have a fear of the water, you need to try shallow water redfish fishing. I am serious when I tell you that redfish, especially in spring and summer, spend much of their time feeding in such shallow water that their tails stick up in the air. Experienced fishermen know this and look for the signs of feeding redfish.

Using topwater lures, kayak fishing for redfish can be one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences you can have.

22 Redfish in Rockport Texas

Redfish are powerful fish. Once hooked they takeoff with bursts of speed that is nothing short of thrilling. These powerhouses can reach weights of over 40 lbs, but in the shallows, 5 to 10 lbs is often the max.

On this trip we hired Ryan Ford, out of Rockport, Texas. (In the photo with the straw hat) Ryan has lived much of his life there and knows the fish and their habits well.

Ryan got us on top of fish and we had the time of our lives.

22 inch redfish from Rockport Texas

If you are new to kayaking and are worried about kayaking in salt water, do not let it concern you. Hire a guide who knows the area and can take you to the best spots.

Our family is experienced at kayaking but not at redfish fishing. We highly recommend you contact Ryan. He was never more than a few feet away and was ready in an instant to assist anyone that required it.

Contact Ryan at Rockport Kayak Fishing Adventrues. You will be glad you did.

(Hammerhead Kayak Supply is our second business and is our favorite hobby. Kayaking is a great family activity and can become a serious sport for those who choose it. Please check out our website at Hammerhead Kayak Supply)

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Soil Organic Matter in Pastures

Soil organic matter is the barometer for soil health for pastures and turf. Find out how to improve your pastures.

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Commercial and Backyard Orchards - What You Need to Know for a Great Crop

Bill Bader Peaches

Peach trees, apple trees and more, whether commercial or backyard orchards cannot produce great crops on their own. They need help.

Bill Bader, the owner of the largest peach orchard in the Midwest, over 110,000 peach trees has shared with me his secrets to great success.

In an interview, he reveals what has brought him fame and fortune with some of the finest peaches in the country.

Click the link below to see exactly how he achieved his success and also reveals some of his organic approach trade secrets that really work and save money.

If you need more help, contact me. We are always willing to help.

Keeping our promise to give you the best and valuable information for the best lawns, pastures and trees!

Continue reading "Commercial and Backyard Orchards - What You Need to Know for a Great Crop"

Easy Ways To Access Lawn Care Academy

Several Ways to Access our Site from Cell Phones

Many people are accessing Lawn Care Academy on cell phones. Our site is optimized for cell phones. Here are a few easy ways to access the website:

1. You Can Write the Website Name Without the (-) dashes in the web address:

2. You Can Write Or Say "Lawn Care Academy" in the Search Bar on your Phone

3. You can write or speak with the dashes if you choose.

Get Help with Lawns and Hay Fields

Lawn Care Academy is one of the top lawn care information websites on the web. We also specialize in farms where we can assist farmers in hay production.

Visit us and see what we have to offer in helping you attain the best lawn around.

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Turf-Type Tall Fescue Grass Seed

5 StarĀ® grass seed Blend of Turf-Type Tall Fescue contains 5 top performing fescue varieties for a dark green lawn.

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Infrared Laser Temperature Gun

Infrared laser temperature guns instantly reads the surface temperature of any item.

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Benefits of Agri-Cal Calcium on Pastures and Turf

Agri-Cal Liquid Calcium delivers immediately available calcium while making unavailable calcium available for plants.

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Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant vs Take-All Root Rot - See the Results!

Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant and Soil Enhancer

Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant and soil enhancer is truly an amazing product. One of the proven aspects of Bountiful Harvest as well as all the other biostimulants made by Agri-Gro is their ability to tremendously increase soil microbial activity, enhance disease resistance, increase root development and photosynthesis efficiency and more. University research has shown an increase by 3400% microbial activity in just 24 hours after application.

Charles H., near Baton Rouge, LA had almost completely lost his lawn to Take-All Root Rot, a devastating lawn disease that affects many grasses, including his St. Augustine Grass. For 4 years this disease took more and more of his lawn. The pathogens live in the soil so replacing the grass only gives the disease a new food source.

