Ask Danny | Ep. 1: Improving Your Lawn’s Health

Walter S. Timmons
This week’s “Ask Danny” visitor is lawn expert Sid Sexton.

Welcome to the first episode of Today’s Homeowner’s new podcast, “Ask Danny.”

Each individual week, I chat with an marketplace mate to deal with your household advancement questions. We’ll share professional strategies and realistic assistance to help you succeed! Additionally, there’s often a exclusive or funny tale together the way.

Right now we are conversing about garden treatment and sodding, with Sid Sexton. Sid is the founder of Sexton Garden & Landscape in Daphne, Ala., and is certified in turf and ornament spraying, landscape style and design, and placing of landscape crops.

Sid Sexton is the founder and president of Sexton Garden & Landscape. (Photo courtesy Sexton Garden & Landscape)

About Sid Sexton

As the founder of Sexton Garden & Landscape, Sid is a down-to-earth, honest businessman with a adore for lawn care, landscape design and style, and providing the greatest items to his clientele.

Starting at age 16, Sid expended his summers functioning for a nearby landscape enterprise and the nearby country club and golfing system in his hometown of Muskogee, Okla.

Following earning his bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration with a minimal in horticulture, Sid joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in Hawaii, the place he achieved his potential spouse, Jourdan.

He was honorably discharged after two yrs and commenced functioning as an account manager for a landscape firm. In January 2004, he started Sexton Lawn & Landscape.

(Graphic by means of Sexton Lawn & Landscape, Inc. Facebook)

Sid is licensed in turf and ornament spraying, landscape design and style, and placing of landscape vegetation. He is also a Certified Landscape Experienced and carries on his instruction by way of workshops, on the net classes and other occasions various occasions throughout the 12 months.

Hold looking at for his guidance on typical lawn problems.

Out-of-management clover weeds are a signal that your lawn isn’t balanced. (LeslieLauren, Getty Illustrations or photos Signature)

Controlling Weeds

“We laid sod in our property a couple years back and it’s held up effectively until recently. We’re starting up to detect a lot extra weeds than normal. What should we do?” 

Sid: The very best weed control is a nutritious lawn. Grass wants 3 key things to thrive — sunlight, water and nutrition, and in that purchase.

See if the sod is having sufficient daylight. Trim any branches that could be casting way too considerably shadow on to the grass.

Also, consider about the style of grass. Some sorts of grass thrive in one locale and fall short in a further. The type of sod could not be shade-tolerant. There is no serious shade-loving turf, but there are some that tolerate a selected total of shade.

Subsequent, take into consideration irrigation. Are you watering too a lot or much too minor? The ideal balance is dependent on the style of turf you have.

The previous action ought to be fertilization and weed management. If weeds are the concern and you experience like you have enough sun, water and nutrients, make contact with a experienced for a weed handle plan.

A main aerator only needs to be applied on remarkably-compacted lawns. (

Lawn Aeration

“Should most people aerate a lawn, or is that in a problem when you suspect the floor has gotten a lot more compacted?”

Sid: The solution depends on how a lot visitors you have on your garden.

Do you have some mature trees and are individuals roots are acquiring bigger and bigger and using up much more area under the grass. Do you have pet dogs or little ones? Is there a soccer match in the backyard each and every weekend? This will cause compaction.

If this is the circumstance, you need to core aerate. If it is a sports turf, you should really core aerate 2 times a year. 

For common home owners, the moment a 12 months, if that, is ample. 

And just before you aerate, mark the places of your sprinkler heads.

To lay the ideal groundwork for sod, till up the soil and vegetation. (3 Echoes Content material Studio)

Prepping for Sod

“What really should you do in advance of sodding your garden?”

Sid: Right before laying sod, take five or six soil samples from the entrance and yard.

Label them so you’ll know what area of your yard demands soil amendment. Talk to with your neighborhood extension office environment to see what treatments you must do.

Following your soil is amended and you’re all set to lay the sod, commence prepping. There is no require to get rid of all vegetation, but you do require to get rid of the weeds. 

In advance of laying the sod, break up the soil with a until. This will create a comfortable changeover layer of soil that will make it simpler for the grass roots to just take maintain. 

Then, insert some organic and natural issue to generate a dwelling soil for your sod to thrive, like Black Cow(This is an affiliate website link. If you acquire this merchandise, we will earn a little commission at no further charge to you.)

Improve up your mowing pattern each and every so often. (MariusBlach/Getty Pictures)

Sid Sexton’s Mowing Guidelines

  • Sharpen your garden mower blade at the very least when for each year. A sharp blade will make a wonderful clear lower and will not tear the grass blades.
  • Modify up mowing designs. Do not mow in the similar way each and every time each year. It assists the grass to improve a various way and lessens the likelihood of ruts in your property.
  • Make positive you know the mowing top for your turf sort. Distinct grasses expand most effective when at certain heights. For example, the encouraged peak for St. Augustine grass is 3-4 inches, while Bermuda grass desires to be reduce at an inch and a half. 

A bad garden could possibly not be caused by the soil alone, but by what critters are inside of of it. (Smaglov, Getty Photographs)

Sid’s Come across with the Elusive Floor Pearl

In the course of the training course of his horticulture studies in school, Sid realized about an insect known as a ground pearl. Ground pearls are living in the soil, feed on turf roots and search like a pearl, as their title indicates.

Above the several years, he’s read about floor pearls in seminars and examine about them in textbooks, but he had by no means found 1 in genuine daily life. 

“I imagined it was the Loch Ness monster — a thing you said when you could not figure out what was completely wrong with a lawn,” Sid says.

This modified, while, when he bought a property in 2012. For 9 months, he struggled to uncover the trigger of why the grass’ health was declining. The response turned apparent when he was digging to plant a tree and pulled out a big wad of soil.

There were being white and pink dots almost everywhere! Lo and behold, it was the elusive floor pearl.

Now, he sees them all over the place!

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