Monthly Archives: November 2016

Mulching Advantages for Healthy Landscaping

 

The organic nature of mulch, whether it is composed of wood chips, bark chips, peat moss or another material, make it extremely beneficial to the health of your landscaping. If you spend countless hours on mowing, trimming, and treating your grass for weeds and pests, then you should also consider the advantages of mulching your flowers and bushes as a part of your regular maintenance.

Mulch comes in a variety of different colors and materials and is typically spread around the base of plants, trees or throughout flowerbeds. Along with the aesthetic aspect of mulch there are benefits that go beyond the overall look of your landscaping. Mulch can be helpful with erosion, water evaporation, prevention of weed growth and by being rich in nutrients. Let’s take a closer look at the ways that mulch may be able to add to the health and beauty of your yard.

  1. Erosion – Erosion of the soil in your yard can occur due to wind, rain and even irrigation systems in your yard. Erosion tends to deplete the nutrients in the soil that helps your plantings and grass grow. Particular nutrients that are affected are phosphorus and nitrogen that are needed to help your plantings thrive. Mulch can not only protect the plantings but also stop the erosion that naturally occurs in your yard.
  2. Evaporation – When your plantings and  bushes are left to bake in the sun they lose much needed water through a process called evaporation. Malnourished plants and shrubs can be damaged due to this process. Mulch provides an excellent barrier to prevent the sun from reaching the soil thus minimizing evaporation.
  3. Weed Prevention – Weeds exposed to sunlight have the ability to germinate and spread around your landscaping. By being buried under a layer of mulch they are not given a chance to germinate. Properly mulching can save you hours on weeding.

Nutrient Protection – Mulch has a way of protecting your plantings from losing vital nutrients that your yard needs to grow in a healthy manner.

Benefits of Lawn Striping

 

Pro-Tech Lawn Care offers many lawn care packages to help homeowners maintain the health of their turf. We take a comprehensive approach offering: soil testing, fertilizing, weed and pest control, disease mitigation, and aeration and overseeding. We want your lawn to look beautiful!  One service that we don’t provide but that we are commonly asked about is something you may see at ball parks or at famous locations – lawn striping.

Professionals who care for ball parks, golf courses and national landmarks have been using lawn striping systems for years. For the regular property owner mowing in different directions can do the trick. By changing mowing directions the light reflecting off blades of grass at different angles and create light and dark patterns. For example, baseball lovers probably saw the intricate design that the grounds crew at Fenway Park created in honor of David Ortiz for his retirement. They took lawn striping to the ultimate level with a full portrait of Big Papi in the outfield. Wrigley Field In Chicago is also known for its pinstriping, checkerboard and wave designs. If you are not a professional but would like to learn the basics of lawn striping you may find that it not only adds an aesthetic appeal to your lawn but can actually make it healthier!  

There are several benefits to changing the direction of mowing. Homeowners that always mow in the same direction tend to create ruts, edges or even grooves in the soil caused by the weight of the lawn mower. Changing directions actually encourages healthy grass growth. Mowing in one direction can often cause the taller grass to bend and shield the grass below from the sun light. This could eventually kill that sheltered grass. If you want to have your grass look like a mowing masterpiece, or at least want to impress your neighbors, try these links for how directions for lawn mowing design patterns.

Kkokk in Sculpture  – Making your Landscaping Beautiful

Scag Lawn Striping How Tos

YouTube Lawn Striping How to

Lawn Care as a Gift

 

As we enter gift giving season, many of us fret over the people who are hard to give to or those who have it all. What do you give those people that will be meaningful or may make their lives a little bit easier or more enjoyable? Well, if you have a “green thumb” in your family then giving lawn care as a gift just may be the answer.

A few years ago an elderly neighbor, who loves to garden and putter in the yard, began having difficulty with the overwhelming amount of lawn care that goes into having a lush green lawn season after season and year after year. Her family decided that a lawn care gift  would be perfect to allow her to continue to putter, plant and enjoy a healthy, weed-free lawn all year.

Lawn care may be the perfect gift for one of your friends or relatives no matter their age. With so many people busy with work, travel and family obligations, lawn care comes way down the list-of-things-to-do. By giving your lawn enthusiast friends/relative this gift you can free up their time to do the things they would most enjoy doing.