I talked to Charles on the phone and he told me that after using the product last year the disease was suppressed by at least 80% and his lawn looks better than it ever has.

How Our Biostimulants Work

Bountiful Harvest biostimulant, Turf Formula, Foliar Blend, and Ignite2 are all natural soil and microbial enhancers. The incredible increase in beneficial microbial activity speed the breakdown of essential elements in the soil and release microbial by-products that plants need to stay healthy. Plus, many of the beneficial microbes whose activity and numbers have been increased feed on pathogenic microbes that cause disease.

These products are NOT compost teas, fish emulsion, or other products whose affects are questionable. These are proprietorial organic blends used by thousands of farms, orchards, sports fields and by homeowners around the world with incredible results.

Don't wait until you have problems with your lawn or trees. When used proactively, they will help prevent any problems, increase root development, increase disease resistance, increase photosynthesis and carbohydrate production and much more.

Due yourself a favor and try these products. Our website has exclusive information on original test results and beyond and results of university studies. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Continue reading "Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant vs Take-All Root Rot - See the Results!"

Something To Consider Before Hiring a Turf Management Company

I have no personal beef with Tru-Green or any other turf management company. Many people use them and some like them. However, here is a legal case that may interest you.

A Tennessee woman's lawsuit against Tru-Green was thrown out. She kept getting robo telemarketing calls even though she repeatedly asked them to stop. Plus her number was on the telemarketing "No Call List". Seems like a slam dunk, right? No exactly.

When someone hires Tru-Green they have to sign a contract. Somewhere in the contract is language that says that they have the right to continue to call with service offers even after a customer stopped using them.

Plus, when you sign with them you also sign away your right to bring any class action lawsuit against them.

As a result the judge followed the contract language, since she was a previous customer, and threw her lawsuit out. Even though Tru-Green has just about guaranteed they will never again get her as a customer, they have the right to continue to call as often as they like.

I have personally never hired a turf management company so I don't know if others use the same language. Just be sure to read your contract carefully. You may find yourself changing your phone number, then hoping they never find it, just to keep them from continuously calling.

To read the original post in Turf Magazine, please click here: Woman's Lawsuit is Thrown Out"

Keep this in mind: If you continue to read our website you will not need to hire a turf company. We are here to help you produce the lawn you always wanted. In the end you will know more about lawn management than anyone you hire to apply chemicals to your lawn.

Continue reading "Something To Consider Before Hiring a Turf Management Company"

Crabgrass Facts and Preemergent Use

There is a lot of misunderstanding about crabgrass and how to control it. I get lots of questions about this persistent weed every year. This fact sheet should help clear some of it up for you.

  • Crabgrass is an annual plant that germinates in spring and dies at the first heavy frost.
  • A single large crabgrass plant produces many thousands of seeds each year.
  • Crabgrass seeds will germinate each spring when the soil temps reach 55 degrees for 4 consecutive days.
  • The most effective method of stopping the weed is to not let it get started. A quality preemergent is your best defense.
  • The preemergent must be applied before the seeds germinate. Once the seed has germinated the preemergent will not be affective. The only exception to this is to use Dimension, a commercial preemergent that will kill crabgrass in the seedling stage.
  • If you have a lawn service spread your preemergent, be sure it is applied at the correct time. When they run behind schedule, some customers will get it too late.
  • Homeowner varieties of preemergents usually start to lose effectiveness in mid-summer.
  • Commercial preemergents, such as Barricade and Dimension, will usually last the whole growing season.
  • Heavy rains and high summer heat will degrade the preemergent and lower its life expectancy.
  • It is ok to reapply a preemergent in summer, but not if you plan to overseed in the fall. It will prevent your grass seed from germinating. If your preemergent is mixed with fertilizer, be sure to apply the correct amount of fertilizer based on the season, grass species, and nitrogen needs for your grass.

This is just a basic guide and there is much more information about crabgrass on our website. Be sure to check it out.

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We are Now an Original SJCAM Authorizd Dealer

Lawn Care Academy, along with our sister website, Hammerhead Kayak Supply, is now an authorized dealer for the famous SJCAM Camcorders.

