About Our Philosophy
A: This is the big question. A synthetic program might green up the lawn fast, but the grass becomes over dependent on the chemicals. The organic process changes the microbiology of the soil to create a stronger, healthier lawn, which takes more time. This approach works to get the lawn to a point where it can be full and fend off diseases without the aid of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. It may be a full season or two before the biology of the soil is converted.
A: Yes—typically, our programs are more expensive than a fully synthetic program. This is because more care is taken to make sure that the products used in an organic program are as safe as possible for you and the environment.
A: Most lawn care programs depend on the square footage of your lawn, and ours is no exception. Every lawn is different and prices may vary based on soil amendments. To find out your price, click here for a free estimate.
A: After each application, we recommend waiting for the lawn to dry before going back out onto it. This is usually only an hour or two (depending on the weather). There is no harm in going out on the grass while it is still wet, as it won’t disrupt the application, but some of the products we use do have a strong odor.
A: Everything starts with the soil. The health of your soil will determine the success of your lawn. Our soil tests help us to determine what exactly your lawn needs and how we can better service you. We analyze for organic material and a variety of minerals in the soil.
A: Crabgrass seeds can lay dormant in the soil of a lawn for upwards of 20 years and slowly work their way to the surface. A full and healthy lawn is so important as crabgrass can strike at any time.
A: Mushrooms are a sign of good microbiology in a lawn. The goal of our program is to improve microbiology, so you may see more mushrooms after you start with our fertilizers. Mushrooms will not harm the grass.
You may also see clusters of mushrooms appear around areas where there was once a tree. Decaying roots from removed trees add a lot of organic material to the soil, making those areas prime spots for mushrooms to grow.
A: Clover is a misunderstood plant. Interestingly, it used to be in grass seed mixes because it is very beneficial to lawns. Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant, which means that it takes nitrogen from the air and pumps it into the soil. The grass surrounding clover is usually very green and lush. We try to convince clients to keep clover in their lawns but if it’s something that really must go then we have a few options: products that will take clover out or filling in the lawn with grass seed to try and push the clover out.
A: We use a custom mixed grass seed blend proprietary to Velvet Green Organic Lawn Care which changes every season based on growing conditions. Our mix contains a variety of grass species such as bluegrass, rye, and tall fescue to maximize germination in a variety of lawn types.
A: Our hybrid programs, Gold and Platinum, consist of mainly organic material, fish-based fertilizer, and a slow-release nitrogen product. Our 100% organic programs consist of plant-based fertilizers such as soy.
A: We use a weed control product called Tenacity® which works by robbing plants of their ability to produce chlorophyll. This turns the plant white and then it will die off within a week or two. Sometimes the desirable turfgrass is affected by Tenacity and may turn white as well. When this happens, the grass will continue to grow and upon the next mowing cycle the white parts will be cut off with no lasting effect on the health of your lawn.
A: We have special event tick and mosquito sprays that we can do a few days before the event. Please provide XX days’/weeks’ notice so that we have you on the treatment schedule.
A: Our tick and mosquito treatments consist of two products. One is a derived from garlic oil and the other from cedar oil. Both of these products are safe and require no wait time after an application before you able to go back out on the lawn.
1. Thatch is the result of the turf producing organic debris faster that it can be broken down, a layer of living and dead grass roots and stems that sits between the soil and the grass blades of a lawn.
A: Core aeration removes small tubes of soil from the lawn to allow for improved exchange of gasses between the soil and the atmosphere, improved water filtration, improved rooting, decreased soil density, and a site for seed germination. Often lawns will become compacted making it difficult for grass to grow. Aeration loosens up the soil to give the grass the breathing room it needs.
A: Compost is decomposed organic matter made from a variety of materials such as food waste, grass clippings, cardboard, and more. Adding compost to a lawn will help to boost the organic material in the soil, improving its overall health.
A: Topdressing is the application of manure or fertilizer to a lawn. Our topdressing application is done with compost, adding organic material back into the soil. Topdressing reduces lawn stress, helps keep thatch under control, and acts as a long-term natural fertilizer.
