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First Time Caring for a Yard? Everything a New Homeowner Needs to Know about Lawn Care

Categories:
04/04/2019

Buying your first home is a huge step—and not just because you get to enjoy a lot more space and a lot more privacy. Most homes also come with a patch of land to call your own. Whether it’s a small yard in an urban space or huge expanses of acreage, this yard is now yours to enjoy…and to take care of.

Before you spend thousands of dollars on landscaping and lawn mowers, here’s a quick and easy to guide to everything you need to know as a first-time homeowner.

  1. Pay Attention to the Season: A yard that’s in the full bloom of spring might look great, only to turn dry and dusty come summer. Those beautiful shade trees that make sitting outdoors a delight could end up blocking all your natural light in the winter. Remember that no matter how a yard looks right now, the seasons will change what grows and how your yard looks. Don’t take any drastic measures to plant or remove the growth until you’ve determined how the temperature changes will affect the overall look of your yard.
  2. Hire a Specialist: Especially if you are low on time. Hire a professional to do the yard upkeep. Lawncare Resolutions will ensure that your yard is kept up and looking nice improving the curb appeal of your home/property.
  3. Maintenance is Everything: A little overgrowth can make a yard look charming, but a lot of overgrowths just looks neglected. Try to stay on top of your yard with regular upkeep that starts as early as the day you move in. Daily watering, bi-weekly mowing, weed pulling, and other tasks don’t have to take up a lot of time as long as you perform them regularly. If you have kids, now might be a good time to start up a chore routine that includes these tasks.
  4. Invest in Quality Equipment: You probably don’t need a riding lawn mower if you only have a quarter of an acre of land, but it is a good idea to have a lawn mower on hand. You might also need items like weed whackers, leaf blowers, trimmers, and other yard equipment. Some homeowners leave these things behind when they move, but chances are you’ll need to invest in your own. Although you might not love the idea of spending hundreds of dollars, this equipment is much like any other appliance in your home and is well worth it.
  5. Less is More: Until you get to know your landscape and how much work it really takes to keep it up, err on the side of simplicity. It’s much easier to go back in and add more landscaping later than it is to remove trees and bushes that have already taken root. Start simple and see how you like the look and upkeep as the plants mature…you can always build from there.
  6. Follow the Rules: Your yard care might not be totally up to you. If you live in a strict neighborhood or have an HOA, you may be required to adhere to a few rules regarding your plant life, home exterior, fencing, snow removal, and more. Know what the rules are in your area and follow them. Few things are worse than investing in a great new yard that you have to turn around and remove the following week.

Article from: https://www.northamerican.com/blog/view/all-blogs/2017/04/21/first-time-caring-for-a-yard-everything-a-new-homeowner-needs-to-know-about-lawn-care

Spring is Here! Follow These 5 Lawn Tips!

Categories:
22/03/2019

Are you among the 36% of Americans who say that spring is their favorite season?

With the long, dark days of winter behind us, it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors again. The first place many of us start is with our own yard and garden.

Springtime is the perfect time to get outside and landscape your way to calm. Here are 5 landscaping tips to use in the coming weeks.

1. Start with a General Inspection

Before you begin spring landscaping, you should start with an inspection of your yard.

If it was a windy or stormy winter, did any of your trees suffer damage? Are there soggy or dead spots in your lawn that need attention? Do you have any improvement ideas in mind for the upcoming season?

Prune any limbs that are damaged or broken, or call us to have them removed.

2. Consider the Local Climate

Just because you’re in love with gardenias or rhododendron doesn’t mean they’ll thrive in your locale.

Like it or not, we’re somewhat limited by our geographic location. Before you get your heart set on a certain type of flower or tree, do some research. How well does your chosen plant grow in your area?

3. Prepare for Pests

Do you know which types of pests are common in your area? Is your area frequented by beetles, ladybugs, deer, or rabbits?

There’s nothing more devastating than having your beautiful landscaping ruined by local wildlife or bugs. If necessary, put up some fencing or wire mesh to protect your landscaping from invaders.

4. Fertilize the Lawn

If the test results show that your soil needs more nutrients, look for a fertilizer that supplies what it needs.

While many types of grass need fertilizer in the spring, others perform better when fertilized in the summer or fall. Controlled release or slow release fertilizers result in better absorption and less impact on the environment.

Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the bag. Using too much fertilizer can actually harm your lawn, while too little won’t produce the desired results.

5. Consider Future Growth & Maintenance

That tiny shrub may look ideal now–but what about when it grows over six feet high?

Before planting anything new, make sure you know how large it will eventually grow. You’ll need this information so you can properly space everything out without gaps or crowding.

What if you’re considering selling your home? Choose low-maintenance flowers, shrubs, and trees. While you might enjoy working in the yard and getting your hands dirty, others may not.

If your yard requires too much maintenance–no matter how attractive it is–this could be a turnoff to potential homebuyers.

 

Article from: https://shabbychicboho.com/spring-is-almost-here-follow-these-5-landscaping-tips-to-prepare/

18 things you should never do to your lawn

Categories:
06/03/2019

Whether you have a green thumb or not, it’s easy to maintain a blissful, barefoot-worthy backyard. For starters, avoid these 18 no-nos…

  1. Don’t Remove Grass Clippings

    Leaving grass clippings on the lawn after you mow can cause thatch problems, right? Nope! That’s a myth. Turns out, grass clippings can actually help with the overall health of your lawn. And (bonus!) that means less work for you when you mow.