We will be offering these cameras online in a few days.

SJCAM camcorders can go where you go. Whether it is scuba diving at 100 ft. or leaping from a plane at 5000 ft, you can catch the action with a SJCAM. The best thing is these cameras are about a third of the cost of the GoPro line of cameras.

These cameras can be attached to bikes, helmets, wrist, on the chest, or anywhere you can think to mount it.

There are over 20 accessories that come with the camera and many after market items can be purchased as well.

Whether you are videoing your work to display on youtube or enjoying a day of kayaking, these cameras can do it all. We will be providing helpful tips and techniques to get the most from your camera in the coming days.

For now, check out our cameras on our sister site at More cameras will be online soon.

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Lowball Offers and Cost of Quoting a Job

The Lawn Care Professional - Dealing with lowball offers and the cost of giving price quotes. To charge for estimates or not.

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Before You Take Your Next Flu Shot - Read This First

Flu season is approaching, and as people who work outdoors, we have all thought about getting flu shots. We have been taught that we owe it to ourselves and our family to get the shots. You should be aware of what you are putting in your body.

I am not an advocate of flu shots. I believe they cause more problems then they solve. Every doctor who writes and publishes an article on the dangers of vaccines is quickly discredited, even if the science is sound. This is because Big Pharma is in the back pocket of many in the medical community and they have learned how to win in the medical world.

This is something you should know. Mercury is added to shots because the body's immune system doesn't respond well to a dead or inactive virus. The mercury, which is extremely toxic, causes the immune system to think the dead virus is the cause and attacks it. Without the mercury the vaccines would be useless. In studies, the brains of those who were diagnosed with Autism were found to have high levels of mercury. It is getting worse. Once a rare condition, they say Autism is now diagnosed in 1 out of every 45 children. This fact on mercury is suppressed by the medical industry.

Are you curious of how toxic mercury actually is? Here is the truth. Mercury is 1000 times more toxic than lead. (Facts on Mercury and the Medical Coverups) In fact, mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive material on planet earth.The only elements in the entire world more toxic than mercury are radioactive in nature. All this toxicity in a shot for a disease that is basically non-threatening to healthy people.

Check out the latest blog from Dr. Russell Scheirling

Before You Get Your Next Flu Shot...

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Raking Leaves - A Much Better and Faster Way

Raking leaves is a pain. Someone came up with a better way. So, here is a fast way to pile leaves. Never really thought of this way before but I will certainly try it out.


Mr. Inventor !!! This is just the front yard Brian Shreves

Posted by April Medlen on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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Perennial Ryegrass with Kentucky Bluegrass Surprising Study Results

Longterm results of planting perennial ryegrass and kentucky bluegrass - You may be surprised

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Fall Lawn Overseeding and Weed Preemergent - Good Idea?

It is fall and time for cool season lawn overseeding. At this time of year I always receive questions about putting down a fall preemergent and how it will affect the grass seed.

The Problem with Preemergents and Overseeding

Do not put down a preemergent if you plan on overseeding your lawn. The preemergent will prevent your grass seed from germinating.

If you are not going to overseed then putting down a preemergent in late summer and early fall is a good idea. Many spring annual weeds actually germinate in the fall and overwinter as seedlings. When the weather warms in the spring the seedlings grow quickly. Overseeding in fall using the right type of preemergent will keep spring weeds down.

Continue reading "Fall Lawn Overseeding and Weed Preemergent - Good Idea?"

Adding Turf Formula When Overseeding Lawns Greatly Increases Results

Turf Formula Biostimulant

It is nearly fall in most of the country. Time to think about overseeding lawns once again.

Turf Formula can add tremendous benefits to your lawn. Spraying Turf Formula Biostimulant on the grass when overseeding can increase your germination results and increase the health of your plants and soil.

In seed trials using poor quality seed with a germination rate of only 50%, adding Turf Formula increased the germination rate by 30%. This saves money and may eliminate the need for additional seed applications.

