Fairway Green, Inc
9 Ilene Ct, Suite 14 Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Phone: (908) 281-7888
This is default featured slide 1 title

This is default featured slide 1 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 2 title

This is default featured slide 2 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 3 title

This is default featured slide 3 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 4 title

This is default featured slide 4 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 5 title

This is default featured slide 5 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »


Getting Rid of Voles

The picture above shows what runways from voles look like in a lawn. Learn more about getting rid of voles below.

What is a Vole?

Have you ever heard of a vole? Don’t worry, although this rodent is common, many people have never heard of them. Often referred to as meadow or field mice, these small rodents are generally dark brown or gray in color and only around five to eight inches in length, while their body is frequently more robust than a mouse.

Voles construct runways at the lawn surface with numerous burrow openings that typically stem from shrub beds or wood lines. In some cases, the network of runways can be extensive, covering a significant area of a property. While these trails can be found any time of the year, they are most often discovered as snow begins to melt in the early spring. Under snow cover and hidden from predators, voles will venture further into open areas foraging for food. Following a winter with persistent snow coverage for long periods, damage tends to be worse.

Distinguishing a Vole from a Mouse

Prior to protecting your property and getting rid of voles, it is important to be able to identify the mouse-like rodent as it differs from other rodents like moles, mice and rats. Voles are almost always mistaken for mice and one of the best ways to differentiate the rodents is by tail length. Mice have long tails that are equal to about half of their body length while voles’ tails are shorter. Their tail has thin hair and is darker on the upper side than the lower side.  Another distinguishing characteristic includes their round head shape and blunt snout. The voles’ eyes are very small and black, and their ears are covered by fur.

There are several species of voles that are native to our area and eat a wide variety of plants, most frequently grasses and glasslike plants. In the late summer and fall they store seeds, tubers, bulbs, and rhizomes. They primarily eat bark in the fall and winter, and will also eat grain crops, especially when populations are high. Occasionally food items include snails, insects and animal remains. Voles are active day and night year-round, with peak activity being from dawn to dusk. Their home range is usually a quarter of an acre or less, but this range varies with season, population density, habitat and food supply.

Most importantly, voles need ground cover to survive and therefore avoid open ground areas. Cleared spaces as narrow as 10 inches inhibit their movements.

Although voles breed throughout the year, breeding is most common during spring and summer months. Generally, they have one to five litters per year and litter sizes range from one to 11 young and the gestation period is about 21 days. Further, the young are weaned by the time they are 21 days old, and females are sexually active in 35 to 40 days. Voles have short life spans that generally range from two to 16 months.

Getting Rid of Voles

Unfortunately, the eradication of voles is not easy for homeowners, nor is it completely necessary. However, if getting rid of voles is a priority, repellents or chemical lures can be effective in some cases but cannot provide one hundred percent control. Additionally, these chemical repellants should be used with caution due to subsequent effects on certain birds and other small mammals like chipmunks and squirrels.

Traditional mmousetraps(a ‘snap trap’) baited with food items and placed near the runways can also be effective in catching some voles. Nevertheless, this method does not reduce the vole population numbers significantly.

Protecting plants from voles in shrub beds can be done with a fence buried three to six inches below the soil surface and bent outward into an L shape. Above ground, the fence should be from four to 12 inches tall. Use non-rusting, one quarter inch mesh. Hardware cloth works well for this purpose.

Removing weeds, mulch and other crop litter around gardens will help protect plants. Create a bare border space around your garden or dig a trench twelve inches in depth and wide enough to step over easily to discourage voles. To learn more about weed control in mulch beds, check out helpful tips about applying pre-emergent weed control.

While getting rid of voles may be difficult, the damaged grass and plants can grow back! Once the grass begins actively growing, vole trails become less obvious. Spring fertilization helps speed the lawn’s recovery; however, minor touch up seeding may be necessary to further correct the issue.


One key takeaway about voles is that they prefer a location with cover. Expect to have less vole damage during mild winters with short periods of snow cover. If you are in our service area and have any questions about getting rid of voles, please feel free to call our office at 908-281-7888.

Winter Damage on your Landscape Plants

When we think of snow, we’re reminded of slippery roadways, shoveling, salting our driveways and walkways, sitting in front of a warm fireplace and often forget about the plants outside in the landscape.  Not all plants will have winter damage.  Sometimes the snow will act like an insulator and protect your plants against the cold temperatures and winds.  However, there are many other factors that can cause winter damage to plants that you may not have thought about.

What kind of winter damage can occur?

winter and snow damage to plantsIn general, the winter brings cold day time temperatures, less sunlight and moisture, potentially heavy winds and freezing nights.  Some plants are hardy enough to survive the cold winter months.  However, a plant weakened by summer stress may be more susceptible to winter and snow damage.

The first kind of winter damage to plants is called desiccation.  Desiccation occurs when the ground is frozen and plants cannot take up water, causing the leaves to dry out.   Water loss is greatest during windy, sunny and milder weather.  The leaves of broadleaf evergreens will curl inward and hang down when there is not enough moisture in the leaves.  You will notice the leaves start to burn around the edges and slowly work inward.  After turning brown and drying up, the leaves may fall off the branches.

The next type of winter damage to plants is “bark splitting” or “frost cracking”.  Heating and freezing on a daily basis, along with wind and bright sunny skies will cause the dehydrated bark to split open or crack.  The water inside the tree will freeze and expand causing the splitting.  This can cause injury or death to the tree.  Most of the smaller ornamental plants will recover from this by growing the bark back together again, but bigger trees may not able to recover.

winter and snow damage to plantsOne often overlooked form of winter damage to plants and trees is caused by salt.  Wind-driven salt sprays from road trucks can travel up to 150 feet. The salt can cause extreme damage to pine, spruce and fir trees.  Salt damage to evergreen plants causes the needles to brown from the tip to the base.  Trees that lose their leaves each year may be damaged as well, but the damage will not be noticeable until the spring of the following year when the plants do not leaf out or bud properly because of bud damage.  If rain or snow melt does not dilute salt placed on sidewalks or driveways, the soil becomes very salty and can easily damage plants.  Follow this link to our salt damage blog for more information.

