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Irrigation or Sprinkler System Maintenance Tips

Pro-Tech Lawn Care services provide spring start-ups, mid-season maintenance checks, and fall winterizing services for sprinkler or irrigation systems. While we won’t rush ourselves to winter just yet, we do want to discuss our spring and summer services in case you have yet to open your system or need some routine maintenance on your system. Here are our tips on maintaining your irrigation system or sprinkler system this year.

 

  • Spring – After a long cold winter you may notice that your lawn is going to need some TLC to get it back to the lush healthy look it had last year. Part of that process is opening your irrigation system. Spring is the perfect time to check your sprinkler system for peak summer performance. As part of our start up service we will check and prime the mainline, test controller operation, identify needed repairs or leaks, check operation of each zone and sprinkler head, and calibrate the rain sensor and run timer. In short, we will get your system up and running properly.

 

  • Summer – As spring turns to a hot, dry summer, your system may need adjustments or maintenance for any issues that could occur. Our maintenance visits may include: resetting the controller, checking for system leaks, cleaning out overgrowth around heads, ensuring rotors are turning properly, and/or leveling heads and diagnosing system repairs.

 

  • Winterization – We will be discussing winterization in more detail in a few short months when it’s time for blow outs and shutting down the system before the cold of winter sets in. This winterization is your best protection from freezing pipes or damage due to falling temperatures.

 

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for all your irrigation system needs all year long.

Moles

Wondering what is making the piles of dirt or telltale tunneling in your yard? While you may never see a mole above ground they certainly can leave a mess throughout your landscaping or garden. If the eyesore piles of dirt and debris isn’t enough to make you act, the tunneling should press you into taking action to rid your yard of these pests.  Moles can destroy root systems and devastate plantings and lawn growth.  Let’s take a look at moles and how you can prevent and eradicate them from your property.

Identifying Moles –

Moles are small mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have cylindrical bodies, velvety fur, very small, inconspicuous ears and eyes, reduced hind limbs and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws adapted for digging. Moles have been found to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide than other mammals, because their blood cells have a special and unique hemoglobin protein. Moles are able to reuse the oxygen inhaled when above ground, and as a result, are able to survive in low-oxygen environments such as underground burrows.

If you find that a mole is, in fact, the critter that is destroying your lawn your best bet is to contact a lawn care company like Pro-Tech Landscaping to evaluate the situation and create an eradication plan.  There are scored of reports discussing the easiest or newest method to control your mole problem.

Trapping seems to be the most common method to used to rid a yard of these amazing diggers.  If you are thinking about going it alone, be prepared for several things: getting very dirty, spending a substantial amount of time trapping and finally getting up close and personal with at least one mole.  Trapping involves figuring out which tunnel is active and the best place to set a trap.  Once you have found a mole and relocated it to a field far away from your home, the job may not be over.  Where there is one mole there may be many.  In addition, moles like to take over the tunnels of other moles.  If any of these things make you nervous, contact a professional. Pro-Tech can not only get rid of your mole issue but also advise you on how to reconstruct your lawn after the tunnels have been fixed.

Should I Worry About Pest Invasions in the Winter?

As New Englanders, winter signals a shift in our thinking from caring for our lawn and garden to other worries like snowstorms, bursting pipes, ice dams on the roof, and downed power lines during a blizzard.  Pests don’t usually make the list of things to worry about during the months when the mercury dips to its lowest.  For most people during this season, pests are not on their radar at all.  Let’s take a look at whether you should worry about pests during the winter or put them blissfully out of your mind till spring has sprung.

Should I Worry About Pest Invasions in the Winter?

The unfortunate, and short answer to question of pests in the winter is YES!  Pests may see your home as a refuge, a beacon of light during the frigid winter months where food and water and shelter are readily available.  Mice, rats, cockroaches and spiders are notoriously good as seeking safe haven inside homes during the winter.  Other species of pests may also see your home as a great place to overwinter in the walls or hidden areas of your property.  Once these critters gain entrance they can wreak havoc on your insulation, drywall, wires and wood.

 

What can I do?  

The first step is to prevent pests from entering your home.

