3 Common Lawn Care Mistakes – Spring Edition

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Caring for our lawns is one such area where mistakes are made. The spring is an especially vulnerable time for lawns as they are emerging from dormancy and trying to re-establish itself while battling spring weather, pests, and human traffic. Here are some common springtime lawn care mistakes that you will want to avoid this year.

  • Ignoring Pest Control – Many homeowners have a wait-and-see attitude about their lawns, especially in the spring. Unfortunately, those brown marks, mushrooms, or critters are not going away without assistance. Don’t be fooled into thinking your lawn will get better once the weather gets better. Take action as soon as you recognize a pest problem. Better yet, schedule regular lawn care checks to be proactive and prevent a pest problem.
  • Not Caring for Equipment – It has been a long winter and those tools and your lawn care equipment probably need some TLC. Don’t jump into trimming and mowing without having a check up performed on your gear. Blades on mowers should be sharpened and oil and spark plugs changed out regularly.
  • Not Testing the Soil – The spring is a great time for a soil check up. Find out the pH and soil needs before you start applying fertilizer, seeds, or even watering. You need to know a starting point and a soil test can help you do that. Grass thrives in soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. Send a soil sample to your local extension service for testing and they’ll tell you what your soil needs to make your grass healthy.

Have questions about how to care for your lawn this spring? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Pet Protection and Caring for Your Lawn

If you are like us you love your fur-friend. In fact, sometimes I consider my dog my best friend. As lawn care experts, however, we also love our lawns and want to see them at their best too. How then, do pet lovers care for Fido while also caring for their lawn? Here are some ideas on both keeping your pets safe as well as ways to keep your lawn from being harmed by man’s best friend. 

Protect Your Lawn –

No one likes to see round brown spots from urine, holes from a digging episode, or high traffic marks from where their pet ran feverishly back and forth after a squirrel. Try these simple suggestions to protect your lawn from pet damage.

  • Talk to your vet about your dog’s urine. Ask about the nitrogen content (which, in high levels, is what kills grass) and whether there are any solutions that can dilute the high concentration in your dog’s pee.
  • Create a doggy waste area where you train your pet to relieve him/herself. Many homeowners find it helpful to create a segment of their property for their pet and cover it in mulch. After training your dog to go to the bathroom in a certain area, a benefit is no more brown spots and you will have a pretty good idea where to clean up after.
  • Use water as a diluter to the nitrogen in your dog’s urine. If your pet does “go” on the lawn, spray it down when you can with water to cut back on the nitrogen concentration.
  • Scoop the poop as soon as possible after nature calls. That may mean a daily walk around your yard to keep it from killing your tender grass.

Protect Your Pet –

Dogs, like humans, can get sick from chemicals, especially since their snouts are sniffing them while outside. Here are some tips to keep your dog safe.

  • Keep your pooch off the lawn after you fertilize or apply any pest control substance. Go for a walk or take him/her to a dog park to minimize the exposure. Check the packaging for directions when applying any weed or insect control; most recommend keeping pets off the lawn after application for a certain period of time.
  • Sweep up or clean up any product you have used on your lawn that gets on walkways, stairs, or hardscapes. Dogs have a tendency to taste first and ask questions later so don’t leave a pile of fertilizer on your walkway and expect your pup not to lick it up.
  • Store chemicals safely. If you keep your lawn care products around your property be sure they are sealed so that your pet does not accidentally ingest them.

Have questions about how to solve pet damage on your lawn or how to help keep your pup safe? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Hydroseeding 101

It’s that time of year when “green thumbs” and lawn novices alike are looking forward to the pleasing look of freshly mowed grass. But what if pests, weeds, and the harshness of the winter weather in New England has made your lawn look less-than-beautiful? There are several options to consider when thinking about repairing or replacing your lawn: sod, overseeding, and hydroseeding. At Pro-Tech Lawn Care we offer homeowners a fast, economical option of hydroseeding to jump start that lush look you are aiming for this spring. Here are some Hydroseeding 101 basics to help get you started.

 

What is Hydroseeding?

Hydroseeding is a process where a mixture or “slurry” of seeds, fertilizer, and mulch is sprayed on the ground to establish a lawn quickly and effectively. The slurry is transported in a truck and the application is fairly simple once the area has been prepared.

 

What are the Benefits of Hydroseeding?

Hydroseeding is an alternative to the time consuming, more traditional method of scattering or sowing dry seed into the ground. It is also a more cost effective choice than laying sod.

 

Hydroseeding:

  • Allows for better coverage in less time.
  • Liquid seeds are evenly spread across a broad area with a lot less effort.
  • Works great at erosion control.
  • Grass begins growing quickly – in as little as 5-7 days.
  • Provides better quality grass. Sod has had its roots cut off and handheld seeding can be unevenly distributed.

 

Find out more about hydroseeding for your lawn this spring. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Grass Types and the New England Climate

If someone asks you what type of grass you have growing in your lawn and your answer is “green,” then you may want to do a little research to find out what type of grass you have and how to care for each type. Different types of grass grow best according to certain factors such as: climate, shade, soil moisture level and environment in your specific yard. Let’s take a look at grass types and how to care for each.

