Todays Top Tips – With Travis

blue grass weevil todays top tips

Bluegrass weevil

Bluegrass weevil is a white grub with a red tip that is about the size of a Tylenol tablet. When it becomes an adult it will turn into a tiny black beetle. 


Bluegrass weevil will cause severe damage by feeding on the stem of the grass leading to brown patches, thinning turf, and reduced lawn health. To most people, the damage can easily be mistaken for drought stress. 

One main giveaway that you have grubs is the yellow area of grass will get larger each week. In the browning areas, grab a deep handful and pull.  If it peels up with roots and some soil, you likely have something chewing on your lawn. 

To find them, search the area right in between the damaged and healthy grass.  They will be just below the surface in the top layer of roots and soil.


This treatment is included in your fertilization program! So let us know if you are seeing the signs and we will take care of this for you at no additional cost.

sod webworm todays top tips

What is sod webworm?

Sod webworm is a brown worm about the size of a small paper clip. It becomes a brown moth about the size of a marble.  They lay eggs that turn into worms, starting the cycle over again and growing the population.


Sod webworms harm lawns by devouring grass blades at the surface, creating unsightly brown patches. 

The dead giveaway is seeing the brown moths flying low to the grass. They are much more active in the early evening hours when it is cooler. It is normal to see one or two here and there.  But if you notice many of these, then you likely have a problem coming.

This treatment is included in your fertilization program! So let us know if you are seeing these moths and we will take care of this for you at no additional cost.

How to replace an old sprinkler timer

I would typically recommend getting one that has a few extra zones incase one of them doesn’t work properly

  • Is it indoor or outdoor?
  • Do you want it to connect to your phone?
  • How many zones do you have?

Removing the old controller 

  • Turn off power to the old controller. Sprinkler timers are either plugged into an outlet or hardwired into your home’s electrical system. If the system is plugged into an outlet, unplug it from the wall. If your timer is hardwired, turn off the circuit that controls the timer. Check that the display on the timer is off before continuing
  • Remove the access panel or faceplate on your timer. The access panel can usually be found near the bottom of your existing timer. Pop off the panel cover to remove it. If the timer doesn’t have an access panel that pops right off, you may need to use a screwdriver to remove the faceplate
  • Disconnect the power wires from your timer. The power wires are usually white, black, and green. Unscrew the wire caps connecting the wires if there are any and untwist the wires. Separate the wires from one another so you can pull the timer unit out without damaging the power wires that run to your sprinklers.
  • Label the sprinkler wires with pieces of tape. Your sprinkler wires can be found plugged into a numbered section inside your timer. Wrap a small piece of masking tape around each of the sprinkler wires and label them with the number of the port they’re plugged into. That way, you’ll know what stations to plug your wires back into when you put in your new unit. Or just take a picture of the wires 
  • Pull the sprinkler wires out of the timer. If your unit has the wire attached with screws, use a screwdriver to loosen the connection and pull the wire out. If your timer has tabs, press down on the tab with the end of your screwdriver to make it easier to remove the wire. Once they’re disconnected, pull out the wires from the bottom of your timer
  • Unscrew the controller from the wall to remove it. Your timer should have mounting screws in the middle of the unit on the top and bottom. Use either a flathead or Philips screwdriver to loosen the top screw and to remove the bottom screw completely. Lift your unit up and off of the wall to remove it entirely


 Installing the New Timer

  • Get a timer that has enough stations for the number of sprinklers you have. Make sure the timer unit that you purchase has the same number of stations as you need for your sprinklers. It’s okay if the unit has more stations that you need, but will not work if you have less.

  • Mount the timer to the wall with screws. Hang the top of the timer on the mounting screw already attached to your wall. Tighten the screw inside the unit with a screwdriver so the timer is held securely to the wall. Find the mounting hole near the bottom of the timer and attach another screw there so the unit is sturdy on the wall. If you’re mounting on drywall or concrete, use anchor screws to hold your timer securely. If the unit plugs directly into the wall, make sure the cord can reach the outlet.