  • Seal up every possible entrance point to your home including doors, windows, cracks in the foundation, eaves and soffits.
  • Repair loose mortar and trim back bushes and trees to reduce access points under overhangs and via the roof.
  • Store your firewood an ample distance from your home.
  • Keep food in sealed containers.
  • Be alert for signs of pest droppings or chewing areas.
  • Hire a pest control company to inspect your home for easy access points and to determine what could penetrate your property.
  • Be fast to act.  Many critters can reproduce quickly and make a small problem a huge problem in a matter of weeks.  Call Pro-Tech or our sister company Pest-End to eradicate any pest problems immediately.
  • Read up on the species that tend to seek our property (like your home) before there is a problem.  Check out our website for more information and blogs on mice, rats, wildlife, cockroaches and other variety of pests that may cause you more worry this winter.

Do you Have a Deer Problem?

Deer are beautiful creatures to watch and enjoy.  They are quiet, gentle, and graceful in their movements.  They are almost mesmerizing to watch as they explore your backyard or nearby woods.  Unfortunately, while they are interesting to observe, they can also cause tremendous damage to your foliage, plants, and gardens.  If you delight in your garden and landscaping from spring to fall, you may need to take some steps to deer proof or at least discourage deer from ravaging your carefully planted fall bulbs, finishing off the last of your veggies or even seeing your plantings as a free buffet. Wildlife biologists estimate that full grown adults can eat 6-10 pounds of greenery a day.  That is a good chunk of your lawn and garden gone if you don’t get a handle on it.

 

Here are some top tips from professionals at Home and Garden and This Old House so Bambi won’t become a problem in your yard.

 

  • Keep Tastiest Plants Close to your House – Deer love to dine on anything that’s smooth, tender, and flavorful, including chrysanthemum, clematis, roses, azalea bushes, and various berries. Keep these items closest to your home so you can keep an eye on them.
  • Use Scent as a Barrier –  Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell for feeding, so adding patches of strongly scented herbs—from garlic and chives, to mint and lavender can mask the appealing aroma of nearby annuals.
  • Choose Deer Resistant Plants – If deer tend to be a problem regularly in your area you may want to consider carefully what you want to plant.  Here is a link to a list of deer resistant plants.
  • Block Entrance – There are several methods to block deer from entering the yard.  The most obvious is a fencing around the perimeter of your yard,  but if you want other possibilities try thick hedges, short needle spruces or netting around the veggie garden.  The more you can block the sight or smell of food the better.
  • Harvest at the right time – Pick fruit immediately when they are ripe.  Clean up any crops that may have fallen off the vine and are beginning to rot.  The smell may attract the deer.
  • Scare Tactics – Deer are a bit skittish when they encounter something new.  New lawn ornaments, wind chimes or anything that moves can be enough to scare off these creatures.  Allow your pet to wander the yard and spread his/her scent to deter the deer from entering the area. Set sprinklers to go off at random times right around dawn or dusk – the most common times to see deer. Automatic outdoor lights could also do the trick.
  • Deer Repellants – Talk to a professional about what pest control might work best for you since you do not want to harm the plants you are currently growing or endangers children or pets who play in the yard.

Choosing Grass for the New England Climate

New England is known for its changes of seasons.  Mild, wet springs lead to hot, dry summers, and then on to the burst of color in the crisp air of fall.  While all these changes are the hallmark of living in this beautiful region, choosing a grass that can survive in this  changeable climate is critical for the health and growth of your lawn.  Grasses that grow well in the northeast region include cool season grasses.   They tend to grow quickly in the spring and fall and go dormant during the winter months.  Here are some suggestions of grasses that do well in the ever-changing seasons of the northeast.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass – This grass thrives in sunny locations in your yard and tends to be hardy and long lived.  It grows quickly and vigorously.  It will go dormant in dry conditions or extreme heat.  It produces soft green to dark green blades and mixes well with Perennial Rye Grasses.
  • Perennial Rye Grasses – Like Kentucky Bluegrass, perennial rye grows quickly even in the northeast’s short growing season.  Perennial rye grass tolerates partial shade as long as it is watered and fertilized appropriately.
  • Fine Fescues – This type of grass provides the best option for shady lawns.  This type also tends to be be drought resistant.  Fine Fescues tend to be fairly delicate therefore should not be planted in an area with a lot of foot traffic.
  • Tall Rescues – This type of grass tends to be more hardy and drought resistant.  It is best to use a mixture of grass when using this grass to fill in bald spots.

Shaded, sunny, dry or wet – a lawn professional can help you decide on the best type of grass or grass mixture that will thrive in your New England yard.  Consult Pro-Tech Lawn Care for a free estimate and a consultation about the type of grass that would be best for your lawn and yard.