Coeur d'Alene Press: Kevin Hicks

Kevin Hicks

Sunday 10/31/2010
Fall - to feed or not to feed?
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:36 am

As another season of lawn mowing and maintenance comes to an end, it's time to do some planning for the coming year. One of the most common questions I am asked is, "should I fertilize in the fall?" I love the feel-good commercial that one of the better known fertilizer company is running right now on television. They have a number of homeowners telling the benefits of "the fall feed." I couldn't agree more, especially since most of us don't put as much into our lawns during the year as the folks depicted on the commercial.

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Sunday 09/12/2010
Shifting gears for fall
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:27 am

Like so many of you, I'm wondering where summer went this year. It seems like we just got out of our jackets and long pants, and we're right back into that mode again! Despite many "experts" predicting a hot and dry summer, it is interesting to note that we only recorded seven days over 90 degrees over the entire season, and we had as many highs in the 60s as the 90s in the month of August (four each). Given the mild weather, and the cooler days that seem to be here to stay, it's time to talk about fall maintenance of your lawns.

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Sunday 08/01/2010
The dog days of summer
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:18 am

As July winds down and we usher in the month of August, we get into that time of the summer known as the Dog Days. It means many things to many people, but in the golf industry, it equates to long hours of catching up dry spots and watching for disease. The same can be said for our home lawns, although I highly doubt turf disease is an issue unless you overwater or overfertilize.

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Sunday 06/13/2010
Should I be using organic fertilizers?
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:07 am

A question I am asked quite frequently as a golf course superintendent is, "should I use organic fertilizers?" I think it's a great question to which I would answer maybe. First, I can tell you that I try to use organic forms of fertilizers for a number of reasons on the golf course. All of the turf I am responsible for gets treated with some organic fertilizer throughout the year, and areas like fairways and greens are primarily organics. I am not about to tell you to ditch the bag of whiz-bang name brand fertilizer for a sack of steer manure, but we should look at the pros and cons of organic fertilizers, and you, the reader make your own decision.

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Sunday 05/02/2010
Water saving tips for everyone
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:00 am

In the previous column, we discussed a few tips for properly starting up your irrigation system. Now that the system is functioning, I want to offer some simple steps anyone can do to save considerable amounts of water over the course of a season.

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Sunday 04/25/2010
Starting up your irrigation system
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:00 am

With the unseasonably warm dry weather we have experienced, chances are you are thinking about pressurizing your irrigation system, if you haven't already done so. In this column, we'll look at the steps that should be taken in the early season to make sure your watering system is running in top condition, and not wasting water. It is likely that water restrictions could be a real possibility, given the summer is predicted to be hotter than normal, which follows a below average snow pack this past winter. We all should be prepared by maintaining an efficient irrigation system.

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Saturday 03/06/2010
What are the numbers on the fertilizer bag?
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 9:52 am

If we're going to talk about lawn care, the first thing to cover is fertilizer. There are so many products available to the homeowner that the decision can be a bit overwhelming when standing in the lawn and garden center staring at 20 different bags. The question I get more often is the one posed in the title of this column. We'll cover that, and offer some choices when it comes to formulations that best suit your needs.

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Thursday 02/11/2010
I know: Everyone’s an expert
Updated: December 10, 2010 - 9:51 am

After someone finds out that I'm a golf course superintendent, the first comment I hear is, "What do I have to do to get MY lawn to look like your fairways?" In writing this column, I hope to shed some light on key ideas to help you get the most out of your lawn and landscapes while being a good steward of the environment.

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