Maple Leaf Lawn Care of Madison, Wisconsin, offers full-service programs to manage lawns, yards, trees and shrubs. It features a year-long program of lawn care that is divided into five rounds of applying fertilizer and herbicides, beginning in the spring and ending in the fall. It also has an organic program to fertilize and control weeds without the use of chemicals, and it offers other lawn care services.
Five-Round Turf Care
Maple Leaf begins Round 1 from April to the middle of May by applying 19-0-6 fertilizer that contains sulfur-coated urea and 10 percent Dimension, a preemergent herbicide that kills crabgrass. The 19-0-6 number means that the fertilizer contains the ratio, by weight, of 10 percent nitrogen (N), no potassium (P) and 6 percent phosphorus (K). Nitrogen greens up the grass and makes it grow vigorously. Maple Leaf may also apply contact herbicides to emerging broadleaf weeds.
In Round 2, from mid-May to mid-June, Maple Leaf applies 30-0-10 fertilizer that contains 50 percent sulfur-coated urea. It also applies an herbicide to kill dandelions and other broadleaf weeds.
In Round 3 in July, Maple Leaf applies a 24-0-11 granular fertilizer that also contains 2 percent iron and 1 percent manganese. The company uses a contact herbicide to spot-spray weeds.
In Round 4 from mid-August to mid-September, Maple Leaf applies a 30-0-10 sulfur-coated urea, plus herbicides to kill broadleaf weeds. This round helps turf thrive in the stressful summer heat.
In the final Round 5 in October, Maple Leaf applies a 24-0-11 fertilizer that is 50 percent sulfur-coated urea. Maple Leaf also spot-sprays weeds. This final round promotes the development of roots and helps the turf prepare for winter.
Organic Lawn Care
Maple Leaf uses EcoSential organic fertilizer that also controls weeds before they appear. This 16-2-6 fertilizer is made of corn gluten meal, a byproduct of corn milling. Maple Leaf applies EcoSential in the spring, early summer, summer, early fall and late fall. As an herbicide, EcoSential helps suppress the growth of crabgrass, clover, large dandelions and foxtail.
Maple Leaf mows lawns weekly and trims the edges along curbs, driveways and sidewalks. The company's mowers have pneumatic tires to limit soil compaction and other damage from the weight of the mower.
Lawn thatch is a layer of debris, mostly dead grass clippings, that collects above the soil and beneath the grass. Thatch often results when too much fertilizer has been applied or there are not enough microorganisms to digest the thatch. If it gets too deep, thatch prevents air, water and nutrients from reaching the roots, and the lawn will become thin. Maple Leaf offers dethatching services, best undertaken in the early spring.
Aeration, the process of removing tiny plugs, or cores, from the soil, increases the amount of air, water and nutrients that reach the soil, encourages beneficial microorganisms in the soil and helps the grass develop deep roots. Maple Leaf aeration service removes 20 to 40 little-finger-size plugs, or cores, every square foot. Lawns will look rough for a few weeks as the rain dissolves the plugs. Maple Leaf says lawns may need aerating every second or third year, depending on the type of soil and the traffic on the lawn.