Finally, there is ice and snow damage.  This can happen when there is excessive snow on landscape plants.  Snow can accumulate on plants naturally from a snowstorm, or it can be piled up on plants as we remove snow from our sidewalks and driveways.  Oftentimes we don’t have anywhere to put the snow and we throw it onto our landscape plants without realizing it.  This will put a significant amount of weight on the branches of your plants causing them to bend or break and impede the flow of nutrients and moisture in the vascular system of the plant.  This type of snow damage is difficult to identify and will not likely show up for several months into the growing season.

What can I do to help reduce winter damage to plants?

  1. Pick trees and shrubs that are hardy and good for the specific area you live in.
  2. We recommend an anti-desiccant application for all broadleaf evergreens on your property to help stop desiccation. An anti-desiccant spray will coat the foliage of the evergreen plants with a thin layer of an organic “sealant” to help them resist the drying power of winter winds and conserve the moisture vital to their health.
  3. Wrap your landscape plants with burlap or create a “screen” or “windbreak” around the plants that are susceptible to winter damage. This will help reduce the constant cold wind directly hitting the landscape plants and protect them from snow, frost and ice.
  4. Protect the trunks of the smaller trees from “frost crack” or “bark splitting” with a commercial tree wrap such as a polyurethane spiral wrap or paper wrap. The wrap should be applied in the fall, and should be removed prior to the spring.
  5. Fertilize your plants. The lack of proper nutrition can make your landscape plants more susceptible to winter damage. You should have your plants fertilized regularly in the fall to provide the necessary nutrients the plants will need for the winter.
  6. Water your newly planted trees and shrubs until the ground freezes and apply 3-5 inches of mulch to help insulate the ground around the roots of the trees and shrubs.
  7. Wait until the plants are dormant before pruning. Pruning while the plant is actively growing can cause the tree to grow more and put out new growth. This new growth will not survive the cold winter and can lead to disease or rot causing decline and permanent damage.
  8. After a snowstorm we recommend you brush off the snow from the branches of your trees and shrubs to protect from snow damage. Lightly knock off the snow with a broom. This will reduce the weight on the individual branches which will help reduce bending or breaking.   However, do not try and remove ice from your trees and shrubs after an ice storm.  This will most likely cause more harm than good to your plants.  Also, when shoveling or snow blowing the driveway and walkways, try not to throw the snow onto the landscape plants.  Put the snow onto areas that can handle heavy, wet snow.
  9. Finally, try to minimize your salt usage on your sidewalks and driveways as much as possible. Runoff can cause the salt that has not dissolved to run into your landscape beds, roads and sewers.


There are many ways your trees and shrubs can be damaged during the winter season.  The good news is there are options available to help minimize stress and winter damage to plants.  If you are in our service area and have any questions about protecting your plants this winter, please feel free to call our office at 908-281-7888.

Protecting Your Plants During Winter

protecting plants during winterWinters in New Jersey have become more severe in recent years, causing damage to trees and shrubs annually, this why protecting plants during the winter is important.  Damage includes bent or broken branches, split trunks, desiccation, dead tips and deer damage.  All plants have vascular systems which carry essential nutrients and water throughout the plant.  When this system is compromised we can see various stages of damage to your winter landscaping.  The weight of snow and ice can bend or crack these systems causing the flow of nutrients and moisture to be interrupted.  Freezing temperatures and high winds can cause desiccation injury.  These issues can cause discoloration of foliage and may result in poor growth and die back.  In severe cases, injury can be seen immediately, while other injuries may not become apparent until later in the season when the plant is under other stress, like from the summer heat or drought.

Tips for Protecting Plants During Winter

protecting plants during winterFor protecting plants during winter, we recommend an anti-desiccant application for all of the broadleaf evergreens on your property.  Desiccation refers to the drying out of a living organism.  In your landscape plants, winter desiccation injury occurs when plants lose moisture from the leaves and do not have the ability to absorb water from the frozen soil.  This results in drying out and discoloration of the leaves.  An anti-desiccant, also called “anti-transparent” is a liquid spray applied to the foliage of evergreen plants to slow the rate at which moisture is lost.  The liquid is sprayed onto the foliage until it is completely covered and there is slight run off of material.

Next, in protecting your plants during winter, you may wrap your plants with burlap.  For small plants you may wrap the burlap over or around the plants and secure it with twine. For moderate to large plants, it’s best to drive stakes into the ground around the plant and then secure the burlap to the stakes by staples. This creates a “screen” or “windbreak” around the plant.  Burlap and stakes can be purchased from most garden centers, improvement stores, nurseries and co-ops.

The bark on trees should be wrapped to reduce “buck rub.”  “Buck rub” is when a male deer rubs its forehead and antlers on a tree’s bark.  These abrasions to the bark caused by the deer may damage the vascular system inside of the trees.  Protect the trunk with a commercial tree wrap such as a polyurethane spiral wrap or paper wrap.  The wrap should be applied in the fall, and must be removed prior to the spring.

When there is a tremendous amount of snow on trees and shrubs, we recommend you brush or shake off the snow from the branches as soon as possible.  Lightly brush off the snow using an upwards motion with a broom.  This will reduce the weight on the individual branches, helping reduce bending or breaking.   However, do not try and remove ice from your trees and shrubs after an ice storm!  This will most likely cause more harm than good to your plants.  It is best to let ice melt naturally.

protecting plants during winterFertilize your plants each fall will help in protecting plants during winter.  The lack of proper nutrition can make your landscape plants more susceptible to winter damage.  You should have your plants fertilized regularly to provide the necessary nutrients the plants need for the winter.