  2. Don’t Skip Aerating

    Most lawns, whether seeded or sodded, are planted over a fairly skimpy layer of topsoil. Over time, lawn mowers, pets, and pick-up football games compact the soil, making it difficult for air, water, and vital nutrients to penetrate to the grassroots. Your challenge: to restore healthy soil conditions that nurture your lawn. To loosen and aerate the soil, rent a power core aerator. They’re available at rental centers, plus some hardware stores and garden centers.

  3. Don’t Use a Dull Mower Blade

    Dull mower blades rip through the grass blades instead of slicing them cleanly, and that stresses the plant. You can always tell a lawn that’s been mowed with a dull blade because it looks brown on the top. Get on your hands and knees and you can actually see the damage. Be sure to sharpen your mower blade each season to keep your lawn in good shape.

  4. Don’t Water Every Day

    Did you know your lawn can actually get dependent and needy if it has too much water? Instead of watering every day for 15 minutes, choose one day a week to water the lawn for an entire hour. Your lawn will be watered deeply, and it will be healthier and more drought-tolerant.

  5. Don’t Forget to Dethatch

    Thatch is a layer of slowly decomposing grass stems, roots, clippings, and debris that accumulate at the soil surface over time. It can build up in your lawn and virtually choke it to death. Excessive thatch buildup is commonly found in lawns that have been overfertilized or overwatered and have never been aerated. Thatch buildup of 3/4 in. or more will restrict water and nutrient penetration into the soil (think thatched roof) and can harbor disease organisms that can increase the need for pesticides. Slice open a section of turf. If the thatch is more than 3/4 in. thick, take action.

  6. Don’t Give Up on Shady Areas

    Growing grass under shade trees isn’t easy, but one key to success is choosing the right shade grass species and planting method for your region. In cool-season areas, you’ll get a better result using seed rather than sod. Sod is grown in wide-open fields under conditions that favor sun-loving grasses. Choose red and tall fescues for shady areas in Northern zones. Garden centers will have grass seed mixes formulated for shade. Late summer and mid-spring are the best times to establish cool-season grasses in shady areas.

  7. Don’t Fertilize Shady Areas More

    People tend to overapply fertilizer to shady areas because the grass is struggling. But that just kills it faster!

    Many people really have two lawns—a lawn that gets full sun for most of the day, and a shaded lawn that may get only two to four hours of direct sun—and their water and fertilizer needs are different. The grass in shady areas needs less water because less evaporates, and it needs less fertilizer because with less sun it doesn’t grow as much. When you go into shade, shift the controls on the spreader so you’re spreading about half the amount.

  8. Don’t Forget to Check Soil Moisture

    Common wisdom for establishing the correct length of time to water is to place a pie pan in the yard and note how long it takes to fill 1/2 in. deep. But experts prefer a more accurate method that takes soil conditions into account. Heavier soil doesn’t absorb moisture nearly as fast as loose or sandy soil, so it needs to be watered longer.

    After an extended warm, dry period (dry soil is the key) set up your sprinkler and set a timer for 30 minutes. Then turn off the water and check the soil for moisture depth. Do this by pushing a shovel into the lawn and tipping it forward to expose the soil. See how deep the water has penetrated. Moist soil will be darker. Your goal is to run the sprinkler until the water penetrates 3 to 4 in. into the soil.

    If the water has not penetrated far enough, restart the watering and continue to keep track of the time. Check again in another 15 minutes. With trial and error, you’ll eventually arrive at the optimal length of time to water for your soil type and water pressure.

  9. Don’t Wait Too Long Between Mowing

    If you came back from a vacation and the neighbor kid neglected to mow your yard, don’t try and mow it down in one day. Cut off some of the length and then wait a couple days and mow again. This will cause less stress on the grass. You may need three passes depending on how long the grass grew.

  10. Don’t Skip Reseeding

    Reseeding is a job you can do in a weekend if you have an average-size lawn. You’ll have to wrestle home a couple of engine-powered rental machines. And once your work is done, be prepared to keep the soil damp with daily watering for the first month or so. It’s the key to a successful reseeding job.

  11. Don’t Cut Grass Too Short

    Every grass type has an optimal cutting height, and you’re better off on the high side of that height. Here are a few reasons. The grass blade is the food factory of the plant. Short blades just can’t generate as much food as long blades. Long blades also shade and cool the soil. That means weed seeds are less likely to sprout, and you won’t have to water as often because water won’t evaporate as fast. Not sure what type of grass you have? Take a sample to a garden center for identification.

  12. Don’t Mow in the Same Direction Every Time

    Instead, mow in a different direction every time: front to back, back to front, diagonal, etc. Repeatedly mowing the exact same way will cause the grass blades to grow at an angle, and you may develop permanent tracks from the mower wheels.

  13. Don’t Cut Wet Grass

    Mowing wet grass can cause the mower wheels to leave ruts in your yard, and you could leave behind giant clumps of clippings that could smother the grass beneath. And the wet grass will carpet the underside of your mower deck with a thick mat that’s a pain to clean.

  14. Don’t Use Broadleaf Herbicides in Extreme Temperatures

    You need to kill weeds when they’re growing. That’s because the herbicide is absorbed through the leaves and then sent throughout the rest of the plant. When the weather is too cool, the weed isn’t growing and the herbicide won’t be absorbed, and the chemical isn’t as effective. Too hot and the herbicide will stress the grass. The product directions will give you the best temperature range. Apply herbicides when rain isn’t forecasted; a soaking will just rinse off the herbicide before it can do any good.

