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Carpenter Costin Blog

Renovate Your Lawn For Optimal Health


Lawn renovation is important to keep your lawn strong, healthy and lush. The healthier your lawn the easier it is to keep weeds from growing. In this post we will go over two of the main cultural practices; core aeration and over seeding and when you should have them done.

Core Aeration Process and Results


Core Aeration is the process in which a machine pulls out plugs of soil. The result is small holes which allow air, water and nutrients to reach the turf roots. The soil plugs are left on the lawn which then break down naturally. When the turf roots receive more air, water and nutrients they are able to produce a much more vigorous lawn.

The main reason to aerate your lawn is to reduce soil compaction. Soil compaction is a form of soil degradation. When the soil is compacted it compresses the soil and limits the amount of air and water available to the roots of the turf.

When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

When to aerate your lawn is the big question. Should you do it in the spring? Summer? or Fall? The answer is anytime during the growing season. This is because during the growing season you will allow the turf roots to expand into growth spaces created during the core aeration process. All lawns need yearly aeration. No aeration can cause compaction issues and a struggling lawn in the future.

Over Seeding


Over seeding is the application of seed over existing lawns to improve the density. Although it seems simple, there is some specifications that you'll want to know when deciding when to over seed.

When Should You Over Seed?

The ideal time to over seed your lawn is in the fall. The reason is that in the fall the soil is still warm but the air is cooler. When the air is cooler and soil is just warm there are fewer weeds for the new grass to compete with.

Signs your lawn needs overseeding:

  • Brown spots spreading across your lawn.
  • You haven't overseeded in the past few years.
  • Your lawn has thin spots or bare areas

It is far more cost effective and efficient to over seed than to remove the existing turf and install a new lawn from seed or sod.

Our lawn care experts can advise you on these cultural practices, and provide the necessary services to improve the health and beauty of your lawn. Please inquire for a free consultation with one of our lawn care pros, and get your lawn looking healthy, lush and strong!

Consult With A Turf Pro

Contact us at 877-308-8733 or

How to Identify and Remove Yellow Nutsedge From Your Lawn

What is Yellow Nutsedge?

Yellow nutsedge is a difficult weed to control that is found in grass areas. It is important to know that yellow nutsedge is not a grass or broadleaf weed, it is a sedge. 


Yellow nutsedge is a perennial plant that reproduces by its underground tubers also known as "nutlets". These "nutlets" form at the end of Rhizomes (horizontal roots that allow new shoots to grow upwards). One plant can produce up to several hundred tubers during the summer.


Yellow Nutsedge Life Cycle

Yellow nutsedge actively grows during the summer. It will continue to grow until the first frost in autumn but it doesn't stop there! A frost will only kill the part of the plant that is above the soil. The remaining portion of the plant (tubers) still remains and overwinters in the soil. Tubers that are not "active" can still germinate and come up the following season!

How To Identify Yellow Nutsedge




Yellow nutsedge is easiest to identify during the summer, as it's leaves grow much faster than grass and it will stick out like a sore thumb! Even if it is not summer there are other ways to identify it. For example, yellow nutsedge can be identified by its stem, leaves and color. It has a triangular stem as well as having leaves in groups of 3 (three-ranked). These leaves have a shiny/waxy look to them which sets them apart from the normal grass. The leaves are a light green to yellow color which can make it difficult to spot. If you look close enough it does not have tiny hairs on the leaf blades which many grasses do.

Natural Ways To Control Yellow Nutsedge

If you only have a few yellow nutsedge plants in your yard, you can hand pull them which will "eliminate" the weeds themselves. The tubers will still be in the soil. If you have a few of them and do pull them out the best way is to remove the ENTIRE plant by digging around the base leaving no trace of rhizome which can be difficult.


Yellow nutsedge is best controlled when your yard (turf) is well-drained and cut properly (not too short). Yellow nutsedge can still occur in well-drained areas specifically thin grass. The best way to solve that issue is to focus on growing a dense and healthy yard (turf) that can withstand a fight with weeds. To grow the dense turf consult a professional who practices proper turf management, fall fertilization and an irrigation system that can maintain the turf. A few ways to encourage dense grass growth is with core aeration and overseeding which work wonders together. 

Control Yellow Nutsedge with Herbicides

The only reason to consider herbicides is if you have very large patches of yellow nutsedge in your yard. The herbicides generally used for dandelions and crabgrass are ineffective against nutsedge due to it being a sedge. Even with the proper herbicide it still may take multiple applications to control it due to the tubers that are in the soil that have not yet begun to produce a plant.

If you have any questions about yellow nutsedge, interested in our turf management programs, or are interested in any of our other services please contact us at 877-308-8733 or email us at We are here to help!

Consult With A Turf Pro


Proper Spring Watering

Ensure your turf, trees, and shrubs are getting enough water this spring.

April is usually a month full of precipitation, but 2012 has been different. With very little rain, much of our region has been bordering on drought conditions. This does not bode well for plant and turf health, as ample water is necessary this time of year to ensure healthy growth in our landscape. Without enough rain water, you’ll need to take it upon yourself to keep your spring wateringsoil, turf, and plants watered.

If you have an irrigation system, with or without rain sensors, you may feel as though you are covered and you do not need to do any extra watering. This may be the case for your turf; however, most irrigation systems are not set up to water your trees and shrubs. A common misconception among homeowners with irrigation systems is that their whole landscape is covered – this is often untrue, so be sure you’re trees and shrubs are being watered too.