In addition, Turf Formula increases the soil microorganism activity tremendously in the first 24 hours after application. This increases the breakdown of natural elements making them more available to the plants. It also increases disease resistance, chlorophyll production, nitrogen fixation, and many other essential functions inside the plant.

The increase of beneficial microbe activity reduces Brown Patch Disease by 35% in university tests. (University of Missouri at Columbia) Brown Patch is a serious turf disease that can affect the majority of grass species.

You can expect the same results when using Foliar Blend, and Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant. Bountiful Harvest is sold in smaller bottles, but is the same as Foliar Blend - AgriGro's number one selling product - and is being used on farms, orchards, pastures and hay growers all over the world.

To see our list of products, click in the link below.

Continue reading "Adding Turf Formula When Overseeding Lawns Greatly Increases Results"

Overseeding St. Augustine Grass with Annual Rye. Good Idea?

I received an interesting question about whether it is ok to overseed St. Augustine Lawns with annual rye. Here is the answer.

The short answer is "no, don't do it".

The long answer: As you may know, annual ryegrass is often used for this type of seeding because it dies back each year in late spring and must be reseeded in the fall.

In the far south, St. Augustine doesn't go completely dormant. If you overseed with annual rye, it can actually compete with the St. Augustine grass and rob nutrients that the St. Augustine needs to fully emerge in the spring.

In addition, St. Augustine begins greening up sooner than other warm season grasses when the rye will still be growing at a strong pace. The rye may out-compete the St. Augustine and harm the grass.

While some people say they overseed their St. Augustine grass each year, others claim it has hurt their primary grass and took a couple years to recover.

With that said, here is something most people don't know. Rye grass roots have been shown to release chemicals into the soil that suppress other grasses around it. This may also be a contributor to the harm to St. Augustine grass. It has been shown to have the same affect when overseeding rye into bermudagrass lawns.

If you have a bermudagrass lawn, overseeding with turf-type tall fescue is usually a better match.

Continue reading "Overseeding St. Augustine Grass with Annual Rye. Good Idea?"

Tips on Overseeding Lawns this Fall

Fescue Lawn Built by Homeowner Alexander Crump

The practice of overseeding lawns is one of the most overlooked maintenance activities of home lawns. Yet, it can provide more benefits than almost any single thing you can do.

Overseeding a lawn with fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or other cool season grasses can change a struggling yard into a beautiful lawn. Combined with a few other important steps your lawn can look like you hired a professional to do it.

Check out our extensive page on overseeding lawns for expert tips and advice.

Continue reading "Tips on Overseeding Lawns this Fall"

Spring Lawn Sprinkler Maintenance

Keeping Up with Sprinkler Maintenance

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. What can you do to keep your lawn healthy during the summer? It actually only takes a little bit of preparation and a few hours 1 weekend to ensure that your lawn is healthy and green all summer long. So with a minimal investment now, you will be reaping the benefits for the next 5 months!

Spring Sprinkler Maintenance for a Healthy Summer Lawn

  • Open the main valve and pressurize the mainline: Once you are told the municipal pressurized irrigation is activated, it is time to open the main valve to allow for water flow. Open this valve slowly. Pressurizing the main line allows for air trapped in the piping to escape through the sprinkler heads.
  • Manually inspect all zones and stations: Once your sprinkler main lines are open and you are able to water your lawn once again, it is important to manually inspect all zones and stations to ensure that there are no leaks or busted lines. You will know a line is leaking or busted if the pressure is low. If you want to avoid a dry lawn during the hottest months, now is the time to ensure that there is adequate water coverage for all areas of your lawn. Each area of your lawn should be covered by at least 2 spray zones to ensure proper coverage. Since your sprinklers may have shifted during the winter, it is important to manually inspect the stations each spring.
  • Program your controller: Determine how much water coverage you currently need, and program your controller accordingly. Reprogramming your controller is the only real maintenance you will need to do on your system the entire summer, and you will need to reevaluate how much water is necessary as the temperature rises and falls.
  • Consider installing a rain sensor: It can be difficult to accurately monitor how much water is adequate for a healthy lawn. There are many factors you must consider, and one of them is rainfall. Installing a rain sensor takes some of the guesswork out of watering your lawn. A preset amount of rainfall is recorded in the sensor, and if the rainfall reaches that amount, the rain sensor will shut off your sprinkler system for the time being. As underwatering is just as detrimental as overwatering your lawn (and wastes natural resources), a rain sensor is a great way to more accurately water your lawn without having to put any effort into the endeavor!