Water the plants throughout the fall even as it gets cooler out.  In the fall, plants are still growing and require good soil moisture to do so.  Keeping the soil around the roots moist until the ground freezes will ensure the plants have adequate moisture going into the winter.

Another helpful tip in protecting plants during winter is maintaining 2-3 inches of mulch in your landscape beds.  This will insulate the soil and help regulate soil temperatures throughout the year. Please note that mulch should not be piled high on the truck of trees or covering the shrubs. This may lead to decay and damage in the future.  For more information please click this link to our blog on proper mulching techniques.

Try and keep deer from feeding on your trees and shrubs during the winter.  Have the trees and shrubs in your landscape sprayed with a winter deer repellent application?  A treatment of a product called Deer Pro Winter during the fall or early winter can last up to four to five months.  In extreme cases, you or your landscaper can wrap your plants with burlap or put up deer fencing to protect plants during the winter.  In some landscaping, it may be recommended to have the trees and shrubs all sprayed monthly with a deer repellent throughout the season to minimize deer damage.


The best defense against any problem is a healthy landscape.  The healthier and stronger a plant, the better its ability to recover from minor injury.  However, even healthy plants can decline due to winter injury.  This is why following the tips above and protecting plants during the winter is extremely important.  If you are in our service area and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 908-281-7888.

Deep Root Fertilization

deep root fertilization

The picture above is a deep root tree fertilization.

Trees and shrubs are living things.  Like all living things, they need oxygen, water, and food.  In the natural environment, these three essential ingredients are readily available most of the time.  Oxygen is always available.  Water comes from rain.  Finally, food comes in the form of organic matter recycling back into the soil.  Organic matter can be leaves, branches, beneficial bacteria, and even decaying animals.  This is all part of the “circle of life”.  However, this “circle of life” is not as prevalent in the homeowner’s landscape.

Picture a wooded lot that has stood untouched since the beginning of time.  Now John The Builder has bought the lot and wants to build 20 homes on half acre parcels.  The first thing they will have to do is remove the trees and clear the lots.  After this is done, they will need to grade and level the lots.  Sometimes additional soil, or fill dirt, is brought in from off site.  The existing, untouched, nutrient rich soil gets turned over continuously and mixed in with fill dirt.  Next, the builders will have to install temporary roadways and driveways so they can get their construction vehicles in and out without incident.  Homes and other structures are built.  During this time, new trees and shrubs are planted to create an aesthetic landscape.

Why do I need Deep Root Fertilization?

A few things are happening here to be mindful of.  First, ‘fill dirt’ means just that.  It holds little to no nutritional value.  So now we have this fill dirt mixed in with nutrient rich soil, which dilutes the available nutrients.  Also, in untouched soils there are bacteria called mycorrhizae.  This bacterial is extremely important to plants because they attach to roots.  When mycorrhizae grows, it produces hair-like extensions from those roots.  In essence, the bacteria increases the area in which roots can reach for water and nutrients.  In landscapes, this bacteria is not readily available because the soils have been disturbed.  Organic matter that recycles back into the soil, like leaves, are constantly removed.  Not many homeowners leave all the leaves on their yard or in the beds when they fall because it leaves a messy appearance.  Believe it or not, leaves are a great source of nutrients.  Because we remove a lot of the nutrient sources, our trees and shrubs can benefit from a supplemental source, such as deep root fertilization.

deep root fertilization

The deep root fertilization injects nutrients directly into the root zone.

Soil compaction also plays a role in nutrient availability.  Soils are now compacted from all of the equipment that was used to build the house or install the landscape plants.  Compacted soils make it much more difficult for rainwater and nutrients to penetrate and get down to the root system.  Rainwater can run right off the compacted soils before they seep into the ground. Also, compacted soils make it harder for roots to ‘breathe’.  Finally, the trees that were initially there to provide shade and keep the soil moist are no longer there, and the soils dry out much quicker.

So, how does deep root fertilization help? 

Our deep root fertilization treatment combines a complete fertilizer with an organic soil conditioner. Together they are designed to increase plant vitality and improve poor soil conditions.  Plants that do not have readily available nutrients can go under stress which opens the door for more problems.  So, this is one of the most beneficial applications that can be done to your landscape.  If you have any questions about deep root fertilization, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 908-281-7888. Here is a link to our website where you can find more information on our Deep Root Fertilization Treatments and other services for Trees and Shrubs.

Turf Damaging Insects

There are many types of insects that can damage a lawn, but we are going to focus on a few of the most common turf damaging insects in the New Jersey.


First of the lawn destroying insects are grubs, and they can cause substantial and costly damage in our area that requires seeding to repair.

Grubs are the sub-surface stage of beetles. There are many types of grubs found in the northeast, but as a group, the white grub is the most widespread and destructive turf insect in our area. Beetles lay their eggs in lawns. The eggs hatch and produce grubs that feed on the root system of the lawn.  The most common species of beetles that people can commonly identify is the Japanese beetle.  Beetles lay their eggs from June through the beginning of August.

The Identification of grubs is quite simple. They are a whitish cream color, accompanied by a brown head with chewing mandibles and three pairs of short jointed legs. They are usually found in a C-shaped posture.

The damaged caused by grubs can be quite extensive and is a result of the grubs chewing off roots close to the soil surface, severing the plant from the roots. A grass plant cannot survive without its roots. Signs of grub damage include thinning, yellowing, wilting and the appearance of scattered, irregular dead patches. The patches can increase in size and may join together to form larger areas of dead grass.