Treating for pests, weeds and disease can be an expense that many homeowners do not want to spend. Without that care, however, even the most caring gardeners will have difficulty. Consider lawn care as a gift as we enter this gift season.

Four Seasons of Lawn Care

 

Like many other aspects of life, lawn care is cyclical. Reaping the benefits of a healthy lawn means staying on top of the maintenance that needs to be done at certain times in this cycle. Since we all love that sense of satisfaction stepping onto a lawn that is thinkc, lush, green as well as pest and weed free here is a quick guide to “barefoot worthy” lawn from season to season.

Spring

  • Clean up the lawn after a long cold winter. Rake up any leftover leaves and debris that may have accumulated.
  • Tune up your mower and trimmer including sharpening the blades.
  • De-thatch your lawn to improve water uptake.
  • Aerate the lawn. Winter is a time when lawn can be compacted due to snow or human traffic. Aerating your lawn can allow for oxygen, nutrients, water and fertilizer to reach the roots.
  • Decide on fertilizing. Both spring and fall are great times to fertilize depending upon the type of grass and climate you live in.
  • Repair bare or brown patches in the lawn.
  • Begin mowing the grass. Remember the ⅓ rule of mowing. Never cut off more than ⅓ of the height at a time. Also keep in mind that grass should not be wet when mowing.
  • Consider pest control.  Did you have difficulty with weeds or pests on your yard?  Did your trees suffer because of this?  Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care to discuss the spring maintenance you may need in your yard.

Summer

  • It is pest and weed control time!  Grubs may be attacking the roots of your grass, mushrooms may begin to grow or you may have pests beginning to destroy your garden.  Now is the time to act.
  • Aerate dry soil if you did not do this step in the spring.
  • Continue mowing and trimming during this time. Many homeowners find it helpful to use the mulch component on the mower to add nutrients back into the lawn.
  • Water appropriately. Water at dawn or dusk to avoid evaporation. Check to see if your lawn is getting enough water by sticking a screwdriver into the lawn.  If it slides in easily then you are ok. If the ground is hard you may have a problem.

Fall

  • Fall (as well as spring) is a great time to overseed.  The days are cooler and tend to have more rainfall than the summer.
  • Clean the yard thoroughly during the fall.  Clean up all leaves and debris.
  • Mow the lawn less often as its growing has begun to taper off. Trim the grass a bit shorter on your last few times mowing but not too low.

Winter

  • Winterize your irrigation or sprinkler systems.
  • Avoid walking or parking on the grass.
  • Avoid over salting on driveways and walkways.
  • Plan your garden for next year

Don’t Make these Common Lawn Care Mistakes this Fall

 

Let’s face it, sometimes caring for our lawn in the fall is the last thing on our minds. There are a million excuses not to properly care for the yard.

It’s too cold out. It’s raining out.

There are more leaves to fall, so why rake now?  I’m just going to have to do it again.

The lawn is just going to die in a few weeks anyway, right?

Believe it or not, preparing now can mean a big difference in your lawn next spring. So take heed of these common lawn care mistakes before you throw-in-the-towel this fall/winter.

  1. Mowing Too Short – Sure, shorter grass makes it easier to rake in the fall but going too short can be harmful to the grass. When you cut the grass short in autumn, you rob the blades of the capacity to convert sunlight into nutrients. They need these nutrients to survive the winter. Also, because grass blades do not grow very quickly in autumn, they cannot easily recover from being cut low.
  2. Leaf Removal Mistakes – It really is a pain to rake every weekend. It might seem easier to wait until all the leaves have fallen but waiting can also be harmful to the lawn. Grass needs lots of sunlight to thrive, and the longer that leaves linger on your lawn, the less light gets through. Light-starved grass can weaken and die, creating an opening for weeds to take hold.
  3. Neglecting Pest Problems – If you notice a pest problem in your yard whether it is regarding your trees, grass, garden or plantings, take action now. Failing to take measures now could mean difficulties in the spring when you want to nurture your lawn and garden.
  4. Aeration and Fertilization Mistakes – Failing to loosen the soil through aeration and not giving one last dose of nutrients to the lawn through fertilizing could be the difference between a lawn that thrives in the spring and one that struggles to get going.
  5. Forgetting to Protect Bushes and Shrubs – While your bushes and shrubs may look hearty they also need attention by having one last watering and covering them in a protective wrap such as burlap to protect from snow and harsh weather.