  15. Don’t Overfeed

    If you apply too much grass fertilizer, especially in sandy soils, a good share of it will leach through the soil and make its way into our precious groundwater, lakes, streams, and wetlands. Lawn grasses only need a certain amount of food. More isn’t always better.

  16. Don’t Ignore Pet Areas

    Dog spots are round patches about 4 to 8 in. in diameter with dead grass in the middle, encircled by dark green grass. They’re most apparent in the early spring when dormant grass first begins to turn green again. You have to replant your grass; it won’t come back on its own. But first, you have to dilute or remove the caustic urine from the soil. Thoroughly soak the area with lots of water.

  17. Don’t Discount Compost

    Top-dress your lawn with high-quality compost. Compost can bring depleted or damaged soil back to life, resulting in stronger root systems and happier plants. One teaspoon of compost contains a billion beneficial microorganisms that help create better soil structure and texture, which improves nutrient, water, and air retention.

    To apply compost, spread it over your lawn with a shovel, aiming for a layer 1/4 to 1/2 in. thick. Then work it into the turf with a rake. It’s best to do this after aerating. Most garden centers sell bagged compost. But to cover an entire yard, you’re better off buying in bulk from a garden center. Don’t worry about buying too much—any leftovers will benefit your garden and shrub beds.

  18. Don’t Remove ALL Fallen Leaves

    Did you know that leaves are actually great for your lawn? Leaves have an organic matter in them that is great for your soil. It works as a natural fertilizer, helping your grass to grow the following year. According to Sam Bauer, a turfgrass researcher from the University of Minnesota, it can even suppress the growth of weeds as well. He recommends mulching the leaves by using a lawn mower (specifically with a specialized mulching blade, if you have one) over the leaves to cut them up. However, if you have huge piles of leaves on your lawn, it may be hard to mulch all at once (and yes, can smother your grass). Remove those piles until you have a good dusting of leaves around your lawn before mulching with your mower.

Article from: https://www.familyhandyman.com/landscaping/lawn-care/13-things-you-should-never-do-to-your-lawn/

The Best Bulbs to Plant in Your Lawn

Categories: Tags:
01/03/2019

A wide variety of bulbs grow well in Georgia. Most are grown for their flowers and some for their foliage. They are grown as pot plants, in shrub borders, naturalistic plantings and in mass displays. Bulbs offer certain magic to the landscape virtually unrivaled by other plants.

Achimenes. Achimenes are widely grown indoors but are suitable for outdoor pots on shaded porches or patios when night temperatures remain above 60 degrees F. They are drought-sensitive and should not be planted in dry areas or in full sun. Most plants grown today are hybrids; numerous varieties and colors are available. They are propagated from seeds or rhizomes.

Agapanthus. Several species, hybrids, and varieties are cultivated. Leafless flower clusters bear 12 to 30 blue or white flowers. Often grown as tub plants, they are hardy outdoors only in Zone 9. Plant shallowly outdoors. In containers, leave the nose of bulb protruding above the soil surface. They prefer high organic soils

Allium. Lilac-pink flower clusters are 5 to 6 inches in diameter. A very showy plant in the landscape, it is usually used in the background of borders. The Allium (onion) genus is best known for its edible members — onions, garlic, chives, shallots, and leeks — but many ornamental species are also cultivated.

Anemone. Blue, red, white, and pink cultivars of A. blanda are available. Plants form small compact mounds of flowers and are frequently used with early tulips. A. coronaria (Poppy anemone) blooms later and has larger flowers but is less hardy than A. blanda. Soak tubers overnight before planting.

CaladiumCaladium

Begonia. Almost all colors of tuberous begonias are available in upright or trailing types with several distinctly different flower forms. Grown as a pot plant, in window boxes, or as a bedding plant in shaded areas outdoors, it is a handsome plant in bloom. Plants are somewhat brittle. Well-drained soils are essential. Pre-sprout tubers indoors to increase the length of the growing season outdoors. Plant shallowly so the top of the tuber is slightly above the soil surface.

Caladium. Caladiums are grown for their foliage, the flowers being rather insignificant. Individual leaves are 6 to 24 inches long and come in an endless combination of red, pink, white, silver and green. Caladiums should be dug and stored over winter. They may be pre-sprouted indoors to extend the growing season. They should be grown in shade and are well adapted to pot culture.

cannaCanna
Photo by: Bodie Pennisi

Canna. Canna is a favorite summer blooming plant because of its long bloom time and because it thrives in hot weather. Numerous varieties and colors are available ranging from dwarf to very tall varieties. The rhizomes are generally hardy in Zones 8 and 9 but should be lifted and stored during winter at 45-50 degrees F. in Zone 7.

Chionodoxa. Blue and white varieties are available. The flowers are small, thus masses are usually necessary for a good display. Chionodoxa is an excellent bulb for naturalizing and will increase by bulblets and self-seeding. Mowing too soon after bloom can cause decline.

Colchicum. Colchicums are one of the few fall-blooming bulbs. Bright flowers, usually white or lilac, appear suddenly, rising from the soil without foliage. The flowers look much like crocus and are often confused with true autumn crocus. Plant colchicums immediately upon receipt, as they will bloom without being planted.