To find these turf damaging insects, go to the brown (dead areas) and pull at the grass, it comes up like a carpet. Beneath the layer of dead grass, you will be able to see grubs feeding. Secondary damage can also occur with the help of small animals, such as skunks, birds, raccoons and moles. They dig up the turf to feed on the grubs below. Below is a video that shows grubs in the lawn and how the turf pulls up like a carpet.

To avoid grubs and the damage associated with them, apply a preventative grub control in June or July. The process is quite simple; apply a grub control that waits in the soil for the grubs.  This can be applied while the beetles are laying their eggs or a little bit before they start.  The grub control product lasts in your lawn all summer long.  For more information on grubs and grub control, here is a link to our grub control.

It is also recommend that you DO NOT put out Japanese beetle traps because this attracts more beetles that could potentially lay eggs in your lawn. If you have already purchased one or multiple of these bags, we recommend to get rid of them now.  They do more harm than good because they attract more beetles than would naturally be in your yard.

Chinch Bugs

The next turf damaging insect popular to the area are chinch bugs. They can cause widespread and costly damage in home lawns.  Chinch bugs reside in the thatch layer of the lawn during the winter months, this is also referred to as overwintering. Similar to grubs and other turf insects, their damage can be permanent and require seeding to repair.

Chinch bugs typically have two generations per year and while looking you normally can spot the different stages of their life cycle. Chinch bugs start off in the egg stage, then they hatch into the nymph stage. The first nymphs are about 1mm and are bright red with a white band across their middle. The red changes to orange, then to an orange brown and finally black as the nymph’s progress. The last stage is the adult stage and adults are black with shiny white wings. There is a distinctive black spot near the margin of each forewing, and a black line extending diagonally toward the head.  It looks as though there is a white X on their back.

Chinch bugs feed by inserting their needle-like mouthparts into the crowns and stems of grasses and suck out the plant’s juices. At the same time, chinch bugs inject a toxic saliva into the plants which disrupts the flow of moisture, causing the plant to wilt and die.

Chinch bug damage can be quite extensive and costly to fix. Signs of chinch bug damage include gradual thinning, yellowing, wilting and the appearance of scattered, irregular dead patches. A chinch bug starts in one area and gradually grows outward, these patches can increase in size and may join together to form larger areas of dead grass. The dead grass does not pull up easily and the damage often times is confused with drought stress, disease or any number of other problems.

A surface insect control should be applied to stop further damage of the insect. Come the end of August, you can repair the damaged areas with seeding. Core aeration or dethatching should also be done annually to the lawn to reduce the thatch layer where the chinch bugs harbor over the winter.

Sod Webworm

The next turf damaging insect is the sod webworm, which are the larva of a moth.  They overwinters down in the soil inside their silken tunnels.  In the early spring they start to feed again, then in late May to early June they pupate in a cocoon emerging into adulthood as a moth.

The adult moths color pattern varies with each species and their size ranges from 1/2- to 3/4-inch long while sometimes having a small, dark line on the top of each wing cover. Two small, fingerlike projections are visible at the front of the head and look like a snout.  When the moth is at rest, the wings wrap around its body, giving it a tube like shape. On warm evenings you can see the moths flying low over the lawn in a zigzag pattern.  Adult females drop their eggs on to the ground while flying. These eggs then take 7 – 10 days to hatch.

Like the adult moths, the color pattern for the larva sod webworm varies with each species as well.  Most sod webworms are greenish, grayish, or brownish, and usually have dark spots scattered along their bodies. The head capsule of the larger stages of sod webworm are light brown with dark markings.

Sod webworm feeding occurs mostly at night, during this time the sod webworm emerges from its silken tunnel and chew off the leaves and stems just above the crown of the grass plant. The damage starts out looking like small yellow or brown patches gradually increasing in size. Since they are night feeders you do not see these turf insects during the day; however, upon inspection of the turf you normally are able to see their silken tunnels in the soil and a green pellet-like matter called “frass,” which is sod webworm excrement.

Control for sod webworm is easy. An insecticide should be applied and watered in to wash the insect control off of the grass blade and down into the soil where the sod webworms are located. Damage from sod webworms could be permanent and should be evaluated for seeding in late August or September.


If you have had an issue with insects in the past, or think you may have turf damaging insects now and are located within our service area, please feel free to contact Fairway Green Inc. with any questions or for a free evaluation and estimate for an insect control. You can call us at 908-281-7888 or request an estimate on our website.

Watering the Plants in your Landscape

Homeowners are quick to water the lawn when it begins to turn brown. What many homeowners forget to do is water their plants as well. Trees and shrubs are living things, and like all living things, they need water for survival.

Watering Methods

The big questions are, how much water do your trees and shrubs need, and what is the proper way to water them? There are many variations of ways to watering plants: using a bucket or plant waterer, with a hose, and utilizing an underground sprinkler system are a few methods.

The easiest way to water your plants is by using an underground lawn irrigation system with a timer on it. Set it and forget it, right? The only problem is that your lawn irrigation system function is to water your lawn, not your landscape plants. For example, an automated lawn irrigation system in hot and dry seasons is not going to provide enough water when watering your plants. A specialized irrigation system can be installed for your landscape plants through your irrigation company.

There are also hoses that you can buy at your local garden supply store that you can lay on the ground around the plants, they are normally referred to as soaker hoses. These hoses have tiny holes in them that allows water to seep out of it and into the soil. Additionally, external timers can be purchased at garden centers to turn the water on and off at your discretion. These hoses are handy because once you set them around the plants, all you have to do is to turn on the water. The other option with hoses is to water with a conventional hose without a nozzle attachment. With this type of hose you should place the hose at the base of each plant. With a hose running half of the maximum flow rate, trees can be watered around 30 minutes and shrubs for about five minutes. Depending on the size of your landscape, watering the plants could take quite some time.

