The Lake-friendly Lawn: Guide to Year-Round Turf Care at Lake Anna

From the grass to the water: an introduction to lawn care

A well-maintained lawn does more than add aesthetic value to your property. It plays a crucial role in preserving the local ecosystem. A healthy lawn acts as a natural filter, catching pollutants and preventing them from reaching groundwater reserves. It also helps in controlling soil erosion, thereby reducing the risk of sediment runoff into Lake Anna.

Being ‘lake-friendly’ in our lawn care practices is equally important. The use of lake-friendly and environmentally enriching products ensures that we do not introduce harmful chemicals into the lake ecosystem. When applied improperly, pesticides and fertilizers can cause an excess of nutrients in the water, leading to algal blooms that deplete oxygen levels and harm aquatic life. Therefore, adopting lake-friendly lawn care practices not only enhances the beauty of our properties but also contributes to preserving the delicate balance of Lake Anna’s ecosystem.

A Message from the Director at Lake Anna Green

The sense of community at Lake Anna is truly extraordinary. Whether it’s maintaining our roads or preserving the pristine beauty of the lake, we all come together to nurture our shared environment. Our yards are no exception. Caring for our properties not only enhances the health and beauty of Lake Anna, but also transforms our outdoor spaces into extensions of our homes and sanctuaries. It serves as a bridge, connecting the serene allure of our properties with the delicate ecosystem of the lake.

We believe that a well-cared-for lawn is more than just a patch of green; it’s a testament to our commitment to both aesthetics and environmental stewardship.

When Chiles Enterprises decided to bring on Lake Anna Green turf care program as an extension of their services, we decided that we weren’t just going to blanket the lake with a one-size-fits-all all solution for disease or weed control… but instead, we made it our mission to ensure two specific things:

  1. Each individual lawn is unique and deserves consistent attention to detail
  2. Every product we use has to be lake-friendly and environmentally enriching

At Chiles Enterprises, our team is not just a group of professionals. We are your neighbors, your colleagues, and your friends. We are dedicated to supporting the community in nurturing a shared environment. Whether you choose to use our year-round turf care program or learn how to take care of your own lawn, we are here to provide guidance and assistance. Our goal is to give you essential resources to nurture a vibrant lawn while protecting our cherished Lake Anna.


Steve McCormick, Superintendent of Senior Agronomy Specialist

Lake Anna Lawn Care Basics:

Here are the principles of basic lawn care:

  • Mowing: Maintaining a regular mowing schedule maximizes the health and appearance of your lawn. The ideal height for Lake Anna and Central Virginia lawns is about 3.5 to 4 inches. Ideally, the longer the blade of grass, the more nutrients it can gain from the sun – and more sun equals better soil. Remember never to remove more than a third of the grass blade at once to avoid stressing the grass. 
  • Watering: Deep, infrequent watering encourages deep root growth, resulting in a stronger, more drought-resistant lawn. Water your lawn thoroughly but infrequently, ideally early in the morning to minimize evaporation.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilizers replenish nutrient content in the soil and promote healthy grass growth. Using lake-friendly, slow-release fertilizers can provide the necessary nutrients without the risk of runoff into Lake Anna.
  • Aerating & Overseeding: Making small holes in the lawn’s surface allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots easily. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The tiny holes relieve compaction in the soil, giving the seeds the oxygen and space they need to germinate and thrive.

Each of these principles plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy and lake-friendly lawn. Ensuring the right balance of these basics can result in a vibrant green space that also contributes positively to Lake Anna’s ecosystem.

Dealing with Diseases, Insects, and Weeds in Virginia:

An integral part of maintaining a healthy lawn involves the management of diseases, insects, and weeds. Diseases can severely thin out an otherwise unhealthy lawn, leaving it thin and patchy, while insects can damage large areas very quickly by feeding aggressively on the roots, and weeds can choke out large portions of grass.

  • Diseases: Various lawn diseases, such as brown patches, can devastate the health and appearance of your turf during late spring to late summer. These are often caused by fungi and can develop quickly if they arent given a preventative treatment.
  • Insects: Pests such as white grubs and fall armyworms can damage your lawn significantly. They feed on (and kill) grassroots and can turn a beautiful, green lawn into a patchy, brown mess. The use of lake-friendly insecticides is the best preventative measure for insects.
  • Weeds: Weeds are not just unsightly; they also compete with the grass for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Unchecked weed growth can lead to thin, weak grass. Weed management involves a combination of methods like proper mowing, hand-weeding, and using lake-friendly weed control products.

Remember, a well-maintained lawn is often the best defense against diseases, insects, and weeds. Healthy grass can out-compete most weeds, resist insect damage, and recover from disease faster than unhealthy or stressed grass. Therefore, keeping up with basic lawn care practices forms the foundation of disease, insect, and weed management.

The Role of Soil Samples:

Soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn. Knowing the soil composition can help you understand what nutrients and amendments are necessary for your particular type of turfgrass. It also allows you to adjust watering and fertilizing schedules accordingly. 

Getting soil samples is an important part of proper lawn care practices. This helps in determining the pH level, nutrient content, and the type of weeds present in your lawn. At Lake Anna Green, we take 6-7 samples to send to a specialized university facility and can offer a soil remedy program that corrects any deficiencies in the nutrients. 

Contact Lake Anna Green for your soil sample today.

Brown Patch Disease: Is it in your lawn?

The most prominent and destructive fungal-related ailment in our region is Brown Patch disease, scientifically known as Rhizoctonia solani. Brown Patch Disease is a common lawn disease that affects many types of turfgrass, especially during periods of high humidity and warm temperatures. It’s characterized by the appearance of large circular patches in the lawn, ranging from a few inches to several feet in diameter. The grass within these patches often turns brown or tan while the patch borders may display a ‘smoke ring’ appearance – a darker, water-soaked look.

This fungus thrives in moist, warm conditions, typically when nighttime temperatures are over 65°F. Management of Brown Patch disease involves proper watering, mowing, and fertilization practices, along with the use of fungicides when necessary.

What happens when you don’t treat your lawn?

Non-treated lawns suffer severely every summer from pathogens like Brown Patch Disease that weakens and significantly thins out otherwise healthy turfgrass. Environmental conditions that favor Brown Patch pressure are warm, humid nights (overnight temps above 65 degrees) with prolonged leaf wetness. Afternoon/evening thunderstorms or evening irrigation cycles increase the humidity and duration of leaf wetness. These weather conditions are more or less a guarantee in our region from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Lawns that are not treated with insecticides may encounter problems caused by white grubs during their larval stage. These grubs can inflict significant damage to lawns from early July to October.

A preventative fungicide program followed by proper mowing and fertilization practices helps avoid Brown Patch Disease. 

Your Grass is Our Turf: Full-Service Lawn Maintenance and Care

At Lake Anna Green, we want to make your lawn our business. We can assess your lawn and give you a personalized approach to prevent bugs and disease, keep your lawn healthy and looking the best in your neighborhood.

Give us a call or contact us here.

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