  • Feed the station wires into your timer and plug them into the proper zones. Push the wires through the bottom opening of the new unit so they’re in the access panel. Put the wires into the stations that match their label. If the unit has screw connections, hold the wire underneath the head of the screw, and tighten the screw with a screwdriver until it holds the wire securely. If your timer has tab connections, press the tab down with a screwdriver and feed the wire into the port. Release the tab so it has a tight grip.

  • Reconnect the power wires to the new timer. Locate the black, white, and green power wires in the unit and match them with the power wires that run out to your sprinklers. Twist the ends of the wires of matching colors together so the current can run between them. Cover the exposed ends of the wires by twisting wire caps on top of them

  • Turn on the power and test the sprinklers to see if the timer works. Reconnect your sprinkler timer to power by plugging it in or turning on the circuit it’s connected to. The display on your timer may flash for a few seconds before turning on completely. Turn your controller to the manual setting to test each sprinkler connection. Make sure the sprinklers are all operating correctly.

  • Reprogram your sprinkler schedule on the new unit. Go into the settings of your timer and set the current time and date so your sprinklers will run at the correct times. Turn the dial to “Set Watering Start Times” or select it on your display and change the time when you want your sprinklers to turn on. Then set how long the sprinklers will run during that watering session. You can choose to let your sprinklers run every day or pick specific days of the week. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your model to learn specific details on how to set the schedule. If your timer uses a wi-fi connection, you can set the program from your computer or mobile device.


todays top tips: 3 tips on a dark green lawn this summer

3 Changes to your lawn routine
This summer

Taller grass puts more shade on your soil; which helps keep soil temperature lower and reduces the evaporation rate. Helping your lawn endure the summer heat. The higher you mow the better, as long as the blades of grass aren’t laying down and you are mowing frequently around 1x per week.

There is water and nutrients in your grass clippings. Now that the lawn isn’t growing as fast it is time to switch to mulching to give your lawn a boost. Just make sure that you are mowing frequently enough that you don’t see chunks of grass clipping after you mow.  

We have seen a lot of lawns looking a little dull the past 1-2 weeks since the rain has taken a break. For a healthy lawn, I recommend increasing your water by somewhere in the range of 40% to handle the summer.

Upgrade your mower blade

  • Dents or nicks in the mower blades.
  • Uneven grass height after cutting.
  • Grass blades look torn instead of sliced.
  • Brown, frayed grass edges.

A good rule of thumb for the average homeowner is to replace your mower blades annually. You may also think about replacing them if they become damaged. Dig up that product manual if you want a more clear-cut answer. Always make sure to take protective measures whenever sharpening your mower blades at home

Here are the most common blades but be sure to look up your exact lawn mower type and check to make sure they work with your lawn mower We recommend Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, or a specialty supply store.

Inspecting and removing old blades 

  • Lift the mower deck to expose the blade. It’s important to look closely at the carburetor and the oil compartment to make sure you’re not tilting the mower in such a way as to spill oil all over the engine, the grass, and yourself.  Generally, the safest way to do this is to tilt the mower back, toward the handle, and prop it with some kind of weight, or the help of a partner. This won’t necessarily be true for all mowers, however, so use your judgment and consult the owner’s manual, if necessary.
  • Unplug the spark plug. It’s best to stay on the safe side and prevent a short-out or electrical flare-up if any oil or gas should come in contact with the spark plug. It shouldn’t be a problem if you hold the mower properly, but it’s still best to be on the safe side.
  • Remove the blade mounting bolt. Use a socket wrench of the appropriate size and unbolt the mounting, while using your other hand to keep the blade from turning. Be careful not to lose any washers or mounting hardware that hold the blade into place, which can be reused.


Replacing new blades 

  • Mount the new blade in the appropriate direction. Line up the blades as they were lined up before and reinstall the washers and nuts, or use new washers and nuts of the appropriate size. If you have the owner’s manual, there should be torque specs for tightening the nut. If not, just make sure not to over-tighten and warp the blade, which can cause vibrations in the mower.
  • Most blades are either specific or universal fit. Be sure you have the same length as the old blade before mounting the new one, and make sure the clearance from the lawn mower deck is the same. Tighten the new blade onto the bolts carefully, since it’ll likely be much sharper than the old one.
  • Check the blade for play. Be sure the blade is mounted correctly and has no wobble when you move it up and down, firmly. Remove any jacks or props used to hold the mower in place and wait about 30-60 minutes for oil to return to the motor to prevent issues or motor damage. Check the oil before use to ensure it is within the proper limits.
  • Refill the gas tank and do a pre-check before mowing. Check the air filter to be sure that oil did not saturate the foam filter, if necessary, and reattach the spark plug wire.
  • After a quick inspection, you should be able to start up your mower and start cutting that grass much more efficiently with your new blades.
Holmes Utah's todays top lawn care tips header image


How much/when should you be watering to have a healthy lawn?