Finally, watering with a watering can or bucket is another option. There are pros and cons to this method. Let’s start with the pros. First, you can control the amount of water that is being applied. For instance, you may know how many gallons said bucket is, and you could use that knowledge and to see how much water you are applying. Also, you can better control the rate at which the water is coming out. As for cons, there is one major one, it could be a lot of physical work! The watering can could be heavy and require multiple trips to the spigot for filling.

How much water do you need?

Now that we have watering methods out of the way, how much water is needed for your plants? The general rule is when you water shrubs, soak the soil approximately 12 inches deep. Keep in mind that the roots from the plants can extend out about 3 times the canopy spread. For example, if the canopy spread is about 2 feet, then the root spread would be about 6 feet. These root spreads are vital in taking up water. So, how do you know when you’ve reached the watering depth of 12 inches? A soil probe. This is an apparatus that you insert into the soil and it pulls out a plug. If you can get the probe 12 inches into the soil, you’re fine. As for how often, you should water the plants when the soil probe cannot get past 3-4 inches.

How often should you water your flowers and perennials? They do not need as much water as trees and shrubs because their root zone is closer to the soil. During hot, dry periods, you should water every day to where the soil is moist. These types of plants can dry out quickly if not watered frequently enough. You should also water early in the morning because it would allow the foliage of flowers to dry out. Leaving the foliage wet for too long can allow the plants to be more susceptible to diseases.

Finally, newly transplanted trees and shrubs require more water than established plants. Keep in mind that these plants are planted with a root zone that is much smaller than that of an established plant. So, for new transplants, watering as close to the base of the plants is best to allow the water to seep into the root zone. Water these plants every other day for the first couple months to promote establishment. It can take 2 to 3 years before a newly transplanted tree or shrub becomes firmly established.


Being vigilant with watering your plants allows you to enjoy the beauty of the landscape you are trying to create. If you are in our service area or have any questions, feel free to contact us at 908-281-7888 or visit our website at www.fairwaygreeninc.com.


11 Summer Lawn Care Tips

When thinking of summer we often think of relaxing and enjoying our home and lawn. The summer however, is the most stressful time of year for a lawn, it is brutally hot and very tough on your turf. Below are our 11 lawn care tips for the summer to keep your lawn healthy and green all season long.

Mow properly

Mowing at the proper height is essential. Mowing the turf high is best for the health of your grass and it is recommended to keep the grass cut at 3 – 3 ½ inches throughout the season. By keeping the grass taller, the lawn obtains more sunlight during the day which helps the grass produce food and energy. Keeping the grass tall also helps to shade the soil under the turf canopy, helping to keep the soil moist and reduce weed growth. Mowing too short weakens the turf which causes stress to the grass plant leading to drought stress, disease activity and permanent injury.

Sharpen mower blades

Have the mower blades sharpened regularly throughout the season. Keeping the blades razor sharp ensures that the grass is getting cut cleanly. When the blades are dull they rip or shred the grass blades which is harmful to the grass. This weakening of the turf can lead to drought stress, disease activity and even permanent injury. It is best to wash off your lawn equipment to avoid spreading disease to the turf the next time the lawn is mowed.

Leave grass clippings

Leave your grass clippings behind. By bagging your grass clippings, you are robbing your lawn of any extra nutrients that it can use throughout the summer months. Also leaving the clippings behind shades the soil, helping to maintain moisture.

Fertilize your lawn

Applying fertilizer in the summer gives your lawn nutrients on a regular basis and helps to keep it growing and healthy.

Properly water your lawn

It is recommended that a lawn be watered between 12 am and 6 am. An underground irrigation system should be run 1- 1 ½ hours per zone twice per week. Hose-end sprinklers should be run for 4 hours per zone once per week, both resulting in 1 inch of water on the lawn per week. Watering in the early evening (6 pm – 12 am) keeps the lawn wetter longer, which increases disease activity. Watering during the early morning hours reduces the amount of time your lawn is wet which minimizes disease activity. It also reduces water evaporation. Watering during the day (12 pm – 6 pm) is not beneficial to your lawn because most of the water being applied during the day evaporates by the sun and will not be utilized by the plant. Frequent and short watering causes a shallow root system which weakens the grass plants. Watering properly helps create a deeper, stronger root system which creates a healthier, greener lawn. Check out our blog article to learn more about watering your lawn.

Control lawn disease

If a disease outbreak does occur, a fungicide can be applied. A fungicide stops the further spreading of a disease to uninfected areas of the lawn for about 20-30 days depending on site conditions. If environmental conditions do not improve, multiple fungicides will be needed until the disease is in-active.

Control surface feeding insects

Surface feeding insects can cause substantial damage during the season. If the turf is struggling or weak, insects exploit that weakness and cause damage. Insect damage starts out looking like drought stress then gradually the turf thins and turns yellow. Insect controls should be applied when the insects are present. Additionally, insect damage can be permanent and seeding to repair the damage may be needed.

Apply a grub preventer

A grub preventer protects your lawn against grubs and the damage associated with them, which can be quite extensive. Grubs are the larva of beetles, and they chew off the roots close to the soil surface severing the plant from the roots. Signs of grub damage include; gradual thinning, yellowing, wilting and the appearance of scattered, irregular dead patches. The patches can increase in size and may join together to form larger areas of dead grass. Grub damage can be permanent and seeding to repair the damage may be needed. If interested in learning more about grubs and how to control them, check out a more indepth description here.

Control the weeds

Throughout the summer, weeds can become a major problem. They can be hand pulled or controlled using a more traditional method way, applying herbicide. Whatever method of control you choose, keeping the lawn weed free results in a healthy and great looking lawn. If you want to learn more about weed control, more information can be found here.

Clean up after your pet

Pet damage can kill off small portions of lawn wherever your pet relieves itself. Rinse the areas with water to flush out the pet’s urine in the soil. It is best to have your pet go onto a mulched area or a non-conspicuous area of the lawn. Pet damage at the end of the season needs to be repaired by seeding.