Convallaria. Usually grown for its fragrant bell-shaped flowers, Lily-of-the-Valley is also an excellent ground cover for shady locations. It is best propagated in the fall by dividing the pips (shoots that appear on the rhizome) when the foliage has developed fully and begun to yellow. Double-flowered and pink varieties are also available. Lily-of-the-Valley needs moisture. Do not plant in dry areas.

crinumCrinum
Photo by: Bodie Pennisi

Crinum. Crinums thrive in the South with little care. The plant is grown primarily for its long flower stalks, which bear umbels of as many as 30 lily-like white, pink or rose-red blooms. Several species and varieties are cultivated; the variegated pink and white are more common. The bulbs are very large, sometimes exceeding 6 inches in diameter. Full sun required.

Crocus. Numerous crocus species, hybrids, and varieties are cultivated. The large-flowered Dutch crocus is largely hybrids derived from C. vernus. Many colors are available. The fall, winter and early spring flowering varieties are particularly valued for their time of bloom. Many species naturalize freely from cormels and by self-seeding.

Cyclamen. Miniature relatives of the florists’ cyclamen, hardy cyclamen are excellent for naturalizing in shady areas. Colors range from white to crimson. Tubers may go dormant in mid-summer under high temperatures and low moisture. C. purpurascens, C. hederifolium, C. cilicium, and C. repandum are readily available.

Dahlia. Dahlias are grown primarily as bedding plants or for cut flowers; some of the dwarf varieties are suitable for tub culture. Most bedding types are seed-grown while most cut types are propagated by division of tuberous roots. Many colors and varieties are available with many flower types. Dahlias are not reliably wintered hardy outside Zone 9, unless heavily mulched, and should be dug and stored under dry, cool conditions. Tall varieties require staking.

Endymion. Sometimes confused with Siberian Squill, Spanish Bluebell bears much taller flower spikes and blooms much later. Blue, pink and white varieties are available. It too is an excellent choice for naturalizing in wooded areas.

Eranthis. Winter Aconite is valued for its very early flowering habit. The bright yellow flowers cover the ground even when ice and snow are still present. A good naturalizing plant, it will self-seed. Soak tubers 24 hours before planting.

Fritillaria. This is one of the showiest spring-flowering bulbs. The flower stalk is topped by a crest of leaves beneath which hang large clusters of 2-inch reddish-orange, bronze, red or yellow flowers. F. meleagris is also cultivated and produces unusual purple and white checkered flowers.

Galanthus. Snowdrops are among the first flowers to bloom in spring. They grow well under deciduous trees and are good for naturalizing and random planting. The drooping white flowers have a green splotch around the inner segments. G. elwesii (Giant Snowdrop) is larger and flowers slightly later.

Gladiolus. Gladiolus is best grown as a cut flower. Because the lower florets wither well before the upper ones open, it is generally not an attractive plant in the landscape. You should make successive plantings to ensure flowers for continuous cutting. Numerous varieties and colors are available. The corms are not reliably wintering hardy in Zone 7 and should be lifted and stored at 35-40 degrees. Mounding the soil around the base of the plants will help prevent them from toppling over.

amaryllis hippeastrumHippeastrum
Photo by: Bodie Pennisi

Hippeastrum. A spectacular plant in bloom, amaryllis have long been cultivated indoors. They can be grown outdoors as summer-blooming bulbs. Some hybrids and species are hardy outdoors in Zone 9. When planted outdoors, the nose of the bulbs should be just at the soil surface. In pots, leave about half the bulb above the soil surface.

Hyacinthus. Few flowers can boast the extensive color range and fragrance of hyacinths. H. orientalis is hardy but not notably persistent; the bulbs eventually decline, becoming too small to flower. H. orientalis albulus (French-Roman Hyacinth) has smaller flowers but is said to be more persistent.

Hymenocallis. It produces fragrant 3- to 4-inch intricately arranged white flowers in midsummer on tall leafless stalks. Several varieties are available, one with yellow flowers. The plant is not reliably wintering hardy outside Zone 9 and should be lifted and stored at 65-70 degrees F.

Ipheion. Starflower produces abundant bluish white flowers. It is excellent for naturalizing and multiplies rapidly. It is sometimes used in lawns, which can be a problem since the grass usually needs cutting before the plant’s foliage matures.

Iris. The Iris genus is extremely diverse and many species and hybrids are cultivated. Several classification schemes exist. They are loosely divided into bulbous iris and rhizomatous iris. The bulbous iris, e.g. I. danfordiae (Danford Iris) and I. reticulata (netted Iris), are small and generally bloom very early. The rhizomatuous iris, e.g. I. hybrids (Bearded Iris), I. siberica(Siberian Iris), and I. kaempferi (Japanese Iris), are taller (up to 3 feet) and bloom from mid-spring to early summer. The cultural requirements and differences are too diverse to discuss here.

Leucojum. Small white bell-shaped flowers tipped with green are borne on each stem. They are good for naturalizing and random planting in shrub borders. L. aestivum (Summer Snowflake) is taller and blooms later. L. autumnale (Autumn Snowflake) is fall blooming.

asiatic lilyLilium
Photo by: Bodie Pennisi

Lilium. Numerous lily species and cultivars are available. Bloom times range from May to September. All colors are available except blue. Various flower forms exist. It is an excellent border plant and cut flower. The larger hybrids are effective as single specimens; the species are more often used in mass. Tall varieties should be staked.

