Glossary of Lawn Care Terms

Interested in finding out more about the lawn care terminology we use throughout our website? Check out our extensive lawn care glossary.

Anti-desiccant – This foliage spray is aimed at helping trees (especially evergreens) retain moisture in wintry or dry conditions.

Aeration – Process of taking out plugs of soil to alleviate soil compaction and permit oxygen, nutrients and water to go into the ground.

Broadleaf weeds – Dandelion, chickweed, clover or other weeds that grab resources away from turf and disrupt the lawn’s texture.

Crabgrass – This grass grows high, has branching stems and often has purplish tones. Crabgrass spreads easily and crowds out other kinds of turf. It disrupts your lawn’s uniform presentation.

Fairy Ring – Mushroom in a circular ring, naturally occurring in lawns. In the center of the fairy ring is dark green grass. Mushroom spores spawn underground and fan out in every direction, searching for nutrients.

Fertilizer – Inorganic or organic compounds that encourage plant growth by providing micro- and major nutrients.

Fertilization – The correct application of the correct amount of fertilizer promotes flowering and growth in plants and turf. Also referred to as “feeding.”

Fire ants – Creatures whose sting is painful and could be fatal for small animals or humans that are hypersensitive. Most often found in southern U.S.

Fleas – Tiny insects that do not harm lawns but are a health problem and nuisance for pets and humans because they feed upon mammals’ blood.

Foundation plants – Shrubs and trees that add to a home’s appearance when situated next to the home’s foundation.

Grass-cycling – Process of letting grass clippings stay on the lawn and naturally decompose, putting nutrients back in the soil.

Grassy weeds – Crabgrass, goose grass, foxtail and other weeds that cause a lawn to look uneven and remove resources from the create an uneven look to lawns and take resources from the preferable grass.

Grubs – Beetles in their larval forms, grubs live in the soil and they feed on the roots of plants. A lawn damaged by grubs typically usually shows big, irregular areas of brown turf that easily detach from the soil. Lawn Doctor will treat grubs throughout the year, but the most effective time to treat grubs is in late summer or early fall, before the grubs mature.

Integrated pest management (IPM) – IPM combines monitoring, control products, cultural care and correct plant selection to control pests.

Micronutrients – Essential nutrients required in small amounts for healthy plant growth.

Moles – Small tunnel-digging mammals that leave unsightly trails on the lawn’s surface and disrupt the grass root system.

Mulch – Any material that is applied to soil to improve or protect a particular area. Often placed around shrubs and trees to protect against weeds and help in the retention of water. While leaves, yard debris and other organic items may be used for mulch, be sure to monitor the pH, since rapid decomposition could cause the mulch to become too acidic.

pH level – Indicates alkalinity or acidity of soil. A pH neutral value is 7.0. Values below this level are acidic and values above this level are alkaline. You can raise soil pH with the addition of lime, which increases alkalinity, and lower it with the addition of sulfur, which increases acidity.

Pre-emergent weed control – Treatment used in the prevention of crabgrass and other weeds.

Snow mold – This disease is caused by a fungus and develops in cool, wet weather. It can lead to crown and root rotting under winter snows.

Soil enrichment – Process that improves quality of soil through the addition of microbes and organic supplements to promote soil health.

Thatch – Natural layer of plant material composed of dead grass (stems, roots leaves) that could be harmful to your lawn if it gets too thick. Leaving grass clippings on your lawn (grass-cycling) does not cause thatch. Manage thatch with Lawn Doctor’s core aeration and soil enrichment.

Ticks – These tiny creatures are technically a part of the arachnid family. They feed on the blood of humans and pets. Ticks can be dangerous because they could be carrying life-threatening and debilitating diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks do not harm turf.