Note: This article was contributed by Dana Cook from Hydro-Tech Irrigation Co. in Virginia. Hydrotech Irrigation Systems

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Tip of the Week: GMOs Vs AgriGro

Did you know that up to 80% of the grain and corn on the market is GMO (genetically modified organism) for increased crop size and bushels per acre, etc. Many countries have banned GMOs for health concerns and for good reason. Once a plant is genetically modified it cannot be unmodified.

How AgriGro is Different

All natural AgriGro provides many of the same benefits of GMO i.e. disease resistance, plant health, nutrient uptake, increased crop size and bushels per acre without the harmful side effects. This is scientifically tested and proven by several universities and by farmers around the world.

Check it out yourself and see.

Continue reading "Tip of the Week: GMOs Vs AgriGro"

Chapin Professional Hose End Sprayer

The Chapin Hose End Sprayer is the easiest way to spray liquid biostimulants, lawn fertilizers and pesticides.

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Tip of the Week: Grass Seed and Preemergents

If you plan on overseeding a lawn or planting a new lawn this spring, do not apply an early spring preemergent.

Preemergents are a type of herbicide that prevents weed seeds from germinating, including your grass seed. The preemergents usually come in spring fertilizers and will have packaging indicating "crabgrass prevention" or similar crabgrass and weed preventing qualities.

Once your grass seed has germinated and the grass is a few inches tall, it is usually safe to apply a preemergent.

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Kayak Fishing and Lawn Care

What does kayak fishing and lawn care have in common? Absolutely nothing! That is why it is my escape and can be your too!

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Fun Fact: Honey Bees Do Not See Color Red

Did you know honey bees do not see the color red? If you are planting flowers to attract honey bees, remember they only see 6 colors - all within the yellow - blue - and violet range.

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Plant Grow Regulators - Keeping Shrub and Lawn Maintenance to a Minimum

Spring is here. That means shrub trimming and lawn mowing is on the horizon. However, plant growth regulators can help you cut your shrub and lawn maintenance to a minimum.

Using the right plant growth regulator will greatly slow the growth of shrubs, trees, and grass so you can enjoy your weekends away from home.

For example, the product "Embark T&O" will slow growth for 8 weeks at a time. You will be doing yourself a favor by giving a PGR a try, especially if lawn care is not on your list of favorite activities.

Check out our page on Plant Growth Regulators to see if a PGR is right for you.

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How to Manage Wild Onion and Wild Garlic in Lawns

Wild onions are easy to distinguish. They look like a narrow, kind of wiry, green to blue-green version of the green onions you get at the supermarket

The good thing is they are edible. If you plan on eating some, be sure your dog doesn't pee on them first and that you don't spray any chemicals on the lawn.

The bad thing is that they can multiply and can spread all over the lawn. In just a couple season the wild onions can spread quite a distance.

if you want to get rid of them, please read our page on wild onions and see how to get them under control.

Continue reading "How to Manage Wild Onion and Wild Garlic in Lawns"

How to Change a Wheelbarrow Tire

Almost every home has a wheelbarrow. However, wheelbarrows are no use with a flat tire. You can either put the whole wheelbarrow in the back of the truck and take it to the tire store or change it yourself.

Here is a short article offering instructions on how to change the tire. To read how it's done, Click Here

A New Way of Dealing with Lawn Care Related Injuries! You Have to Read This!

Lawn care is hard work. Working a push mower or a commercial sized fertilizer spreader up and down hills and then working a string trimmer can wear out the average person very quickly. Add high summer temps and you have a lethal mix for someone not conditioned to working in that environment. However, the seasoned professional has built up a tolerance and has developed the leg, arm and shoulder muscles to handle it.