New England is known for its picturesque landscape and changing climates. Due to factors such as rocky soil, freezing cold winters, sweltering hot summers, and everything in between, choosing a grass seed that is appropriate and will grow well can be a challenge. Here are three types that may do well in your yard. Check out the characteristics and qualities to see if it may be right for your yard.

Perennial Ryegrass Characteristics

  • Has a medium-coarse texture
  • Fast growing usually within 5-7 days
  • Tends to not survive more than a few years without careful care and pest control techniques
  • Grows well in a wide variety of climates and is a popular choice for overseeding warm season grasses
  • Leaf undersides are shiny and smooth
  • Often blended with other grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass

Fescue Grass Characteristics

  • Comes in two types – tall and fine
  • Fine fescue is well suited for conditions of shade, low soil moisture, low fertility, and soils with unfavorable pH levels
  • With proper care, fine fescue can last for years without getting bare in spots
  • Often blended with other cool-season turf grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and sometime ryegrass
  • Germinates in roughly 14-18 days, and will fill in “bald spots” in the lawn as it grows

Kentucky Bluegrass Characteristics

  • Quick-growing, hearty seed that germinates within 18-21 days
  • Great for filling in bare patches during the cool months
  • Fairly resistant to disease and wear
  • Areas that are damaged or high traffic areas can fill in on its own
  • Grows best in full sunlight, but mixing it with a fine fescue helps increase shade tolerance

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care if you need help deciding what type of grass seed your property would do best with. Call us at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Signs of a Great Lawn Care Company

Google the phrase “lawn care” and hundreds of pages will come up with names galore, some of them with years of experience and some who are novices. How do you find a great lawn care company that will be there when you call, provide exceptional care, and have experience with a wide array of lawn care issues? Pro-Tech Lawn Care is proud of our 40+ year reputation as a reliable, experienced, and local, family-owned business pest control business. Here are some suggestions when you are looking for a great lawn care company to manage your lawn care needs.

 

  • Ask Around – Word of mouth is one of our best methods of meeting and keeping new customers. Our loyal customers mention us to neighbors, friends, and family. So ask around your area to find out who the people you trust the most would recommend. Include in your search an examination of online reviews and social media sites to see what people are saying. Remember to look at how the company dealt with complaints as well as compliments.
  • Find Out About Services – A good lawn care company should have the ability to handle all sorts of issues that may face your lawn and garden including: tree disease, grass disease, tree and shrub problems, wildlife invasions, pests and stinging/biting insects. Treating and preventing these issues should be a part of the services offered. If the companies you are looking for can’t address and solve all of these issues then maybe you should continue looking.
  • Get to Know the Team – When searching for a great lawn care company, get to know the team by having them give a free estimate for any issue you may be having. During that time find out what training, licensing, certificates, and experience the team member has. This should give you a good idea of the scope of expertise.

 

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care if you are looking for a team that will not only treat your lawn care issues but also help you prevent future issues with proper care. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Think Ahead and Prevent Pests this Spring

Sure, the weather is still cold outside and the growing season is still a little ways off, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about pest prevention for your lawn and garden. Now is the time for planning so that grubs, fungus, tree diseases, and pests in general do not find a way to ruin your beautiful lawn/garden this year. Here are some suggestions of how you can think ahead and prevent pests this spring.

 

  • Drainage – Last year, did your lawn or garden have a drainage problem? Were there puddles in some areas and dry patches in others? Drainage problems can be caused by many things such as excess thatch, compaction and other reasons. The problem with poor drainage is that it makes your lawn vulnerable to pests who thrive in wet, moldy environments. Have a lawn care expert evaluate your lawn early this spring to see what can be done about your drainage issues.
  • Fertilization and Aeration Problems – Red Thread, probably one of the more common grass diseases, can be caused by nitrogen deficiency and lack of air circulation down to the roots. Do your grass a favor this year and get on a schedule for proper fertilization as well as start the season off right with proper ventilation through aeration for your lawn.
  • Proper Pest Treatments – Think ahead and plan pest control treatments so that grubs, mold, fairy rings, and any of the hundreds of other grass diseases don’t take hold of your lawn this year. Pro-Tech Lawn Care has excellent programs to keep your lawn healthy all growing season.
  • Wildlife Prevention – If you had a problem with critters getting into your garden, trash barrels, or digging up your property last year, plan ahead by building proper fencing for your garden, buy locking barrels, or talk to a pest expert who can evaluate what is attracting the wildlife to your yard.

 

Do you need help planning for this spring? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Mower Prep

The mowing season is almost here! The topic is enough to make every “green thumb” out there giddy with excitement. Yes, it is almost time to start caring for your lawn and garden again. Is the most important tool you have, your mower, ready to go? Here are a few things to check before revving up that engine and taking it out for the first mow of the season.