Seed the lawn

If at the end of the season your lawn is thin or bare from disease, insect, grub or pet damage, it is best to seed from the middle of August through the end of September. Seeding is the only way to reestablish grass in an area that has no grass or to fix any damage that has happened from the summer months. Make sure to purchase grass types appropriate to the location where the seeding is taking place, meaning if it is a shady area use shade tolerant grass types, if it’s in a sunny area use sun tolerant grass types.

These four steps below can help to make any seeding a successful seeding:

Step 1. Loosen the soil or add a layer of top soil to a 1 – 1 ½ inch depth.

Step 2. Apply the appropriate amount of grass seed. To find out what that may be, we recommend reading the label on the bag and consulting online research.

Step 3. Spread the grass seed and lightly mix the seed and loosened soil together (the more seed to soil contact the better the germination rate).

Step 4. Water, 20 minutes per zone twice per day for 6 – 8 weeks after seeding is completed to keep the soil moist.


There is nothing more important than good cultural practices. Summer lawn treatments can include proper watering, mowing, fertilizing and weed and insect control. These steps can keep your lawn healthy and beautiful all season long.

If you are looking for lawn service or have questions and are in our service area, give Fairway Green Inc. a call at 908-281-7888, we are happy to help.

Treating Summer Patch and Dollar Spot in the Summer Months

There are many diseases during the summer that can cause significant damage to lawns in New Jersey. The impact of these diseases can produce devastating effects and costly repairs to your lawn.

Summer Patch

One of the worst diseases is summer patch disease. Summer patch is a root disease that primarily affects Kentucky bluegrass; it can also cause damage to creeping red fescues and hard fescues, while tall fescues, creeping bentgrasses and perennial rye grasses are not impacted by this disease. Because this is a root disease, it is very hard to diagnose summer patch early.

Summer patch is a disease of hot weather conditions and usually the signs and symptoms present themselves between July and September. That being said, infection happens early in the spring when soil temperatures get above 65 degrees. After infection, small patches of turf form and turn a brown/orange color with green colored turf in the center. These small patches can expand to 1 – 3 feet in diameter and resembles a “frog eye” pattern. Multiple rings coalesce to form a larger blighted area.

The best way to avoid or reduce summer patch is to improve cultural practices, and/or apply fungicide applications. Most fungicide applications are for foliar diseases and require no watering. Since summer patch is a root disease, any fungicide applied needs to be watered into the root zone to be effective. Fungicides for summer patch are applied prior to seeing the effects of the disease. We at Fairway Green Inc. recommend three fungicide applications annually, once per month starting in May and ending in July as a preventative. After the disease symptoms are present, the damage has been done to the lawn and fungicides are less beneficial.

Summer patch is most severe in lawns that have poor drainage and are under drought stress. Other factors include thick thatch, soil compaction, improper mowing and improper watering. First, we recommend managing thatch and soil compaction in the lawn. Thatch is the loose organic layer of dead and living shoots, stems and roots that develop between the root zone of the grass blades and the soil surface. Ideally, this layer should be no more than 1/2 inch in thickness. An excessive layer of thatch inhibits the growth of the roots deeper into the soil, which limits access to water as well as many other nutrients. The thatch layer is also the location for the fungi to live, overwinter, grow and infect the root system in the spring. Core aeration is the most common way to help reduce the thatch layer, because it works by mechanically removing plugs of soil from the lawn. This immediately improves water and nutrient flow deeper into the soil, as well as promotes root growth for a healthier, more stress tolerant plant. Other benefits include increased oxygen levels to the soil, improved soil pore space, reduction in thatch build up, and enhanced response to fertilizers. After a core aeration is done, it would also be a great time to overseed the lawn. Core aeration gives the new seed contact with the soil which produces better germination.

Damaged areas caused from summer patch need to be seeded to repair the lawn. We recommend overseeding the lawn with perennial ryegrass. Ryegrass is not affected by summer patch disease and looks similar to Kentucky bluegrass. Rye grass helps mask the symptoms of summer patch disease in the future. To have any success at incorporating enough ryegrass types into the existing turf stand, summer patch lawns need to be core aerated and overseeded annually.

Water properly. Avoid light, frequent irrigation in the early morning while surface moisture is present. Deep, infrequent watering that occurs between 12 am – 6 am is best way and time to water a lawn. Underground irrigation systems should be run 1 – 1 ½ hours per zone every third or fourth day, while hose-end sprinklers should be run 3 – 4 hours per zone once per week. The goal is to get 1 inch of water on the lawn per week. It is also beneficial to not let your lawn become drought stressed in the first place. Keeping to a regular watering schedule has more benefits for your lawn in the long run. If you would like a more in-depth description about watering properly, read our blog article on lawn watering techniques.

Another cultural practice that helps reduce and avoid summer patch is proper mowing. Because this disease is a root disease, it favors low cut turf. When the grass is cut short it promotes a weak, shallow root system. Keep the grass cut high 3 – 3 ½ inches and only take off the top 1/3 of the grass blade at a time while mowing. Leaving the grass clippings behind also adds beneficial nutrients into the soil and will not contribute to the development of excess thatch buildup.

Finally keep the pH of the soil in a summer patch lawn slightly acidic. We recommend for lawns that have a history of summer patch disease, to be in a pH range between 5.8 – 6.0 just under the optimum range (6.3 – 6.5). When the pH is in the optimum range or higher, the effects of summer patch disease tend to be worse for a lawn. Conversely it is not recommended to let the pH of the soil get too low either. If the pH falls too low, the grass plants do not fully utilize the nutrients from fertilizers and suffer from nutrient deficiencies. To know the pH level of a lawn’s soil, a soil test needs to be performed and lime should only be considered and applied based on the results of the soil test. Check out our blog article to learn more about the pH of your lawn.