Injuries can add an extra degree of difficulty to your job. Some injuries can put you out of business if they take too long to heal. It it important to get the best care possible.

Rotator cuff injuries, neck pain, back pain, and many other injuries can wreak havoc on your body and business. However, I have recently discovered a way of dealing with these injuries that was right under my nose all along. It has to do with my chiropractor, Dr. Russ Schierling.

First you need to understand something about Dr. Schierling. While every small town has at least one chiropractor, I have never heard of a chiropractor whose patients fly in from other countries and from all across the U.S. just to see him. He is extremely knowledgeable and does things almost no other chiropractor does. I am referring to a process called Tissue Remodeling.

I would do it a great injustice if I tried to explain it, but you can read about the process on his website. One thing I can testify to is that people come in to see him with severe pain that in many cases has lasted for years. Some have been to every doctor or specialist with little progress. It seems that quite often people go to him as a last resort. After all, "He is just a chiropractor", is the popular thinking. However, many leave pain free after one visit. His success rate is so great that his clientele comes from all around the world.

Therefore, if you have pain that you just can't find a solution to, you owe it to yourself to check out his website at

Continue reading "A New Way of Dealing with Lawn Care Related Injuries! You Have to Read This!"

Our "Understanding a Soil Analysis Report" Has Been Publsihed in a Professional Turf Magazine

We are thrilled to report that our page explaining how to interpret the data on a soil analysis has been published in a professional turf magazine.

The magazine, simply called "Turf" is distributed among professional turf managers and is designed to provide information that is helpful in building and supporting professionals in the industry.

We are thrilled every time one of our pages is recognized by industry leaders or is published in a professional magazine.

If you have ever read a soil analysis report you know it can be difficult to interpret. There is often no explanation to the meanings of the tests performed or their results. My page offers a basic explanation to the tests performed by many labs and how to interpret them. ,/p.

Click the link to look at my soil analysis page if you are planning on having a soil analysis test performed on your soil.

Continue reading "Our "Understanding a Soil Analysis Report" Has Been Publsihed in a Professional Turf Magazine"

Merry Christmas to All Our Visitors.

Merry Christmas!! from Lawn Care Academy!

All of us at Lawn Care Academy want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

We will still be here providing you with excellent tips and instructions for creating a beautiful lawn and garden.

May God bless you now and in the years to come.

Russ James
Lawn Care Academy

Continue reading "Merry Christmas to All Our Visitors."

Bermudagrass Spring Dead Spot Disease - New Methods on How to Manage the Disease

Spring Dead Spot Disease

Spring Dead Spot is a serious disease of bermudagrass lawns. The disease leaves round dead spots in the lawn. The spots are often small at first, but can grow to a foot or more in diameter.

Important! The Disease Begins in the Fall!!

The disease begins in the fall when the soil temperatures drop to 80 degrees. The disease quickly begins to affect the root system, but it doesn't show up right away because the grass is preparing to go dormant.

In the spring when the grass is greening up, the spots will remain whitish color. There is a difference between dormant colored grass and dead grass. These spots are dead.

Old vs. New Techniques

The Old Techniques

  • Using a high Potassium fertilizer in the fall (such as a 0-0-20) to suppress the disease was commonly used. However, newer studies showed it doesn't appear to be as effective as it was once thought.

New Techniques

  • Now the studies are showing to apply Ammonium Sulfate, a synthetic form of nitrogen that contains 21% nitrogen and 24% sulfur,. has been found to suppress Spring Dead Spot in the Midwest strain of the disease.
  • On the east coast, where a different strain of the disease exists, Calcium Nitrate was found to work better at suppressing Spring Dead Spot. Calcium Nitrate contains 15.5% nitrogen and 26% calcium.

Try one of the two nitrogen products listed above now or early fall if you have had problems with spring dead spot in bermudagrass. They can be purchased at landscape supply stores or a turf maintenance company can apply it for you.