There will never be a “one size fits all” answer to this question.

So here are the basics on general recommendations, and when you should make tweaks based on factors that may relate to you. You can make adjustments based on your goals and expectations


How many days per week should you water?

  • If our temperatures are consistently in the 80’s:
    • To maintain the current health of your lawn-  2-3 days/ week
    • To revive a dry/yellow lawn- 4-6 days per week.
  • If our temperatures are consistently in the 90’s:
    • To maintain the current health of your lawn-  3-4 days/ week
    • To revive a dry/yellow lawn- 5-6 days per week.

Don’t forget to cut the watering back once your lawn recovers


What time of day should you water?


I almost always suggest avoiding watering late at night during the PM hours. This will encourage fungus in your lawn. It is usually best to set your sprinklers to end their cycle right around sunrise. This is much less important when it comes to drip zones for trees and shrubs.


How many minutes per day should you run your sprinklers?


Here is one of the most common mistakes I am seeing people make. You need to take a look at which type of sprinkler heads you have. 


If you have zones with Rotor heads, including MP rotator nozzles. Those zones generally need to be run for twice the time compared to standard pop-up heads with mist spray nozzles in order to get the same amount of water onto those areas. The areas with these rotor heads typically cover more area and they do not constantly spray the same area. It is very common to have some of your zones with stationary pop ups, and others with rotors.  So pay attention and adjust the times according to each zone.


Typically watering less frequently at more minutes will get the water deeper, encouraging your roots to follow the water deep which will help prepare it for the summer heat. 


Take a look at these images to see which heads need more/less time.



Here are the scenarios that you would be better off reducing the minutes and adding more frequency in order to not waste water.


Areas that are sloped

Too much water too quickly on a hill will run off and not absorb into the soil.


If you have sandy soil.

Heavy watering in sandy soil will likely saturate too deep for the roots to get to all of it.


If your soil is currently very dry and hard. 

Dry soil will typically not absorb water as fast.  To avoid run off it’s best to temporarily run your sprinklers much more frequently with less minutes.  This is only a temporary plan until your soil softens up. 


Quick mowing tips for a healthier lawn


Mow at least once per week.

The more frequent you mow, the thicker and healthier your lawn will be.  A thicker lawn will add more shade on your soil which reduces evaporation.  


Mow with sharp mower blades.

Mowing with sharp blades will promote a healthier lawn that is less susceptible to disease If you are just mowing your own lawn, replacing or sharpening your blades once per year is usually plenty.  It is typically around the same cost to buy new blades vs. getting them sharpened professionally.


Raise your mower cutting height just before temps hit 90+ degrees.

A taller lawn will add more shade too. Which will help you reduce watering.


It’s best to mow the lawn dry.

It will be easier for you, your mower, it’s healthier for the lawn, and it looks a lot better. 

Click Here to watch a variety of How To videos on adjusting sprinkler timer on our YouTube Channel 

todays top lawn care tips - Voles - take control of your lawn voles

Lawn Voles

  • Voles are small rodents that resemble field mice. They dig tunnels in the ground during the winter to stay warm.
  • They mainly eat stems and blades of lawn grass—so it’s usually vole tunnels that you’ll see near the surface of the yard. 


You’ll know voles by the shallow, snakelike tunnels that you’ll see all over your lawn. The tunnels are about two inches wide and very near the surface so they can eat their favorite foods: grass stems and blades. Voles are especially manic in the early springtime.


Step 1 

  • Grab a leaf rake and lightly rake out the areas 
  • You will notice a lot of dead grass along these lines- don’t get too aggressive with it, the goal is to expose the dirt and get a better air flow so that the grass can spread and fill itself in. 