Dollar Spot

The next summer lawn disease is Dollar spot. Dollar spot is a foliar disease which is characterized by small “silver dollar-sized” spots of bleached turf. This disease can occur on any type of grass variety throughout our area annually. The affected grasses show white to straw-colored lesions that progress from the leaf tip downward or straight across the leaf blades. A brown border surrounds each lesion and appear in an hourglass shape. The individual leaf blades may contain many small lesions or one large one. Infected leaves become blighted, turning white to straw-colored as lesions expand and coalesce.

Dollar spot is most active July through August each year. Temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees and long periods of leaf wetness from dew, rain, or sprinkler irrigation favor the growth of this disease. Prolonged wet foliage is a key factor to this disease. However if conditions are favorable, activity can start early in June and continue into September. Activity can become widespread very quickly within a few days, and spots sometimes coalesce forming larger areas of bleached turf several feet in diameter. However, injury to established turf is almost never permanent.

Grass plants grow off the affected portions of the leaves allowing the disease to be mowed away. However, because dollar spot occurs in the summer when turf growth is slow, this can take weeks. Deep, infrequent watering occurring between 12am and 6am every third or fourth day is the best course of action. Underground irrigation systems should be run 1 – 1 ½ hours per zone, while hose-end sprinklers should be run 3-4 hours per zone. It is important to avoid frequent, light irrigation as this only promotes further spreading of the disease.

Maintaining an adequate nitrogen fertility in the soil is also important when treating dollar spot. Dollar spot disease favors lawns with low nitrogen, so applying a regular fertilizer throughout the season helps increase the nitrogen in the soil and reduce dollar spot activity.

Keep the grass cut high 3 – 3 ½ inches and take off 1/3 of the grass blade at a time while mowing.

Core Aerate regularly to reduce the thatch layer and reduce soil compaction. Keep the thatch layer at 1/2 inch in thickness. Further, core aeration immediately improves water and nutrient flow deeper into the soil, as well as promotes root growth for a healthier, more stress tolerant plant.

Apply a fungicide. A fungicide is meant to stop the further spreading of the disease to uninfected areas of the lawn. A fungicide gives about 20-30 days of control depending on site conditions allowing the lawn some time to grow out the disease and recover without it spreading further. If the environmental conditions remain favorable after the 20-30 day period, another fungicide may need to be applied to continue control of the disease.


If you are in our service area, and your lawn is showing signs of summer patch or dollar spot disease, feel free to give our office a call at 908-281-7888. If you are in our service area or a current customer, Fairway Green Inc. is happy to come out and take a look.

Controlling Summer Broadleaf Weeds

During the summer, there are many broadleaf weeds in home lawns.  Some look similar to each other and often times these weeds are confused with each other.  What are broadleaf weeds?  Broadleaf weeds are dicots characterized by their broad leaves and network of veins. Whichever weed your lawn has, broadleaf weed control can help get the results you desire.

Black Medic

The black medic weed is often confused with clover and oxalis.  While black medic, clover and oxalis all grow similarly and have common features, there are many differences that distinguish the three apart from each other.

Black medic is found in mostly dry and compacted soils, it will grow along the edges of walkways, patios, driveways, etc., or in thin areas of the lawn.  It germinates from seeds in the spring and grows throughout June, July and August.  This weed can tolerate low mowing heights because of its (low, flat, stretched out) growing pattern, and it is able to grow out to 2 feet in length.  While this weed does not fully root into the ground, it does have a very deep taproot that anchors it into the soil.  Also, black medic weeds have the ability to make their own nitrogen, which is why they can outcompete turf in low nitrogen soils.

The foliage has a trifoliate leaflet arrangement at the end of the stem, similar to clover and oxalis.  The leaves have a mid-vein with pronounced rib-like veins running off vertically with a notch at the tip of the leaf.  One distinguishing characteristic is that the leaf stem on the center leaf is slightly longer than on clover and oxalis.  Black medic also produces small yellow flowers.  Once the flowers get to maturity, they form tightly coiled black seedpods, hence the name “black medic”. Like many weeds that are problem some in the summer months, broadleaf weed control can be used to control black medic in your lawn.



White Clover

White clover begins to grow in the fall when the soil temperatures are between 50 and 60 degrees and remains present annually.  Similarly to black medic, white clover is able to tolerate low mowing heights and can produce its own nitrogen making it thrive in low nitrogen soils and therefore out compete turf.  White clover forms into a mat-like pattern, meaning the leaves are arranged in threes and occasionally fours (four leaf clover or the classic shamrock shape). Further, the leaves have a white ring towards the bottom of the leaf, which distinguishes it from black medic and oxalis.  The root system is similar to

Further, the leaves have a white ring towards the bottom of the leaf, which distinguishes it from black medic and oxalis.  The root system is similar to black medic in that it has a deep taproot and spreads by stolons.  The flowers that are produced are white with a pink hue formed into a rounded head.


The final summer weed to note is Oxalis.  Oxalis can go by many names, but is commonly referred to as “woodsorrel” or “sourgrass”.  Their leaves are made up of 3 heart shaped leaves that are attached to the top of a stem and the leaf color ranges from green to purple.  Additionally, the oxalis weed produces a small 5 petal yellow flower at the end of its short stem.  Under intense heat this weed’s foliage often reddens, wilts and turns downward towards the ground.  The seeds germinate when air temperatures reach 60 to 80 degrees and have a similar root system to that of clover and black medic.  The plant produces seed pods which can expel the seeds out to 10 feet in all directions.  One seed pod can produce between 10-50 seeds and one plant can produce up to 5000 seeds per year.