Continue reading "Bermudagrass Spring Dead Spot Disease - New Methods on How to Manage the Disease"

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We at Lawn Care Academy want to wish all our visitors a Wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. May you take time to thank our Lord for all the blessings he has given to us.

God Bless to all.

Russ James

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Getting Rid of Sugar Ants in the House

Black sugar ants are a problem, especially when they are in your house. Find out how to get rid of ants for good.

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Killing Ants Inside Your House

If you ever tried killing ants inside the house, you know it can be a losing battle... that is if you are doing it incorrectly.

It really all depends on two things: If the scouts have just found their way into the house, you may be able to kill them using sprays (alcohol works well) and they will not continue. However, if the ants have been in your house for a while and keep appearing regardless of what you do, then a different approach must be taken to kill ants for good.

I am currently writing an article to show you how to kill established ants safely and effectively to finally end their reign for good. Stay tuned and the next few days I will post it.

Improving Soil with Less fertilizer and Amendments

Improving soil is really easier than you may think and to a degree you may not need to add anything.

Soil needs between 2 and 6 percent organic matter to be healthy. Organic matter can be shed grass roots, grass clippings, earthworm casings, decaying insects, and more.

Organic matter is a potential food source that once broken down releases nutrients that plants can use. The more efficiently it is broken down the more nutrients are available and the less fertilizer is needed.

Agri-Gro Turf Formula, Bountiful Harvest, and Foliar Blend are proven to increase microbial activity that breaks down organic matter much faster. Farmers around the world have been using Foliar Blend in the fall for this very purpose. Now homeowners and turf professionals can get the same results with Turf Formula... more available nutrients with a third less fertilizer.

From Spring to fall, improving soil doesn't get any easier than this. if you haven't tried it, you need to. If 5 gallons of Turf Formula is too much, try Bountiful Harvest. Bountiful Harvest comes in smaller containers for home use.

Continue reading "Improving Soil with Less fertilizer and Amendments"

Preemergent Application in Late Summer

Did you know many winter annual weeds germinate in the fall. A late summer preemergent application may slow the down.

Yes, many of the spring weeds you see growing rapidly as the weather warms are products of the previous fall. By applying a preemergent in early September will definitely help deep many annual weeds down.

Things to Consider About Summer Preemergent Applications

  • If you are planning on overseeding in the fall do not apply a preemergent. It will stop your grass seeds from germinating and could be a huge waste of money for you.

  • If the weather is still hot in early September, above 90 degress) wait until the weather starts to cool into the eighties before applying the preemergent.
  • For cool season grasses, you can use spring fertilizer with preemergent, but do not put down more than 3/4 lb nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft.
  • When apply preemergent on warm season grass in late summer, be sure to apply the correct amount of nitrogen. For bermudagrass that has had problems with Spring Dead Spot Disease, use a preemergent only without nitrogen.

Continue reading "Preemergent Application in Late Summer"

Catalpa Trees - A Fishermen's Gift

Catalpa trees, sometimes called Lady Cigar trees, among other things, are excellent shade trees. Large broad leaves do an excellent job of blocking sunlight.

However, one feature of Catalpa trees are a gift to some and a nuisance to others. The "catalpa worm".

Catalpa Worms

Catalpa worms are moth caterpillars three to four inches long. They are green with black strips. They can defoliate a tree in a short time, but the tree will put out new leaves. The worms appear in late may to early June.

The worms are excellent catfish bait. Every year people stop by my house and ask to collect the worms. If you are planning on some catfishing, find a catalpa tree and collect the worms first.

Put the worms in a paper sack and fold it over well so they can't get out. If you have a sealable basket or container with holes for air, that will work too.

Good luck fishing and don't forget to take a child with you.

Pecan Trees Need Zinc Supplements for Better Pecan Harvest

Do you know that pecan trees need zinc to produce a healthy crop. Pecan trees do not pick up and transport zinc from the soil well, so we have to apply it manually.

Most pecan orchard owners are well aware of the need for zinc. However, most homeowners are not. If you have a backyard pecan tree and desire to harvest the crop, you will need to apply zinc. Zinc applications are one of the most important additives to apply to your pecan trees.