 

  • Spark Plug – Every year, without fail, you should change the spark plug. This can be something done during an annual tune up at a repair shop or done by the homeowner him/herself.
  • Blade Sharpening – Again, either during a check up at a shop or in your own garage, check the sharpness of the blade. Each year, blades should be sharpened so that it does not pull at the grass, but rather cut precisely.
  • Oil Change – Hopefully at the end of last season you drained the oil and disposed of it properly, but if that was not the case, do it now. Start each season with fresh oil and add more as needed.
  • Clean it! – While the blade is off during sharpening and the oil is being drained, now is a good time to clean the undercarriage completely. Make sure all the debris, dirt, and grass is cleaned out of every crevice to start the season off right.
  • Lubrication – The start of every season is also a good time to lubricate and check all the moving parts of your mower so that they stay in good working condition.

 

Is your mower ready for the spring season? Are you? If you need help keeping your lawn looking sharp and free of pests, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Do You Have the Right Tools for Spring Lawn Care

As the calendar creeps slowly toward spring, many of us get excited about getting out there to care for our lawns and gardens. While it is still a little early to start with lawn care activities however, this is a great time to go through your tool checklist to confirm that everything is ready to go when the ground completely thaws and the first warm weekend comes when you can start your labor of love. Here is a quick checklist to help you get organized and make sure you have all the right tools before the growing season begins.

 

  • Wheelbarrow – Anyone who cares for their lawn knows that a wheelbarrow can be a lifesaver when it comes to transporting heavier items like rocks, mulch, and lawn cuttings. Be sure your wheelbarrow is cleaned out, the tire inflated and you will be good to go!
  • Rakes – There are a wide variety of rakes that you may need including: garden rakes, dethatching rakes, and leaf rakes. Make sure you have the type that you will need to dig out the dead grass, till the soil in the garden, and gather up the leaves after the long winter.
  • Pruning Shears – Bushes and shrubs will need to be pruned during the spring months to be sure that they are in good working order.
  • Spreaders – Depending upon the state of your lawn from last growing season you may need to spread fertilizer or possibly seeds to fill in bare patches. Check to see that the rotary is working well and that the bin has been cleaned out completely.
  • Edgers/Trimmers – Lawns that have gardens, walkways, and the perimeter neatly edged look neat and well groomed. Have yours conditioned or checked out before the cutting season begins.

 

Are your tools ready? Do you have the right tools? If you need more information about what tools are right for your lawn call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Preventing Dog Damage to your Lawn

If you are like most people, your dog is one of the family. S/he provides unconditional love, protection, comfort and constant companionship. You will do pretty much anything to keep your beloved pup happy and healthy. Unfortunately for many homeowners, having a pup means that their lawn has paid the price, from excessive digging, urine burns, or puppy poop! Is there a way to prevent dog damage without making your pooch unhappy?

With over 62% of American households having a dog or multiple dogs, these backyard scenes are probably not a shock for any of you, but let’s review anyway.

 

  • Brown Spots – If your pup is anything like ours s/he will urinate around trees, bushes, and the general perimeter of the yard to mark the territory as theirs. The brown spots associated with this bodily function are caused not by “acid” in the urine, but rather the high levels of nitrogen in canine urine. There are several methods to treat this including diluting the main areas where Fido goes to the bathroom with water from your hose, checking with a vet for adjustments to his/her diet, and planting grass that is more nitrogen resistant.  Fescue and ryegrass are the most resistant to nitrogen due to the genetic makeup of the roots.

 

  • Holes and Worn Areas – If your pup loves to dig, like so many of them do, you may want to cordon off an area of your yard for your dog to dig. This means each time you let your dog out you will need to train him/her that the designated area is theirs. Many homeowners also create a physical barrier so that pups can roam that area freely. In addition, if your lawn has worn areas you may end up spending many a weekend seeding and nurturing grass to grow in a high traffic area. You may want to create a pathway that is commonly used and cover with mulch or pavers so that you can stop the seed-water-patch cycle.

 

We all love our pups so as a last suggestion, be sure that the treatments you use are safe for your furry animal. If you have questions, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Planning for a Green Lawn

Sure the temperature is below freezing and your lawn is under inches, if not feet, of snow, but this is as good a time as any to get planning so that your lawn will be thick and healthy this coming growing season. A little pre-planning can really help with nurturing a healthy,  pest-free, and green lawn this spring, summer, and fall. Here are some things to consider now to be ready come the first thaw.

 

  • Equipment – Are your mower, trimmer, leaf blower, and other gardening tools in good shape? Are blades sharpened, spark plugs replaced, and oil changed and ready to go? Now is a good time to get this done as you really don’t want to be on a waiting list for repairs come spring.
  • Create a Timeline – Homeowners who are true “green thumbs” know the value of having a calendar of when things like aeration, fertilization, pest treatment, and general maintenance should be done. Do a little research online or with your lawn care expert to find out what type of grass and plantings you have so you can create your own calendar of lawn and tree care that can help keep your lawn growing in a healthy way.
  • Have a Pest Plan – Most homeowners have a good idea of what to do to mow, trim, and fertilize their lawns regularly, but they often forget about treating for pests including mushrooms, grubs, and grass diseases. Think about problems that you had with your lawn this past year and find out what needs to be done to avoid the pests this year. We suggest having one of our lawn professionals visit your lawn in the early spring and determine soil composition, grass needs and potential pest problems so you can tackle them head-on or prevent them from occurring once the weather warms up.

 

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.