Broadleaf Weed Control

There is a type of preventative treatment for broadleaf weeds; however it is cost prohibited in a residential lawn setting.  To control these types of broadleaf weeds, a post-emergent herbicide is used, and there are many different herbicides to choose from.  Be sure to follow the directions provided on the label about application.

Other ways to help control broadleaf weeds is through cultural practices.  Proper watering, mowing and fertilizating helps keep the lawn vigorously growing and outcompeting the weeds.

Water deeply and infrequently to improve growth of the lawn.  To start (underground irrigation systems) water your lawn 1 hour per zone twice per week.  For hose-end sprinklers water 2 hours per zone twice per week.  Water your lawn between midnight and 6 am.  Avoid early evening watering. For a more in-depth description of watering properly, check out this blog article.

Mowing your lawn regularly at a reasonable height is another important practice. We recommend keeping the grass at 3-3 ½ inches in length and only taking 1/3 of the grass blade off at a time.  Mowing below recommended grass height aids in depleting the grass of its energy reserves, and also thins the lawn’s canopy and encourages weed growth.

Regularly fertilizing your lawn helps stimulate the growth of the grass plants and outcompete the broadleaf weeds.

Also, regularly seeding bare or thin spots in the lawn will help keep those sections thick and dense to reduce weeds.


Even the best manicured and professionally maintained lawns eventually get some type of weeds.  At the end of the day, all three of these weeds can be controlled with good cultural practices and herbicides.  If you are unsure on how to treat these types of weeds on your own with a herbicide, choose a professional lawn care company to help.  A professional lawn care company like Fairway Green Inc. has access to state-of-the-art tools, techniques and the best products available to produce the highest quality results.

If you are in our service area or have any questions about controlling broadleaf weeds, feel free to contact us at 908-281-7888 or visit our website at www.fairwaygreeninc.com

Brown Patch Disease and Effective Treatments

What is Brown Patch Disease?

Brown patch disease is a very destructive summer lawn disease that causes damage to lawns in the New Jersey area annually. Typically, this disease infects perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass varieties of turf grasses. Although this disease is destructive, there are brown patch treatments that will help stop the spreading of the disease

Signs and symptoms

In the early morning hours when the lawn is wet from dew you will notice white spider web like structures on the surface of the turf. This is called mycelium, which is the growth of the fungus. The turf in the surrounding area will look sunken-in and have a “smoke ring” pattern. On the individual blades of grass, lesions can be seen clearly and appear as tan or light brown spots surrounded by a dark brown border, which creates the look of brown spots in your lawn during the summer.


This disease lives in the thatch and soil, and can live there for many years even without desirable grass types to infect. Brown patch is prevalent when surface moisture and humidity are high with nighttime temperatures above 68 degrees and daytime temperatures at 80 degrees or above. Rainy weather and high humidity will accelerate the severity of this disease. This disease can form and spread almost overnight; luckily with brown patch treatments you can control the disease.


When brown patch disease is active and the environmental conditions are favorable, spreading of the disease continues.  We recommend that a fungicide be applied to the lawn for brown patch treatment; a fungicide is meant to stop the further spreading of the disease to uninfected areas of the lawn. A fungicide will give about 20-30 days of control depending on site conditions. This gives the lawn some time to grow out the disease without it spreading further and for the infected blades of the turf to recover. If the environmental conditions remain favorable after the 20-30 day period, another fungicide may need to be applied to continue control of the disease.  Preventative treatments are possible but need to be applied monthly throughout the summer.

Cultural practices

The best way to prevent or reduce the spreading of brown patch disease in a lawn is to follow good cultural practices. 

Water properly.  Avoid light, frequent irrigation in the early morning while surface moisture is present.  Deep, infrequent watering that occurs between 12 am – 6 am is the best way to water a lawn properly. Underground irrigation systems should be run 1 – 1 ½ hours per zone every third or fourth day and hose-end sprinklers should be run 3 – 4 hours per zone once per week. The goal is to get 1 inch of water on the lawn per week regardless of what type of watering application is used.

Proper mowing.  Do not mow in the early morning when the lawn is still wet from dew or watering because this spreads the disease further. Mow the lawn when the surface moisture has evaporated. Keep the lawn height at 3 – 3 ½ inches in length. Mow off only the top third of the grass plant at a time. Mowing lower than the recommended height increases stress on the plant and can increase the severity of the disease. Also, we recommend removing the grass clippings after mowing until the disease is grown out, because this will help reduce further spreading. Rinse off lawn equipment after each use and keep your mower blades sharp.  Dull mower blades can rip or shred the grass blades which will cause the grass to weaken and be more susceptible to disease.

Regular fertilization. Having a regular fertilization program will help the grass be strong and healthy.  During the summer months it is best to avoid high amounts of nitrogen.  Small amounts of nitrogen are okay in the summer to help regulate color and growth of the lawn.

Core aeration. Reduce the thatch layer and soil compaction by having the lawn core aerated regularly, at a minimum of every other year. Thatch (where disease harbors) is a loose organic layer of dead and living shoots, stems and roots that develop between the root zone of the grass blades and the soil surface. Ideally, this layer should be no more than 1/2 inch in thickness. Excessive thatch can be removed mechanically by core aeration or dethatching. The core aeration process has other benefits as well, such as providing a deeper, stronger root system and better movement of water, air and nutrients into the soil.


Brown patch disease can be very destructive if left unchecked. Being vigilant with good cultural practices helps to prevent or reduce the effects of this disease on your lawn. If all else fails a fungicide should be applied to defend your lawn until the environmental conditions improve. With the brown patch treatments described above, the spreading of the disease can be lessened or controlled.

If you have brown patch in your lawn and are in our service area, feel free to contact us at 908-281-7888 or visit our website at www.fairwaygreeninc.com for a free estimate to go over potential brown patch treatments.


9 Ilene Ct, Suite 14, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 United States | (908) 281-7888
Phone: (908) 281-7888