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Growing and Maintaining a Beautiful Lawn: An Interview with Erik Hagenstein of Allen's Seed

By Erik Hagenstein

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Allen's Seed is a wholesale and retail supplier of golf course, sports turf, power equipment, and lawn/landscape materials located in Exeter, Rhode Island. Our product lines include high-quality grass seed, fertilizers, pesticides, organics, soils/growing mediums, tools, power equipment and much more. We provide parts and service for most major brands of turf equipment. Please see our website for a complete list of manufacturers. Our company utilizes MDS Harris Laboratories to provide a wide range of soil, tissue and water testing. This enables us to offer an evaluation or to assist our customers in outlining an agronomic plan or program.

What are some of the keys to growing healthy grass?

Having your soil tested is probably the most important step in maintaining healthy turf. This will aid in identifying existing or potential issues, and establishing a fertility program. Maintaining a regular mowing schedule at the proper height of cut is critical. Ideally, a home lawn should be mowed at 2.5-3 inches throughout the growing season.

Proper irrigation is also very important. Established lawns require an average of 1 inch of water per week minus any rainfall. Early morning is the best time to irrigate as it allows the water to reach the root zone with minimal evaporation.

Can you briefly describe the importance of choosing the right grass seed mixture?

Choosing the proper seed mixture is another important step in creating the desired lawn or green area. Certain grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perform better under full sun conditions. Fine fescues will tend to be more shade tolerant.

We offer stock seed mixes designed for most applications but specialize in custom mixing for those unique scenarios. With a little background information our team can assemble a blend that will work in almost any situation.

How does a homeowner know what the right type of grass for their soil is?

Our website offers information on both individual varieties of grasses and some of our stock seed mixes. The homeowner can contact us anytime and we can assist them in choosing what seed will work best for their particular application.

Are certain types of lawns more environmentally friendly than others?

The grasses themselves are all beneficial to the environment as long as fertilizer and pesticides are applied responsibly. The average home lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of five. Turfgrass stabilizes soil which prevents erosion and runoff. It also acts as a natural filter by trapping airborne particles. Dense turf will clean water as it pass through allowing for better groundwater quality.

What tips do you have for successfully using fertilizer and plant protection materials?

Having your soil tested is essential in setting up a responsible fertility program. Be aware of how environmental conditions such as wind and rain can negatively impact the efficacy of the product and/or the application itself. Use the proper equipment to apply the correct product for that particular situation. If you are unsure you can always call one of our experts. Always read the label before applying fertilizer or any plant protection product.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

You can contact us at 401-294-2722 (toll free 800-527-3898), by email at info@allensseed.com, or on Facebook.

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