Lycoris. In late July or early August, I. squamigera suddenly appears, hence the name “Surprise Lily.” Long leafless flower stalks bear 4 to 12 lilac-pink, lily-like flowers. The foliage appears in early spring and dies back to the ground by early summer. L. radiata (Red Spider Lily) and L. aurea(Yellow Spider Lily) are also members of this genus. Both bloom later. L. aurea is less hardy.

Muscari. The tiny purple flower clusters resemble clusters of grapes. Common Grape Hyacinth is easy to grow and naturalizes quickly. It is frequently inter-planted with other spring bulbs. A white variety is also available. M. armeniacum (Armenian Grape Hyacinth) is larger and more robust; several blue and double-flowered varieties are available.

daffodil narcissusNarcissus
Photo by: Bodie Pennisi

Narcissus. There are 11 major divisions of the genus Narcissus. Confusion often arises because the generic name Narcissus is also used as a common name. Daffodils, like jonquils, are but one type of narcissus. Hundreds of varieties are available. The cultural requirements for all divisions are essentially identical, but the size, color, time of bloom, etc., vary and are too complex to discuss here.

Polianthes. The fragrant tuberose became so associated with funerals that its popularity declined. It is a superb cut flower, however, and grows well in Georgia. It is usually treated as a tender bulb. Large size bulbs have a tendency to split into smaller bulbs, which may require an additional year or two to reach flowering size.

Scilla. Siberian Squill is valued for its early bright blue flowers. It is excellent for naturalizing, especially in wooded areas. Several varieties are available including one with white flowers.

Sternbergia. An underused bulb, Sternbergia is valued for its fall-flowering habit. It is frequently mistaken for autumn crocus. The plant grows best in full sun and can remain undisturbed for years. Foliage is produced in the fall and remains green during winter.

tulipsTulipa
Photo by: Bodie Pennisi

Tulipa. Numerous tulip species and cultivars exist. The classification scheme for cultivated tulips lists 15 divisions based on time of bloom and parentage. More than 4,000 varieties are in existence. Virtually all colors are represented. The tulip is considered by many the premier spring bulb. Most tulips also make excellent cut flowers. Many tulips are not notably persistent in the south and usually decline after the first year. Size, flower type, time of bloom, etc., are too complex to discuss here.

Zephyranthes. Z. atamasco (Atamasco Lily, Rain Lily, Fairy Lily) is often seen along the roadsides of Georgia, frequently along drainage ditches and wet meadows. Flowers often appear following a soaking rain. Other species and hybrids are also available. These native bulbs can be grown in shady, moist locations or in full sun if moisture is present.

Article from: http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B918&title=Flowering%20Bulbs%20for%20Georgia%20Gardens

Main Photo Credit: https://kpwb.org/tulip_daffodils/

 

Wake up your yard with Spring Lawn Care

Categories:
28/02/2019

A green, healthy lawn that’s the envy of your neighborhood—it’s not outside of your reach, but to obtain it, you’ll need to spend a bit of time prepping and caring for your grass. And one of the prime seasons for lawn care is the spring. Winter’s chill is behind you, and the high heat of summer hasn’t hit yet. So if spring has sprung, get ready to follow these spring lawn care tips for a healthy, green, and lush lawn to make you proud the rest of the year.

Basic Spring Lawn Maintenance

Your early spring lawn care may consist mostly of evaluation. Don’t rush things; your grass needs time to wake up from its winter slumber, especially if you live in a climate with harsh winters. But once the danger of snow has passed and your grass is mostly green, it’s time to start your spring lawn maintenance.

One of the first steps in your spring yard care program should be raking and dethatching. Grass can become matted during the winter, which prevents the germination of grass seed and also encourages the growth of mold and other lawn diseases. Very thick thatch can even prevent water from reaching the grass’s roots. Use a stiff grass rake or a dethatching tool to break through any thick mats, and then remove the dead clippings.

After dethatching your lawn, the next task on the spring lawn maintenance list is aeration. This simply means breaking up compacted, hard soil so that water can easily reach thirsty roots. You can use aerating shoes or an aerating hand tool for small lawns, or rent an aerator if you have a large stretch of grass.

Spring Lawn Fertilizer

Just as you wake up hungry for breakfast after a good night’s sleep, your grass “wakes up” after winter’s sleep in need of feeding of spring fertilizer.

If you live in a northern area with rugged winters and have a lawn comprised of mostly cool-season grasses such as fescue, bluegrass, bentgrass andryegrasss, your spring lawn care schedule calls for a light helping of fertilizer, as the biggest feeding should have occurred in the fall.

If you’re in the transition zone or the South and have a warm-season lawn planted mostly with Bermuda grass, zoysia, St. Augustine, and carpet grass, then late spring is prime time to fertilize.

When choosing a spring grass fertilizer, look for one with a higher dose of nitrogen, which helps green up the grass quickly. The labels of most spring grass fertilizers will indicate this with phrases such as “quick green,” “starter fertilizer,” or “spring fertilizer.” Once you have your lawn fertilizer for spring, the soil is warming up, and the grass is showing signs of life, it’s time for application. If your lawn is small, you can use a handheld spreader, but larger lawns call for a push broadcast spreader.

Water your lawn thoroughly a day or two before you fertilize. Apply the fertilizer evenly, working your way across the grass in a crisscross pattern. Once you’ve applied the spring grass fertilizer, water the lawn once again to carry the nutrients deep into the grass’s roots.

