Lawn Maintenance Glossary
Anti-desiccant– A foliage spray designed to help trees hold in moisture in dry or wintry conditions. (especially evergreens)
Aeration – The process of removing plugs of soil to relieve soil compaction and allowing oxygen, water and nutrients to enter the ground.
Broadleaf weeds– Weeds, such as dandelion, clover, and chickweed, that take resources from turf and disrupt the texture of the lawn.
Crabgrass– This high-growing grass with branching stems often appears with purplish tones and spreads easily, crowding out other turf and disrupting the uniform presentation of your lawn.
Fairy Ring– This is a circular ring of mushrooms, occurring naturally in lawns, with dark green grass in the center. Mushroom spores spawn underground, fanning out in all directions in search of nutrients.
Fertilizer– Organic or inorganic compounds that promote growth in plants by providing major nutrients and micronutrients.
Fertilization – The proper application of the proper amount of fertilizer encourages growth and flowering in turf and plants. It is also known as "feeding."
Fire ants– These creatures have a painful sting that can be deadly to small animals or hypersensitive humans. They are most commonly found in the southern United States.
Fleas– These tiny insects are not harmful to lawns but are a nuisance and a health problem for humans and pets since they feed on the blood of mammals.
Foundation plants– Trees and shrubs that enhance the look of a home when placed next to the foundation of a house.
Grass-cycling – The process of allowing grass clippings to remain on the lawn and decompose naturally, returning nutrients to the soil.
Grassy weeds – Weeds such as crabgrass, foxtail and goose grass create an uneven look to lawns and take resources from the desirable grass.
Grubs – The larval forms of beetles, grubs live in the soil and feed on plant roots. A grub-damaged lawn usually shows large, irregular sections of brown turf that detach easily from the soil.
Integrated pest management (IPM) – IPM is a method that works to control pests by combining monitoring, cultural care, control products and proper plant selection.
Micronutrients – Essential nutrients needed in tiny amounts for healthy plant growth.
Moles – Small mammals that dig tunnels that cause unsightly trails on the surface of the lawn and disrupt the root system.
Mulch – Any material applied to soil to protect or improve a certain area. It is often used around trees and shrubs for protection against weeds and to help retain water. While organic items such as leaves and yard debris can be used as mulch, be careful to monitor the pH of such materials as rapid decomposition can make the mulch too acidic.
PH level– This indicates the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. A pH value of 7.0 is neutral. Values less than this are acidic, while values greater are alkaline. Soil pH can be raised by adding lime (increasing alkalinity) and lowered by adding sulfur (increasing acidity).
Pre-emergent weed control– A treatment used to prevent the appearance of weeds such as crabgrass.
Reseeding– The application of grass seed to fill in thin or bare spots on a lawn.
Snow mold– This disease is caused by a fungus and develops in cool, wet weather. It can lead to crown and root rotting under winter snows.
Soil enrichment– Improving the quality of the soil by adding organic supplements and microbes to boost soil health.
Thatch – A natural layer of plant material made up of dead grass (roots, stems, leaves) that can be harmful to a lawn if allowed to become too thick. Thatch is not caused by leaving grass clippings on the lawn (grass cycling).
Ticks – These miniscule creatures are actually from the arachnid (spider) family and feed on the blood of pets and humans. Ticks are dangerous because they carry debilitating and life-threatening diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They are not harmful to turf.
Verti-Seeding– A method of applying seed that involves turning up the soil to achieve proper seed to soil contact.