Step 2 

  • Look around on the lines for holes. These holes are where the voles go in and out of their tunnels.
  • Fill in the holes with rodent bait 


  • Fill the holes in with dirt after you insert the rodent bait so that you can see where they are popping back up and where you still have a problem. 
  • It is also safer for your pets and children as the bait will harm if ingested 

Step 3 

  • Set out bait boxes. We recommend the lockable boxes to keep pets and children safe
  • You want to make sure that you are setting these boxes close to where the damage is and up along structures. i.e. fence line, house, or garden. 

*We use commercial grade bait boxes from our vendor. But amazon offers this as a good option for homeowners. CLICK HERE

todays top lawn care tips - learning how to seed your lawn properly

How To Seed Your Lawn

There are 2 great times to seed here in Northern Utah

  • April (once freezing temps have passed)
  • Late September / Early October (Once the extended forecasted temps are 80 degrees or below)

*Remember like we talked about last month… DO NOT apply any sort of pre-emergent fertilizers to the areas you plan to seed.  If you already have done so, then it’s best to wait until either fall or next spring.

  • Things to consider when picking your seed type.
    • Is the area in full sun or shade?
    • How much water will your lawn get?
  • Kentucky Bluegrass is by far the most common grass type here in northern Utah. It does well in full sun to partial shade areas.  It also does well in areas with high use and foot traffic. Plus if cared for properly, it will spread and self repair damage. We do recommend a mix of 80% Kentucky Bluegrass and 20% Perennial rye to allow some variance for tolerance of disease, insects, etc.

* Kentucky Bluegrass

  • Turf Type Tall Fescue is less common in our area, but it is becoming more popular because it’s more drought tolerant.  It also does very well in Shady areas. One major downside, is that Turf Type Tall Fescue does not spread and self repair itself like Kentucky Bluegrass. So as problems arise and bare spots pop up you will need to spot seed these areas.

*Turf Type Tall Fescue

  • Rake out dead grass and other debris from the area you want to seed.  The goal is to have good seed to soil contact once you apply the seed.
  • Spread the seed over the desired areas.  Be careful not to get seed in unwanted areas like flower beds.  Or else you will create much more weeding for yourself later this year.
  • Throw a thin ¼”-½” layer of peat moss over the top of the seeded areas.  This will create more seed to soil contact, and help keep the seed in place.
  • You need to keep the top layer of peat moss and soil consistently wet for 3-4 weeks.  Depending on your sprinklers and the weather… You should water 3-4 times per day, for 2-5 minutes each area each time.
  • You are just keeping the area wet.  Don’t flood the area out.  The peat moss turns a darker color when wet.  So use that as an easy indicator to see if it needs more water.
  • Do your best to stay off these areas.  You will have more success in doing so.
  • Have patience.  Especially if you are planting Kentucky Bluegrass.  It will take at least 3 weeks for the seed to even sprout open.
todays top lawn care tips - Mow like a Pro

Jump Start Your Lawn This Spring

  • Walk around your yard and take a look if you have leaves, pine needles or other debris on top of the lawn. If you do, these will smother your lawn and slowly turn it into bare dirt.
  • First loosen up the material with a leaf rake
  • Now mow your lawn and make sure to collect the clippings so that it sucks up all the debris on your grass



Doing this will help your lawn stay thick and lush this yearFirst loosen up the material with a leaf rake

todays top lawn care tips - snow mold

Snow Mold

  • Snow mold is a fungus that damages or kills grass during the winter months.  It becomes visible as the snow melts off in the spring.
  • Snow mold typically appears as circular shapes ranging from 3”-15” in diameter.  It is normal to have these circles overlap each other to where it’s hard to differentiate each circle.