Planting Grass in the Spring

It’s a common scenario; your lawn has bare patches, yellow or brown spots, or just an overall weak appearance. If so, it’s time for a spring grass seeding.

The best time to plant grass seed in the spring is late enough in the season to be past any danger of frost, yet early enough so the grass seed has time to germinate and develop strong roots before the heat of summer. The type of grass—cool-season or warm-season—also plays a part in determining your spring grass-seeding schedule. In general, cool-season grasses should have their heaviest overseeding in the fall, with spring grass seeding just to repair bare spots. When reseeding a warm-season lawn in the spring, go ahead and treat the entire lawn; the approach of warmer weather will stimulate thick, green growth.

Before starting to reseed your lawn in the spring, prepare the soil by breaking up hard or compacted soil, raking out clumps, removing weeds and other debris, and watering the soil thoroughly. Then spread the grass seed with a handheld spreader or a push broadcast spreader if you’re treating the entire lawn. Small brown or bare spots can be seeded by hand.

After your spring grass seeding, keep the area evenly moist—but not soggy—until the grass sprouts and becomes established.

Spring Lawn Treatments

You’ve taken care of the basics of spring lawn maintenance: dethatching, aerating, fertilizing, and reseeding. Now it’s time for the biggest spring grass treatment: weed prevention.

Just as spring brings your lawn back to life, it also stimulates the germination of the weed seeds that spent the winter waiting for their opportunity to grow. That’s why any spring lawn treatment schedule has to include weed prevention, preferably in the early spring.

Learning how to weed your garden isn’t as hard as it seems. You can start by pulling any obvious weeds, but for the most effective lawn treatment program, you’ll need to apply an herbicide.

There are two main types of herbicides for spring lawn treatment against weeds: pre-emergent herbicides, which prevent weed seeds from germinating, and post-emergent herbicides, which kill sprouted weeds. While pre-emergent herbicides greatly cut down on your lawn maintenance schedule later in the year, they will also prevent grass seed from sprouting, so if you reseeded your lawn this spring, you’ll either need to keep the pre-emergent herbicide away from the seeded area or stick with a post-emergent product.

Read the labels of any weed-killing products carefully before applying, and heed any warnings or cautions about treating new grass. And keep on plucking weeds as you spot them.

Article from: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/lawn-care/wake-up-your-yard-with-spring-lawn-care-281474979809972/

 

Water, Water Everywhere

Categories: Tags:
26/02/2019
“Water only once a week, but water deep” is the rule. A weekly soaking helps roots extend deeper into the soil, while frequent shallow waterings tend to lead to thatch, that unsightly web of dry brown runners just above the soil. Watering deeply can also prevent chinch bugs, a pest that tends to attach dried, stressed out lawns across the midsection of the country. To figure out how much water your lawn needs, take your soil type into account: sandy soils dry out faster, while clay soils hold moisture longer and don’t require watering as often.
For a newly seeded lawn, water every day for five to 10 minutes only. Your goal is to dampen the seeds without causing runoff that might wash them away or mar the surface with gullies. After the seeds sprout and the new grass is a half inch tall, water once a day for 15 to 20 minutes.Article from: https://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/basic-lawn-care-tips

8 Tips For a Perfect Lawn

Categories:
19/02/2019

1. Prevent weeds before they come up. 
You can stop weeds from gaining a roothold in your lawn before they even germinate by using a pre-emergent herbicide. This type of product controls the dreaded crabgrass, as well as other hard-to-eliminate weeds, by stopping their seeds from sprouting in your lawn. Use a pre-emergent herbicide early in the spring.

Note: Watch the forsythia and lilac shrubs in your area. When the blooms start to fade and drop off the plant, it’s time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide.

2. Eliminate broadleaf weeds once they’ve sprouted. 
Broadleaf weeds are the big weeds that are immediately obvious in your lawn: the bright-yellow faces of dandelions (and their scatter-in-the-wind seeds), white-flowering clover and big-leaf plantain are all pretty visible. To treat, apply granular weed control products. If there are just a few offenders, you can remove them by hand.

Note: Wait to apply until there is heavy morning dew. Why? Because weed-and-feed granules need moisture to stick to weed leaves—and a dewy morning provides that for you. You can also turn on lawn sprinklers for a half hour to get the same effect.
Note: Are you watering enough? Try the soup can test. Set an empty can next to your lawn sprinkler. When there is about ½ inch of water in the can, it’s time to turn off the sprinkler.

3. Mow high and frequently. 
Mowing your lawn too short may seem like a time-saver, but this can damage your grass as well as allow weeds to take root. Keeping your lawn a bit taller results in healthier grass. The general rule of thumb is: Never cut off more than a third of the grass blade.

Note: Set your mower as high as it will go—up to 3 inches—and keep it there all summer.

4. Sharpen your mower blade. 
A dull blade tears the grass, resulting in a ragged edge that makes the overall lawn look grayish brown. Sharpen the mower blade when it shows signs of wear—or at least once a mowing season.

Note:  The size of your lawn and the frequency of mowing will dictate how often you should sharpen your blade. Take a look at a grass blade after mowing. If it is shredded or frayed, it’s time to sharpen up.

