Due to the mild winter and early spring, Northwest Indiana homeowners are being advised to start spring lawn care immediately. GDDTracker, an online turfgrass management tool, is alerting certified lawn care companies to start spring treatments immediately. According to Steve Daly of Perma-Green, the GDDTracker helps forward-thinking lawn experts predict pest outbreaks and application timing.
With the Mild Winter, Starting Your Spring Lawn Care Now is Critical
According to Daly, “Due to the extremely mild winter, this will be a challenging season. Since the ground never froze deeply in NWI, soil temperatures are higher than normal. Turf is already greening up and broadleaf weeds coming out of dormancy. Crabgrass will germinate a little earlier than normal.”
Michigan State has a great tool to guide us with the timing of treatment called a Degree day tracker (GDD). We use this to assist us with when to start applying pre-emergent for crabgrass, when to start spraying weeds, and when to apply insecticides.
Timing is everything when it comes to lawn care. “We have already got a jump on the season. Rest assured, you will be seeing us servicing your area soon. Know that we are here, maximizing our efforts for you.”
Fortunately, Perma-Green was ready to go when the GDDTracker indicated NWI would need to treat lawns much earlier than usual. Perma-Green retains its team of local lawn technicians year-round. Having them ready to go this early is a huge benefit to NWI lawn care customers. NWI homeowners that receive early treatments will see a noticeable difference compared to their neighbors who were slow to react.
Unfortunately, many lawn care companies are still hibernating, especially the big corporate companies from parts unknown.
What is a GDDTracker?
Knowing the optimized time to apply spring lawn care differentiates the best-certified lawn care companies from corporate turf companies that canvass neighborhoods with newbie lawn guys. The secret weapon of certified lawn experts? The GDDTracker. This online tool for turfgrass managers puts real science behind knowing time optimization for applying fertilizer and crabgrass prevention. It also helps predict pest outbreaks which change from year to year.
Growing degree-days accumulate heat units to accurately predict biological phenomena even when the weather is fickle. Growing Degree Days (GDD) is a measure of heat accumulation used to estimate the growth and development of plants, insects, and schedule applications such as crabgrass pre-emergence herbicides and plant growth regulators. GDDTracker calculates GDD using the simple average method where a base temperature is subtracted from the mean daily temperature. GDDTracker starts counting GDD on February 15. GDDTracker has several models using different base temperatures determined by turfgrass research.
The GDDTacker was developed by the Michigan State University Turfgrass Department with an emphasis on the Great Lakes Region.
GDDTracker | The Newest Tool on Perma-Green’s Community Pages
The GDDTracker has been instrumental in helping Perma-Green determine best-practice solutions for several years and is now the newest tool on Perma-Green’s Community Pages. Just bookmark your community for 24/7 support.
Perma-Green’s website is dedicated to offering Northwest Indiana customers real-time solutions specific to each area.
Each community page includes a soil composition map, real-time rain precipitation for each town or county, and seasonal lawn tips. To see your town or county page, scroll down, or visit Perma-Green.
The addition of the GDDTracker on each one of the community pages is a real game changer. Now, homeowners are empowered to know when they need such lawn care treatments. It also provides confidence and peace of mind to the homeowner that their lawn care company is qualified and not basing treatments on convenience. Let’s face it, the factors indicate that now is the time to start spring lawn care treatments, yet most lawn companies are still hibernating. Listed below are just some of the useful tools you’ll find with the GDDTracker on the Perma-Green website. Simply select your town or county, enter your zip code, and select one of the below categories. It’s easy peasy and fun!
Spring Fertilizer Applications
Crabgrass Preemergence Timer
Crabgrass Germination Timer
Dollar Spot Suppression
Purdue Broadleaf Timer
Broadleaf Weed Flowering
The GDDTracker | NWI’s Online Turf Tool is Fun & Easy Peasy
OK, before you start thinking that the GDDTracker is an advanced online tool that requires Daly’s expertise or his certifications with the OISC, you might want to watch the simple GDDTracker tutorial on Perma-Green’s community pages. It’s right next to the GDDTracker. Easy Peezy!
It’s as simple as entering your zip code and which category you are looking for. Categories include air temperature, dollar spots, application timers, crabgrass preventers, spring broadleaf, weed flowering, crab germination, Japanese beetles, and much more.
You’ll instantly see a map of your area with charts, tabular data, the latest updates, and a summary that anyone can understand and appreciate.
Starting Early Spring Lawn Care is Smart… and Saves Money!
While the GDDTracker can help keep you well-educated and informed, the secret to having a healthy, green lawn comes with a team approach. While the homeowner generally enjoys watering and mowing, a certified lawn care technician has the expertise to take on the tasks of determining the right treatments and handling fertilizers, weed control, and pesticides. This team approach isn’t just safer, it’s also smarter. Typically, most Perma-Green customers have discovered a full-season Weed & Feed Plan costs less money than doing it yourself.
A certified lawn care expert can also leverage experience in working with other variables.
In an article called, The Most Important Fertilizers, Daly states, “The condition of the lawn is also a factor to consider. Knowing the lawn’s soil composition and condition is a big factor. This is one of the reasons why we assign our Perma-Green technicians to each customer’s lawn. Besides accountability, our techs know the homeowner’s lawn condition, soil composition, and other factors that need to be considered when determining the best ratios”.
Perma-Green’s Community Pages have Lawn Tips, Forecasts, and the GDDTracker
You’ll also find other useful pages on the Perma-Green website. The Lawn Care Packages Page offers a simple chart of what is included in each PG Lawn Care Program. If you want to learn more about selecting the right plan based on best-practice lawn care, you’ll love the page called, Weed & Feed | Selecting the Right Plan. This page is my favorite. It covers month-by-month lawn maintenance and which lawn care programs can help you achieve your goals. There are also pages with monthly maintenance summaries for new homeowners and numerous informative blogs!
Visit Your Community Page
GDDTracker Advisory | Start NWI Spring Lawn Care Immediately
With a mild winter and early spring, Northwest Indiana’s soil didn’t experience its typical deep freeze and thawed early in 2023. This means your lawn’s grass is beginning to turn green and broadleaf weeds are coming out of dormancy. Northwest Indiana crabgrass will germinate earlier than usual.
According to MSU’s GDDTracker, factors indicate that it is vital that you start your spring lawn care immediately in Lake County, Porter County, and LaPorte County. Fortunately for local homeowners, Perma-Green’s technicians hit the ground running on March 1st by applying preemergent for crabgrass and other best-practice lawn care solutions
While using the correct weed control and insecticides are critical, the best defense is a strong offense. A strong root system and healthy lawn are the best defense and will help prevent the emergence of weeds and pests. This is why a full-season lawn care program that is customized to your lawn’s unique condition should be applied, starting now and running through fall treatments.
The best solution? Don’t wait!
Call me biased, but I love my local lawn care company. When the GDDTracker called for early treatments, Perma-Green answered the call and was ready to serve.
For a Free analysis and estimate, here is their link. Perma-Green
So what are you waiting for?
Perma-Green is certified by the OISC (Office of Indiana State Chemist) to work with fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds, ensuring the safety of your family and pets, truth in labeling, and the protection of our environment.
Written by James Jano Janesheski