  • Snow mold is common in areas that are covered with snow for extended periods of time. This fungus forms from the following.
    • Lack of oxygen and sunlight to the grass.
    • Too much moisture in the area
  • If possible, remove snow from the affected areas.
  • Lightly rake the snow mold spots to separate/ stand up the blades of grass.  This will help these areas get more oxygen and sunlight to dry out faster.
  • If more snow is expected for the current winter, we recommend that you apply a fungicide to the lawn.  Make sure that the active ingredient has PCNB.  
  • Apply a fertilizer to the lawn once spring hits, this will help the areas grow themselves out and repair faster.
  • If you aren’t happy with the progress by early to mid April, you can spot seed the bare areas. Seeding before April will not work, also if you applied a pre-emergent weed control to your lawn, seeding likely won’t work either.
  • At the end of every season lower your mower deck height by one notch each week for 3 weeks & bag the grass clippings. 
  • Apply a fungicide to the entire lawn before the first major snowfall.  Be sure that PCNB is in the active ingredients.
  • When possible, avoid piling snow on the lawn, especially in shaded areas where it will take extra time to melt.
todays top lawn care tips - seeding 101

Preparing To Seed

  • Do not apply a pre-emergent fertilizer to your lawn at least 2-3 months before seeding. Pre-emergent fertilizer prevents new weeds from growing in your lawn. It does this by stopping new seeds from growing for up to 3 months from application date.  Don’t even bother wasting your time if this has already been done, you will have little to no success.
  • Most lawn care companies including us will include pre-emergent weed control for the first 1-2 treatments each spring. So make sure to let us know before your first treatment and we will make the proper adjustments to your program.
  • For the DIYers, this includes IFA step 1 and Scotts Turf Builder “Halts Crabgrass”. If the bag says anything about “crabgrass preventer” or “preventing weeds, stay away if seeding. 
  • There are 2 great times to seed here in Northern Utah.
    • April
    • Late September / Early October (Once the extended forecasted temps are 80 degrees or below)
  • Things to consider when picking your seed type.
    • Is the area in full sun or shade?
    • How much water will your lawn get?
  • Kentucky Bluegrass is by far the most common grass type here in northern Utah. It does well in full sun to partial shade areas.  It also does well in areas with high use and foot traffic. Plus if cared for properly, it will spread and self repair damage. We do recommend a mix of 80% Kentucky Bluegrass and 20% Perennial rye to allow some variance for tolerance of disease, insects, etc.

* Kentucky Bluegrass

  • Turf Type Tall Fescue is less common in our area, but it is becoming more popular because it’s more drought tolerant.  It also does very well in Shady areas. One major downside, is that Turf Type Tall Fescue does not spread and self repair itself like Kentucky Bluegrass. So as problems arise and bare spots pop up you will need to spot seed these areas.

*Turf Type Tall Fescue

  • For premium Kentucky Bluegrass & Perennial Ryegrass,
    • We suggest you BUY IT HERE
    • The 10lb bag will cover 1,500 – 2,500 square feet.
    • The 25lb bag will cover 4,000 – 6,000 square feet. 


  • For premium Turf Type Tall Fescue,
    • We suggest you BUY IT HERE 
    • The 10lb bag will cover 600 – 1000 square feet
  • March is too early to seed your lawn. Check our tips next month for step by step directions.
todays top lawn care tips - aeration 101


  • The process of loosening compacted soil to help your soil get more air, water and nutrients.  It also helps your lawn’s roots to spread much easier and faster to create a healthier lawn that is more drought resistant. 
  • There are 2 major types of lawn aeration.
    • Mechanical Aeration– is the most widely known.  It is the process of using a machine to poke holes throughout your lawn.  It removes cores of dirt and leaves these “turds” on the surface of your lawn.  The existing soil then fills into these holes which loosens up the soil.
    • Liquid Aeration– helps release acids out of the organic material in the soil creating more pore space throughout the soil.  It also has a bio stimulant effect on the root zone of the turf which causes the roots to drive down deeper and break down even more soil.
  • Regardless of which type of aeration you choose to do, you typically should aerate your lawn 1-2 times per year.  Once in the spring, and once in the fall.  If you choose to do 1 time per year, we recommend doing it during the spring months.
  • When it comes to residential lawns, we almost always suggest that you do liquid aeration for the following reasons.
    • Liquid aeration won’t spread Fungus throughout your lawn
    • It takes much less physical work, and is typically less expensive than mechanical aeration.  (we include 2 liquid aerations for free in our fertilizer program)
    • You don’t have to deal with the “turds” on your lawn every year.
    •  There is no chance of breaking sprinkler heads with liquid aeration