The general rule of thumb is to make sure your turf, shrubs, and trees get at least one inch of water each week. In an average spring we can get an inch or more of rain each week, but this spring has been different so be sure you're watering your landscape. Failure to water your landscape can lead to long-term health issues in your trees, shrubs, and lawn. Stressed trees and shrubs will be more susceptible to insect and disease infestation,and internal damage.

Take advantage of our free consultations and learn more about tree and turf health care from a Carpenter Costin pro.


watering tips for lawn and trees

Make sure you're watering this spring to keep your landscape green and healthy.

Fertilize Your Lawn Now For Great Results in the Spring

Fall lawn fertilization will help give your lawn what it needs to thrive next spring.

Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is one of the simplest forms of turf management there is. Effective, off the shelf fertilizers are readily available at your local hardware store, and will get your lawn the nutrients it needs. Invest in an inexpensive spreader, or borrow one from a friend, and broadcast the fertilizer across your entire lawn.

Fall turf fertilization provides your lawn with the nutrients and food needed to develop a strong root system, and improve the health and appeal of your lawn through the winter. Fertilizing will help ensure your lawn starts off on the right foot come spring time. Even if you don't decide to use any other fall lawn care practices, such as core aeration or slice seeding, be sure you apply fertilizer because it is so easy to do, and is extremely beneficial to your turf.

Our turf management programs include fall fertilization; however, we also provide target fertilization treatments. Our lawn care pros highly recommend turf fertilization in both the spring and fall, and can provide target treatments at this time. To request a fall fertilization, or to speak with a lawn care pro, click the button below or call 877-308-8733.


fall lawn fertilization 

Warm Fall is Extending Lawn Care Season

Beautiful, warm weather is bringing many people joy and happiness, as the summer-like high temps are great for outdoor activities. However, this weather also brings an extended growing and lawn care season. Care for your turf now, before its too late!

In previous posts, we've stressed the importance of fall lawn care. Caring for your lawn in the fall should not be neglected, as this is the prime time for root development. For a healthy, lush lawn in the spring, it is necessary to invest time now.

Despite some chilly temperatures last week, the past few days have been spectacular, picture perfect fall days. This extension of the warm weather season means that you now have more time to care for your lawn! Be sure to combine cultural practices with lawn treatments to ensure your turf is in the best shape possible before winter.

Fall lawn care tactics that should not be ignored include:

  • Core Aeration
  • Slice Seeding
  • Over Seeding
  • Fertilization
  • Liming
  • Irrigation

Take advantage of this nice weather while it is still here and care for your lawn now; because before you know it, you'll be sporting a heavy coat and winter hat. Investing in your turf this fall will ensure a much healthier and better looking lawn come spring time.

Interested in improving your lawn, but not sure what to do or how to do it? Have a Carpenter Costin turf expert come out for a free consultation.



Grub Damage in New England

If you're noticing areas of your lawn that have been mysteriously ripped up or damaged, it may be because you have an abundance of grubs in your turf.

Grubs are beetle larvae that hatch in your soil and feed on the roots of your turf. Though the damage caused by grubs can be significant, it is usually the animals looking to eat the grubs, such as skunks and raccoons, that cause the most damage. The sharp claws of skunks and raccoons can easily dig through your turf and soil while searching for skunks. This action can leave your lawn looking like it has been roto-tilled.

Earlier in the summer, we sent out a notification about the abundance of European & Masked Chafers, and Japanese Beetles. These chafers and beetles have mated and their larvae are now active in many lawns across New England. Due to the significant number of larvae, or grubs, damage is especially high this year. However, the threat is diminishing. As the temperature drops, the larvae will either pupate and leave the soil, or they'll tunnel down even further to withstand the cold winter.skunk damage digging grubs

We are being called to many lawns that have been damaged by animals digging for grubs. As our Technical Services Manager and Turf Expert, Paul Miller, mentioned earlier in the year, "Grubs are the shrimp cocktail for skunks, raccoons, and crows." These animals will devastate your turf in their quest for grubs, and unfortunately it leads to a substantial investment in sodding, seeding, and lawn repair.

Considering the amount of damage caused by grubs this year, we highly recommend factoring preventative grub treatments into your future pest management and lawn care programs. It is too late now to use preventative measures, but plan on preventing grubs with a treatment early next summer. Preventative treatments can save you from the huge headache and investment associated with a lawn renovation.

When evaluating your pest management program for next year, seriously consider adding the preventative grub treatment. Our lawn care pros are always available to discuss your pest management or lawn health care needs. Request a free consultation to determine the right plan for you.


skunk grub damage

Skunks, raccoons, crows, and many other animals and birds love to feast on grubs. They will literally tear your lawn apart looking for the tasty grubs.

Slice Seed Your Lawn for Thick, Healthy Turf Year Round

Slice seeding during the fall helps to promote a healthy, great looking lawn throughout all of the seasons.

A slice seeder is a mechanism that creates small slices or slits in your turf to helpslice seeding improve the water, mineral, and air flow in your soil, and help relieve soil compaction. Couple these slices with the broadcast of new seed, and you'll be well on your way to developing a dense, lush lawn this fall.

The increase of organic material, water, and air in your turf will help speed up seed germination and promote optimal root development.

It is best to slice seed in the fall, especially if you experienced drought-like or dry conditions over the summer. Cultural practices, like slice seeding, will efficiently repair a lawn that was damaged over the summer. With the fairly warm day time temperatures we experience in late summer/fall, and cooler, wet nights that come in September and October, slice seeding your lawn now can truly improve the short-term and long-term appeal of your turf.

Your lawn can benefit from fall cultural practices. Don't miss out on a free lawn care consultation with a Carpenter Costin pro. Click the button below to arrange a free meeting with a turf care pro.





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