The best way to apply it is to get a liquid zinc that can be sprayed in a Gilmour Hose End Sprayer.

Spraying the leaves with zinc will produce darker and larger leaves and ensure a healthy pecan crop. Without zinc the pecans may not develop well and you will have fewer of them.

You will need to spray the tree in the spring as the leaves are opening. Then later during the growth spurt, you will need to spray the tree again being sure to spray the new leaves.

You will need to spray two more times before harvest to ensure the tree has enough zinc to carry out the functions of the tree properly.

Continue reading "Pecan Trees Need Zinc Supplements for Better Pecan Harvest"

Pecan Trees Need Zinc Supplements for Better Pecan Harvest

Do you know that pecan trees need zinc to produce a healthy crop. Pecan trees do not pick up and transport zinc from the soil well, so we have to apply it manually.

Most pecan orchard owners are well aware of the need for zinc. However, most homeowners are not. If you have a backyard pecan tree and desire to harvest the crop, you will need to apply zinc. Zinc applications are one of the most important additives to apply to your pecan trees.

The best way to apply it is to get a liquid zinc that can be sprayed in a Gilmour Hose End Sprayer.

Spraying the leaves with zinc will produce darker and larger leaves and ensure a healthy pecan crop. Without zinc the pecans may not develop well and you will have fewer of them.

You will need to spray the tree in the spring as the leaves are opening. Then later during the growth spurt, you will need to spray the tree again being sure to spray the new leaves.

You will need to spray two more times before harvest to ensure the tree has enough zinc to carry out the functions of the tree properly.

Continue reading "Pecan Trees Need Zinc Supplements for Better Pecan Harvest"

What Herbicide Injury in Trees Looks Like

Tulip Poplar With Herbicide Injury

People sometimes ask if herbicides labeled for broadleaf weeds are harmful to trees or tree roots. If used correctly according to the label, they are generally safe. Injury to non-target plants and trees can easily occur with improper use.

Often problems occur when dumping excess herbicide near trees. The roots of trees may extend dozens of feet from the edge of tree canopy. Tree roots can pick it up and transport it back to the tree.

Herbicide Injury to Tulip Popular Leaves

The top two photos show what a herbicide injury looks like in trees.

Moderately severe cases will show the leaf edges curling and sometimes the edges of the leaves will look scorched. In severe cases the leaves will die and fall off. In the worst cases the tree can die.

How to Prevent Herbicide Injury

  • Try not to make more herbicide solution than you need, but if you do, try to spray it on the grass and don't dump it.

    (Photo shows Tulip Popular with Healthy Leaves. All Photos taken by Russ James)

  • Healthy Tulip Poplar Leaves

  • Use the correct herbicide. There are broadleaf control products and broadleaf - brush control products, etc. If you are spraying for broadleaf weeds, use a selective broadleaf herbicide. Do not use a brush killer that also contains a broadleaf herbicide control unless you are also spraying for brush. Brush control will kill trees if you are not careful.
  • Spot spray weeds if possible. Do not spray on windy days.
  • Use the herbicide as directed. Use the amount listed on the label. Using a more potent solution will not control the weeds better, but will possibly cause unintentional problems.

For more information on using herbicides safely, please click on the link provide.

Continue reading "What Herbicide Injury in Trees Looks Like"

Controlling Lawn Moss Problems

Lawn moss can be frustrating to remove. The presence of moss indicates deeper problems with your lawn that must be corrected before you see improvement.

Continue reading "Controlling Lawn Moss Problems"

Tree Trimming for the Insane!

Tree Trimming The Wrong Way!Photo by Nick H. Goodrich

Here is a person who took tree trimming is own tree too far. One ladder to get up into the tree. Another ladder resting on a branch far up into the tree. Absolutely crazy!!

Tree trimming is a hazardous profession. However, it can be down right suicidal for the inexperienced. It takes skill using ropes and harnesses while applying standards proven in the industry.

Needless to say, you should never, ever, ever, ever do what this man is doing! One slip of the ladder and this man falls to his death!

Take tree trimming large trees very seriously and call a professional.

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