Common Turf Problems and Solutions

Jeff Farrington | Account Manager
Posted 4/14/2021

Turfgrass in Minnesota is dominated by cool season grasses including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall Fescue, fine fescue, and some less common varieties. A significant benefit of turf is that it is relatively care-free, especially in situations where it can be kept healthy.  However, in less-than-ideal situations, problems can occur. In this post, a few common problems and solutions are explored.

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Reflections on 30 Years: An Interview With The Guy That’s Been Here The Longest

Jeff Wilson | General Manager
Posted 12/6/2019

The following interview was conducted by General Manager Jeff Wilson with long time employee Chris Angus in November of 2019. Chris is the company’s longest tenured employee, having his 25th full-time employment anniversary in 2019. Chris has worked in almost every division of the company over the past 25 years (he claims that he has never done irrigation), and has gained vast experience in the industry. Chris presently is IPM division lead which means that he oversees all pesticide, and fertilizer applications, as well as supervising the detail crews. In the interview when Chris references Syd, he is referencing Horticulture Services founder Syd Stephan. He also refers to the leadership transition as Jeff stepped into the General Manager role in 2012 as Syd stepped away from the day to day management, He also references the ownership transition that took place when Syd sold the company to his daughter Cathy and her husband Trent in 2014.

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EAB Tunneling

What to do about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 11/28/2018

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has become a household name and a dreaded pest. Most people have heard of the devastation this pest has wrought on Ash trees in the eastern United States and know that it has an undeniable presence in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas now. This pest indiscriminately kills Ash (genus Fraxinus) regardless of the tree’s vigor or size. Emerald Ash Borer larvae (youth life stage) create meandering tunnels under the bark which disrupts the flow of nutrients and water between the leaves and roots, eventually this kills the tree. For more details on this pest, life cycle and current location in Minnesota please see Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s EAB information website. Now that this pest is in our backyard, it is time to finalize the strategy to use regarding this issue of EAB.

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cottontail rabbit sitting in clover looking into the woods.

Who Ate My Plants?! Thoughts on Rodent Damage

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 06/07/2018

Rodents are an order of mammals with a large pair of continually growing front teeth. This includes mice, squirrels, voles, gophers, beavers, capybaras, and many others. Some of whom have a voracious appetite for everything beautifully growing in your garden. Rabbits have these same characteristics, continuously growing front teeth and desire for garden plants, but they are not taxonomically considered rodents as rabbits possess four incisors rather than two. However, for the purposes of this discussion we will consider rodents and rabbits together and classify the plant injury each of these mammals cause as rodent damage. Rodent damage is the injury inflicted when mice, voles, squirrels, gophers, or rabbits gnaw on or consume parts or all of a plant. These pests go after the plants for food and to wear down their teeth preventing them from growing too long. Rodents and rabbits target a wide range of species including woody plants, turf, and herbaceous plants (perennials); the damage caused can range from fatal to insignificant but with careful planning and maintenance the issue of rodent damage can be managed.

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Spruce branch

What’s wrong with my spruce?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 11/15/2017

In recent years, the beauty of many spruce in the Twin Cities has significantly declined. This is not true for the entire population, but does speak to a large portion of these trees which many of us treasure in our landscape. A healthy spruce is a wonderful visual screen and wind block. It can also host strands of Christmas lights nicely, and when graced with a snowy white garment, there is little more beautiful in our winter wonderland. But lately, hordes of spruce have been discoloring and shedding massive quantities of needles. What is wrong with these plants and can anything be done?

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Aeration

The Benefits of Aeration

Syd Stephan | Founder | Horticulturist
Posted 09/26/2017

Aeration is one of the most beneficial practices in maintaining a healthy turf. Aeration is a low impact, sustainable practice requiring no pesticides or chemicals. Aeration improves absorption of water reducing the need for irrigation. By improving the vigor of the turf, aeration also reduces the need for applied fertilizer and weed killers. A healthy turf is more resilient to traffic and is less susceptible to diseases.

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Spraying

What is IPM?

Jake Louwsma CLP | Sales and Marketing Manager
Posted 05/30/2017

Have you ever heard the term “IPM” in the context of landscape maintenance and wondered what it means?  IPM is a term that’s thrown around quite a bit but isn’t often defined; leaving people confused, and sometimes too self-conscious to ask what it means.  By the end of this blog post, you should have a basic idea of what is meant by the term “IPM”.

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Fertilizer Application

Why Proper Turf Fertilization is Necessary

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 05/09/2017

Turfgrasses are one of the most populous plants used in our landscape and they are forced to grow on some of the worst situations. High demands are placed on these energetic plants that make up the carpet of our lawns. These tough grasses are required to hold a rich green color spring through fall. They must stand up to foot and vehicle traffic like no other plant. We ask them to be soft on our children’s bare feet and durable against our pets’ claws. We require all of this be accomplished on top of nutrient poor, stripped, and compacted urban soils.

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