5. Water in the morning. 

The best time to water your lawn is the early morning because the sun will help dry the grass. Nighttime watering can result in prolonged moisture on the blades, which can open the door to some diseases. It’s better to water less often but for prolonged periods. Just wetting down the grass isn’t watering the grass. You need to soak the lawn so the soil moisture penetrates down several inches.

Note: Are you watering enough? Try the soup can test. Set an empty soup can next to your lawn sprinkler. When there is about ½ inch of water in the can, it’s time to turn off the sprinkler.

6. Feed your lawn. 
What do lawns like to consume? Nitrogen is the most important nutrient – look for a mix of fast- and slow-release fertilizers that will green up your lawn quickly, then feed it over time. In the north, feed in fall and spring. In the south, feed in spring and summer. Don’t feed dormant grass (drought can cause grass to go dormant in summer) because it can’t take in nutrients.

Note: More is not better. If you put too much nitrogen on your lawn, you’ll burn it. Read the label and follow the application directions to a T.

7. Train Spot. 
If you have a dog that spends any time in your yard, your lawn will show it. Large yellow and dead spots in your lawn will be giveaways. The nitrogen in dog urine is the culprit. Encourage your dog to use just one spot in the yard. Make a gravel or mulch area where your dog can do his business without spotting the lawn.

Note: Yard-train your dog, in the same way, you house-trained him. Walk him out to the area you want him to use and use treats to reward good behavior.

8. Reseed sparse lawns. 
If your lawn is a little thin in areas, you can seed over the area to help lush it up. Fall is the ideal time to reseed cool-season grasses. Plant warm-season grasses in late spring.
Note: Make sure you don’t apply a pre-emergent herbicide at the same time you plant seed; it will stop your grass seedlings from growing.

Article from: https://donthelawnman.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=11:8-easy-tips-for-a-perfect-lawn&Itemid=120

6 Reasons Why Fertilizer is Important

Categories:
04/02/2019

It can be tough to keep your lawn looking as fresh as you’d like. Between pests, weather, and other foes, you’ll want to make sure that your lawn looks as healthy as possible. Homeowners have used fertilizer on their lawns for centuries, but do you know the reasons why fertilization is so important? Keep reading for some great reasons why using lawn fertilizer is important!

1. Lawn Fertilizer Works With Important Nutrients in Soil

In order to have a healthy lawn (or any healthy plant life, for that matter) you’ll need high soil quality. Using a fertilizer for your lawn is the best way to do so. Over time, your soil will naturally lose many of the important nutrients it needs to survive. If you really want that lush, green lawn, you’re going to need to replace them. Fertilizer replaces and replenishes the essentials your lawn needs for a great look.

2. Your Lawn Needs Fertilizer as Much as Sunshine and Water

Grass needs the correct amount of water and sunshine to be healthy and green, but don’t forget to feed it, too! Your lawn needs nutrients to thrive and survive.  For soil to be as rich as possible, it needs 3 key elements:

  • Phosphorous
  • Nitrate
  • Potassium

Think of this as the Trinity for your lawn. If you don’t have even one of these, your lawn will look shriveled and brown. You feed your body, but your lawn needs food as well.

3. It’s a Green Solution

Pardon the pun, but lawn fertilizer is a fantastic solution when used right. Since it uses natural chemicals and vitamins, it’s a lawn care solution you can feel good about using. Not only are you taking care of your lawn by using fertilizer, but you’re also taking care of the environment. No need to worry about excess waste since fertilizer just dissipates into the soil. In fact, you can even use your own lawn clippings for a cheap, eco-friendly solution!

4. It’s Easy to Use

One of the best reasons to use fertilizer is that you don’t necessarily need a green thumb to use it. If you’re not interested in using the aid of some great local services, you can always spread the fertilizer yourself. All you have to do is spread it evenly and follow the instructions. It’s simple, sure, but your lawn will look better than ever.

5. Your Plants Will Grow Faster

You already know that fertilizer is an important part of your lawn’s diet. But did you know that it’ll actually help your grass grow faster? You can’t rely solely on your soil for great, healthy plant life. You’ll get better results by using fertilizer.

6. Lawn Fertilizer is Cost Effective

Like most homeowners, you’re probably worried about cost. Well, there’s a bit of good news! Using fertilizer is often quite cost-effective. Following fertilization, all you have to worry about is basic maintenance.

If you’re interested in maintaining a beautiful, green lawn, get in touch! With proper fertilization, your lawn will look better than ever. Contact us and request your estimate today!

Article from: https://lawnpride.com/importance-of-lawn-fertilization/

Winter Lawn Care Tips

Categories:
30/01/2019

While your lawn may not require as much care in the winter as it does in spring, summer, and fall, you don’t want to ignore it completely. To ensure it will be in good shape come springtime, you’ll want to take the following steps.

Aerate & Fertilize

Just before your area’s first expected frost date, aerate your lawn. Aerating your lawn will give it a chance to breathe before the grass goes dormant, and help relieve any compaction that has built up during the warmer months.

After you’ve opened up your lawn, it’s a good time to fertilize. Fertilizing your lawn gives your grass the essential nutrients it needs as it prepares for winter. The grassroots absorb and store the nutrients during the winter months. Then, in the spring, your lawn taps into those stored nutrients giving it a head start, making it green and lush. By having a properly cared-for lawn, you’ll also help prevent weeds, pests, and diseases from moving in once it warms up.

