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Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes we do.  Tender Lawn Care offers a 100% organic fertilizer program.  There are several companies that use “organic-based” fertilizers.  “Organic-based” fertilizers usually contain only 10-20% organic matter (if someone is talking about an ‘organic-based’ fertilizer it is worth asking what the percentage of organic matter actually is!)  Tender Lawn Care’s organic fertilizer contains 100% organic matter.  This helps to lessen disease susceptibility, prevent burning and encourages consistent growth. 

Rain is beneficial following a pre-emergent, fertilizer, or grub treatment and will not affect results.  If you’ve had a weed control application, please wait 7-10 days.  If the weeds do not begin to shrivel and die out, please call to let us know and we will gladly re-treat the weeds at no additional cost to you.

First and foremost, follow the instructions left on the paperwork after the application was completed.  We would recommend waiting at least 3-4 hours before watering and 10-12 hours before mowing.  For what it is worth, even our strong commercial lawn mowers are not able to “suck up” the fertilizer after it has been applied.

When the application is dry, the lawn may be used as normal.  In most cases waiting a couple hours after the application is adequate.

The applications are not harmful to your family or pets when they are applied according to the product’s label and when you follow instructions left by Tender Lawn Care.  All of the products that we use are mixed and applied according to the stringent requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.  In most every case, the products we use can be purchased by consumers at your local garden store.  The treatments applied at your home are the same treatments applied at the homes of many Tender Lawn Care employees. It may be helpful to know that we trust our technicians and the products they use around our own children and pets.

Please allow 7-10 days for the fertilizer and weed control to take full effect. If you still have weeds 7-10 days after the application please call our office and we will be glad to return free of charge. If your call happens to arrive within a week of your next scheduled application, the next application will be made rather than a service call.

The answer to this question has more to do with how you want your lawn to look, than what it needs. Current recommendations from Michigan State University's Extension Service indicate that 4 to 5 pounds of nitrogen should be applied per thousand square feet over the course of the growing season. Decide how many applications you are willing to make and divide up the nutrients needed. You can see that somewhere between 4 and 5 applications are needed to be sure your lawn gets the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

No. Most of our lawns are serviced during normal working hours. Unless otherwise instructed, your technician will complete his work and leave an invoice at your door.

Nobody wants weeds in their lawn. Our regular fertilization and weed control program will take care of 98% of these weeds. For the hardest to control weeds we offer specialized weed control treatments. These treatments need to be applied during specific times of the year, sometimes requiring multiple applications.  
A note about Crabgrass:
If you see something that you think is crabgrass, and it is's not crabgrass! It is probably a wild grass. Our pre-emergent crabgrass control is applied from late March – early May and will control the crabgrass for the season. This pre-emergent also controls a variety of these wild grasses mentioned above.
A note about hard-to-control weeds:

This would include weeds such as wild violet and ground ivy (creeping charlie). These weeds are harder to control than most due to their rooting structure and a thick waxy surface on the leaf that repels the weed control products. To kill these weeds, specialized treatments need to be applied during specific times of the year, sometimes requiring multiple applications. Let us know right away if you are struggling with weeds like these.

Diagnosing the proverbial "brown spot" in a lawn can drive even a seasoned professional crazy. There are so many variables that can cause the lawn to turn brown. One thing you never want to do is to apply a control material without knowing exactly what the problem is. If you apply the wrong stuff, you may end up causing more problems than you are trying to solve.

So where do you start?

Have you been watering correctly? Lack of water will cause lots of yellowing and spots. Plus, other problems will become worse if a lawn is not watered correctly. Over-watering can also yellow a lawn and can kill trees and shrubs!  What about mowing? If a lawn is mowed too short or not often enough, brown spots can and do appear. Is it a problem from pets? Both dogs and cats can cause spots...even if you don't own one of your own.

If all that has been taken care of, we start to look for diseases or insects. While there are millions of different insects in this world, only a select few will cause damage to a lawn. So it is pretty easy to know what to look for. Diseases are a little harder to pick out, but again, there are only a relative few that routinely cause damage, so knowing the symptoms and signs can help narrow down the cause.

If you are a Tender Lawn Care client, a trained service technician will come and check out your lawn or landscape for free. Please feel free to call us if you have a “brown spot."

The presence of mushrooms means there is often decaying organic matter (possibly old tree roots, wood, etc.) and/or excessive moisture (heavy rainfall, over watering, etc) in the soil.   Don't worry, mushrooms won't hurt your lawn and unless you are over watering there is nothing you can do to get rid of the mushrooms.  Once the soil dries out a little, wait about 3-5 days and the mushrooms will probably go away.  In the meantime, you can knock down the mushrooms with your lawn mower if you don’t like to see them.