A: Slice seeding is the process of cutting into the lawn with a machine that deposits seed directly into the cuts. This is one of the best ways to maximize seed-to-soil contact.
General Lawn Care
A: Grub damage is fairly easy to identify in a lawn. At a glance the large brown areas may look like drought or heat stress, but closer examination will prove otherwise. Take a fistful of grass in your hand and pull—if it comes up easily like a carpet, you most likely have grubs. Grubs feed on the roots of the grass blade which is why it pulls up so easily. Often, you can dig in the soil beneath where the grass pulled up and you will find active grubs.
A: Small holes in a lawn is a telltale sign that a lawn has grubs or other insects. Animals such as skunks will dig around in the lawn at night in search of something to eat. Animals may also dig up the lawn even if there are no insects, searching lawns and moving on if they don’t find anything.
A: Lawns typically need about two inches of water per week. We recommend an infrequent watering schedule of every other day, though sometimes when the weather is very hot watering every day may be necessary. When temperatures are high, keeping grass blades hydrated is extremely important.
A: Making sure a lawn gets enough water is important, but you also don’t want to overwater. The soil can only absorb so much water and once it reaches that point, any excess water will not absorb and may cause damage. Too much water can lead to disease such as red thread and brown patch, especially in humid conditions.
A: If you plan on living in your home for more than five years and you want to have a healthy lawn then an irrigation system is an absolute must. Grass needs about one to two inches of water a week, especially during the summer months when temperatures skyrocket. An irrigation system is more reliable than waiting for perfectly-timed rain.
A: We do not install irrigation systems ourselves, but do work very closely with a company called Designer Lawn Sprinkler Service, Inc.
A: Sometimes, especially in the heat of the summer months, grass may appear discolored as though it is dying. This may be attributed to heat or drought stress. During intense weather conditions, the grass will go dormant to protect itself, pulling all the moisture and nutrients from the blades down into the roots in order to survive. Once the lawn receives proper hydration, it will push moisture back up to the blades and color will return.
A: The short answer is around once per week. Do not cut more than one-third of the leaf blade off at a time as this can stress the grass and leave it more susceptible to disease. In the summer months, we recommend mowing high, about three inches, because this will allow the grass to retain more moisture.
A: Crabgrass is one of the biggest nuisances when it comes to lawns. It is invasive and, once established, can be very difficult to eliminate. We do have a variety of products that will help take care of crabgrass, but the best way to stop crabgrass is to prevent it from growing in the first place. A full and healthy lawn will be able to hold its ground against crabgrass. With little to no bare spots, crabgrass will not have anywhere to grow.
A: The best way to prevent weeds from growing is to establish a full lawn with a healthy root system. Weeds have evolved to take advantage of suboptimal growing conditions and choke out more sensitive plants like grasses. Our approach is to create optimal growing conditions for grasses and remove any bare patches in lawns where weeds may thrive. This approach may take some time and we do have a variety of stop-gap weed control products on hand.
A: Winter can exact a heavy toll on lawns, particularly when it comes to large piles of snow and salt damage. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. Apply a gypsum treatment around salt-prone areas in the fall before the snow comes to mitigate salt damage from plowed snow and ice-melt treatments. Try to disperse any snow removed from driveways and sidewalks so that it is not piled up directly on the edges of your lawn—larger piles melt more slowly and can cause damage.
A: Having a layer of thatch in your lawn is a good thing. It will help keep your lawn healthy and more resilient against disease. A layer of thatch provides insulation against temperature extremes. A good thatch layer is about half an inch thick or less—anything thicker can block water and nutrients from reaching the soil. Using a dethatching machine puts undue stress on the grass, so we recommend aerating the lawn every year to keep the layer of thatch in check.
A: In all likelihood, yes. Mower blades should be sharpened at the beginning of the season and in the middle of the season. Dull mower blades will not deliver a clean cut to the grass blade, resulting in frayed tips of the grass, which will leave it more susceptible to diseases.
Managing Your Program
A: If you want to skip a service in a program you can call or email us, and we’ll take care of the rest.
A: Yes, you can add services to your account by logging into the customer portal. There, you will be able to view all the services for which you are signed up and add services as desired.