Keep Your Lawn Clean

There’s a good chance that leaves have piled up on your lawn during fall and because of that, your lawn could suffocate before winter. Leaves that are left on the lawn could also become too wet, which can invite disease. If the leaves are not too thick or wet, mulch the leaves with your mower into dime-sized pieces to recycle the nutrients back into your lawn. If the leaves are too thick, wet, or matted down, rake them up and remove them.

Also, be sure to remove lawn furniture and debris from your lawn, as well as any spare logs from next to the fire pit.

Avoid Too Much Lawn Traffic

When your lawn is frosted or dormant, try to avoid walking on it too much. Even strong grass can become weak if the same path is walked over too many times.

 

Article from: https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library/lawn-care-basics/winter-lawn-care-tips

Photo credit: https://ordersodnow.com/blog/2017/05/30/lawn-dead-just-dormant/

January Lawn & Garden To-Do List

Categories:
23/01/2019

Most of us begin the New Year armed with plans, projects, and resolutions. The January lawn & garden provides a stark contrast as it hunkers down to wait out the winter, but there’s still plenty to do when the weather cooperates.

Photo from https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

The month of January takes its name from Janus—the Roman god of Gateways and Journeys—who is often pictured looking both backward and forward at the same time. New Year’s resolutions spring from this tradition, and your January gardening can follow suit.

This is a great month for evaluating and planning. It’s also a good time to work on plants during dormancy, so they can begin their spring growing season with an advantage.

Here are some lawn & gardening chores to tackle during January.

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

Trees and Shrubs

In January, you can continue these chores from December:

    • In warmer zones, protect tender trees and shrubs from surprise frosts by covering them with burlap draped over a simple wooden frame or plant stakes.
    • Inspect stakes and wires on newly planted trees, to make sure they are still straight and not damaging the bark.
    • Stake leggy plants to protect from wind or ice breakage.
  • Leave snow in place as an insulator – remove (gently!) only if the weight of the snow threatens to break the plant. Do not attempt to remove ice.

 

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

You can also:

 

    • Prune dormant trees and shrubs now, including fruit trees. In warmer zones with winter-flowering shrubs, wait until just after they bloom.
    • Hold off on pruning spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom.
    • Inspect your winterized roses – make sure they are still firmly tied and/or covered.
    • Apply anti-desiccants to newly planted evergreens.
  • Bring spring-flowering branches indoors for forcing. Good choices are forsythia, pussy willow, jasmine, and flowering quince.

Zones 7 and warmer can:

    • Begin planting roses.
  • Plant bare-root, balled-and-burlapped, and container-grown trees and shrubs. It can be hard to identify plants when dormant, so hopefully, you’ve made some notes during the growing season!

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

Perennials and Bulbs

Continue these tasks from previous months:

    • Protect evergreen perennials from freeze damage. Use boughs from your recycled Christmas greenery as an extra mulch layer.
    • Check your stored tender bulbs every couple of weeks. Discard any rotten ones. If they look withered or dried out, mist the packing medium very lightly with water.
    • Brighten up cold, gray days by bringing out your chilled bulbs for forcing indoors. Also plant bulbs that don’t require chilling, such as paperwhite narcissus.
  • Sow seeds in indoor flats for spring planting.

Also, you can:

    • Clip faded blossoms from gift amaryllis.
    • Take a tour of your garden to see if any of your plants have been uprooted by frost heaving. If so, add extra mulch.
    • Zones 7 and warmer can plant summer and fall flowering bulbs.
  • Frost-free zones (11 and warmer) can plant spring annuals outdoors.

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

Annuals and Containers

    • Continue to protect tender container plants from freezing temperatures.
    • Keep watering containers.
    • Feed winter-blooming pansies with a bloom-boosting fertilizer.
  • Start seeds indoors for summer annuals.

Lawns

    • Remember not to walk or drive on frozen grass.
  • Apply post-emergence weed control to actively growing broadleaf weeds.

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Inspect stored fruits and vegetables (such as apples and potatoes) for decay. Throw away any that look spoiled, and increase air circulation to reduce further damage.
      • If your winter vegetables are looking yellow, add some nitrogen fertilizer
      • Prune dormant fruit trees and grape vines.
      • Continue applying dormant spray to fruit trees. Don’t spray during wind, rain, or freezing temperatures.
      • Sow seeds indoors for spring vegetable planting.

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

Houseplants

Continue these chores from previous months:

    • Keep houseplants out of drafts and in the brightest spot possible.
    • Increase humidity around tropical plants.
    • Reduce fertilization, but continue watering (may water less often, but the same amount). Make sure your water is room temperature.
    • Address any insect and disease problems.
    • Give extra protection on chilly nights by closing drapes and making sure plants don’t touch the cold glass.
    • Cover or wrap new houseplants when transporting to keep them from freezing on the trip home.

Photo from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

Cleanup and Maintenance

Continue these chores from previous months:

    • If the ground isn’t frozen, install French drains, bury downspouts and drainage pipes, and watch for drainage problems in the garden.
    • Have your soil tested to determine if supplements are needed.
    • Till workable soil and work in amendments. This gives you the added benefit of exposing buried insect eggs and larvae to hungry birds.
    • Don’t forget to feed the birds!
    • Clean, oil, and repair garden tools.
  • Take in your lawn mower in for blade sharpening or repairs – the repair shops are much less busy this time of year.
  • Keep plants clean by gently wiping or rinsing.

Article from: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/january-lawn-garden-to-do-list/

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