Proper water is one of the most important maintenance practices required for maintaining healthy, beautiful lawns and landscapes.  Good water practices will also $ave you money!  To help prevent disease in your lawn it is best to water in the morning.

If you are a Tender Lawn Care customer, please feel free to call our office. We would be happy to mail/email watering guidelines to you!  Our only request is that you don’t water on your scheduled mowing day.
While the weekly chore of cutting the grass is rarely on the top-ten list of fun things to do (which is why Tender Lawn Care is here), it remains an essential part of caring for your lawn. The general rule you should follow is to not cut more than one third of the blade of grass off at any one time. If you cut the lawn once each week, that will usually comply with that guideline. One of the most common mistakes people make when cutting their grass is to cut it too low. The kinds of grasses found in Michigan lawns are meant to be cut at heights of 2.5 - 3.5 inches tall. If they are routinely cut lower than that they will not be as healthy and may begin to thin out and die.  You will only want to mow with a sharp lawn mower blade. The blade of your mower should be sharpened at least once each year, if not more. If the tips of the blades of grass are frayed after you mow, the blade of your lawn mower needs to be sharpened.
Finally, should I mulch or pick up the clippings? We like to encourage our customers to allow the grass clippings to remain on the lawn. With the restrictions on yard waste disposal and the benefits your lawn will receive, allowing the grass clippings to stay on the lawn makes good sense. The grass blades will not contribute to thatch because they all decompose within about six weeks, adding about five percent more fertilizer to the soil! (Thatch from grass clippings accounts for less than 1/16" per year.) Landscape waste (including grass clippings) makes up 20% of all curbside waste. When you can, why not be environmentally friendly!

Core Aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. It is the process of making thousands of holes in the turf to open up the soil and break up thatch. The core removed by the aerator "melts" back into the lawn and immediately begins to improve thatch breakdown and begins to stimulate microbial activity in the soil.  This is helps fight several diseases that can negatively affect your lawn. 

What Does Aerating Do? 
The root system of your lawn is constantly renewing itself by sending out new growth. This new growth needs loose and open soil. If your lawn is compacted, has a lot of clay, or is saturated with water, the new roots will stay near the surface or grow in the thatch layer. Aeration breaks up compacted, heavy soils giving the roots a place to go. Water penetration will be better and rooting will improve as well. 
Who Should Get Aeration And How Often? 
Every lawn can benefit from Core Aeration. It is suggested that a lawn be aerated at least every other year, but preferably every year. There is no bad time to have your lawn aerated.  Spring/Fall is often mentioned as a "better" time only because of the high level of activity of the root system. 
Will Aeration Control Thatch?
Core Aeration brings cores of soil up from below the lawn’s surface. We recommend that these cores be left on the lawn. By allowing these cores to mix back into lawn surface, these cores add back microbial agents which are needed to control thatch. This is not an immediate fix for a serious thatch problem, but is the best way to manage a thatch condition or help prevent thatch from becoming a problem.

We do not recommend these damaging processes. Power raking pulls as much or more good healthy grass out of the lawn along with the brown blades. This sets a lawn back several weeks from normal development. All those brown blades are not thatch, either! Those blades will decompose all by themselves in 6-8 weeks. Thatch is an underground network of roots, rhizomes, and stolons that form a dense mat. The only way power raking will remove real thatch is to set the machine all the way down to the soil and remove all of your lawn (this is not recommended!)  Core Aeration is often suggested as an alternative to power raking or "de-thatching."

As a general rule we do not recommend rolling your lawn as rolling compacts the soil.  Having compact soil promotes weed growth and eliminates open space in the soil which makes it harder for good nutrients (like fertilizer, air and water) to work their way into the soil to feed the grass.   As an alternative, we would recommend core aeration be done once a year.  Core aeration opens space up in the soil allowing the grass roots to spread and become stronger.  By opening up these spaces we also make it easier for the fertilizer, water and air to get into the soil!  That said, there are extreme cases where lawns have had extensive mole or insect damage where lawn rolling may be worth considering.  If lawn rolling is necessary, we would recommend that lawn aeration be completed after the lawn is rolled to help the lawn.

If you are not happy, we are not happy.  Simply call us and we will come back and retreat your lawn at no charge.

Yes we are.  All commercial lawn care applicators are required by the Michigan Department of Agriculture to be licensed, bonded, and insured to apply pesticides of any sort. All lawn care application technicians are required to be tested, certified, and recertified every three years. Tender Lawn Care is also licensed for residential and commercial snowplowing!

Yes, we have been a member (in good standing) of the BBB since 1980.